Spring warms up this Saturday as the queen of the turf, the mighty mare, the peoples champ, #winx, heads to Flemington for The Group 1 Turnbull Stakes in what looks to be her toughest test to date. With good weather forecasted, with an AFL season that has come and gone, there should be 25,000-30,000 trackside to see history as she chases her 21st consecutive victory. ‘’Horses for courses’’ is still relevant in today’s racing and I believe it is more evident at Flemington than any other track in the country. Will she handle Flemington? How will she cope with the long straight? Is Humidor flying? Will she give him a start? Will she be vulnerable late? The rest of the meeting is a cracker with several Group races, and some serious spring stars making appearances. The Bart Cummings should answer a few cup questions, while the Gilgai should see a Flemington Bridesmaid breakthrough for a deserved straight 6 win. There should be plenty of equity in the pockets after the long weekend, there were plenty of winners, too many beers, but we saw them like beach balls. Send the Mrs Christmas shopping, put Finding Dory on the spare tv for the kiddies, and get set for a cracking Turnbull Stakes Day! #Nothingbeatsspring #chasethesun #winx
Turnbull Stakes (Group 1)
If you aren’t excited about this race cut it off, look for a pulse, or watch Macgyver. Winx heads to Flemington for the first time, she will go around at her longest quote since the 2015 Cox Plate ($1.20), and the first time some serious questions will be asked if she is travelling as well as she was this time last year. 2000m is arguably her best distance (5:4-0-0), she seems to improve the further her preparations go, and she does her best racing on good surfaces (22:18-2-0). Under the weight for age scale she has 2kg off the top weight, barrier 2 in a small field shouldn’t pose any problems for Hugh Bowman, and there will be plenty of time for her to find daylight before sprouting wings. If Winx turns up and provides her usual tradesman like run I don’t think she can get beat, if she doesn’t it will be one hell of a race. Tactics will of course play a role, especially in the small field, but as you have seen this preparation, she can miss the start, chase them down, be off the bit, give them a start, and still win with a leg in the air. She is a freak, the $1.20 is a gift, and the crowd will be privileged to watch live such a beautiful equine racing machine. History beckons.
‘’Travelling better than Humidor in the Makybediva Stakes’’ is possibly the most accurate statement of 2017. The 5 year old gelding looked the winner from the 800m, Damien Lane had a lap full of horse, and he went whoosh straight over the top of a very very very good field. Yes the pace was frenetic because Hey Doc was obviously running late for an appointment or tinder date? Seriously 10.9 the first 200m! But I still think Humidor would have won regardless. The Australian Cup winner loves Flemington (3:2-0-0), 2000m is ideal (4:3-1-0), and the scary part is he may have further improvement. He is a serious horse with a massive spring ahead of him. Conceding 2kg to the best horse in the world over her pet distance maybe a big ask for a horse who is still maturing. Yes he won by 3.3lengths in the diva but it would have been 5 if he ran straight. He is still raw and I don’t think he can afford errors against the queen. He will be savaging the line late but the best he will be doing is collecting a cheque for running second. Ventura Storm was solid behind Humidor and the 2000m will suit. Didn’t get clear running but still hit the line. Top 3.
Selections: Winx (2) – Humidor (1) – Ventura Storm (3)
Chips In Best Bet: Flemington Race 4 Number 4 Speith (20 units the win @$2.80)
Best Each way: Flemington Race 1 Number 11 Sunlight (6 units the win @$4)
Best Roughie: Flemington Race 8 Number 2 French Emotion (3 units the win 7 units the place @$26)
Next Best: Flemington Race 7 Number 1 Almadin (20 units the win @$2)
Best Place Bet: Flemington Race 9 Number 4 Charmed Harmony (10 units the place @$2.60)
Chase The Sun
Tony James Edser