Runners to watch: Flemington, January 20th

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

Blackbookers: BRAVO TANGO – Race 7. He was taking ground quickly off the winner late who is a future star. Will only improve off that 1st-up effort over further.

Race 1: Bitalli Handicap BM84 1800m.

WILLI WILLI (1st) lodged a COT and was to be ridden further forward, he jumped well and led but did over-race in the early and middle stages. He balanced up well and kicked 2 lengths clear at the top of the straight and never really looked in any danger. He was holding them on the line as the jock sat up late.

Notes: ROYAL ACE (3rd) had the soft run behind the leader and was disappointing, he didn’t quicken when the winner did and was left flat footed. He picked up again late but had every chance. MR CHURCHILL (2nd) didn’t go around a horse, ran on well but his run peaked late. PORTION CONTROL (unplaced) had to make a long-sustained run and did ok to stick on for fourth.

Race 2: Doriemus Handicap 2500m.

LAST WEEK (1st) was always travelling well and although he doesn’t have aa brilliant turn of foot he was able to sustain the long run and out-stayed them. He could have a bit of a future in the staying ranks, looks like he could get further!

Notes: GOODWOOD ZODIAC (unplaced) led them and ran them along. He simply went too hard and was gone at the 500m mark and never looked likely. BINT EL BADU (2nd) came with a similar run to the winner, was posted four wide and kept coming in the straight but appeared to have every chance. AL HAREM (3rd) was all over the place in the straight and had every chance, no doubt he still has some improvement left in him.

Race 3: Patrobas Handicap 3YO BM70 2000m.

Notes: The track was upgraded to a Good 3 before this race. MAHAMEDEIS (1st) was perfectly ridden, saved ground on the turn before angling clear at the top of the straight. He followed the right horse before running on hard. ALMIGHTY CROWN (2nd) had every chance after sitting behind the leaders GRETZKY (unplaced) and ANNEKA (unplaced) who went too hard in front. CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (3rd) did plenty wrong late, he could not go straight.

Race 4: Dolly’s Dream Handicap BM84 Fillies and Mares 2000m.

Notes: What can we take from this race? Nothing I would expect. Without disrespecting the winner, you couldn’t have her and she’s bolted in. ONE FOR LATER (1st) was a million to one, well it seemed like it and she won like a fours-on chance! Her form warranted such a price too. Move on, couldn’t back anything behind her next start.

Race 5: Victorian Owner Gold Card Handicap BM70 1600m.

Notes: It is often said that not a lot can be taken in a bunched finish, that was the case here with 8 horses finishing within 1.2 lengths of the winner. SOHOOL (1st) had a great run in transit, ambled up along side them at the top of the straight and looked the winner from that point on. He didn’t put them away as easily as he looked like he was going to, but did enough. AURUM SPIRIT (2nd) took forever to wind-up but was flashing late, CHA CHA KING (3rd) led and stuck on ok. VUNGERS (unplaced) had every chance, FORTHEFUNOFIT (unplaced) was the other that was finishing well but ran out of room the last 100m and should have finished closer. The winner was good but just seemed to switch off when the chance was there for him to put them away.

Race 6: Handicap BM84 1200m.

Notes: As expected the first straight race of the day and they all came to the outside part of the track. ATLANTIC CITY (2nd) looked the unlucky story out of the race, he was held-up badly when they quickened from the 600, finally out at the 150 and really hit the line well.

Notes: JUST HIFALUTIN (1st) was beautifully ridden off the speed and was winding up at the right time. She was actually going better than anything the last 50m. LEODORO (3rd) was also well back in the run and followed the winner although it appeared to have every chance. The best of those on the speed was JUDGES (unplaced).

Race 7: Inglis Dash 3YO 1100m.

NATURE STRIP (1st) confirmed what most already knew, that he is a future star of the sprinting ranks and will be winning much better races than this. He had to lead up the outside division, accelerated well and although he didn’t shake off the runner-up until late when he was inclined to lay in, he was clearly doing the best on the line. It was never really in danger for those that took the short odds.

Notes: PREZADO (2nd) was very good, stuck it to the fave all the way before tiring late. BRAVO TANGO (3rd) was the eye catcher from last, was flying late and the jock wasn’t putting too much pressure on him. Looks set for a good campaign getting out further in trip.

Race 8: Kensington Stakes 1000m.

Notes: Five of the runners finished within a length here and the two unluckiest of those appeared to be the two that missed the placings. THERMAL CURRENT (unplaced) never really got a crack at them over the last 400, it seems every other week we see a ride like this of Williams where he rides for luck with no back-up plan. FLAMBERGE (unplaced) was also a nice effort resuming, he had to switch around heels late before hitting the line well. The winners came up what appeared the fast lane about 3 or 4 horses off the outside rail. LORD OF THE SKY (unplaced) over-raced in front and was the first beaten. The first three across the line raced tight late, all were good enough but stick with the 4th and 5th horses going forward this prep. ** AMBER SKY (unplaced) bled from both nostrils.

Race 9: VRC Young Members’ Handicap BM84 1400m.

MALAISE (1st) was impressive to finish the card. He was four-wide early, three-wide without cover for most of the race but still travelled well into the straight. He levelled up before the furlong and was doing best on the line. Nothing back in the pack was taking ground off him late, a good performance after the wide trip.

Notes: WISE HERO (2nd) was almost as good, he had to work early before getting outside the leader, took over that role early in the straight but just couldn’t hold off the winner late and was tiring on the line. KING’S COMMAND (3rd) had the back of the winner before peeling wider, appeared to have every chance. The rest of the chasers failed to run on well enough, they spread out over the last 400 so every horse appeared to have their chance.