Runners to watch: Flemington, July 8th

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

Race reviews: Flemington, July 8th

Race 1: Rivette Series Final (1600m)

Note – A perfect run in transit, on the back of the speed, and a good kick when challenged allowed Spanish Reef to withstand the favourite Ruby Sea who had to make a long run from the back. She looked the winner at the 200m but just had too much work to do.Summer Glen raced inside the eventual winner and boxed on for third.

Race 2: VRC-CRV Cup Tour Trophy (2000m)

Note – A couple of big late scratchings changed this event pre-race. Pacodali found himself landing in second spot and he was able to control the outcome from there, hitting the lead 400m out and going strong to the line. Extra Zero picked up plenty of ground late to snatch second while Master Zephyr ran a somewhat improved race to take third.

Race 3: Leilani Series Final (1400m)

Niminypiminy (3rd): there’s a win in this honest mare at 1400m somewhere, she conceded a big start in a race only fairly run speed wise and endured some traffic problems before dashing late and just missing second. Almost two years since the last win but she’s also eligible for easier.

Note – Almost a carbon copy of her last win over same course, Schism landed fourth with cover and peeled out coming to the turn. She was held together until about 300m out where she dropped them off and won easily. Vital Importance loomed up but did cover ground so her effort was sound and Niminypiminy hit the line hard into the minor money.

Bet with a pro: join Melbourne ratings now

Race 4: Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m)

Anchor Bid (2nd): looks a promising horse for next season over a bit more ground. Was racing near the winner before the turn and had to go around them while the winner gained a rails run. She wouldn’t have beaten him but her effort was excellent from a future viewpoint.

Note – Class rose to the top with Royal Symphony stamping himself as something special, romping away for a big win with 59kg. He showed an outstanding turn of foot when shaken up 300m out and is spring class for sure. Anchor Bid will be a handy middle distance filly, she ran down Evil Cry who had his chance tracking the speed.

Race 5: Creswick Series Final (1200m)

Note – Blanket finish with Highland Beat appreciating the straight course and not conceding such a start as his eye-catching placing last start. He ran right up to that effort and arrived in time to blouse Hay Bale who was up there most of the way while Ken’s Dreamfollowed the winner and ran into third.

Race 6: Banjo Paterson Final (2600m)

Note – Super Haze enjoyed plenty of cover back in the field and finished his race off a lot better than he had in his last couple in Adelaide. He had them covered at the 300m and was too strong for Granddukeoftuscany, also an improved effort with the blinkers on, while Charlevoix had a perfect run and hit the lead but couldn’t finish it off.

Race 7: Winter Championship Final (1600m)

Note – Hard to find excuses for anything after Tshahitsi sat three deep on the pace most of the way and staved them off for a brave win. He’s been consistent in Melbourne this winter and was there to be beaten. Amovatio loomed as a big threat but just couldn’t get past the winner and Sovereign Nation took a short cut on the fence and boxed on for third.

Race 8: All Victorian Sprint Final (1200m)

Duke Of Brunswick (2nd): badly held up for much of the business end of the race, checking off heels a few times and when a run came the winner had already sprinted but he still ran on strongly late. Second-up form is strong and he can atone.

Note – Ability maintained his unbeaten record this preparation and was always in the right spot to strike. Sprinted at about the 200m and opened up a winning break on the luckless Duke Of Brunswick with Ruettiger always thereabouts staying on for third.

Race 9: Silver Bowl Series Final (1600m)

Note – Willi Willi did a big job to finish over the top of Urban Ruler in the last 150m after the latter looked home and hosed when he swept to the front after a wide run. First Approach had every chance in the run but didn’t give up in holding a clear third.

Bet with a pro: join Melbourne ratings now