FLEMINGTON: STAKES DAY- 6th November 2021
Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: FINE - Rail: OUT 8M

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Fine weather again heading into the weekend, there is rain forecast for Saturday afternoon, but it looks like it will be later on and probably not affect this meeting too much. Rail goes out to OUT 8M today and they were avoiding the inside on Oaks Day with the rail OUT 5M (and still amazed at how much the track firmed up after mid-week rain). We should get even racing, suspect it will favour those running on out wide again on a wearing track. Worth noting down the straight races that most of the winners have been coming closer to the inside of the track – they have been going down the middle and wider, but most of the winners have actually been on the inside of the field (and we have been rather guilty this week of focussing too much on outside barriers).

We bombed out badly on Derby Day, had a great day on Cup Day and went close to a nice upset with a roughie in the Oaks. Although we have decent sized fields today we have five favourites at $2.50 and under and most of them are going to be pretty hard to beat. So makes it trickY trying to select out bets that are worthwhile. Just a shame some of the features have come up with small fields, or short-priced favourites but we get to see some pretty good horses go around, even if we don’t bet on them. Big unknown is when the rain is going to come through as it is critical for several horses chances later in the day, was are assuming it won’t be till after the races.

With no Sandown next week, we are going to end our Turf Deli Spring Campaign 2021 here this week so thanks again for playing along and all the positive messages on social media. We run this page for free because we enjoy the punt and love doing the form, and are sick and tired of some of the other less reputable tipping services and their tactics, so as always pass the word around. All support greatly appreciated.

In the olden days when the Mackinnon was run on Derby Day, you always wanted to be on the leader. Small field this year and we should get a pretty moderate tempo with the 1-HOMESMAN setting the speed from the 6-DALASAN and the 4-ZAAKI sitting outside them on a moderate tempo – you really couldn’t think up a better race pattern for the favourite here.

Comments on each Mackinnon Stakes runner:
1-HOMESMAN is a tough on-speed WFA runner but it’s not quite clear if he is still capable of showing his best. Won the Australian Cup this track and distance at long odds in the Autumn, and form wasn’t too bad during the winter. He is usually best fresh, and he ran well in the JRA Cup 1st up and then he was the one who bought 4-ZAAKI unstuck in the Caulfield Stakes when he went for home very early off a stop-start tempo. Faded badly in the Caulfield Cup (he was sitting behind the leaders on the home turn), but he seems better over 2000M these days anyway and wet track probably didn’t suit. Actually a bit wary of him today, firm ground suits, 2000M suits, traditionally the Mackinnon is a leader’s race and think he gets a clear lead here. Main question is whether he can still find his best or still show his best this far into a preparation, but think he is a good rough chance here.

2-CASCADIAN keeps racing well but is a bit of a tease and simply doesn’t win as often as he should. Backing up after a great run here last week in the Cantala when he zoomed through on the rails and didn’t miss by much at all, and he had been consistently running on for 4th and 5th in feature Sydney races – but that is what he does. Worth noting he meets the (3) 1.5 kgs better here from last week. Placed at all Flemington runs and he is definitely a big track, drop back and run on mile horse, first time out to 2000M here today and not sure he gets the tempo he needs. Main thing is pretty sure he needs a wet track – 1 win from 15 on good, 4 wins from 13 on soft, and only won 1 from his last 15 (although they have all been in feature races). Not a horse we can follow and place best.

3-SUPERSTORM is a talented miler and how Oliver got him to lift here last week and win we have no idea. Always pays to follow horses in form backing up within Cup week, very little time for things to go wrong and they invariably keep their form. Been around the features all spring, but was well held by the (4) at their Sandown meeting. Dry track, run on pattern suits, not convinced 2000M is his best distance though and note no Oliver today. Winning chance on form.

4-ZAAKI has been the talk of the spring, and he did the right thing and called in sick to work when he had symptoms on Cox Plate Day. Amazing you are getting $2.40 here against this field when he was shorter a few months back to win the Cox Plate - think that means punters are a bit wary. Cruised to win 1st up, then laid in and did a few things wrong at Sandown, before stop-start and racing tight between horses bought him unstuck in the Caulfield Stakes, but he still wasn’t beaten far that day. He has been up a long while, since his QLD campaign and hard to get a feel for how serious the Cox Plate setback was – though it does seem minor. There is a chance he is coming to the end of his campaign, but really, small field, and he gets to idle here outside runners on the speed and go for home when he wants, he couldn’t come across a better race pattern here. Suspect he wins, but probably needs to work for it. One to beat.

