Calanda has the speed
Have to trust what I saw and plump for 2. QAFILA. She was pretty strong in defeating Sacred Sword at Caulfield on debut. Slow to begin that day but loved the way she moved into the race on the turn and then produced the best closing the sectionals of the race to win on the line. Can only be better for the run and still meets all these at level weights. 11. ROOBEENA looks to have ability. Has shown talent in jumpouts to date and a wellbred type in an astute stable. 1. SETSUNA has to be included on the strength of a tidy win at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day and liked the way 5. FARTHING WOOD won a trial recently. Also nicely bred.
Giving 5. TAHANEE one more chance here. Has been right in all these mares of late and reckon this big track could finally see the best of her. Dragged the field up to the leaders last start and then held her ground in the run home behind Lubiton in record time at Moonee Valley. Drawn to get the soft run. Ready to win. 10. STORMSAREBREWING is a major threat. Luckless behind Steel Frost at Caufield on resuming and then made late ground behind Quilate last time. She’s a winner over 1600m here and right at her top now. Liked the way 8. MILES OF KRISHAN hit the line in that same Steel Frost race. She was only beaten a length by the very good Amelie’s Star at Morphettville in May, which is good enough to win this. Keep an eye on 13. LINGUIST. This is much harder than her last start at Ballarat but she won with a leg in the air and could surprise.
4. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR has been in great touch in Adelaide and deserves a crack at this. Easily downed Reincarnate and Boggoms (a danger again here) and then never in doubt at Morphettville last start winning with plenty in hand at the end. Unbeaten at three tries at the trip and has some sound form at this track in the winter behind horses like Jaminzah and Alward. Will get the perfect run on speed from the barrier and take holding out. 3. LAND OF PLENTY drops significantly in grade and is the obvious threat. Great effort behind Redkirk Warrior down the straight three runs back and then had excuses in G1 grade at his next two. Weight scale here favours him and only start this track and trip he finished third to Hey Doc. Big danger. 9. MILWAUKEE sat on speed and was simply too good for the hotpot Divine Quality at Sale last start. Meets that horse better at the weights here and extra 200m will suit. 12. DIVINE QUALITY rates a chance again as this big track will help her and probably looking for 1400m now. 2. BOGGOMS (ran on well last start) and 6. NEW UNIVERSE (scratched from Rosehill on Saturday for this) are other chances.
Sets up well for 3. GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY. Drawn perfectly to easily get front if he wants too, as he did when chasing home Amelie’s Star in the Bart Cummings here a month ago. Also second over 2600m here back in July. Kept fresh, will make his own luck in front and bound to take catching. Willing to give 9. THE WILLYBE a chance here. Has dominated staying contests at his last two at Morphettville and earned the right to tackle this grade.
2. FANATIC wasn’t bad in the Geelong Cup when it was hard to make a lot of ground. This is easier for her and she has G1 form in staying tests in New Zealand to her credit. 6. SIN TO WIN was good winning at Caulfield last start and is holding his form well.
Willing to stick with 8. NATURE STRIP at odds. Loved the way he charged home late to beat all but Sam’s Image at Moonee Valley when it looked like he wasn’t completely comfortable with the track. Could be looking for 1200m now but there is so much early speed here and the straight track will really help him, as will the draw which allows him to settle where he likes and chime in at the right time. Think he’s pretty smart. 6. SAM’S IMAGE is also pretty good. Led and just collared by Eptimum, who then won in good grade at Moonee Valley and was competitive in G1 grade on Saturday. Held on to win at the Valley last start and has acted down the straight here before. 1. PROPERTY has the big weight but he’s also the class factor and was very good against the top shelf sprinters at Caulfield when resuming. 9. PARET was wayward in the straight behind Beau Geste at Rosehill and then given a let-up since. He’s got a heap of talent.
