SPRING CARNIVAL – Derby Day Preview & Best Bets

RACE 1 – Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)

The Carbine Club Stakes is always an outstanding race and the 2017 edition is set to be no exception. Chris Waller has an outstanding record in the Carbine Club Stakes and had my early prediction in Kaonic before being scratched. Im with the luckless Levendi who has been backed off the map to win the race after no luck at all in the Caulfield Guineas.

BEST BET – Levendi Win $3.60

RACE 2 – Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m)

Bring Me The Roses could hardly have been more impressive in the Edward Manifold Stakes and the way that she savaged the line late suggests that she will have no issues handling the step-up to 2000 metres. The Tony McEvoy stable is absolutely flying and Mark Zahra is arguably riding in the best form of his career. She can go into the Crown Oaks as a leading contender.

BEST BET – Bring Me The Roses $4.60

RACE 3 –  Group 3 Skip Sprint (1100m)

Sheidel won this race 12 months ago and she is capable of going back-to-back. This is a weaker field to what she beat last year and she does have a class edge over the rest of this field. She is yet to win this preparation, but she was only narrowly beaten in both the Moir Stakes and the Schillaci Stakes.

Im willing to take her on with with the smart filly Savanna Amour, she was originally set for the Group 1 Myer Stakes and drops back in class and distance here. Is quick enough to beat these and is flat out disrespected in early markets. She has already won twice this campaign at double figure odds in Melbourne.

BEST BET Savanna Amour $16 EW

RACE 4 – Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m)

The winner of the Lexus Stakes receives ballot-exempt entry into the Melbourne Cup and this is always a hotly-contested race. This is not the strongest edition of the Lexus Stakes and there really isn’t a great deal between all of the leading contenders, but Cismontane is a horse that does appeal. He was gallant in defeat in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup last weekend and I like the fact that Gai Waterhouse has him on the quick back-up. He will take up the running in the early stages of this race and give his rivals something to catch.

BEST BET – Cismontane $10 EW

RACE 5 – Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m)

This is one of the most competitive editions of the Coolmore Stud Stakes in recent memory and as the market suggests you can make a case for just about every horse in the field. Narrowing this field down to three winning chances is almost impossible as there are about 15 horses that are capable of winning, but there are three that do appeal at their current prices.

Invincible Star could be the x-factor in this race. She will only be having her fifth race start, but she has always shown plenty of potential. The way that she put away her rivals to win the Thoroughbred Club Stakes last start at Caulfield was very impressive and she is a horse that will be suited by the sit and sprint nature of a race down the Flemington straight.

Tulip comes into the Coolmore Stud Stakes off the back of a gallant fifth in The Everest and a repeat of that performance would have her right in this race. It has been a while between wins, but she is always thereabouts in these Group 1 contests and the drop back to her own age suits. She is over the odds at her current price.

Summer Passage is a horse that is much better than his record in Australia suggests. He has not had any luck whatsoever in his three starts this preparation and a horse with his talent shouldn’t be $34 in what is such an open race.

HOUTZEN The Magic Millions winner earlier in the year. Winner at Moonee Valley two back before finding the Everest too hard last start. Will be right on the speed. Will take a power of beating at a great EW price.

BEST BET – Houtzen $14 Something to win, Triple the place

RACE 6 – Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m)

This is a stellar edition of the Myer Classic and some of the best mares in the country that are not named Winx are in this field. Global Glamour is as tough as they come and she can claim another Group 1 victory in the Myer Classic. The two-time Group 1 winner has a host of high-rating performances on her racing resume and she returned to the races with a very tough victory in the Tristarc Stakes. There is no doubt that the track helped her that day, but she will have taken plenty of benefit from that run and she always makes her own luck right on the speed.

Shoals is the x-factor in the Myer Classic. She finished second behind Aloisia in the Thousand Guineas and that form was franked in a big way when Aloisia came out and blitzed them in the Moonee Valley Vase last weekend. I Am A Star showed that fillies can win the Myer Classic last year and Shoals has more upside than the majority of this field. I like the form line & blinkers on.

BEST BET – Shoals Win $5

RACE 7 – Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m)

The Victoria Derby is another very open Group 1 affair on a day of racing that is absolutely packed full of them. Like the Coolmore Stud Stakes, you can make a case for just about every horses in this field but it is tough to go past Ace High. He showed plenty of toughness to win both the Gloaming Stakes and the Spring Champion Stakes and he gives the impression that he will be even better over 2500 metres. Tye Angland can take him straight to the front or elect to take a sit from barrier three and he could simply outstay his rivals. There are plenty of other horses that you can make a case and it wouldn’t surprise if just about any horse in this field was able to get the job done, but simply due to his racing style and toughness I am keen to side with Ace High.

BEST BET – Ace High Win – $7.50

RACE 8 – Group 1 Kennedy Mile (1600m)

Darren Weir and Chris Waller both have very strong hands in the Kennedy Mile. Weir is represented by Tosen Stardom and Lucky Hussler, while Waller has McCreery, Tom Melbourne, Egg Tart, Omei Sword, Shillelagh and All Our Roads.

I am siding with the Weir duo. Tosen Stardom finally recorded a maiden race win in Australia when he showed an explosive turn-of-foot in the Toorak Handicap and he did that against the pattern of the day. That win may have been the confidence boost that he needed to really show what he is capable of and if he is able to replicate his last start effort he will prove very tough to beat.

Weekend Hussler returned to his best form with a dominant win in the Crystal Mile last weekend and it is clear that his best form is good enough to win a race of this quality. There is no doubt that the mile is his pet distance at this stage of his racing career and with even luck from the barrier draw he can be in the finish.

The horse from the Waller stable that does appeal is All Our Roads. He didn’t get the race run to suit for him in the Ladbrokes Moonga Stakes and he is a better horse than that performance suggests. Jeff Lloyd will give him a lovely trail into this race from the inside barrier draw and could surprise at double figure odds.

Very tough race, hard to be confident so I’m going with the value of So Si Bon. Finished really well for 3rd in the Crystal Mile, place 4 of the last 5 and $20 is a great EW price.

BEST BET – So Si Bon $20 – Something the win, triple the place

RACE 9 – Group 2 Multiplier Stakes (1200m)

This is an interesting way to finish the day for punters. Illustrious Lad won this race 12 months ago and there is no reason that he can’t go back-to-back. He was only narrowly denied by Super Cash in the Schillaci Stakes and that performance suggests that he has returned to the races in the sort of form that he showed this time last year.

The x-factor in this field is Man From Uncle and he is excellent value at his current quote of $8. Man From Uncle won the Eskimo Prince Stakes first-up in the Autumn before he went on to take out the Hobartville Stakes. He should take plenty of improvement from this run, but if he brings his Autumn form to the races he will be right in this.

BEST BET – Illustrious Lad $7



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