FLEMINGTON: MAKYBE DIVA STAKES - 11th September 2021
Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: CLOUDY - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Few showers around going into the weekend, but not enough to really affect the track and back to rail TRUE we should get even racing. Chance there may be a bit of wind around on Saturday, so keep an eye on the racing pattern and see if you need cover. Down the straight there hasnít been a huge amount of difference between inside and outside the last few meetings, so hard to make a call at this stage, but shouldnít be anything wrong with the inside part of the straight.

For the feature Makybe Diva Stakes, itís a serious spring kick-off for many of the proven performers as well as the up and coming stars and it is going to end up a very tactical race, with very little in the way of race fitness or speed. Most of these are 1st up or 2nd up and very early on in their preparations, so hard to judge how forward they are. It is hard to work out the speed map, the 6-INCENTIVISE will almost certainly go forward, but doubt they will want to lead 1st up into a long spring campaign, the 9-AEGON probably goes forward and sits handy, as does the 12-TOFANE and the 4-IMAGING. Donít think you will want to get too far back and probably going to be some hard luck stories trapped inside runners back in the field.

Going through the runners, the 1-SIR DRAGONET famously flopped 1st up last time in at Caulfield at $2.70 over 1400M and does seem to need a few runs and some distance to show his best. Flemington 1400M probably suits better, and has had two trials leading into this so might be more forward this time in. Drawn well, but not going to be suited off a slow speed here, but is probably a rough place chance and does look over the odds against a field that are largely also in the same boat preparation-wise. The 2-FIFTY STARS has an excellent Flemington record, but is another who normally needs a few runs in each time to find form and probably ends up at the back of the field here from a wide barrier off a slow tempo. The 3-KEIAI NAUTIQUE is a Japanese import who is very hard to line up, sent out at long odds first up, but stormed home late in what was a pretty busy finish. Dropped back to last there and was a pretty fair effort as had a horse laying in on top of him for most of the straight. Drawn wide suits, step up in distance suits, likely to drop back to last again though and unless there is a strong runners on pattern hard to see him winning. The 4-IMAGING is another runner who wasnít far off in the Winx Stakes when 1st up, so hard to line them all up. He was actually held up for runs first half of the straight there and did hit the line well. Ran a good race down here in the C.F.Orr back in the Autumn, and he did race fairly handy that day and from a decent barrier here today he could easily go forward here today which would be a big plus. Note that he has also been scratched from a weaker race in Sydney, which is a positive sign. He is likely to be more forward too than a lot of the spring stayers, so think he is a good value roughie in this. The 5-MOUNT POPPA is a stayer 2nd up, even enough run 1st up against many of these and well-drawn, but think he still wants further. Keep an eye out on racing tactics as he normally goes forward over longer distances, but suspect he will be ridden pretty cold here today and still be in warm-up mode for spring.

The 6-INCENTIVISE is one of the boom horses in Australia at the moment, and absolutely smashed his way through a QLD winter campaign when he kept stepping up in class each time and kept smashing his rivals. Won his last 4 starts by 12L, 9.5L, 9L, and 7.3L Ė grand total of 38 lengths or so, that is something you donít see very often Ė if ever. Well drawn, can probably jump and get the run of the race on-speed here, just needs to prove himself Melbourne way of going and at WFA, but really no reason why he canít go on and be one of the stars of the spring. The 7-EXPLOSIVE JACK attempted a ridiculously tough four state Derby quaddie which amazingly almost came off. Likely to drop back here 1st up from barrier 1 in a packed field, so hard to see him figuring and off such a tough campaign be interesting to see if he goes on this spring. The 8-JOHNNY GET ANGRY has had only the one run since his VRC Derby win last year, definitely a Flemington horse, but has probably been taken along slowly off an injury and will hopefully get back to top form later in the spring. Supposed to be sharper this time in so might run a lot better than the $101 odds suggest. The 9-AEGON creates a lot of interest, looked to have a lot of potential in the Sydney Autumn, but his form trailed off. Was really good late 1st up in the Memsie, when he was a little soft in the market, and suspect from a good barrier here he can go forward and give this a shake and is a genuine winning chance. Maybe just prefer a bit more rain, but this looks a very winnable race and is likely more forward than a lot of his rivals here. The 10-MOíUNGA is a classy miler, who beat a very talented field 1st up, but it was a very bunched field, and he did get a clear crack at them at the right time when many of this rivals didnít. Flemington 1600M suits, drawn out and probably drops back, but as long as they can run on OK and there is enough speed he is a strong winning chance. Coming off a 1st up win is better form than the rest of these. The 11-COLETTE ran on pretty well 1st up at Caulfield, can race handy, but assuming they drop back here from an outside barrier. Definitely prefers some give in the ground, but step up in distance suits, off a good 1st up run and maybe a bit under rated so some rough chance here, especially if they go forward. The 12-TOFANE is really hard to line up here, super classy sprinter to 1400M mare out to 1600M for the first time. Classy Group 1 performer, coming off excellent QLD winter form, and stable said she needed the run at Caulfield when she fought out the finish well. She has an excellent winning strike rate, well drawn and can probably settle handy here, and if they go slow enough then she actually has the best sprint out of all of these. It is just at Group 1, WFA, Melbourne way of going when her best form is in the other direction, against the males, and at 1600M for the first time that holds too many queries for us. But she has the class sprint to win, so very hard to know what do with her. The 13-INSPIRATIONAL GIRL is another who ran on well in the Memsie, she is another who likes to drop back here and not sure the slow tempo here is going to suit, but likely to go on this spring.

