Flemington Race 7 4:15pm
Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m)
3YO and up, standard WFA
$2,000,000

This is the Mackinnon Stakes: it’s now known as the Emirates Stakes and run on the last day of the Flemington Carnival.

The mile race previously known as the ‘Emirates Stakes’ is now the Cantala Stakes, and run on Derby Day.  Got it?

The lay of the land

It looks like the track is starting to wear as we get into the third and now fourth day of the carnival, which is natural.  It looked like they were struggling to make ground up on the leaders on Oaks Day, so you’d expect more of the same tomorrow.  They should look to get off the fence.

The speed story

Vadamos will be up the front and leading along with Scottish and Good Standing; all are well drawn and shouldn’t have much trouble.  From there I have Hauraki, Endless Drama, Palentino and Seaburge, with The United States off midfield.

Happy Clapper and Tivaci are drawn wide will go back.

In the mix

The main reference here is clearly the Cox Plate.  Vadamos (Fabre / Oliver) was huge there, and was going as good as anything (with the exception of Winx of course).  Off that run he looks the class contender here.

Hauraki (O’Shea / McDonald) was very well held, but his performance in winning the Epsom one run prior to that was something special: he was a mile back and flew home.  I give him a rough chance here based on that quality.

Awesome Rock (Corstens / Baster) was reasonable and had every chance, but was no match for Vadamos.  Can he reverse that result here?  I doubt it.

The United States (Hickmott / McEvoy) looks to have been set for this by Lloyd, and got a long way back in the Cantala last week before rattling home.  He’s a class performer, but the query here is how he’ll handle his third run in as many weeks.

Similar queries on Palentino (Weir / Zahra), which is having his sixth run in a prep for the first time.  He was better in the Cantala after completely bombing in the Epsom.  Against him is the fact that he’s hasn’t been able to go 2000m previously.

Both Tivaci (Moroney / Moloney) and Seaburge (Hayes & Dabernig / Yendall) are also stepping up to 2000m where they’ve never had success before, which makes me happy to risk them.

Scottish (Appleby / Buick) was absolutely terrific in the Caulfield Cup and should get a good run here.  He never found the front until halfway through the race and beat them all home bar Jameka.

Good Standing (Cummings / Schofield) is honest and recorded a good win in the Norman Robinson at Caulfield, but stepping up this class is a very big ask.

Endless Drama (Waller / Williams) is very hard to get a read on in his first race in Australia, having come to the Waller stable.

Put a line through…

Happy Trails (Beshara / Dunn) is over the hill.  He’ll get back here and stay there.

Happy Clapper (Webster / Avdulla) is honest, but ran about as well as he could in the Cox Plate and would have to improve again here.  I don’t think he can.

Vanbrugh (Waller / Melham) will run the trip here but doesn’t have the class to challenge.

Trev’s Tip

I like Vadamos after what he showed us in the Cox Plate, and I also like the early price.  Happy to tip him and I think he’s good value at the moment.

Trevor Lawson is a full-time professional punter who won on Derby Day and Cup Day. His Melbourne Ratings package gives you access to his assessed prices, speed map comments and betting strategies for all metro Melbourne meetings.