Michael Manley and Leo Schlink give you the lowdown on the winners at Flemington
RACE 1 FOX SWIFT ($18)
Highly spruiked Godolphin filly Jorda carried impeccable formlines and the punters money but she proved a trip to Melbourne and the Flemington straight is a difficult proposition as the first horse beaten. Ciaron Maher kept the winner Fox Swift going through winter.
Trainer CIARON MAHER (right): “She’s a very honest filly. She’s an adaptable filly who should be able ble to win over 1400m.”0m ” Jockey MARK ZAHRA: “She travelled nicely. We had a good run throughout and she fought hard to win.”
RACE 2 ROYAL SYMPHONY ($2)
Á stunning performance has this rising star with a stranglehold on Caulfield Guineas favouritism. Badly pocketed near the tail the of the field as he rounded the home turn, Dwayne Dunn wove a breathtaking passage to claim Eclair Sunshine in the last stride.
TrainerTra TONY MCEVOY: “I“threw the baby out with the bathwater and everything at the 400 but Dwayne just kept him balanced and got him home. “It was really special.
Jo Jockey DWAYNE DUNN: “On the cor corner ... I thought ‘I’m in trouble her here, I’m finished’. I actually was lucky I got onto the back of Phillip Stokes’ horse and sort of got took into the race.”
RACE 3 THE ANSWER MY FRIEND ($3.20)
Cruised across from his outside draw and as expected took up the running. Craig Williams controlled the race from there, other than for a brief period at the 300m when Mr Sneaky looked threatening. Set for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Trainer ROBERT SMERDON: “He’s a specialist at this distance. He can run them along and there’s no point in stopping this.” s.”
Mr Sneaky’s jockey DWAYNE DUNN (right): “He ran a terrific race. The winner got a soft lead. I’m looking forward to Caulfield where the winner won’t n’t get as soft a run.”
RACE 4 REDKIRK WARRIOR ($4)
LINDSAY Park continued its dominance of the Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) as Redkirk Warrior destroyed a glittering field. The Newmarket winner gave the Ben and David Hayes and Tom Dabernig team a third straight win in the race after Churchill Dancer (2015) and Faatinah last year. WA star Scales Of Justice was an eye-catching, albeit wayward, second.
Tr Trainer DAVID HAYES: “I r reckon that was an improved version of the Newmarket when you factor in the weight he carried. That was like his trackwork. He’s up theret with the best FlemingtonFle straight horses I’ve trained.”t
RACE 5 CATCHY ($3.60)
Blue Diamond Stakes winner Catchy gave Regan Bayliss a back-to-back feature double when she powered home to win. The question is will Hayes be brave enough to take on Royal Symphony in the Caulfield Guineas?
Trainer DAVID HAYES: “From the gate, we just wanted clear running for the last 600 and trust that she was the strongest horse. “In that Blue Diamond, just go back and watch it, she was so powerful the last 400 and she did that to the boys again today.”
Jockey REGAN BAYLISS: “She’s come out here, first time down the straight and she’s beaten the colts. She’s an absolute star.”
RACE 6 SWORD OF LIGHT ($18)
FORTY minutes after being pitched into the turf, Damian Lane, showing no sign of soreness, punched out this brave filly to claim the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m).
Trainer MATHEW ELLERTON (right): “Probably well deserved for her, she’s been all around the place, a stakeswinner early in her life. “She had to do a bit t of work to get there today but she’s a pretty tough sort of mare.”
Jockey DAMIAN LANE: “I thought she might have got the pinch late, second-up, but she was very strong.”
RACE 7 HUMIDOR ($17)
Humidor again underlined his enormous talent swooping home from last to win and take a stranglehold on Caulfield Cup favouritism. Weir also supplied the third placegetter in brave Black Hea Heart Bart and fourth placegetter G Gailo Chop. Hartnell looked set f for victory but lacked a killer punch. He might need further.
Trainer DARREN WEIR: “When he tracked up and got t to the outside ... I thought ‘Gee, yo you’ll let go here’ but I didn’t think he’d let go like that to be honest.”
Jockey DAMIAN LANE: “He just lobbed along out the back there and he started to travel up under me turning for home and I thought I was the winner a long way out.”
RACE 8 ALMANDIN ($5)
A spectacular Flemington return as he attempts to become only the fifth horse in history to win successive Melbourne Cups. Given a magnificent ride, Lloyd Williams’ star obliterated a class field to win the JRA Trophy.
Jockey DAMIEN OLIVER (right): “That was extraordinary. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a stayer where I’ve had my feet on the dashboard so far r from home ... That was really y exciting. He’s certainly come e back better than ever, this horse.”
Owner NICK WILLIAMS: “That was as good as you’d see, that win. “They way he just cruised past them with 61kg was a pretty good effort, wasn’t it?”
RACE 9 HARDHAM ($7.50)
Big plans for Hardham remain on track after his impressive win second-up. The Australian Derby placegetter hit the front a long way out and held rivals. Next start for him is t the Turnbull Stakes and then, perhaps, the C Caulfield Cup.
Trainer DAVID BRIDEOAKE: “He stepped well and that’s what won him t the race. He was given a lo lovely ride from Luke and d due to circumstances he may have hit the front too soon. He’s got improvement to come.”
Jockey LUKE NOLEN: “That was a terrific effort. He’s got a beautiful pedigree and I think he’s got a bright future.”