Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: CLOUDY - Rail: OUT 7M
Betting Portfolio ($100):
Just a few showers heading into the weekend and they will probably give the track a bit of extra water and it will be a GOOD(4), with a bit of wind around. They were coming to the middle of the track on Thursday and they should be winning running on out wide today and it may be hard to lead and win. Down the straight they will come to middle/outside again and if there is a bit of wind around, the wider the better.

These looks like a great program to end Cup Week with, with plenty of value around and we have been close with some roughies all week which is starting to get a bit frustrating so we deserve a collect today. We wanted to declare Race 5: 7-FUTURE SCORE, coming off an unlucky run here last week, but he has been scratched so watch out where he appears again. Doubling the Betting Portfolio up to $100 with plenty of bet on, and we have managed a suggested bet in just about every race. Letís hope we are not relying on finding on a winner in an utterly ridiculous last race. We appreciate everyone has different financial circumstances in these troubled times, so stay home, stay safe and bet responsibly.

The Mackinnon Stakes has come up with a small field again and not really convinced moving it to the last day has worked, the field would have been pretty similar if it was run last week and the feature 1600M race is getting lost on Derby Day and doesnít have the same buzz about it. Tactics will be important in a small field and there doesnít look to be that much speed with the 1-HARLEM probably leading from the 7-DALASAN and 10-SHOUT THE BAR, with the 2-FIFTY STARS sitting behind there but there doesnít really seem to be much pressure up front here.

Going through the field, the 1-HARLEM has a huge soft spot for the Flemington 2000M having won two Australian Cups here. He is a pretty predictable animal, needs a few runs in, needs to get to Flemington and out in distance and prefers a dry track and he ticks all those boxes today. Wasnít beaten far here in a bunched finished in the Turnbull and he was squashed near the line there so should have finished even closer and then ran into the race like the winner in the Coogny before getting run over by one carrying 6kgs less. Drawn inside, will go forward here with not much pressure so he is actually a rough blow out chance and worth keeping safe. The 2-FIFTY STARS looks like he has been aimed at this race, fitter for the 3 runs in, and was coming home well late here last week in the Cantala and is backing up within the week. Four time winner at Flemington, won the Australian Cup here in the autumn and proven at WFA. Will drop back and run on late here, but that might be the pattern, maybe only negative is rising in distance again, but he does seem to be running into form. The 3-MR QUICKIE is a hot and cold horse who we simply cannot catch, he has won 10 and placed 7, there wouldnít be many horses who have won more times than they have run 2nd or 3rd. Classy win with big weight in the Toorak when quite noticeable he settled more forward than usual, and note jockey Kah is not on board today. Small field and run on pattern suits, but he is just too erratic for us to follow and happy to let run. The 4-MIRAGE DANCER is a quality stayer who was running into form in the JRA Cup, and then got perfect ride from jockey to win the Metropolitan, and then did get a decent check and drop out in the Caulfield Cup. Drop back run on type, but think he prefers further and they wonít go quick enough for him up front here. The 5-MUGATOO loomed the widest into the turn in the Cox Plate, and had to make a very long sustained run at them, so was a huge effort to run 4th. Was in flying form before that and interesting choice to skip the cups and keep him at 2000M. Horses coming out of the Cox Plate have an excellent record in this race, think he is probably better on wet ground, but nothing wrong with his dry track form, guess the main query is how much he has left to give this spring as he has been up a while. Will drop back and run on which should be the pattern and has to be respected.

