Runners to watch: Flemington, January 13th

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

Blackbookers: Race 8 – Demonstrate.

Race 1: McMahons Dairy Handicap 2500m.

Notes: A couple of key scratching’s here left a field of 8. A farcical speed up front until one of the 100/1 chances made a mid-race move finally putting some speed into it made the race and challenging the lead of CISMONTANE (1st). Hard to take anything away from the winner, but S Baster turned into a 600-metre sprint which was always going to be near impossible for the back markers to feature in. SUPER HAZE (2nd) showed a good turn of foot for a couple of furlongs, LORESHO (3rd) showed that he is only just a stayer, couldn’t sprint when they quickened from the 600 after a soft run in behind the leader/winner. Hard to watch if you were on CHARLEVOIX (5th), over-raced and more importantly was once again held-up badly at a vital stage of the race, can we keep making excuses for him? No doubt Craig Williams will have plenty up his sleeve.

Race 2: Piping Lane Handicap 2000m.

Notes: A very even bunch with no runner into double figures in the betting. Certainly no stars here, they seemed to take forever to get down the straight. PRETTY PUNK (1st) was under the whip a long way out but just kept grinding and outstayed them. ARTICUS (2nd) led and travelled well in the straight, no doubt would have traded very short at the 400m mark but found nothing late. GOLDEN MANE (3rd) ran on well, the others had every chance but just plodded down the straight.

Race 3: Seascay Handicap 1700m.

Notes: The old veteran JACQUINOT BAY (1st) just keeps on giving. He led them here in an even tempo, kicked in the straight and maintained the margin throughout with nothing closing. Really hard to recommend any of the beaten brigade, this old fella won’t be around much longer and they weren’t doing enough.

Race 4: Craftsman Handicap 3YO Fillies BM70 1400m.

Notes: The fourth straight race where an on pacer has saluted. TWITCHY FRANK (1st) looks to have a stack of ability, she has good natural speed so always has the option to lead or take a sit. She had the inside alley here and led them easily, kicked 2 lengths clear at the top of the lane, she was all out at the line but never looked in any danger. She will win plenty more races. SHALWA (2nd) TAGREEDA (3rd) and SHOKORA (unplaced) were all taking ground off her late but gave away a huge start. PAMELA JOY (unplaced) was a big flop after sitting on the rails behind the leader.

Race 5: Rain Lover Handicap 3YO BM70 1400m.

Notes: MR MONEYBAGS (1st) had the cold sit behind the leaders and had a stack of room to come through in the straight. He took a while to wind-up but was clearly doing best on the line. CRYSTAL SPIRIT (2nd) was probably the run of the race, had to sit outside the leader and travelled well into the lane. He cruised to the front, maybe too early as the winner was able to get the run, stuck on ok and he will be winning again soon. MONTASER (3rd) had the cold sit on the leaders but couldn’t accelerate and was very one paced.

Race 6: Arbroath Handicap BM70 1100m.

Up the straight for the second time and they elected to stay further away from the rail. ANNRHON (1st) had the sit on the leader, got back to the inside and really finished off well. Looked to be labouring a little at the 400 but once she got going she finished powerfully. STRYKINGLEE (3rd) came with winner along the inside but may have peaked late, BOB OF THE HEAD (3rd) was much wider on the track, may have hit the lead too early but he ran a big race. The back markers failed to quicken and none of them were really flying home.

Race 7: Chester Manifold Stakes 1400m.

Notes: After being confident about BURNING FRONT (1st) a few starts this campaign I dropped off him here, but when he rolled to the lead early once again he looked a different horse. The first four in the run finished in the first four positions. The top weight looked under pressure at the 300 but responded well. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR (3rd) had the perfect run in transit, eased three-wide at the top of the straight and it looked as if he would run straight past the leader, but he didn’t run the trip out. CHAMOIS ROAD (2nd) was left a little flat footed at the top of the straight but got going again late.

Race 8: Better Beyond Plate 1100m.

With the rain around during the day they elected to go to the outside fence in the last of the straight races for the day. KEN’S DREAM (1st) was last early and right on the fence out wide, he got a run when they sprinted at the 400m mark and the way he accelerated was impressive. Put them away in a few strides and was running away through the line. Impressive.

Notes: DEMONSTRATE (2nd) came along the same line as the winner out wide but couldn’t match him when he went for home. He was good and certainly looks to have improved with the new yard. Not far off a win.

Race 9: Tauto Handicap Fillies and Mares BM84 1400m.

JESTER HALO (2nd) was huge in defeat here. She was forced to sit three-wide without cover throughout, moved up swiftly to take the lead at the top of the straight and although the margin of defeat was 2 lengths, she only hit the wall late after a torrid run.

Notes:  SHARING (1st) was just the opposite, she had a soft run off the speed, pushed into the clear early in the straight and charged home. She was easily going home the best. The margins to third was large. GOGO GRACE (unplaced) was ok in defeat after copping a bad check early and getting a mile back. FEDEROSA (unplaced) was unlucky when held-up for the majority of the straight.