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Track: DEAD(4) - Weather: NICE - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Been a dud of a summer down Melbourne way, but only a few showers heading into weekend and mild mid 20’s for Saturday should be a nice day out. Rail stays in the TRUE position as it was last meeting here on Lightning Stakes Day when the inside going definitely did not seem to be the place to be and the track did seem to favour runners on. Flemington does seem to be favouring runners on a fair bit over the last year, especially if the track is a bit wet, not sure why. With the fine weather and a drying track should get even racing – slight chance the inside still isn’t going to be any better again, so watch the first couple of races and see what the racing pattern is. The small fields and lack of speed in many of the races should mean it all evens out and most horses should have their chance.

Restructured Melbourne Autumn programs means Australian Guineas gets it’s very own race day. Unfortunately the rest of the program is verging on awful – lots of small fields and out of form horses. Lots and lots of short priced favourites going around and extremely hard to find any value in most races – dead set obvious 2-3 picks in just about every race. Again just be wary of the speed in some of these races – especially as a lot of these short priced favourites are back markers and suspect one or more are going to come unstuck.

RESULTS : Fine day - perfect weather - fair racing - absolutely AWFUL tips. Could barely get warm all day and nearly all of the short priced favourites got up. You know you are having a bad day when not only do you miss several short priced favourites, but the Lay of the Day cruises to an easy win whilst thumbing its nose at you and blowing raspberries.

BEST BET : Race 2: 5-RUBINACCI $10 WIN SCR $10
Small field so probably not going to be much value in Race 2. The (5) always tries pretty hard and was notably chasing hard last start here at Flem. Should be fitter for the 3 runs in and key to this race is that there is a small field with no speed – and she can go forward, lead and dictate this race. The (6) was hopelessly unlucky last start and looks one on the way up, likely to start short priced favourite though and just wonder in a small field with not much speed whether the (5) might be able to pinch the race with the (6) running on too late. Back straight out and save on the quinella.
RESULTS : The Best Bet of the Day got scratched - to run at MV on the Friday night, where she went forward, led and never really looked in doubt. Unfortunately that doesn't count for the Betting Portfolio.

Looks like there is going to be a few first starters heavily backed in the 1st race, so suspect this one will get out to decent odds. Really like the run 1st up when led, was headed but stuck it out really well all the way down the straight – even if Greg Miles totally muffed the call. Drawn out, can sit on speed and out in clear running here and suspect will be in the finish at each way odds.
RESULTS : Jump and led and was thereabouts in a blanket finish in a fair effort. Think some of those 1st starters might be pretty good. Bizarrely Greg Miles muffed the call of this one for the second consectutive race.

Pretty ordinary sprint field for a listed race and many of these have multiple convictions for not wining when they should. This one maintains a pretty good win strike rate and jockey took unusual tactics here last win 3 starts back when he went to the outer of the track by himself – and won. Apparently he likes to race on his own and do his own thing, moody loner that he is.. Drawn to do the same thing here if they want- and suspect they will, and there isn’t a huge amount of speed for a 1000M sprint so he should be in the race for a long way.
RESULTS : Led, but stopped very quickly.

QUINELLA : Race 5: 7-I’M DISCREET # 3,5,8,9 x $1.50 = $6 3rd 7-I’M DISCREET W=$7.00 # 1st 3-ALOHA W-$2.00, 2nd 5-FLYING TESSIE W=$10.50
Again a small field in the 5th race and don’t be surprised if the two on pacers, the (7) and the (9) are hard to run down in this. The (7) fought on well last start, is placed 10 from 14 and best runs are ridden forward and 1400M form is OK. Blinkers go on today and you would think there is going to be substantial improvement. Should be around the finish , so take the quinella with the favourite and a couple of silly runners at odds for a collect.
RESULTS : Has to really work to the lead, kicks in the straight and looks a certain quinella, but just tires on the line. Darn it.

DAILY DOUBLE : Races 6, 8 : 11,13 / 7,9 x $2 = $8 X / 1st 7-LAUNAY 1st W=$2.20
Plenty of value around in the main race and we still think the (11) and the (13) are solid winning chances despite everyone wanting to abandon the local form. There is a short priced favourite in the last the (7), but the (9) is one on the way up who chased very hard last start and must rate a chance. With a wide open 1st leg, if the favourite gets beaten in the 2nd leg the dividend should be pretty healthy. Looking for a value collect here.
RESULTS : Bolter in the 1st leg, short priced favourite in the 2nd.

