Runners to watch: Flemington, March 18th

Race 1: Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour (1200m)

Note: A very easy all the way win to Lake Como first-up from a spell.  She ran along in the centre of the track and nothing could get near her. Chat To Maggie worked through basically along the same line as the winner into second while Catch A Fireswitched right to the outside and ran on fairly into a place. Invincible Heart was the first horse beaten.

Race 2: VRC Thanks Greg Miles (1400m)

Note: Atonement for Theanswermyfriend who, unlike last time over the same course, was afforded a picnic in front and strode away like the good thing he looked on paper. Bastille followed the winner through and was sound in defeat but no match whileWazzenme loomed briefly before boxing on only fairly to hold down third. Basically a procession though.

Race 3: Baden Racing Trophy (1100m)

Concealer (2nd): a promising return from a talented filly who was not herself in her only run in the spring. She was handy in behind the speed and stretched out nicely late to run the winner to a neck or so.

Note – Hear The Chant again is a second-up winner and she enjoyed a nice run before getting the better of early leader Overstep and booting away. She had enough in hand to hold off Concealer who made good ground late. Disappointing effort from Leotie who didn’t let down at all and was eased out to run last.

Race 4: Breeders Stakes (1200m)

Garrard (2nd): sweated up a bit and looks a filly that wants a bit more than the 1200m ultimately. She made some good ground when into the clear from the 200m and was closing in on the winner.

Note – Shoals kept her unbeaten record intact, running up to her impressive debut win at Seymour last month. She was just a bit too slick for Garrard who was gallant and Ploverset was outside the speed all the way and boxed on for third, possibly ridden a bit upside down. They were clearly superior to the rest.

Race 5: Blamey Stakes (1600m)

Harlem (3rd): more than acceptable Australian debut by this import who hadn’t started in a race below 2000m before. He was outsprinted by the winner but there was plenty to like about the way he ran home into third place.

Note – Flemington specialist Palentino found another leg on his disappointing last start effort and always looked dangerous as he tracked the favourite Tosen Stardom and sprinted past him at the 300m. If every race was at Flemington then Palentino would probably be a champion. Tosen Stardom had every chance while Harlem and Real Love ran on nicely.

Race 6: New York Racing Association (2000m)

Note – Duke Of Ellington appreciated the rise in distance and a solidly run race to score an easy third-up win. He was always travelling well and you’d expect him to hold his form. Hursley was on the winner’s back most of the way but couldn’t sprint with him under the weight and Goodwill stuck on for third from up on the pace.

Race 7: York Racecourse Handicap (1200m)

Note – The ever consistent Rich Charm enjoyed a nice run behind the leaders and sprinted sharply from the 300m to run downVerstappen, who had his chance but still ran well, with Chateau Cheval also afforded every hope running into third. Not a lot of action in this race, the top weight Lord Barrington wasn’t disgraced first-up after being up with the speed.

Race 8: Goodwood Racecourse Handicap (1400m)

Kenjorwood (4th): normally an on pacer but found himself well back and very wide on the turn. Wound up in good style late and made up a heap of ground just missing third. Look for him to go up in distance and race closer next time.

Note – Tasmanian sprinter/miler Hellova Street led and controlled the race before kicking away and posting a pretty easy win.Mubakkir followed the winner through on the inside and ran into second without threatening. Zebrinz got up for third, he should have finished a bit closer as he was badly held up until about 300m out.

Race 9: The Curragh Handicap (1600m)

War Dancer (2nd): found himself around midfield between horses and when he worked into the clear he wound up and produced a solid finish at his second run back from a spell. Has come back in good form and should hold it.

Stormsabrewing (5th): eye-catching effort from an honest mare who was racing out of her grade. Conceded a big start but hit the line nicely just behind the placings. Look for her back to midweek or mares grade.

Note – Strike Force enjoyed a trouble free run up on the pace and managed to scramble in from War Dancer who was able to gain a bit more momentum than Portman, who checked off the winner’s heels at the 200m and took too long to pick up. Unlucky but not desperately unlucky.