Leggup | Rosehill, Flemington, all the group races preview and tips


Plenty of Group action at Rosehill and the inaugural All-Star Mile takes centre stage at Flemington. Soft 7 in Sydney at time of writing and if forecast is correct that could get worse.


Race 2 – Maurice McCarten Stakes  (1100m, G3)

Akasaki faces a class rise after a luckless run when couldn’t get clear running when third to Badajoz at Warwick Farm. Has form on heavy and soft going.

Trekking caught the eye with a fast finishing third to Music Magnate in a Canterbury trial.  Trekking gets a nice pull in the weights over Music Magnate, who does have a great first-up record and also wet form. Easy Eddie racing well and likes the cut out of the ground.

Best: Trekking. Dangers: Music Magnate, Akasaki.

Race 3 – Magic Night Stakes (1200m, G3)

Plenty of money to suggest Athiri can bounce back after her fourth in the Blue Diamond. She was wide with cover, but for mine she was spent on the line. Sydney-Melbourne now back to Rosehill could take a toll. Her Godolphin stablemate Amercement is much better value and there was a lot to like about her last start 6th to Anaheed. She got too far back and it was more like a barrier trial. Amercement will be better suited at 1400m, but if track is rain affected things might even out. Wraps on Maiden winner Villami, will race on speed, but breed not noted wet trackers. Kiwi Probabeel has been dominant winning last three in NZ so impossible to knock.

Best: Amercement. Dangers: Probabeel, Athiri.

Race 4 – Pago Pago Stakes (1200m, G3)

Snowden pair Hightail and Cosmic Force battle for favouritism and should fight out the finish. Not sure why McEvoy has jumped off Cosmic Force. His last start was solid behind Microphone, when he did all the chasing and fought on well for second. Hightail was third in the Millions and has trialled strongly. Faretti will be better for debut run when sixth to Time To Reign.

Best: Cosmic Force. Dangers: Hightail, Faretti.

Race 5 – Phar Lap Stakes (1500m, G2)

Verry Elleegant ran a super race, when first-up behind Amphitrite in Flemington G3 last start. She’s a second-up winner and her three career wins have been in soft going. James McDonald has made the effort to get down to 54.5 for this filly. Aristia hit the line strongly behind Oregon’s Day when resuming, likes it longer, but should be running on. Zalatte was far from disgraced when 7th to Nakeeta Jane in the Surround G1. Zalette did her best work late over 1400m and extra trip should suit. Mizzy was very brave in the same race, but 1500m might test.

Best: Verry Elleegant. Dangers: Zalette, Aristia.

Race 6 – Sky High Stakes (2000m, G3)

Patrick Erin should be ready to run a race after running against Winx at his first two runs from a spell. Same for stablemate Libran, fitter for Chipping Norton run, good second-up and handles soft going. Goathland did a great job to win over 2000m when resuming. Rises from a Benchmark 88. Ambitious knocked-up when 9th to Avilius in Peter Young Stakes, this is easier, but would have liked to see him do a bit more at Caulfield. Samadoubt beat a mob of walkers in the Canberra Cup, but hard to knock winning form. Red Cardinal also had a last start win and adds to the puzzle.

Best: Libran. Dangers: Patrick Erin, Red Cardinal.

Race 7 – Coolmore Classic (1500m, G1)

I Am Serious had the gun run when second to White Moss over 1300m. She is very honest, but barrier 15 will make it tougher.  Alassio is flying and chases a hat-trick after beating several rivals in the Guy Walter last start. Races on speed and will be more pressure in this, so slight query at 1500m. Invincible Gem has not won for about 18 months, but she is definitely one for exotics. She was trapped wide in the Newcastle Newmarket behind Princess Posh and Savatiano and still fought on. Oregon’s Day returned from a break and held on to win in Flemington G3. She should box-seat, keep in mind her career wins and placings have all been on good tracks. Dixie Blossoms is 0-10 this track, stablemate Daysee Doom loves it here, but will need luck from wide barrier. Three-year-old Fiesta had a wide run and came from well back before she tired late for 6th to Nakeeta Jane, Fiesta is nicely weighted, soft track winner and 1500m in her favour.

Best: Fiesta. Dangers: I Am Serious, Invincible Gem.

Race 8 – Ajax Stakes (1500m, G3)

Track could be a lot worse for wear and if that is the case look for fit wet trackers. Fifty Stars is a swimmer and comes here after a hard fought win in a  Flemington G2. Widgee Turf was beaten in easier grade last start, but he is third-up now, is very honest and a winner in heavy and soft going. Dreamforce raced on speed and scored gutsy win in G3 latest. Kaonic and Salsonic ran well without threatening behind Dreamforce, both will appreciate 1500m. Dyslexic caught the eye and stewards queried run behind Alassio last start, query in the wet. Land Of Plenty turned in a great run behind Alizee in G1 Futurity, better on top of the ground but too good to dismiss.

Best: Fifty Stars. Dangers: Dyslexic, Land Of Plenty.


   Race 3 – Breeders Stakes (1200m, G3)

Talented turned in a solid effort down the straight 1100m when second to Microphone. She goes up slightly in distance and will have taken improvement from the run. Pelican also comes off a last start win at the Valley, but this is much tougher company. Jockey was a little lost on Judgement when 5th to Mockery in a Listed 1000m race this track last start. Fitter for the run and one for exotics. Flit was a beaten short priced favourite on debut. She ran into a few dead ends and should have finished closer. Horse that beat her has since finished sixth to Pelican. Godolphin stablemate Varda was short and bolted in a Bendigo Maiden on debut.

Best: Talented. Dangers: Varda, Judgement.

8 – All Star Mile (1600m)

Top two Happy Clapper and Hartnell are grand campaigners. Happy Clapper chased home Winx last two starts. The Clapper’s 11 wins have all been in NSW, seven at Randwick, but too good to dismiss on stats. Hartnell was a strong third behind race favourite Alizee in the Futurity, should get the gun run. Alizee is a mare in form, quality and the one to beat. Mystic Journey enjoyed the run of the race and was dominant against own age in Australian Guineas. Smart filly tackling older horses and won’t get the same favours from barrier 16. Le Romain stuck on okay behind Alizee at Caulfield, where he may not have been suited. G1 placed this track and distance and should be peaking third-up. Amphitrite felt the heat and jarred up behind Mystic Journey, improvement would not surprise.

Best: Alizee. Dangers: Amphitrite, Happy Clapper.

What do you think?