LAY OF THE DAY : Race 4 : 1-KING DIAMOND at around $4 1st W=$4.40
Has been racing very consistently, and one of the few in this race with any upside, but was lucky to win last start when the 2nd horse was extremely unlucky. Out to the 2600M for the 1st time, carrying top weight, a hefty 58.5 kgs, in a capacity field of plodding stayers you suspect anything could happen and good chance some old timer will have his day in the sun and win this. Take him on.
RESULTS: Cruises to a win, with weight and seems to be a horse on the up. Most embarassing.

TURF DELI WONDER BET : Here we try and turn $5 into a whole lot more with a silly multiple bet.
QUINELLA : Race 6 : Box 2,9,11,12,13 x 50 cents = $5 X
The feature race is the only decent betting race of the day, but it is wide open field and sure to be plenty of value. Should be able to go wide in the quinella and still snare a $30 to $50 dividend. Mainly taking the local horses as that’s the form we know – and everyone wants to chase the WA and NZ visitors so should get some value.. The value runner here seems to be the (9) who we suspect is going to get out to pretty good odds, his form is pretty good and although might find one better is likely to be in the finish somewhere.

SPENT : $50
RETURN : $15
NET : $-35

The Tips:


10-FORTUNE OF WAR 3rd W=$4.10

6-ANUDJAWUN 3rd W=$2.30

1-BIG SPIRIT 3rd W=$8.90
2-VALENTINE MISS 2nd W=$7.00

3-VESPER 2nd W=$4.50

7-I’M DISCREET 3rd W=$7.00
3-ALOHA 1st W=$2.00

2-PLAYING GOD 3rd W=$4.70


7-LAUNAY 1st W=$2.20
3-ORBIT EXPRESS 2nd W=$9.30

Quinella : $10.60

2-PLAYING GOD 3rd W=$4.70

Others: 12, 9

Pace: FAST

2-PLAYING GOD is an above average WA visitor who is getting plenty of interest going into this race – mainly cause the locals seem to be such an even bunch. Have to admit we normally knock off the punt around 5pm, so don’t go chasing our losses over in the wild, wild west, so not quite up with WA form. Strong finisher, who has been stringing together wins and beating proven horses at open class WFA so awful lot to like about him here. Like that he has won over 1800M too – this is likely to be a very strongly run mile, so that is a big plus. Just a matter of how he lines up against this lot – sure to be plenty of money for him so maybe watch the market for a sign, but he does look very well suited in this. Strong chance. 3rd W=$4.70

11-UNDER THE EIFFEL had a bit of a boom on it and was coming along well with flashing and dashing Sandown wins. Started a short priced favourite at Caulfield, dropped well back in a race won by a tear away leader, on a track that was favouring on pacers. He pulled out and loomed into the race very quickly there and looked like he was going to run away with it – but just seemed to die on his run. Still think it was a very good run under the circumstances. Speed on here should suit, drawn out to get a sit and come down the middle of the track which might be the best going and probably still has improvement to come after last run. Really like the way he loomed into the race last start – he seems to have a very impressive sprint on him. Strong chance.

9-SPIRITED EAGLE has been racing very well and is a professional race horse – races handy and presents and puts himself into the race and tries very hard. Fitter for the 3 runs in and still should have plenty of improvement to come. 2nd up at Caulfield was caught wide all the way but still fought on very well. Then sat just off the speed and stuck on all the way down the straight last start when plenty of others around him gave up the chase. He is going really well and looks a solid chance here. Can probably sit handy and put himself into the race again, so almost guaranteed to be in the finish. Main issue with him is that trainer has fully admitted that his stable mate the (16) is much better !. As a result think this one is going to represent value, and is a solid pick if you want trifectas and first fours cause he will be thereabouts at value. Chance.