Trying to line these up, it a very even field with lots of winning chances, and a lot is going to come down to tempo and luck in running, so think you want to tend to those on-speed in a race with a lack of genuine tempo that could get messy at the end of the race. We also have a lot of drop back stayers which means there wonít be that much pressure for the good positions in running. The 6-INCENTIVISE is definitely the one to beat, impossible to knock form and will be in the right position in running, but you are betting on him going on with his form up in class and to Melbourne way of going and there is plenty of other value in the field. Main danger is the 10-MOíUNGA who looks a genuine miler and is suited in clear running, running on down the middle of the track over 1600M, and is race fit and in winning form. We want to push for a real roughie here into the selections, the 4-IMAGING who didnít have the best of luck 1st up, and will settle handy or maybe even lead and maybe more forward than the others looking at later spring targets and respect for the 9-AEGON who also looks good value, improving 2nd up on-speed. From a betting point of view, we are pretty keen to have something each way on the roughie 4-IMAGING and will box up the four main chances in a box quinella which should pay OK in an even field.

We have another skinny meeting here today, with the likes of Race 2: 1-ARTORIUS, Race 3: 2-INGRATIATING and Race 5:2-ARTYON all going around under even money and looking pretty hard to beat. Which is great for watching horse racing, not so great for value punting. Things really open up later in the day though with a very difficult second half of the program. We seem to have ended up with most of the obvious picks on top, but there are quite a few good value place chances around today in the selections.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 1: 7-KILLOURNEY $4 EW
Fairly even first race of the day, but this one is still very lightly raced and came through the field and challenged the winner strongly here last start. That was only second run in from a spell and should be plenty of improvement to come with the run over the distance. Looks well over the odds at $8 for a horse that might be on the rapid improve and may go on this spring.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 5: 1-CROSSHAVEN $4 EW
Was totally under rated as a 3YO when kept going forward and kept winning and won the Carbine Club here on Derby Day. Even effort 1st up when the 1100M was far too short and much better suited out to the 1400M here today. Very wary of him going forward in a field where there seems to be very little speed and think he is a genuine chance to upset the short priced favourite here if he can control the race out front. Is giving weight to the rest of the field, but on his best form he could beat these. Prefer to back him each way at around $10 then back the short priced favourite.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 7: 9-AWAY GAME $4 WIN
QUINELLA: Race 7: 9-AWAY GAME#2-JONKER, 11-EXPRESS PASS, 13-RIDDLE ME THAT, 14-TOO GOOD TOO HARD x $4 = 100%
Classy mare who looks well suited in this race at the bottom of the weights. Fought hard with 58kgs last start off a let up and sure to be plenty of improvement to come off that. Looks to be a very fast tempo here with quite a few leaders, and she is drawn middle of the track to just sit off the speed here and swoop into the race at the right time. We have hit $50 budget constraints on the bets, so back straight out at around $6 and anchor in a quinella with the Sydney visitor the 2-JONKER who should box seat in this, and three value strong finishers out wide in the 11-EXPRESS PASS, 13-RIDDLE ME THAT, 14-TOO GOOD TOO HARD who should be running on late off the fast speed here.