The 6-SKYWARD is an international runner coming off a fair run in the Geelong Cup where they were running away from him late. Probably improves with the Australian run, so maybe watch for any market moves, but his best form is over further and think this is going to be a sit sprint race which isnít going to suit. The 7-DALASAN was coming long OK in the spring lead up runs and went down the Cups path, not sure that really worked or he is really suited to the longer distances. Drop back to 2000M suits and he can race handy in a small field with not much speed. Wasnít beaten far here in the Turnbull when was racing in very tight room, but never a fan of horses missing their main spring targets and sticking around for consolation prizes so wonder how much he has left to give this spring. He will get a pretty good run on-speed here, but prefer as a place chance. The 8-MELODY BELLE has won 17 out of 34 starts which is just ridiculous, including 16 group and listed races, so she is about as WFA as you can get. Came over here last year and smashed them from well back in the Empire Rose and then probably should have won the Mackinnon when jockey left the run far too late and couldnít run down the leader. Solid runs at the top level over the Autumn, and then was a bit disappointing up in Sydney early spring so was sent home and regained her form. She can sit back here and run over the top of them, the small field suits and they will be keen to make amends for last year, with the Melbourne Cup winning jockey on-board. She probably does prefer a bit more give in the ground, but on her best form she does beat these and she does seem to back in form now. Interesting to compare her career stats Ė 17 wins from 34 starts, but in Australia she is only 2 wins from 12 starts, and in NZ 15 wins from 22 starts. Fair enough most of her starts have been at the top level, but given her recent poor Australian runs that has to be a bit of a question mark. Market is probably the best guide here, really if she repeated her Cup week runs from last year she would win this, but would want to see a strong market move. The 9-ARCARDIA QUEEN has had a sensational spring and deserves to win a spring feature, claimed the scalp of RUSSIAN CAMELOT and burst the bubble in the Caulfield Stakes, and then was a sensational run in the Cox Plate where the wet track didnít suit, she dipped badly in the run and recovered and fought out the finish with the winning pack to the line. Much better suited back here on a dry track, in a small field with sit-sprint race on a track that will probably favour those running on late and looks the one to beat. The 10-SHOUT THE BAR somehow got the photo in the Empire Rose here last week and you do need to respect horses backing up within Cup Week who have gone well. She can lob on-speed here, though does seem to prefer wet tracks and was arguably struggling for form before last week when she got a perfect run on-speed and toughed it out. Find it hard to get enthused about a lucky head bob and happy to risk her here.

We like to stick with the Cox Plate form in this race and that puts the 9-ARCARDIA QUEEN on top and a clear top pick and the one to beat, she has had such a good spring and deserves a race like this. Racing pattern and tempo of this race should suit, but do note jockey Pike jumped on the plane this arvo to head home. Going to put the 2-FIFTY STARS in as the main danger, he looks like he has been set for this race, whereas many of the others have gone past their spring targets and are treating the Mackinnon as a consolation prize. Just seems fresher with more upside than most of these. The 5-MUGATOO for third, again coming off an excellent Cox Plate run, would elevate chances if we end up with more rain. Best roughie is the 1-HARLEM who think you want to be wary of and to be honest we are just not quite sure about the 8-MELODY BELLE so will be watching what the market does closely. Probably a confident win bet on the top two chances is the punting plan of attack.

QUINELLA: Race 2: 8-SHELBY COBRA, 9-ALLIBOR x $3 = 200%
Promising type who had no luck at MV at his first start when spent the whole of the straight trying to find a run and had no luck getting clear. Dominant win on a very heavy track a Sale and looks to be going places. Well drawn and can sit handy here over the Flemington 1400M and looks the one to beat. Back straight out at around $3.50 and save on a quinella with the value runner the strong finishing 9-ALLIBOR as this race can throw up some funny results in previous years.

A lot of buzz around the international runner who just missed in the Bendigo Cup, the favourite the 2-PONDUS, but actually we prefer to back this one. Run in the Geelong Cup was fantastic. Tough, on-speed and fought out the race for the length of the straight there and should be plenty of improvement to come. Missed getting in the Melbourne Cup but probably gets a QUEEN ELIZABETH as a consolation prize. Looks a clear leader here and donít be surprised if he just keeps going and the favourite cannot reel him in. Confident win bet at around $4.

QUINELLA: Race 1: 4,6,9,13 boxed x $6 = 100%
Pretty even first race, but this one has won this track and distance before a few years back and has run some good races here. Had a good year off with injury, and fitter for the two runs in and only just missed last start at Geelong and should have plenty of improvement to come. Firm track and decent speed suits and he should be finishing hard late and looks a good each way bet at around $11. Box up a quinella in a value race with the in-form 4-SOMERSET MAUGHAM, the 9-GHODELEINE who has run some good races this spring and will sit on-speed, and the 13-EXCELMAN who is better back in distance and probably wins at long odds today to frustrate all those punters who keep backing him at short odds.

Incredibly honest horse who we have a lot of time for, and he loves to run along in the lead on dry tracks over the 1400M. Small field and although the 4-MORRISSY and 7-SANSOM can go forward as well, he should be able to lead clearly and he is incredibly hard to run down when he gets his own way in front, and was only just ran down here two starts back. Was beaten home by the (4) last start at Caulfield, but that was on a slow track, he was pestered in the lead and the track was favouring runners on, so pretty confident he jumps to the lead here and is going to be extremely hard to run down. Confident each way bet at around $7.