12-ECLAIR SURPRISE is one we were following through the spring and his win here on Turnbull Stakes Day, coming from last was excellent and expected to follow him into the Derby. Unfortunately was injured so was put out for the rest of the spring. 1st up at Caulfield he put in a huge run, held up for runs and having to change course, and he was grinding away very strongly over the top of them over the last 50M to not be beaten that far. Drawn out, can drop back here and run on and suspect he is going to go onto bigger and better things this Autumn. Maybe just a query of whether it can produce again 2nd up and up 200M, or whether he is now looking for further and might just run on again, but think he is definitely the best rough chance and presents a bit of unknown quantity and upside in an extremely even field. Rough chance.

13-ENJIN NUMBER NINE caused a bit of a boil over when he won, bounding away from them like a tear away rabbit at Sandown in a quality field. That was a big step up in class that day and he really slaughtered his rivals, although he did get into the fast lane on a biased track. Started a well backed favourite last start, didn’t think his run was too bad at all. The inside going definitely seemed to be off, he went hard against the rails and poked through and hit the lead with a decent burst about 100M out before being swamped. Think he still has improvement to come out of that and should be right at peak today with the 3 runs in. Maybe just the strong mile might be a question mark ? Drawn a perfect barrier, and can sit just off the speed here and expect he is going to hit the lead sometime in the straight and be right in the finish here. Strong chance.

3-STARTSMEUP has been doing a tour of the east coast and almost pinched a nice race at long odds last start when was really only grabbed in the shadows of the post. You would think there would be improvement to come for having a start this way of going. Again bunched finish last start, think he had one of the better runs, drawn very wide today and likely to have to drop well back in a capacity field is going to make it tough. Yet to race past 1400M either. Last run was excellent so has to go in, probably tending towards place today though.

4-MR CHARD put together some nice wins in the spring and was under rated a few times. Consistent, on pacer who chases very hard in a finish. Seems to have a liking for Flem, placed 4 from 6 here, and 2 from 2 this track and distance. Should be fitter for the 2 runs in too, and suspect he is one that you will see a fair bit of improvement in today. Meets many of those from last start better off on weights too. Probably would just want a bit of rain to be a serious winning chance in this field, but think he will improve today, probably camp on pace, and worth a rough value place chance. Does run a strong mile and will put himself into the race at the right time. Strong place chance 4th W=$43.00

17-GOLDSTONE (emerg) is one of Bart’s who goes along just OK, but worth noting he did win this race last year with a very similar type. Fitter for the 2 runs in and definitely not suited dropping back from 1400M to 1200M last start which seemed a very strange race to choose. Never got warm there. Strong finisher who won’t be fussed by the wide barrier here, will just drop out and do his own thing and strong speed and track favouring runners on will suit. Chased very hard here in the Carbine Club on Stakes Day. Runs a strong 1600M. Question might be that he gives something too much of a head start here, but should be running on OK. Rough place at very best though. SCR

18-LIVEANDLETDIE (emerg) is one that has a bit of ability and we probably haven’t seen the best of this one yet. Hasn’t been too far away at both runs this time in and expect improvement 3rd up and up to the 1600M here. Really liked his run in the Bill Stutt when he was stepping up 400M and made a very quick run very wide around them on the home turn. Drawn very wide here, probably going to have to drop well back here and hard to see him beating home so many who have had him covered last 2 starts. But think he does up some upside, so worth a rough place chance if you want a big trifecta or first four. Rough place. SCR

20-ABSOLUTELYAWESOME (emerg) put in a huge run 1st up, finishing on really strongly weaving through a bunched field. Showed promise early last spring, but bombed out in the AAMI Vase when well supported. Drawn nice barrier here, and although he has to give the field weight compared to last start his was probably one of the best runs in the race. Again not sure he is a wining chance, but if he did get a start worth a rough place chance. SCR

1-ANACHEEVA was the star 3YO colt of the Spring. Have to admit we missed the boat on this one, and didn’t tip or back it at any of its starts. Those who did probably had a pretty good spring – getting $8 / $10 / $6 about the dominant 3YO colt winning its way through the spring 3YO races is pretty good going in hindsight. Been very disappointing in 2 runs in this time – everyone was ready to make excuses for him 1st up when he ran on just OK, but really it wasn’t a surprise when he did exactly the same thing the next start – ran on just OK, but was well beaten. Up 200M, fitter for the 2 runs in, but would need a turn around in form. Does get a weight advantage against all of this field from last start with the drop back to set weights. Blinkers go on here, but drawn an outside barrier and would think they have to drop him well back in the field. This is a huge, even field and a tough betting race and think we want to stick to those in form and well drawn, and not punt on guessing about sudden improvements. Happy to leave out.

