Runners to watch: Flemington, May 5th

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




Race 1: 2YO Fillies Plate 1100m.

Notes: All the babies came straight to the flat rail in the 1st. RAINBOW GIRL (unplaced) showed good speed to lead, with YULONG MERCURY (2nd) to her outside. CRACK THE CODE (1st) was on debut and was the first horse facing the breeze three-wide. She kept coming in the straight to eventually grab the leaders in the last stride for a nice debut win. GRACEFUL STORM (3rd) was held-up for a couple of furlongs, she looked like she had plenty to offer but when she was out late she clearly wasn’t going as well as the first two. ARISTIA (unplaced) was eased from her wide gate but ran on solidly from last after being well backed, she was clearly the best of the back markers. The rest only battled.

Race 2: Handicap 2800m.

Notes: A sensation early as the well backed SIN TO WIN (unplaced) threw the rider Corey parish after about a furlong. He appeared to dip on his own accord, but the steward’s report will tell us more. MULTITUDE (unplaced) led but was pestered throughout by the riderless horse. SHERLOCK HOLMES (1st) had the blinkers on for the first time, was well placed behind the leaders but did over-race a little mid-race when they slowed. He got back to the inside approaching the straight and although briefly held-up, he got the rails run and finished off better than them. CHARLEVOIX (2nd) came four-wide and looked like running over the top but was very one paced and had every chance. ALOFT (unplaced) had the perfect run behind the leader and dropped out sharply approaching the turn and was eased down. There is obviously a problem there. SLY ROMANCE (3rd) hit the front at the 400 and stuck on well but also had every chance.

Race 3: Fillies and Mares BM84 Handicap 2000m.

Notes: As usual with these middle-distance affairs with the girls it was a wide-open betting affair with each-way odds the field available. In a week where D Weir cannot escape the spotlight, he gets another win here with LIPSTICK LOVER (1st) courtesy of a gem of a ride from Jye McNeil. She sat third behind the leaders before hooking three-wide approaching the straight, dashed to the front early in the lane and never looked like getting run down. SMART AS YOU THINK (2nd) raced next to her and although she had a little bit of trouble getting clear in the straight, she had every opportunity to run her down. BERTWHISTLE (3rd) was last and came wide, ran on well late and was clearly the best of the backmarkers, but never threatened. ALMALITA (unplaced) was ok on the speed but had every chance.

Race 4: Super VOBIS 3YO Handicap 1700m.

Notes: BARBEQUE (1st) broke through for an overdue win, he was in behind the leaders before getting a split between them at the top of the straight. He doesn’t have a lot of brilliance, but he was holding them solidly to the line. ANCIENT ECHOES (unplaced) may have been the run of the race, he was three-wide without cover and layed in badly the entire straight and was only beaten 3.3 lengths. CONNERY (unplaced) got shuffled out near last and was jostling to get out at the top of the straight, he finished off the race nicely. MIESZKO (2nd) was good late after running on from near last through the middle of the pack.

Race 5: Handicap 1000m.

Notes: MALIBU STYLE (1st) was sent out the 6/4 favourite here, and we saw something that we rarely see up the straight. BULLPIT (unplaced) set a frantic pace and led by 5 lengths as they raced onto the course proper. MALIBU STYLE (1st) had to do all the chasing, reeled in the leader at the 75 and held-off the late challenge from PROUD WOLF (2nd) who was also charging late. LADY ESPRIT (3rd) was also good in defeat getting home hard and the weakening BULLPIT (unplaced) made it a great spectacle. GUN CASE (unplaced) was only fair resuming, no excuses for the rest.

Race 6: BM78 Handicap 1600m.

Notes: ANOTHER BULLSEYE (1st) was perfectly ridden and although he she did have every chance, the way she responded to the urgings of her rider late was impressive. She hit the front and was challenged strongly by GALAXY RAIDER (2nd), they went stride for stride before Daniel Moor lifted the winner over the line. The second horse showed a brilliant turn-of-foot from the 400 to the furlong pole, but just the mile was too much for him. He really needs to be saved for one run as late as possible. KILMACURAGH (unplaced) hit the lead momentarily after sitting on the speed, but didn’t show much over the last furlong. PUFNSTUF (3rd) ran home ok but lacked the acceleration that the first two showed and never looked the winner. The margin from 2nd to 3rd will suggest that anything further back than the first two is not worth following in the immediate future.

Race 7: Handicap 1400m.

SO SI BON (unplaced) had no luck at all in the straight. He was bolting three back the rails when looking for inside runs, cruised through one gap before another closed and was checked out the back. What I liked was the way he ran through the line when it was all over.

Notes: LAND OF PLENTY (1st) was beautifully ridden, got the gaps at the right time and showed good acceleration to dash to the front at the clock tower. He was entitled to win the way the race was run with a couple of notable performances behind. SOVEREIGN NATION (2nd) was shuffled out to near last at the top of the straight, had to be steadied waiting for the winner to go past the tiring leaders before losing momentum and picking up again the last furlong. AMOVATIO (3rd) took a while to wind up, but was very good late down the outside from last.

Race 8: Handicap 1800m.

What a return to the racetrack for BOOM TIME (2nd). The Caulfield Cup winner and Japan Cup runner from last year had been off the scene since that trip to Tokyo, was forced to sit three-wide without cover fresh over 1800m and was only nabbed on the line. He did all the work, surged to the front before tiring late understandably.

Notes: TARQUIN (1st) did everything right and with a furlong to go it looked as if the Darley runner wouldn’t get there, but condition just gave way on Boom Time and the James Cummings trained gelding used his fitness edge to dive over the top late. MAGIC CONSOL (unplaced) and SECOND BULLET (unplaced) both had their chances as they dived back to the inside in the straight but didn’t run on well enough.  QUICK DEFENCE (3rd) ran on well but was a little one paced.

Race 9: Super VOBIS 3YO Handicap 1400m.

For the second run in succession, ICONOCLASM (1st) was forced to sit three-wide without cover around this sweeping bend at the 1400m and was still too strong late surging clear the last furlong. It is no mean feat to do that, he showed he really has a bright future ahead of him. He is still a colt, so they will be looking to bigger things next campaign.

Notes: LORD SUNOWNER (2nd) parked up outside the leader but had every chance when hitting the front early in the straight. TBILISI (3rd) was doing its best work late, EVIL CRY (unplaced) was also an eye-catcher running on well out wide from the back. The winner is the one to follow out of this.