5-KEIAI NAUTIQUE was deemed not worthy of a Cox Plate start, and probably wouldn’t had been anywhere near the finish. JPN import who surprised with forward showing 1st up in Sydney, and was even enough here in the Makybe Diva, and not beaten that far working home well in the Hill stakes. He is probably going a little better than his form suggests, and big track 2000M here should suit. Main concern is that he is 5 weeks between runs going into this, but maybe a rough place chance for those trying to collect a good exotic.

6-DALASAN seems to have been around forever, but he is only five. Worked through early spring into a great run in the Epsom where he looked the winner 50M out before being swamped late. Never a factor in the Cox Plate. He will probably lob on-speed here and get a good run and wasn’t beaten too far behind VERRY ELLEEGANT in the Queen Elizabeth in the autumn over 2000M. Just think he is better over a mile and in a handicap. Rough place only.

7-MO’UNGA has been racing well all spring, just wore down the Melbourne Cup winner 1st up, just missed getting the Caulfield Cup winner 2nd up, had to carry top weight and work home widest in the Epsom, and not suited on a messy track in the Cox Plate. Really his form is about as strong as you can get. Firm track, big track suits, 2000M here is the question mark and almost certainly he is better over a mile. Also wonder if he is at the end of his campaign here? Initially we were going to take him on, but looking back over the winners of this race, they are so often horses that have run mid-field in the Cox Plate so think you need to put him in on that alone. Strong chance.

8-PRIVATE EYE is a Sydney miler with a very smart win strike rate, and he flew late to claim the Epsom beating a few of these. Does meet the (7) 5kgs worse off though, and the (6) 2kgs worse so he is pretty badly weighted in this coming off a light weight handicap win to WFA. First time Melbourne way of going, first time 2000M, he has a lot of talent, but sure they are going to go fast enough for him in front here though and prefer to risk.

9-COLETTE is a class mare in flying form. Worked home nicely in the early spring WFA build-up races and then had a hoof issue set-back which meant she missed the Caulfield Cup. Got a favourable wet track and she trounced a small field at Caulfield, and then master ride from Master Oliver to win the Empire Rose here last week on a firm track. Another in-form horse backing up again during Cup week. There is no doubt she would prefer some rain, will it come in time for this race? (it won’t be long after). She will run the 2000M, unlike many here, she has a class turn of foot too. Winning chance.

10-HUNGRY HEART is a strong finishing mare who has been running on well up in Sydney and was coming home widest here last week, and worth noting most winners scooted through closer to the rails so she may not have been in the best ground. She was level with the (9) at the back of the field on the home turn, that one stuck to the rails, she went six wide or more and there was only 0.5L between them at the finish. Firm track suits, she is proven over 2000M and really like the way she kept coming here last week. Dropping out the back of a small field and getting to the outside likely to be the racing pattern and think she is genuine chance in this as a result. Prefer her to the (9) over 2000M on dry ground and we are getting double the odds, so good value chance in this.

There is very little pressure up front here, and most of this field drop back in the run, so if you can find something to sit just behind the speed you may find the winner. The way this race is likely to be run should suit the 4-ZAAKI perfectly, sitting in space on a tempo he can idle to, rather than stop-start. He looks the one to beat, the odds are interesting and the market moves will also be interesting – just get the impression punters are a little nervous with him. But definitely the one to beat. The main danger we actually think is the 10-HUNGRY HEART, over 2000M on a dry track and running on late suiting her racing pattern. We were initially going to risk the 7-MO’UNGA over 2000M, but looking back at that Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup form lines we need to re-think and put him into the selections. Best rough is the leader the 1-HOMESMAN and on his best form getting a soft lead he is actually capable of the upset here. We are not a fan of backing short priced favourites, so think punting plan here is to just have something each way on the second pick 10-HUNGRY HEART who looks the value here.

Suggested bets:

One who has talent, but just needs to find the right races. First up run was huge, running on strongly on a night where the MV track was a dynamite leader’s pattern. Not a huge amount of form in this field at all, and she has race fitness over the short priced favourite the 5-HOSIER and looks a safe each way bet at around $8 to kick off the day.

