Unfortunately, Randwick cancelled their card due to track conditions, so only Flemington left to bet on this evening. Here’s some quick and ugly picks:
Race 1: I was going to go with #10 Noble Samurai, but the track downgrade from Dead to Slow eliminates him (plus his regular jock Vlad Duric is off his mounts today, and Peter Mertens hadn’t ridden him before). Instead, let’s go with #7 Bolle who loves the wet and, better yet, gets top jock Damien Oliver up (and three pounds off). [edited: now they're saying it is actually the opposite, Dead but moving towards Good, so I'm taking another look at Noble Samurai...]
If you're out there, toss in your comments!
Race 2: #13 Romneya gets a tough outside post position, but comes in off a second-place finish where she beat Augusta Proud. She drops eight pounds and loves the wet [and dry]. Love fillies against 3-year-old colts and geldings! However, given Light Vision's easy win in the first, you have got to respect Lord Tavistock who crushed Light Vision (by 6 lengths) in a barrier trial at the beginning of August, and finished second to Fernandina last out. Nice post too (and short odds).
Damn, Romneya lost by a neck...to Lord Tavistock. Urgh!
Race 3: I really like #9 Emma Princess, though her last campaign was disappointing. She did win last out, and has good past form against Hips Don't Lie. Given Romneya's race, #8 Tobouggie Woogie looks to be an interesting play.
Result: Marveen (12-1), the top weight, was marvelous on the straight-away to win, but my $2 show bet on Tobouggie Woogie (15-1) should pay decent since the co-favorite came in second, at 4-1. $8.40 to be precise.
Race 4: Ah, Viewed is back! But no Craig Williams who's opted for David Hayes' Largo Lad. I doubt Stavka can get 7f. Jungle Ruler is getting some money based on his last out vs. Weekend Hussler and Light Fantastic. Still he's never won here in 4 tries. I'm going for Playwright. $1 tri-box 3-7-13.
Argh, Stavka makes me a liar, winning a photo to The Fuzz, with Jungle Ruler third.
Race 5: The formline here runs right through #6 Princess Gisella, #2 Mimi Lebrock and #1 Devil Moon. Princesss Gisella appears to be a wet-tracker, though, so I'm tossing her. Mimi looks to have the better recent form. I'm looking for value. I like Dane Julia, but hate her post position. I might have to toss something on Blazonry--after my dog, Blaze :)
Result: Mimi Lebrock over Bellini Rose, and Devil Moon hung on for third. My bet on Dane Julia failed, as she finished fourth. Too bad...terrible post on the far outside.
Getting closer to the big race....
Race 6: How can one not love #4 Augusta Proud? She HATED the heavy going in the G1 Golden Slipper vs. Sebring, but has yet to lose a race on a good track. Taking on the boys again here, you have got to include her in the exotics. Some money coming for Aichi, but he's a wet tracker. David Hayes sends out Nicconi with Craig Williams up, but he didn't beat much first out. I'm liking Fury much better, with Newitt staying on him for Peter Moody. Carnero is possible, but last out in March and no first-up wins. Dunn sticking with Time Thief makes me go "hmmm".
Result: Well, Aichi isn't just a wet tracker...he won by a bob over Time Thief. Nicconi got third, and Augusta Proud faded badly at the end. My only win here is a place bet on Time Thief.
Race 7: The Makybe Diva Stakes. Weekend Hussler vs. Light Fantastic. Ding, ding, ding. Round 2. Then again, there are the two mares...I love Riva San, but not first up and without a little give to the turf. Zarita, on the other hand, is a real threat second up, but would have loved a softer turf. It really does, I think, come down to the Hussler and the undefeated gray. And, until he loses, I'm going to trip the Light Fantastic...
and he's not undefeated any longer....Great, great race by Weekend Hussler! And thank you Zarita! I put a WPS on her, so her second place finish (at 12-1) will pay nicely. Unfortunately, Weekend Hussler didn't get any money, as 60-1 Littorio got up for third ahead of him.
Now, I defy anyone to say that fillies and mares can't run competitively with the big boys. Look at Zarita, finishing second to Weekend Hussler and ahead of Light Fantastic!
Race 8: Given Stavka's strong win earlier, Grand Duels looks very good here, especially with his Weekend Hussler form. I'm going for Gabbidon for a piece, as well as Marching.
Flemington's no-turn, straightaway 6f track is so odd. Some days the field splits into two and each runs against opposing rails. Tonight the entire field shifted to the outside, clustered against one another. Bon Hoffa was the 22-1winner, a complete surprise given his horrible recent form. Grand Duels finished second, with 12-1 Orange County getting third.
I know there's one more race, but I'm pooped. Thanks to my amenable partner-in-live-blogging for an enjoyable evening!