Dean took a 2 month break over the winter months (June & July) to thoroughly review his trial assessments, staking and betting strategies to ensure success over the Spring Carnival and beyond.

Since returning the Trial Spy service has made a profit of over 60 units since August 1 (under 3 months), batting at over 25% Profit on Turnover. This has included a string of winners at double figure odds such as Public Spirit ($45), Scarteen ($23), Dubai Sights ($19), Enki ($15), Invincible Warrior ($13), Jayaqua ($13), Fast Arli ($12) etc. All bets are sent after 9am when all bookies have markets available and minimum bet laws kick in.

These results of course are simply a continuation of the success the Trial Spy service has had since beginning in 2013 (563.85 units profit at 11.05% PoT to be exact).

The service is closed to protect member dividends, and only opens once a year for new subscribers. You can join the waiting list to be the first notified of the next intake which will be in early 2017.

Below is Dean’s preview of the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m at Flemington on Saturday.

Extreme Choice
Impressive trial Rosehill 900m Dec 8 win leading all the way under minimal pressure to score by 2. Time was slow but the style impressed me. Bolted in for us on debut at Randwick in the Inglis Nursery drifting out to a great price for us at $8+, and then bolted in again first up at Caulfield at prohibitive odds. Won again for us in the Blue Diamond. Failed in the Golden Slipper but had plenty of excuses. Proved he has come back in top order winning at group 1 level against the older horses at Moonee Valley over 1000m first up. Was good winning the Flemington jumpout beating Russian Revolution and Astern. Hasn’t raced down the straight but handled it fine in the jumpout and it’s hard to find a chink in his armour. Is clearly the one to beat.

Astern
Impressed winning Warwick Farm 804m Mar 10 trial by 4L in 2nd quickest time of the day 4.6L above par under a hold. That was after 2 impressive wins in strong company. Had excuses in the Golden Slipper. Went back to Group 3 grade at Randwick and deadheated for 1st in the only time we have backed him. Certainly has taken the next step this prep, winning the Golden Rose ultra-impressively second up, and running a sensational last 600m clearly breaking 33 seconds at Randwick last start in the Group 2 Roman Consul when 2nd beaten a head by Russian Revolution. Was actually the most impressive to the eye in the Flemington jumpout against Extreme Choice and Russian Revolution despite running 6th of 6. Was only beaten 2L, was held together tightly and sat directly behind them with plenty to offer.

One of the key queries with Astern is that he profiles very similarly to Exosphere, from the same stable, who failed in this race last year. Exosphere and Astern are uncannily similar. Both won 2 races before failing in the Golden Slipper. Both won the Run To The Rose and then the Golden Rose. Exosphere then also won the Roman Consul, whereas Astern was a close and impressive second. Exosphere flopped finishing a distant 4th as $1.60 favourite in the Coolmore last year, showing how difficult it can be to peak twice at the top level in the same campaign, particularly when travelling to Melbourne and going back in distance. This is the key risk with Astern and is why the horse can be risked.

Flying Artie
Won Caulfield Jumpout 800m in 48.07 quickest of 10 jumpouts by 2L. Led all the way and looked speedy. Came from last on debut at Flemington and ran home strongly for 2nd for us beaten a nose (still can’t believe he was beaten). Won Geelong 1000m trial Feb 1 by 3.5L under no pressure 7.7L above par. Hugely impressive winning for us first up in the Blue Diamond Prelude when had a torrid wide run and still won beating Star Turn. Horror wide gate in the Blue Diamond and ran a huge race for 2nd to Extreme Choice. Was good again when 3rd to Capitalist in the Golden Slipper. Was very impressive first up in the Blue Sapphire winning comfortably proving he can both sit on pace and inside horses, which removed one of the queries about the horse. Strong chance.