QUINELLA: Race 5: 2-ONLY WORDS#4,5,8,11 x $2 = 50%
The punting notes tell us to stick to fit, in-form, on-speed mares in this race, which is invariably an open field every year. This one was unlucky at MV three starts back when couldn’t get clear on the rails, right in the finish behind the magnificent FOXY FRIDA at Caulfield and probably would have struggled to find a weaker race last start. The 2000M suits and assume they go forward from the barrier here. Back each way at around $8 and a nice anchor quinella with the improving 5-MIMI’S AWARD, the staying 4-PRINCESS JENNI who might be ready to do something out to 2000M today, the fit stayer 8-ZAYYDANI, and the 11-LE LUDE who might be the value as she was strong at the end of the race last start and will go forward and set the speed here.

We had this one listed for Oaks Day, but she was SCR to be kept for today and we have to stay on else suffer Punter’s Lament. Flew home late at MV two starts back in a Group race that she probably should have won, and then went to Sydney and was held up badly on the rails for most of the straight before getting clear late. Drawn middle to finish strongly down the middle of the track off a solid tempo in a big field. Each way at around $8, but suspect probably better odds come race time.

Really honest stayer who does drop well back in his races so needs a genuine tempo and for them to be able to run on, but he should get that in a big field today. Dry track is vital as well, and track should still be firm by Race 3. Second up here, ran on well first up on unsuitable wet ground, and although track stats read as 5 starts for 2 placings, two of the other runs were fourths and he has ran some good races here. Don’t be too put off by the 63 kgs, 3kg claiming apprentice Richards on board and he is a good jockey who would get a big thrill by winning during Cup week. Have a dabble at $35, probably longer come race time and he should be running on pretty well late.

QUINELLA: Race 7: 5,10,11,13,14 boxed x $5 = 50%
We black booked this one last start at Caulfield when he stuck on really well against a runaway leader on an unsuitable wet track and we were waiting to launch on him when he appeared in this race during Cup week. He loves to lead on dry ground, but bit annoyed he has come up in a race where the 3-ARCHEDEMUS and 7-BEGOOD TOYA MOTHER also like to go forward. We will trust the jockey to sort that part out, he looks ready to win after three runs in onto Flemington 1400M dry ground – he has placed 6 from 7 this track and distance. Ran a narrow 2nd in this race last year when jockey made an error and didn’t take the lead and yes we do not forget. We have the same jockey is on board today, so let’s hope he reads Turf Deli. Back each way at a very generous $25 and take a wide box quinella in an open race with the strong finishing 14-RIDDLE ME THAT off a fast speed, the in-form 5-JUSTACANTA backing up off a win last week, the strong finishing 10-VASSILATOR back to Flemington, the class favourite and the 11-CHAILLOT who may be best fresh.

Let’s try and land a roughie in the very open last race of Cup Week down the straight. At the bottom of the weights, apprentice jockey Price claims for a very light weight and he has done us plenty of punting favours this year. Coming off winning form, half of this field are giving him 5-6kgs and career record is not too bad. Dreaming of a $40 long shot to end the week and another who will probably drift come race time.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 2: 4-LUNAR FLARE at around $4
Stayer in winning form and only a field of five, but she is one we know well and she loves to drop back off a fast speed and run on strongly late. Flemington suits, but just can’t see the tempo here suiting her pattern in what is likely to be a messy tactical race. Happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into a boutique race days for Cup Week
PLACE: Race 3: 1-SKELM
Let’s try and finish Spring Campaign with a bang! A lot will come down to roughie Race 3: 1-SKELM in the first leg, the consistent Race 6: 6-BELLA NIPOTINA looks a pretty safe place bet, the Race 7: 14-RIDDLE ME THAT should be suited by the fast speed in that race and expecting the Race 8: 10-HUNGRY HEART to be in the finish of the feature Mackinnon. Looking at around $600 for a $5 outlay to exit Flemington by limousine.

Races 6,7,8,9: 1,6 / 5,10,11,13,14 / 4,7,10 / 4,5,7,10,15,16 x $20 = 11.11%
Bit of a tricky quaddie as it could pay nothing if the favourites get up. But we still want to try to grab a value result if we can. The 1-NATURE STRIP looks the winner in the first leg, put in the 6-BELLA NIPOTINA who is racing so well and probably the only chance of an upset. Go wide in the second leg where there is heaps of value, and take the three main chances in the Mackinnon 4-ZAAKI, 10-HUNGRY HEART, 7-MO’UNGA and some chance here the favourite gets beaten. As always load up in the last leg a massive field down the straight, with whatever ridiculous roughies you want to throw in like the 16-APRES LA MER and 10-THE LAST NAPOLEON.

The Tips: