Flemington review compiled by Rick Williams   Race 1.     1600M    Inglis Carbine Club Stakes    LUNAR RISE           HUGH BOWMAN           1st        $8 TATRA                      KERRIN MCEVOY         2nd      $6.50 PROVERB                 STEVEN ARNOLD         3rd       $6.50

Dead 4 to kick off the day. McEvoy was very keen to get across from barrier 8 on Tatra be right up on the speed with the winkers on. He sat just off Pronto Pronto who led at a good clip. Tatra hit the front early in the straight and his effort to only go down narrowly was excellent. Pronto Pronto tailed right off. Lunar Rise had come into it nicely and looked like he would win quite comfortably but Bowman had to get stuck into him. Proverb hadn’t raced since late September but got home well for 3rd despite hanging in. Al Aneed never really settled in the run. Right To Roam had very little luck.

Worth noting: Nice to see Bart Cummings in the winners stall again on Derby Day. Race 2.     2500M    Lexus Stakes    KELINNI(IRE)                          NASH RAWILLER           1st          $9.50 DARE TO DREAM(IRE)         JAMES MCDONALD        2nd       $8.50 EXCEPTIONALLY(NZ)          DEAN YENDALL             3rd         $10

The very consistent Kelinni raced into the Melbourne Cup with a good win in the Lexus, but it’s hard to see him figuring in the finish on Tuesday. Dame Claire set a solid tempo to make it a true staying test and set it up for those back in the field. Dare To Dream missed the start, couldn’t get clear running room until well into the straight but got up along the fence late for 2nd. They made the decision to ride Exceptionally more forward and she toughed it out for 3rd. Ibencico never got the chance to show us what he’s capable of. Did look to have plenty to give but just couldn’t get clear til it was too late. Gatewoods had enough for now.

Worth noting: Luck in running affected quite a few here. Race 3.     2000M    Wakeful Stakes ZYDECO                  KERRIN MCEVOY            1st      $3.10F MARAATIB                MICHAEL WALKER        2nd     $101 TRANSONIC          MARK ZAHRA                  3rd      $17

Track was upgraded to a Good 3 before this race. Pretty genuine speed with Donna Cativa leading Transonic and the two favourites well back as expected. McEvoy rode a smart race on the Anthony Freedman trained Zydecoand the trouble free run allowed her to exert her dominance. No surprise to see a Zabeel hitting the line hard when stepped up in distance. Dear Demi was held up a few times in the straight with Cassidy going for inside runs and the filly was a hard luck story for the third time in her last four starts. Transonic was good to hold on for 3rd. Tyanna was disappointing.

Worth noting: This race is invariably a great guide for the Oaks. Race 4.     1200M    Coolmore Stud Stakes NECHITA                             CHRISTIAN REITH      1st        $5 JOLIE BAY                          MICHAEL RODD            2nd      $7.50 SHAMEXPRESS(NZ)         DAMIEN OLIVER         3rd      $51

Hidden Warrior and Lankan Rupee set the pace and Nechita was just off them. Reith let her go at the 300m and she showed an explosive turn of foot to win very impressively. She possesses a really big sprint and displayed that here. Smart placement and training performance from John Thompson to freshen her up from the Golden Rose and bring her back to 1200m to get the big Group 1 win. Jolie Bay got 2nd and she is a very fast horse with a bright future. Knight Examplar ran a good 4th at odds and is still eligible for maiden class. Snitzerland was 5th up into this and ran only fairly. Sizzling’s trainer doesn’t think he appreciated the straight six.

Worth noting: Well done to Christain Reith on his maiden Grp 1. Race 5.     2000M    Longines Mackinnon Stakes ALCOPOP                                       CRAIG WILLIAMS        1st       $6 GLASS HARMONIUM(IRE)           DAMIEN OLIVER          2nd     $14 OCEAN PARK(NZ)                        GLEN BOSS                    3rd      $1.70F

2012 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park was long odds-on but it was the 2009 Melbourne Cup favourite Alcopop who got the fairytale win. Not many horses win their first Group 1 as an 8 year-old so full credit to the trainer and connections. Credit also to new jockey Craig Williams because there was no way he would have won if he’d gone out wide at the turn. Williams got his 58th Group 1 and trainer Jake Stephens his first. Glass Harmoniumreturned to his best and is such a talented yet frustrating horse. Zabeelionaire and Winchester got home well as they were entitled to do off a hot speed. The fast pace and firm track didn’t help Ocean Park trying to repeat a career best performance from 7 days ago, but that shouldn’t detract from an awesome campaign.