BEST ROUGH: Race 2: 5-DAILY BUGLE $2 WIN, $4 PLACE
This one is better than his form suggests, strong finishing drop back type who struck leaderís tracks, or was in the wrong part of the track a few times during his 3YO season. Solid effort 1st up at MV running on off a genuine speed and much better suited out to 1400M today. Hard to see him beaten the favourite the 1-ARTORIUS here, but suspect he is going to run a race at $31 so maybe more the place and pretty confident he is going to be in the finish here despite the long odds.

BEST ROUGH: Race 8: 4-IMAGING $3 EW
QUINELLA: Race 8: 4,6,9,10 boxed x $3 = 50%
We are pretty keen on this roughie in the feature race, was unlucky 1st up when not far off them and likely to go forward here and have every chance in a slowly run race. Totally capable of picking up a race like this early in the spring whilst the better horses are still warming up. Have a bit of a fling at the $30 on offer, and looks a nice value quinella with the boom horse 6-INCENTIVISE, the proven miler 10-MOíUNGA, and the NZer the 9-AEGON.

BEST ROUGH: Race 9: 7-MONGOLIGAN MARSHALL $3 EW
Very open race to end the day, but this one keeps going around at long odds Ė and winning. Has race fitness and form over most of these, has won this last two starts at Flemington, and suited drawn out a little and swooping late down the middle of the track in a big field. Very tough last race of the day and think you want to look for some value and looks a good value $25 chance to end the day on.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 1: 1-PONDUS at around $3
International who has proven himself here before, but he was very dour last spring and tended to drop back and need a very genuine tempo and a solid staying test. Not sure he gets that here today in a small field and has to give the whole field 6kgs, 1st up off a plane trip and 3 month let-up so you canít be sure how ready he is or how he is going. Happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into 25 million vaccine doses, pronto.
$5 ALL UP
PLACE: Race 2: 2-LIGHTSABER
PLACE: Race 4: 10-ALL ABOUT EVE
PLACE: Race 5: 1-CROSSHAVEN
PLACE: Race 7: 13-RIDDLE ME THAT
We were planning to abandon these multi bets as they are pretty hard to get, but we do have a lot of good value place chances today against some short priced favourites, so maybe one more try. The Race 2: 2-LIGHTSABER is a front running 1400M horse, fitter for the 2 runs in and ready to do something today Ė like place hopefully. The Race 4: 10-ALL ABOUT EVE was super unlucky last time in and has shown some potential and looks a good value place bet, and hopefully the Race 5: 1-CROSSHAVEN can dictate and lead here and be in the finish somewhere. Suspect they will be flashing home out wide in the Bobbie Lewis down the straight off a fast speed, and the Race 7: 13-RIDDLE ME THAT is capable of putting in a big run fresh at odds. Looking at around $600 for a $5 outlay.

SUGGESTED QUADDIE:
Races 6,7,8,9: 1,8 / 2,9,11,13,14 / 4,6,9,10 / 6,7,9,10,14 x $20 = 10%
Super tricky quaddie this week and itís actually hard to narrow down any of the legs with confidence. The class mare normally wins the Group mares races, so letís go narrow in the first leg to the strong finishing 1-INSTANT CELEBRITY and the 8-ZOU DANCER who might be looking for Flemington and the 1400M. Think you want to load up the second leg down the straight, and they might be flashing home wide late from wide barriers and we have identified four main chances in the feature. Really the last leg is a total raffle, but letís just try and get that far and worry about it then, as least we will have some nice approximates if luck falls our way.

The Tips:

Race 1: 7-KILLOURNEY, 6-COOLTH, 10-KINGS FULL
Race 2: 1-ARTORIUS, 5-DAILY BUGLE, 2-LIGHTSABER
Race 3: 2-INGRATIATING, 3-FINANCE TYCOON, 1-SHAQUERO
Race 4: 5-CRYSTAL BOUND, 1-DOSH, 10-ALL ABOUT EVE
Race 5: 1-CROSSHAVEN, 2-AYRTON, 7-REGARDSMAREE
Race 6: 1-INSTANT CELEBRITY, 8-ZOU DANCER, 11-RIPPER RITA
Race 7: 9-AWAY GAME, 2-JONKER, 13-RIDDLE ME THAT
Race 8: 6-INCENTIVISE, 10-MOíUNGA, 4-IMAGING
Race 9: 7-MONGOLIGAN MARSHALL, 14-SKYMAN, 9-FURRION