5-RUN FOR LEVI best runs have been dash and sprint tear away leader races and he was quite hard to run down in both the Bill Stutt and the Caulfield Guineas in the spring. Should be fitter for the 3 runs in and hasn’t been that far away in the lead up runs so not hopeless. He is one that is probably going to improve with racing and should bounce back to form sometime soonish. Think his best runs though are definitely tearing along in the lead. Challenge here is that he has drawn barrier 1 in a capacity field, would have to work a lot to keep the lead, there are a few other leaders, and the inside has not been the place to be in recent Flem meetings. Seems to have a bit against him today so prefer to risk.

6-HOLLOWLEA chugged along OK during the Spring and managed to score some surprise wins at odds. 1st two runs this time in seemed full of promise, he was running on OK, should have been improved with the 2 runs and really expected him to do something last start when we tipped him. He did nothing and was very disappointing – dropped well back, couldn’t pass a runner and the winner came from behind him. Out of character run – he is definitely better than that. Probably needs a bit of give in the ground to be really competitive against this lot. Drawn a nice barrier and wouldn’t be surprised to see him ridden more forward today. Another who could improve – but can’t go guessing on that and on form probably have to leave him out.

7-BULLBARS has always shown a bit of ability and finally put a run on the board last start with a pretty solid win. Form this time in has been pretty good, he chased home hard behind the (13) 1st up and came from last , last start to win. Fitter for the 2 runs in. Made a bit of a habit of just running on, but not really getting into the finish during the spring – the Bill Stutt in particular he loomed like he was going to be the winner and didn’t go on with it. Probably drops back here again and pace on will suit. Just wonder if he is a bit one paced though – bit concerned it really took him the whole length of the straight to get to them last start – and he only just got there. Track was strongly favouring runners on that day and he got a very fast speed, so it was all set up for him. Other issue is that he was getting weight from the majority of the field last start, it was a bunched finish and he is meeting all of them 1.5kgs to 3.5 kgs worse off today for a narrow win where everything went his way. Despite beating most of these last start doubt he will be able to do it again and quite happy to take him on today. One to risk. 2nd W=$9.30

8-DUSTY STAR put in a stunning win at Caulfield 2 starts back when burnt to the lead and hard to believe he didn’t get run down. Went forward, but was one of the 1st ones beaten last start when did show a slower than normal recovery, which is something we can fully relate to in the sporting arena. Was beaten at the 300M though. First time out to the 1600M, plenty of pressure up front here in a capacity field, drawn inside and might not be the best place to be, and is having his 9th run this time in and you just wonder if that Caulfield run was the end of his campaign ? Risking.

10-SMOKIN' JOEY has always promised to do something, and probably does have some ability, but he is having trouble finding the right race. His run 1st up wasn’t too bad, he definitely did have something to give over the last bit when was held up, but it was a bunched field. Has been hampered by wet tracks, or choking, or by jokesters tying his shoe laces together, and one day he will probably come out and win a good race. Drawn nicely here and will sit right on the speed and probably won’t be that far off them at the finish. Maybe just prefer him to have one more run and would need to be right at best in this field. Not today.

14-SHAMROCKER is a staying filly with some ability who ran some good races during the spring against her own sex. Seems to prefer Flem – placed 3/5. Did give the (16) 2.5kgs when worked home OK last start, and meets her at equal weights today. Drawn OK, doesn’t have to drop too far back, big spaces and speed should suit, but she generally tends to find one better and hard to see her beating this lot 2nd up – even at her very best would probably be an ask. Probably will go OK though, but prefer to pass over. No 1st W=$37.60

15-WE CAN SAY IT NOW is a NZ visitor who is also creating a lot of interest. Strong mile form over in NZ which is a big plus for what looks like a tough mile slog here in a big field. Beaten favourite 1st up over 1400M in open class. Filly against the males. Strong pace on here should suit, again it might be a case of watching the market in this. Sure she will get well supported they are raving about her track work mid week. Just a bit cautious about taking one off a run when it was a little disappointing (beaten favourite), travelling and taking on a big challenge. Likely to start well backed and probably under the odds in a big field. Maybe just pass on, but will watch the market carefully.

