EMIRATES STAKES DAY PREVIEW
An exhilarating Melbourne Cup Carnival concludes with another superb day of racing for Emirates Stakes Day. The premier sprinters in the land headlined by the peoples horse Apache Cat and exciting stable-mate Mic Mac, David Hayes-trained Nicconi, and last year's Emirates winner All Silent contest the G1 Patinack Farm Classic. Bart Cummings Cox Plate winner So You Think continues on his journey in the Emirates Stakes in a competitive field of mile specialists.
Punters were able to recover the losses of Melbourne Cup Day with a profit on Oaks Day, and Brad Thompson leads us into more winners from the nice race card on Emirates Stakes Day.
Melbourne - Hume (Race 8, No. 8)
Adelaide - Starlite (Race 6, No. 4)
Race 1 - Maribyrnong Plate 1000m (G3)
Another difficult race to decipher with only half of this two-year-old field equipped with racing experience. Colourful Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse's presence this Melbourne Cup Carnival has been minimal, but it looks like she brings has a handy colt to the race here with Bright Expectations. The More Than Ready colt has signalled its undoubted ability in winning two trials with consummate ease. John Sadler-trained filly Sweet Cheeks looked a genuine racehorse winning on debut and is drawn outside with the Waterhouse colt. South Australian Stirling Grove destroyed rivals in his first race start by nine lengths and is from an under-rated stable. Marmaa can't be discounted after winning impressively at Moonee Valley on debut, and Ebony Rock looks to have further improvement.
Race 2 - Phar Lap Club Plate 1600m
Larry's Never Late races like he will enjoy the wide expanses of Flemington, despite only being placed once here from three starts. He was ridden upside down at Sale behind the talented Offenders and should settle back here and rattle home. Count To Zero ran second this track and distance to Speed Gifted and isn't without a hope, and Lucky Thunder has claims. Peter Moody-trained Markus Maximus should hit the line hard, while Marchelle Belle hit the line hard in the Seymour Cup and can't be overlooked.
Larry's Never Late
Count To Zero
Race 3 - Melbourne Cup Community Fund 2000m
My Bentley was straight in the Black-book following his mammoth debut Australian run at Bendigo. Steps up sharply in distance and grade here, but has to come in for consideration for the astute Mick Kent stable. Timetable looks promising, but I'm inclined to question the quality of his wins. Mark Kavanagh-trained Raffaello has the class edge and the weight, but might not get the pace on he needs and I wouldn't be taking silly odds about him. The lack of pace may suit a front runner like Occidentalis who wasn't far away in his Australian debut behind Centennial Park and McClintock.
Race 4 - Hilton Stakes 1400m (Listed)
This 1400m race is tailor-made for Peter Snowden-trained Governance, who was taking ground off smart filly Avenue. He will jump at a short quote and would look elsewhere if you can't secure better than odds-on. Sydney visitor Silver Spur is inexperienced, but possesses a wealth of ability and is capable of taking the money here if he puts it all together. Absolute Soda has put in runs behind smart types Excuse My French and Disco Summit and has some hope at odds, as does Umanugget.
Silver Spur (Each-Way)
Race 5 - Patinack Farm Classic 1200m (G1)
Mouth watering WFA clash with the premier sprinters in the land going into battle over 1200m.
Apache Cat couldn't have been more impressive beating stable-mate Mic Mac at the Valley, but his recent straight form is a serious concern. Last year's emirate Stakes winner over the mile All Silent has been kept fresh for a tilt at this race, he will need the speed on but is unbeaten at Flemington. He will need to improve on his first-up victory here to win in a much classier field. Nicconi for David Hayes can't be dismissed, but my query is if he is genuinely up to this yet. Three-year-old Wanted with the lightweight has some hope, along with Turffontein who is racing in great fashion. Tough race to dissect the winner, any of these could salute without surprising.
Race 6 - Emirates Stakes 1600m (G1)
Impressive Cox Plate winner So You Think comes back in distance here (and grade, for that matter), but it must be mentioned he doesn't look to be overly favoured by the weights here. Certainly not in as well as the Cox Plate, but he is reported to be thriving after his victory in Australia's premier WFA race. He is awfully hard to leave out. Vigor has beaten Typhoon Tracy over the Flemington mile, the obvious query is that he has been trained for the two miles of the Cup. From the inside gate, he gets a nice run. Many genuine claims here, from a stack of different form lines. Rightfully Yours is travelling nicely, King Muhfasa is capable of better and Eagle Falls is flying. Gold Salute could have won the Toorak with some luck and will relish a nice clip in front, and a sharpened improvement from Sniper's Bullet wouldn't shock following his schooling over the jumps, much-like Maldivian before his 2008 Cox Plate win. Sydney-siders Road To Rock and Black Piranha with the addition of blinkers return from their Cox Plate attempts and have serious claims. Von Costa De Hero has loads of ability and if he can put it all together on the day, has the right weight and draw to feature prominently.
Von Costa De Hero (Each-Way)
Road to Rock
So You Think
Race 7 - Matriarch Stakes 2000m (G2)
If you can forget Messenger ever went around in the Myer Classic he is definitely an each-way chance here. The Anthony Cummings-trained mare was impeded badly last start, and although she steps up to the 2000m for the first time isn't without a hope at large odds. South Australian-trained Moment In Time finishes her races strongly, and is certainly in the mix. Clear early favourite Lady Lynette has been racing strongly, but is on the week back-up. Pravana hit the line with intent last start and gets in with a light-weight here, and Purple loves the 2000m
Moment In Time
Race 8 - Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2500 (G3)
Hume was no match for Lexus winner Shocking last Saturday, and we all know just how good Shocking was going. The Queensland visitor clearly goes on top without any reservations. Lodge The Deeds ran well in his Melbourne debut behind The Sportsman, he will run the 2500m right out and looms as the main danger. Stormhill will put himself in the race for a long time, and Nothin' Leica Cat checked badly in the Lexus.
Nothin' Leica Cat (Each-Way)
Lodge The Deeds
Race 9 - Emirates Airline Hcp 1400m
The Melbourne Cup Carnival draws to a close with a nice race to conclude another entertaining Carnival. Royal Ida has been racing well for a new stable, and if he can get a touch of luck from the barrier can figure prominently. El Mandon has been placed in both runs here, and was narrowly beaten by Ahdashim two runs ago who subsequently won a nice race on Cup Day. Barwon Express won well in Adelaide in an easier race, although it wasn't a field of pushovers. The Wolverine is a touch shy of his favoured journey but will run on strongly late in the piece, and Sound Journey flies second-up. Competitive race to finish with many legitimate chances.