Race reviews: Flemington, November 4th
Race 5 – Merchant Navy – Super overall record continued and produced an unbelievable finish from a mile back to get up in the last stride.
Race 5 – Invincible Star – Filly with great speed that led everywhere but the post, set it up for the field to run her down but she kept finding, was all out at the end of the 6 furlongs though. Wait for her back around a bend where she can use her tactical speed.
Race 1: The Carbine Club Stakes 1600m.
LEVENDI (1st) started favourite here after a super run in the Guineas last start, had no luck again here today but showed the class edge to overcome it. Held-up badly early in the straight, Ben Melham extricated him into the clear and ran to the front with 50m to go. Was still enough in the tank and showed he has a future overcoming the chequered run.
Notes: The pace seemed genuine as the majority of those in the cash were running on. IRISH VEGA (3rd) was last into the straight and swung wide, was finishing as good as any. SAMBRO (2nd) may have hit the lead too early, was no match for the winner late but brave in defeat all the same. BEAU GESTE (unplaced) also ran on well out wide.
Race 2: Wakeful Stakes 2000m.
LUVALUVA (1st) will go forward to the Oaks after a brilliant last to first win. She still saw the entire field when they turned for home, Blake Shinn stuck towards the inner and ran on too well for them through the middle of runners and showed that she should appreciate stepping up to the Oaks trip.
Notes: GLAM GURU (2nd) kept coming in the straight but won’t go on to the Oaks, RIMRAAM (3rd) did well to stick on but may have just been all out at the end of the 2000m. BRING ME ROSES (unplaced) was unwanted in the betting after being all the talk during the week, she failed to settle with the blinkers on and didn’t finish off at all. Don’t give up on her if she goes forward to next Thursday, the blinkers will come off and think we will see a different horse.
Race 3: Skip Sprint 1100m.
Notes: The first straight race of the carnival and the pace was intense. A blanket finish saw LYUBA (1st), SAVANNA AMOUR (2nd), CONCEALER (3rd) and NIETA (4th) all finishing within half a length. SHEIDEL (unplaced) was the class mare of the race but she jumped well and went too hard too early, not sure about how the track played as the tempo had more to do with the result then the track did. Honest winner but these girls will struggle when getting out of a race like this.
Race 4: Lexus Stakes 2500m.
With a spot in the big one on Tuesday on the line here, it wasn’t the best Lexus field we had seen in recent years but all honours were with the winner CISMONTANE (1st). He rolled along in front, upped the tempo from the mile forcing the field to chase hard. He opened up a 4 or 5 length lead at the top turn and looked under sufferance early in the straight. He was clearly headed in the straight but showed his toughness rallying along the rail to earn his spot. Will be big odds on Tuesday but will give a sight out in front again, the stable is flying!
Notes: VENGOUR MASQUE (2nd) certainly hit the lead in the straight, just may not have run the trip? Old mate PENTATHLON (3rd) ran on well but that just shows the quality of these stayers. ECUADOR (unplaced) was poor after sitting behind the leader and dropped out sharply, was looking forward to seeing him out to this trip but clearly didn’t handle it. ALWARD (unplaced) had its chance.
Race 5: Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m.
INVINCIBLE STAR (2nd) continued the great run of the Waterhouse/Bott team with a fantastic run when setting a solid tempo here. She jumped well, ran along in front and would have traded at a short quote at the 100 mark but was nabbed late. Lost nothing with that run and she will win again soon with her speed.
Notes: Huge win from MERCHANT NAVY (1st) who must have given the leader and runner-up 6 or 8 lengths at the 400m mark. He continued in his winning ways having won 5 of his 6 career runs before a luckless run in the Golden Rose. He returned here and absolutely flashed late, even more notable as nothing else ran on from the back. The first two are the ones to follow here. They once again came down the inner part of the track about 4 or 5 horses off the fence.
Race 6: Myer Classic 1600m.
Notes: Blanket finish here for the girls. SHOALS (1st) showed initiative early and got outside the leader. She ran to the lead at the top of the straight getting past the favoured leader and used her big pull in the weights to extend and just held on. PROMPT RESPONSE (unplaced) was huge in defeat after sitting three wide in the breeze throughout, she kept coming in the straight showing that she is tough and with a better run she would have won this. There was a wall coming, ECKSTEIN (2nd) and DIXIE BLOSSOMS (3rd) both diving late after having more economical runs. SILENT SEDITION (unplaced) was most disappointing after sitting handy. FRENCH EMOTION (unplaced) didn’t have any luck in the straight, eventually getting back to the rail late and flashing along the inside.
Race 7: AAMI Victoria Derby 2500m.
All about the winner ACE HIGH (1st) in this. He sat wide throughout, surged to the front early in the straight and ran away! Absolute dominant staying performance, going from a Kembla maiden earlier in the prep to a Vic derby today. He has tactical speed and looks to have a big future in the staying ranks off that performance, has shown versatility in that he can lead or do it tough. Looks a star in the making and although it wasn’t where the jock wanted to be, Tye Angland didn’t panic and let the horse show his superiority.
Notes: SULLY (2nd) was brave in defeat up on the speed whilst PISSARO (unplaced) was good in 4th, looks to have a lot of growth left in him and will be a big improver in the Autumn and into the Spring next year when he fills out.
Race 8: Kennedy Mile 1600m.
Notes: First and second brained the rest of them here and nothing seemed to make any ground from the back. SHILLELAGH (1st) had the perfect run in transit following runner-up TOM MELBOURNE (2nd) throughout, the second horse looked to be under a strangle hold at the top of the straight but may have hit the front too early, especially for a horse that has a habit of “not winning”. After not getting a start in the Myer, she came here and never looked in danger running past Tom at the furlong, Waller got the Quinella, admittedly having plenty in the field! Not sure what to make of those back in the field that were forced wide and didn’t run on, it has been a long Spring for some of these and they raced that way.
Race 9: TAB Multiplier Stakes 1200m.
RICH CHARM (1st) was well backed and the fairytale story came true for small time trainer Udyta Clarke. He sat last, had to change course and still saw the entire field with a furlong to go. Once the jock got him to the outside into the clear he flashed home out late, got there in time for Maloney to sit up and salute on the line. Breathtaking closing speed that showed the track is as good out wide as it is nearer the inner.
Notes: No excuses for the horses beaten, MISSROCK (2nd) ran on well and showed how well she can finish but seemed to have every chance. RAVI (unplaced) was unwanted in the betting after opening up favourite earlier in the week, had a soft run back on the inner but failed to run on and was very one paced. The winner is the one to follow out of this.