Runners to watch: Flemington, July 22nd

Ray Hickson's race reviews, notes and blackbookers from Saturday's Melbourne metro meeting at Flemington.

Race reviews: Flemington, July 22nd

Race 1: VRC Recognition Handicap (1600m)

Gervais (2nd): faced the breeze outside leader for the entirety, hit a narrow lead at the 100m and was only gathered up in the last couple of strides. He’s ready to peak now after two runs back.

Note – Riyadh left them with no excuses as he carried 60kg and came from near last on the turn and rounded up the leaders to arrive in time. Simply too good. Gervais and Electric Fusion, who loomed as a likely winner, dead heated for second.

Race 2: Rising Stars Handicap (1600m)

Note – another last to first winner as Dulverton mowed down Diapason, who had no excuses at all this time, and raced away to win easily. Leader Hell Or Highwater had her chance and held on for third.

Race 3: Byerley Handicap (1800m)

Note – Anchor Bid had a fair bit of class on her rivals and she overcame a few anxious moments early in the straight to win with a leg in the air. Think Oaks races for her next season, possibly the Autumn. Justice Faith ran on well into second just ahead of Think Diamonds.

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Race 4: Murray Cox Handicap (1400m)

Rebellious Lord (3rd): might have been a bit unlucky not to go close. Travelled nicely behind the lead then became held up and didn’t really get going again until the 100m when the race was over. He’s a coming city winner.

Note – the race looked to be Portman’s on paper and he landed in the perfect spot, came with a well timed run and held off Orient Line, who is racing very well, and Rebellious Lord caught the eye.

Race 5: TAB/ATA Trainers’ Trust Handicap (1600m)

Note – a tough all the way win from Lovani, who was there to be run down with the headwind up the straight but defied all challengers.Jaminzah had his chance but tried hard and Balcazar also closed off well late into third.

Race 6: K A Morrison Handicap (1200m)

Note – upset result with Play Master arriving in time to run down Kirani, also big odds, who was always on the pace and Divine Mr Artie didn’t seem to be comfortable but made a late burst to claim the minor money.

Race 7: George Watson Handicap (2000m)

Magic Consol (5th): total forgive run, he was held up behind the lead until the 200m where the runs had already come and he was left to try to pick up and chase. Made good ground and was far from disgraced.

Note – Pacodali showed he is an improving type as he made it back to back 2000m wins at Flemington holding off his stablematesMaster Zephyr and Killarney Kid. Disappointment was Kilimanjaro but he was second-up off a two year break so be wary of him next time around.

Race 8: Domain Plate (1400m)

Note – very fast run race with a couple of tearaway leaders and that suited Swampland who produced a nice dash the last 200m to mow down Moonlites Choice, who looked home after claiming the leaders, and Princess Of Queens was far from disgraced after carting the field up to the leaders. She’s just about ready.

Race 9: Flemington Event Staff Handicap (1100m)

Tahi (2nd): wasn’t the best out and did all the work up on the speed on the outside fence. He was let go at the 300m and was there to be run down, and when challenged he fought gamely at just his second start. Looks a promising sprinter of the future.

Note – Hay Bale came out of a Listed placing and finished strongly late to run Tahi down while I’m Yelling Ya followed the runner-up through and ran into third.

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