Worth noting: No disrepect to Dom Tourneur but the decision to put Williams on Alcopop was a masterstroke. Race 6.     2500M    AAMI Victoria Derby FIVEANDAHALFSTAR             DAMIEN OLIVER           1st      $41 SUPER COOL                           MICHAEL RODD             2nd    $6 RAWNAQ                                    MICHAEL WALKER       3rd    $101

Jimando ran them along from Super Cool and Fiveandahalfstar. Those two ran the quinella while Jimando ran tailed off last. Less than three weeks ago Fiveandahalfstar was a 12 start maiden and now he’s a Derby winner. Anthony Cummings has never been one to shy away from stepping a horse up in grade and that paid dividends here. Super Cool loomed up like he was going to make a race of it but just peaked on his run and Fiveandahalfstar kept on finding. Rawnaq motored home for 3rd. McDonald got a long way back on It’s A Dundeel and he never looked a winning chance at any stage.

Worth noting: Courageous ride from a courageous jockey. Race 7.     1600M    Myer Classic APPEARANCE                MICHAEL RODD             1st      $41 SOFT SAND                      CRAIG WILLIAMS        2nd     $10 SECRET ADMIRER        JAMES MCDONALD     3rd      $8

There looked to be many chances on paper and it turned out to be a thrilling race.  Streama (our lay of the day at $3) had to do some work early to get across and this meant she was always going to struggle late. Appearancewas well beaten just a fortnight ago, but after they rolled along early in this race she was too good late. We doubted that Soft Sand could run a strong mile but she ran very well. Two of the fancied runners in Yosei andSecret Admirer didn’t have much luck in the straight. Red Tracer isn’t suited to a firm track mile.

Worth noting: Not much more than a length separated the first six across the line. Race 8.     1200M    Yellowglen Stakes FONTELINA                     VLAD DURIC               1st      $13 SPIRIT OF BOOM            NASH RAWILLER     2nd     $8.50 TIGER TEES(NZ)             JIM CASSIDY             3rd      $9

Plenty of pre-race controversy regarding the hotpot Howmuchdoyouloveme. He found the front as normal but was gone before the 300. Vlad Duric’s been working hard to get back in the spotlight and his win here on Fontelinawill certainly help. He was first up off a long break and it was a smart ride from Duric. Tiger Tees run right up on the speed was excellent. Spirit Of Boom flashed home and has good form over 1300m and 1400m. Pampellone didn’t finish off and Bowman wasn’t happy with his action. He’s better than that.

Worth noting: The Derby and now a Group 2 win made it the best day of Anthony Cummings career. Race 9.     1400M    TAB.com.au Stakes FAWKNER                          NICHOLAS HALL          1st      $3.10 FREE WHEELING            KERRIN MCEVOY         2nd    $3F WALL STREET(NZ)         JAMES MCDONALD     3rd     $15

A mammoth quaddie was looming after big priced winners in the first three legs. But punters regarded this as a race in two with Fawkner and Free Wheeling the only runners under double figures. McClintock set a strong tempo but the old fella was just found out in the last 100m when the swoopers descended. Fawkner is an emerging horse who runs good time almost every start. This was a dominant win and he looks ideally suited to the Emirates, Railway or Hong Kong – whatever mile race team Williams sets him for really. Free Wheeling is a very good horse and a consistent one but he was no match for a potential star here in Fawkner.

Worth noting: Nick Hall’s Flemington record is nothing short of outstanding. ———————————————————- Rosehill review By Todd Burmester  Race 1 1st           Sessions           Peter Robl 2nd        Catkins              Alysha Collett 3rd         Laughing          Anthony Allen

A small field in the first, and sessions was sent out very short and well backed for the Snowden camp.  He went straight to the front,. Where as the Patinack runner, Ferment, almost looked luck buck jumping for a stride and went back to a clear last.  When they came around the bend Sessions was traveling well, with the other three all off the bit.  He went on for an easy enough victory in the straight, despite Catkins making a race of it and pegging back the margin near the post.  You would have to think the first two home here will win more races.

Follow: Sessions, Catkins Race 2 1st             Criterion                Glyn Schofield 2nd           Sweet Idea            Nathan Berry 3rd            Velocity Miss         Kathy O’Hara

Another shorty in the second race in the form of Sweet Idea, but not the same result as the first favourite.  Criterion and The Money Trail were not great to begin, but Criterion was able to overcome that to land in a fairly good spot behind the speed on the fence.  Velocity Miss showed good pace to lead on the fence from Sweet Idea and they stayed in this order until they turned for home.  At the furlong, Sweet Idea looked to have Velocity Miss covered, but at the same time was at full speed to do so.  Criterion had come off the fence, and took a little while to wind up, but then went on to go past Sweet Idea and record a strong win, with Velocity Miss holding on to third.

