Just the solitary Group I race at Flemington but what a cracker it will be when Alligator Blood and Catalyst reignite their developing rivalry and Sydney chimes in with their first Group I’s of the year with the Surround Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes to be decided.
Alligator Blood and Catalyst are both geldings with hopefully long racing careers ahead of them and the potential is there for the rivalry to continue for many years to come. Alligator Blood has won nine from 10 and held off Catalyst by the barest possible margin winning the C.S Hayes Stakes at Flemington however the extra 200m of the Australian Guineas gives the New Zealander the chance to turn the tables considering Alligator Blood’s only defeat, albeit narrowly, was in the Caulfield Guineas over the mile. Nothing between the pair for mine and with Alligator Blood longer odds in Sportsbet betting we will stick with him.
The tip: (1) Alligator Blood ($3.20)
Fifty Stars looks well placed under the set weight and penalty conditions of the Blamey Stakes and is the horse to beat second-up after finishing on the placegetters heels in the C.F. Orr at Caulfield resuming last start carrying 59kg in a Group 1 WFA race and drops a kilo on Saturday back to a Group II. He’s a winner over the Flemington mile and has won second-up previously. He’s the top pick ahead of Admiral’s Joker and Night’s Watch.
The tip: (2) Fifty Stars ($3.60)
She’s still a maiden after finishing runner-up in her three starts to date but there is a strong argument to suggest the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Stellar Pauline meets her weakest field to date in the Sweet Embrace Stakes. Stellar Pauline was just over a length from the winner in the Gimcrack on debut before chasing home Aim at Randwick when she took on the boys and was brave when second in the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast after working in the run. She hasn’t raced in seven-weeks but has been kept up to the mark with a Randwick trial wins and Stellar Pauline looks set to burst into Golden Slipper calculations by winning on Saturday.
The tip: (2) Stellar Pauline ($3.60)
Redoute’s Choice colt Prague has a sense of timing about him as he chases Golden Slipper glory winning at Canterbury on debut before leading all the way to win the Canonbury Stakes at Randwick last start returning race best sectionals on each occasion. Prague has plenty going for him from a Slipper perspective being able to race on the speed with the two wins coming on a good track and a soft (7) surface and still looks open to improvement. He’s drawn to take the sit behind the likely leader Postcode and expecting Prague to maintain his unbeaten record and continue the hot run the Maher and Eustace stable are having with their two-year-olds.
The tip: (1) Prague ($2.40) )
Even 12 days after the event we are still trying to figure out how Reelem In Ruby settled over 11 -lengths from the winner in the Triscay Stakes last start. Sure there were explanations in the Steward’s Report but to say she was set a task was a huge understatement. Reelem In Ruby produced the quickest 800m-200m sectional of the race which was the fastest of the three 1200m races on the day and never really had a clear shot at her rivals in the straight. Confident she will be closer in the run on Saturday stepping up to 1400m and looks genuine value at the $6.50 available at Sportsbet in early betting.
The tip: (1) Reelem In Ruby ($6.50)
The addition of blinkers to her gear took the Godolphin filly Flit to a new level winning the Light Fingers Stakes resuming and it’s hard to see any filly that finished behind her reversing that result. The Thousand Guineas winner over 1600m at Caulfield during the spring, the step up to 1400m second-up only enhances Flit’s prospects. The Flight Stakes winner Funstar and runner-up Probabeel both resume and are likely to provide the toughest opposition but Flit is a potential superstar and it would be no surprise to see her go through the autumn undefeated.
The tip: (1) Flit ($3.70)
Dreamforce looks set to take up the running in the Chipping Norton Stakes and, in a race where there doesn’t look to be much early pressure expecting the John Thompson-trained gelding to take plenty of running down. He didn’t shirk his task when a close second to Alizee on the soft track in the Apollo Stakes and can only be better on a drier surface fitter second-up. Cox Plate and Epsom Handicap placegetter Te Akau Shark will be charging late along with Happy Clapper, Avilius and Fierce Impact but with control of the race up front Dreamforce can hold on.
The tip: (4) Dreamforce ($5.50)