QUINELLA: Race 7: 7-IN GOOD HEALTH#6,10,12,13 x $8 = 200%
There are actually two we want to back here, so we are going to back one each way and take the other in quinellas. The 12-AFFAIR TO REMEMBER has threatened to win a race like this for some time, does have a nasty habit of dropping back and running on too late, but seems to be going better this time in, drawn out to drop back and run home late and should be a genuine speed in this. Even though it was a weaker race just really like the way she finished the race off last start at MV on a leaders track. Back each way at around $12. The main danger is the 7-IN GOOD HEALTH who has ran some great on-speed races this spring and if only the (4) wasnít in this race as the other leader we would be more confident. Hard fit, in form, will race on-speed and didnít run out the 2400M last start but she still gave great sight in the lead and she will have a head start on a lot of her rivals here. She is around $15 and a strong quinella chance so anchor her in quinellas with the
12-AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, 6-PARADEE who has also been racing well, the 10-SHEíS IDEEL coming from well back and the 13-CHAILLOT

Intriguing feature sprint race and the 3-BIVOUAC looks the one to beat to us. Both runs in have been excellent and whilst some of the others can put in dud runs he has been going along more consistently than his rivals here. Winner down the straight before, and key to him he can settle closer to the speedy 2-NATURE STRIP and think that is the key - it is hard to come from well back and run him down. Think he can camp on the speed here and win at around $3.50, but there might be good value in the quinellas with the under rated straight track specialist the 6-ZOUTORI and we suspect the old timer 1-SANTA ANA LANE might still have one good run in him but might be giving them a start.

BEST ROUGH: Race 4: 14-STAROUZ $2.50 EW
One we follow a fair bit and he is a tough on-speed miler with an extravagant climbing running action. Has been racing well and carrying big weights and looks better suited here down in the weight scale. Only just grabbed late last start when was pestered in the lead and had to give it up in the run. Just wish he had drawn a better barrier and there werenít a few others that could also go forward here, but we are going to trust jockey Kah to work something out and he can settle just behind the leader here. Should give you a pretty good run for your money at around $20.

BEST ROUGH: Race 9: 18-ROCK PROPHET (emerg) $2 EW
QUINELLA: Race 9: 3,7,12,13,18 x $5 = 50%
Utterly ridiculous last race but at least there is plenty of value if you can find the winner. The one we want to back is actually the emergency the 18-ROCK PROPHET who ran some great races down the straight over winter and then had no luck at Bendigo first up when was blocked for runs, head on the side trying to get out into clear running back in the field. If he gets in the field here he is a good rough chance at around $20. Regardless we can try and finish off Cup Week with a big quinella with the likes of 13-MARIAMIA who has won down the straight before and was good at Geelong, quality sprinter 3-EXPRESS PASS, improving roughie 7-BLOOD OATH and the 12-WICKLOW TOWN who is much better than that just run. If the (18) doesnít get into the field switch the each way bet to the 13-MARIAMIA at $27 instead.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 2: 4-TOMMY GOLD at around $3
We could have been really, really brave and just picked the favourite in the last race and hoped one of the other 19 runners won, but instead letís take on the shortest priced favourite of the day currently. This race can throw up some funny results (often horses coming off maidens win it), and although this guy is relative fresh this spring struggling to see what in his form has him at such short odds, especially in a field where there are a couple of smart promising one going around and happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into enough to buy an international runner for next yearís race.
TRIFECTA: Race 4: 2 / 8,12,13,14 / 5,7,8,9,11,12,13,14 x $5 = 17.85%
Wide open Race 4 and there should be a nice trifecta dividend to be found with plenty of value runners going around in a big, even field. The Adelaide visitor the 2-WINNING PARTNER is absolutely flying and he has a super powerful finishing burst and will be flying home late off a good speed, and he has been unlucky a few times in Melbourne before. We have already backed the 14-STAROUZ as best roughie, but the awesomely named 12-WINGS OF PASTRAMI should just about be ready to do something with the three runs in, as should the 8-RAINBOW THIEF and strong finisher 13-BEEHUNTER. We are not at all keen on the favourite the 5-RIGHT YOU ARE here so that sets us up for a nice trifecta with value place getters.

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