Follow: None to follow Race 3 1st            Bound To Blush        Lester Grace 2nd          Shamardani               Alysha Collett 3rd          Miss Spoken                Kathy O’Hara

On paper the third looked like Bound To Blush would get an easy lead, and that’s really all that happened in this race.  Trilione kicked up for a little bit, but once Bound To Blush crossed, she was given an uncontested lead, and that was always going to be the end of the chances of her rivals.  Inside the 300m she was asked for an effort and kicked away nicely.  They pretty much queued up for the minor placings.  Shamardani made the best ground into second, but can have a tendency to do that.  Miss Spoken made some ground along the inside.  Magnolia Lane made some good ground very late in the piece after missing the kick and being back last.  Debelle was another running on ok, and Ingham Magic sprinted well between the 300m and the 100m but its condition seemed to give out, and it may improve.

Follow: Shamardani Race 4 1st             Too Hi Tek                  Jay Ford 2nd           Pipette                         Alysha Collett 3rd           Scream Machine       Blake Spriggs

Many would have thought Honourable Aussie would find the front easily enough here, but Tenby Lady pressed the issue and she held the front.  Drinks All Round and The Great Snowman got good runs behind the speed.  Scream Machine settled well today but was a long way off the speed, and the eventual winner at bolters odds,Too Hi Tek went back to last.  Tenby Lady got rid of Honourable Aussie before the turn and had a good break on the corner but had used up petrol in the run.  At the 300m there were plenty of chances and not enough room for them all to get runs.  The first two over the line, Too Hi Tek and Pipette were the beneficiaries of the best runs through the field and that allowed them to finish first and second respectively despite being unwanted in the ring.  Lucripitous arguable would have won if it got through, and Scream Machine was well supported in betting and had to come a lot wider than the others, which told on it at the end.  Angelus was disappointing after making a move on the point of the home turn.  Interestingly he was also an alarming betting drifter.

Follow: Lucripetous, Scream Machine Race 5 1st               Welkom Gold            Kathy O’Hara 2nd             Didntcostalot           Peter Robl 3rd             Magita                          Anthony Allen

On paper I assumed this race would be a contest for the early lead between 3 or 4 runners.  In the end, the two drawn best, Welkom Gold and Didntcostalot were the only two that looked for the front, and seemingly the jockey on Didntcostalot had no interest in taking on Welkom Gold.  They raced first and second in the run and stayed there until the post.  In hindsight, I wonder whether Didntcostalot would have been better off having a crack for the front.  Nothing else really made ground due to the fact Welkom Gold had its own way in front.  Uate was a well supported favourite but this race was never really run to suit and we’ll see again next time.

Follow: Uate Race 6 1st               Under The Sun           Nathan Berry 2nd             Merlin Mustang        Sam Clipperton 3rd              Two For Tea               Glyn Schofield

Murray’s Son didn’t begin all that well from the inside gate in the sixth event,  whereas Under The Sun was ridden with intent to lead from Merlin Mustang, with Circle Of Power who had a little bit of late betting support moving up around them into second.  It was a case of Under The Sun being fully fit today and led them a merry dance in front.  He kicked in the straight and then it was a race for the minor placings.  The run of Merlin Mustang was strange, as he looked like he may run unplaced but then kept fighting on for second.  I thought the run of Mr Edison was good again, and he can win shortly as he is getting fitter.  Circle Of Power might be worth another chance even though dropping out in this event.

Follow: Under The Sun, Circle Of Power Race 7 1st            Classics                    Josh Parr 2nd          Secluded                  Sam Clipperton 3rd           Core Purpose         Jay Ford

An even start here, with Whisperossa sent out a short priced favourite.  Bay Window led from Classics and Whiperossa was getting a good run in third on the fence. Bay Window stretched them out before the turn, and then once they straightened was joined by Classice.  Whisperossa was struggling to find racing room for most of the straight.  I think this horse races best out in the open so I would forgive its run.  In the run to the line,Secluded had its chance to run down Classics, as did Core Purpose that finished well.  Less than half a length separated the first four, and I am not sure what to make of the form out of the race as I still wonder what Whisperossa would have done in clear ground.

Follow: Whisperossa, Core Purpose Race 8 1st             Gaze In Awe                   Blake Spriggs 2nd            Eminent Domain         Nathan Berry 3rd             Skip Town                      Y Ichikawa

An 1100m sprint for the last event, in which Eminent Domain and Quick Peek both came out about a length behind the field.  A number of runners were keen to find a spot on the pace, but it was Mighty Obvious that held them out to lead from Booked out.  Mercir that was sent out favourite had a good run behind the pace, as did Lady La Douce.  Esprit lad was caught three wide.  Gaze In Awe and Skip Town were just behind the speed.  Things got a bit crowded on the inside, and many will say Mercir was the unlucky runner.  No doubt he didn’t have a lot of room, but I think if he was going well enough he may have been able to push into the clear.  I’m not convinced he was “a good thing beaten”.  Gaze In Awe and Skip town were the two that found clear running and fought it out, with Gaze In Awe getting a narrow victory.  Eminent Domain hit the line very hard after being baulked at one point in the straight.

Follow: Eminent Domain, Skip Town Specials from the meeting: Lucripetous, Whiperossa