Runners to watch: Flemington, March 17th

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





Race 1: Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Trophy 1200m.

QUILISTA (1st) was dropping back from an Oakleigh Plate where she wasn’t beaten too far, she got to the outside fence, sat on the speed and was dominant.

Notes: HEAR THE CHANT (3rd) was the only horse to go to the inside, she raced a couple of horses off the fence and although it is yet to be proven, it is probably the worst part of the track and it was a good effort. All those on the grandstand side were well beaten and had their chance. FRENCH EMTOIN (2nd) and WRITTEN ERA (unplaced) the best of them but the winner was far too good in this class.

Race 2: SuperVobis 3YO Handicap 1400m.

Notes: The late scratching of ICONOCLASM sent the betting picture into a spin. HOLBEIN (1st) led and travelled very well into the straight. Ben Melham had a massive hold, dashed clear in the straight and would have traded very short in the run a long way from home. SCARCROW (unplaced) was wide around the bend but poor, MURAAHIB (unplaced) was four-wide around the bend and poor, FORSUE (2nd) and INDERNILE (3rd) placed but were no match. No use going back any further than the tail of the winner.

Race 3: 3YO Fillies Plate 1100m.

The second of the straight races saw all but three come down the outside. With the late scratching of the second favourite LIMESTONE, DEMARARA (1st) was heavily backed to get her first career victory up the straight. Jake Noonan sat quietly before moving to the front before the furlong, dashed to the front and those taking the shorts never really raised a sweat.

Notes: SHE KNOWS (unplaced) was one of the horses on the inside part of the track, drawn the rails it is always disputable what to do but she performed well in the slow lane. PLOVERSET (2nd) wasn’t beaten far with the in-form Mark Zahra on board, she had the cold sit on the leader and had every chance.

Race 4: TBV Thoroughbred Breeders 2YO Fillies 1200m.

KHULAASA (1st) got her maiden win at Group Three level here after being runner-up at her first two starts here up the straight. She sat up on the speed a length off the leader, accelerated at the 400m mark and took over. Oliver had to get busy after getting a length clear. She was actually doing as well again as the runner-up over the line.

Notes: They all came down the outside here not surprisingly, KRONE (2nd) was one of the widest runners and hit a flat spot from about the 500-300. She lifted again and looked like running down the winner before peaking late. She was gallant in defeat, as was CRISTAL EYES (3rd) who was clearly the best late and would have won in another 75m. NADURI (unplaced) led them up but had every chance. The first three across the line will be winning again soon.

Race 5: Blamey Stakes 1600m.

Notes: A farcical speed early with the well backed HELLOVA STREET (3rd) leading, he really found nothing in the straight with only the four runners chasing. HUMIDOR (1st) sat last and did well to over-run them when walking early. He looked like he did plenty wrong in the straight and could be in for a big back-end of the Autumn. COOL CHAP (2nd) had a soft run and looked a chance in the straight but the class runner got the better late. TOSEN STARDOM (unplaced) officially ran last but I would forgive him for that. He doesn’t have great speed in my opinion and needs a genuinely run race to make a long-sustained run, that certainly wasn’t the case here.

Race 6: Grand Handicap 2000m.

Notes: It looked an open race on paper, HE EKSCELS (unplaced) had to work early to get outside the leader when they finally settled, eh stuck on well after having the tough run. CULLINGWORTH (unplaced) also had to work a little to rail through and lead and the speed was even. NO COMMITMENT (1st) sat mid-field before tracking through between runners into the straight. He had to shift around runners when a little flat, but he picked up nicely the last 100 to get there by the barest of margins. MR OPTIMISTIC (2nd) looked to get the bob in on the line after a perfect ride, eased three-wide at the top of the straight but was very one paced in the straight. ADDISON (3rd) came from well back running through along the rails, at the 150m mark she looked like running them down.

Race 7: VRC March Stakes 1400m.

SOVEREIGN NATION (1st) dwelt and missed the start, was mid-field before getting a three-wide trail approaching the straight. He got to the outside and kept coming one paced, just got the bob in a very bunched finish.

Notes: THEANSWERMYFRIEND (2nd) sat outside the leader, travelled well into the straight dashed to the front and was only nabbed late. A nice tough effort. WYNDSPELLE (unplaced) ran on well from the back, KIWIA (unplaced) kept working home nicely on return to the racetrack. He obviously wants further. SEABURGE (3rd) ran through tight gaps one off the fence late and went well. Not sure how the race will hold-up, there will be plenty of horses in the winning photo for connections!

Race 8: Grand Handicap Mile 1600m.

Notes: Big win by SOHO RUBY (1st) after racing three-wide the journey. She had cover for the big turn, eased four-wide and looked flat at the top of the straight. Melham worked hard on her, she looked to switch off late when Melham went back to hands-and heels. TOP OF THE RANGE (2nd) looked a good thing beaten. He settled back, got held-up between horses and was jostling before finally getting clear and charging home. He looked a good risk in this but in all honesty, any luck and he probably wins. TOORAK PLAYBOY (3rd) was also held-up in the straight before flashing home. NAVAL WARFARE (unplaced) was unwanted in the betting at his Australian debut and he ran up to that drift, finishing last.

Race 9: Grand Handicap Sprint BM80 1200m.

Notes: Up the straight for the last, and at the 600m mark it was hard to pick a leader as they were very evenly bunched. MILWAUKEE (1st) was good in winning, burst clear at the 200m mark and HANDSOME THIEF (2nd) who was back closer to the inside set out after him. He had every chance, was honest again and there was a clear margin to third. GALAXY RAIDER (unplaced) was a real eye-catcher late, he was resuming today and looks set for a good campaign when he gets out over further, last late in the race, he charged through gaps over the last furlong. SACRED SHAM (unplaced) was a forgive run after never getting a crack at them, BLUE TYCOON (3rd) was good enough and BORD DE GAIN (unplaced) was drawn the wrong part of the track and was yanked early before not finishing off.