Star Turn
Won Rosehill 900m Sep 29 trial by 2.8L in very quick time (clear quickest of 9 trials on the day) 10.8L above par. Not much luck when 3rd on debut then bolted in by 3L at second start in the Pierro Plate. Had an easy trial when won Warwick Farm 800m Jan 25 trial in good time. Looked the winner in the Blue Diamond Prelude but was run down into 2nd beaten a head late by Flying Artie. OK 5th in the Blue Diamond. Trialled very nicely winning Rosehill 900m Mar 14 trial in clear quickest time of 14 trials on the day, 6.9L above par. Ran a good 6th in the Golden Slipper after racing back in the field, only beaten 3.2L. Always trialled like he could match it with the best, but was a bit weak as a 2yo. Has now developed the most as a 3yo, and was very impressive winning the San Domenico first up after being well backed, before a close 2nd beaten a head by Astern in the Run To The Rose. Beat the older horses at Group 2 level in the Schillaci Stakes impressively last start. Is in the mix. This is his acid test against others at their peak. Whether down the straight suits him as much as some others remains to be seen.

Russian Revolution
Is the only one of the key chances who hasn’t been a ‘Trial Spy’ horse (e.g. we have never backed him). There was nothing wrong with his trials, but he never broke the clock in any of them, and started short in all 3 of his first starts, so there was never any significant value with him. Nonetheless he is undefeated with 4 starts for 4 wins and must be respected in that regard. Won the Group 3 Vain Stakes before winning the Group 2 Roman Consul by a head over Astern. Was good in the Flemington jumpout running 2nd close behind Extreme Choice, though was slightly niggled, but that’s the norm with Snowden runners in trials/jumpouts. Can’t discount, and no doubt he will run an honest race, but he has had things go his way this prep. Respecting, but prefer others.

Capitalist (scratched Friday)
Settled back and sprinted strongly under little pressure to score in Randwick Sep 21 trial. 4th quickest of 12 trials, 8L above par. Quickest L400, 200 & 100 sectionals on the day. Bolted in for us on debut in the Breeders Stakes by 3L, and won the Magic Millions 2yo afterwards. Had excuses in run before the Slipper when 2nd but pulled up lame and faced a fierce headwind in the death seat that no horse overcame on the day. We backed him confidently in the Golden Slipper and he won for us at $10 in what was a big result.

The big query with Capitalist is whether he has come back as well and developed as much as the others. His first up 4th in the San Domenico first up was disappointing beaten 3.2L, and then he improved when 3rd beaten 1.5L in the Roman Consul behind Russian Revolution and Astern, but was well held by both. The Snowdens said he needed another run, so he was entered in the Manikato but didn’t run due to the wet track. That meant he also missed the Flemington jumpout that a number of these runners contested. Unfortunately on what we’ve seen this prep it would be a massive training feat for this horse to suddenly bounce back and topple what is an exceptional field. The horse no doubt has the ability to win, he’s been a great horse to us, and the trainers are top notch, but I’m prepared to risk Capitalist on that basis.

Saracino / Archives / Derryn / Manolo Blahniq
All are quality colts, and you would be happy to own any of them, but they are more Group 2 level horses, and can’t see any of them winning this hot race, although one of them bobbing up for 3rd or 4th isn’t out of the question.

Summary
This is an absolutely cracking race, and frankly looks to be the race of the Flemington Carnival. From a personal perspective it is pleasing to see the horses I identified from their first barrier trials and jumpouts as being the star 2yos not only came out and won the 2 major 2yo Group 1 races for us last season (Capitalist in the Golden Slipper and Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond), but are now prominent in the feature 3yo Sprint of the year. Extreme Choice, Flying Artie, Star Turn and Capitalist were the 4 horses we backed with success and followed throughout their 2yo campaigns, and for mine they are the 4 horses likely to fight out the finish of the Group 1 Coolmore on Saturday.

From a betting perspective it’s a tricky race. The 6 horses mentioned above could all win, and none would be in any sort of major shock.

However ultimately I believe Extreme Choice is the clear top pick, and the one to beat. He is currently $3.30, but I’m sure you’ll get better on the day.

Flying Artie for me is the key danger. At $12 he is good value, and you’ll want him on your side.

I have Astern as the next best, but the Exosphere similarity puts me off. Currently $3.70 but he’ll drift, and is a possible saver.

Star Turn is likely to figure prominently, whilst Capitalist if fully fit on the day has the ability to knock them all over. But I’ll probably risk those two, and Russian Revolution also.

It promises to be an incredibly exciting 70 seconds. Good luck with whatever strategy you decide to play on the race.

All the best.
Dean