16-SOUTHERN SPEED is one on the way up and 3 wins from 3 starts, but this is a massive jump in class. Fitter for the 3 runs in, up in distance each start, and stable know what they are doing when they bring their horses to Melbourne. She was very impressive last start, box seating, reeling in the leader and going away with it – but to be honest not sure that field was that strong – was a small field, most of them were 1st up and she had race fitness and form on her side. Trainer and stable have an opinion of her, but think she is going to start way under the odds here. Into a capacity field of males, drawn a shocking barrier, natural on pacer who is either going to have to work to go forward and get caught wide on a fast speed, or drop back against normal pattern. Won 3/3 – but due to loose sometime and this looks as good a day as any. She obviously has ability – but just think she has a lot against her today and she would have to be seriously outstanding to win this. Happy to risk.

19-ROADTRAIN (emerg) strung together a few wins at short odds in some pretty weak races at the start of his career and was lucky to fall in on more than one occasion. Hasn’t been disgraced against these last 2 runs, bunched field last start against most of these going around here. But he was getting weight from them - from 1.5kgs to 3.5kgs. Fitter for the 3 runs in and probably has improvement to come. Drawn an nice barrier too, so probably won’t be that far away again if he gets a start, but think this lot have him covered. No

Summary: Normally the 3YO races during autumn are a punter’s paradise, often the same dominant colt and filly goes through the carnival, wining each race and you just stand in the collect queue waiting for them to finish. This, however, is a utter nightmare. Incredibly tricky race, a bunched group of local 3YOs, throw in some fillies, a WA visitor, a NZ visitor, this is one of the most wide open fields you will ever see.

All the interest does seem to be in the WA visitor the 2-PLAYING GOD and the NZ visitor the 15-WE CAN SAY IT NOW, so obviously most people don’t think the locals are much good at all. The locals have been finishing in bunched finishes, and there definitely does not seem to be a stand out between them.

Pace here does seem to be fast, 8-DUSTY STAR should burn to the lead, you would think, 5-RUN FOR LEVI will go up and join him. Behind them there isn’t a huge amount of pressure though – so might find these two will skip clear for much of the race. Others racing handy are likely to be 4-MR CHARD, 9-SPIRITED EAGLE, 13-ENJIN NUMBER NINE. It should set it up for strong milers finishing on hard down the middle of the track, but just be a little wary that they don’t get too far back – good chance one of those sitting handy (4), (9), (13)is going to put themselves into the finish here as there doesn’t seem to be lots of pressure up front apart form the two leaders.

Despite the charge away from the locals happy to push for 11-UNDER THE EIFFEL here. Really like the way he loomed into the race at Caulfield, could make excuses as he was racing against the track pattern that day and looks like he has a class sprint finish on him. Giving 13-ENJIN NUMBER NINE another chance, can box seat on speed here and a lot of his rivals will be giving him a long start. He poked through on the rails last start – against the track pattern as well. 2-PLAYING GOD the best of the rest as can be sure he will run out a strong 1600M. Rough chances to 12-ECLAIR SURPRISE and 9-SPIRITED EAGLE who is the value runner on the speed for trifectas and first fours. Probably going to be some monster dividends here so don’t be scared to tick some ambitious boxes on the TAB form. And good luck – you will need it.


The Key: Who is going to run a strong mile ?

RESULTS : Dead set trick race and the bolter gets up - but in hindsight with a bit of clear thinking it probably wasn't impossible ? Always easier with hindsight, but a furious speed, want a horse proven over a strong mile (or further) and a lot of these were queries at the 1600M, something well drawn, something that wants Flem and a dry track ? All makes sense after the race. 2-PLAYING GOD was an excellent run and keep following him, got held up at a crucial stage and think he is going to go on this Autumn. 7-BULLBARS solid run, he might be better as a stayer though, he seems very one paced and just seems to grind away. 11-UNDER THE EIFFEL loomed up again like he was going to do something special, but is still doing a bit wrong. Has a bit of class about him and probably next time in he is going to step up a grade.

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