3. COUNTERPLAY gets his chance here. Bombed the start at Caulfield last time but then moved through the field to be within striking distance on the turn and ran on well to finish third to Our Crown Witness. Like him here at Flemington, will be able to slot in midfield from this draw and only needs luck to threaten these. 2. OUR CROWN WITNESS looks the danger again. Had to be used up early to cross and sit outside the leader last start and then fought on too well. Better drawn this time. 7. LUQYAA had to make ground out wide, which was against the pattern, and not disgraced behind Invincible Star. Kept fresh since and this big track will assist her hopes. 6. WARRANTY won well at Randwick last start and is endowed with a lot of natural talent. 12. BOOROOJ (soft winner in weaker grade last start) is a roughie with a hope.
I see no reason why 2. ALMANDIN can’t win his second straight win. Superior stayer who was simply dominant winning at Flemington two runs back carrying 61kg on his back and then probably a victim of circumstances when fourth to Amelie’s Star here. Given a break since, not worried about his draw as he will be able to settle in midfield and stay out of trouble and he has start international rider Frankie Dettori to steer. I’m frightened of 3. HUMIDOR even though that must be some doubt as to him running a strong 3200m. His Caulfield Cup run was super and then his effort to get as close as he did to Winx in the Cox Plate was first rate. I’ve always liked strong wfa form going into the Cup and this bloke as it. Just needs to conserve energy in the run and unleash in the straight. 8. BONDI BEACH is the roughies with a big show. All reports from the Williams yard suggest he has thrived recently and been kept fresh since a dour effort behind Almandin here. His pattern of racing in Europe suggests he can perform at this level of a big break and his best form is certainly good enough to feature. 23. AMELIE’S STAR has also has sound claims. She easily accounted for Almandin in the Bart Cummings and then ridden upside down in the Caulfield Cup. Drawn to settle in midfield and is a very strong stayer. Don’t discount 1. HARTNELL who has class and 6. RED CARDINAL is the best of the internationals judging by his boom Belmont Cup win two runs back
Keen to stick with 12. PURE PRIDE. Dominant performance to come from well back, get the split half way down the straight and charge clear to beat Wyndspelle here and then not much luck when she missed the start, got caught in the second half of the field when the leaders quickened but then produced the best final 200m sectional of the race when fifth in the Seymour Cup. Convinced this is her track and she’ll be steaming home. Loved the win of 19. ODEON at Caulfield last start when he sat on speed and then pulled clear in the run home. This sets up well for him and although tougher grade, he must be considered. 11. LUBITON was just superb winning in record time at the Valley last start. She’ll be on speed again and hard to run down. 10. LIFE LESS ORDINARY has been given a freshen up since his failure in the G1 The Metropolitan at Randwick. Previous form in good company was solid and this looks a nice race for his return. 1. TALLY (goes well here but big weight), 3. KIDMENEVER (better for first Aussie run) and 13. NOZOMI (also goes well here) are other hopes in a very tough race.
6. CALANDA looked all at sea at Caulfield when resuming when he was a conspicuous last just before the turn but then rattled home late behind Rich Charm, beaten less than three lengths in eighth spot. Clocked 22.42s for the last 400m and a slick 10.65s for the last 200m when he got his mind on the job. Tricky draw with his pattern of racing but only needs to see clear air in the final stages to be hard to stop. 3. FAATINAH ran second in this race last year and fought on well behind Snitty Kitty at Caulfield last time. Big threat again. 10. CRYSTAL DREAMER likes the straight course and has won four of seven at this distance. Will be in the firing line. 12. SO YOU TOO boxed on gamely in that Rich Charm race and has claims again.
11. SWAMPLAND had little luck chasing home Oregon’s Day at Caulfield and Sword Of Light at Flemington before again facing difficulties at the top of the straight but running on late behind Global Glamour at Caulfield. Last 200m sectional was amongst the best of the race. Has won two and placed three from eight tries at this track and trip. Big threat. 2. ECKSTEIN has been on the heels of the placegetters at her last two. Will settle back from the wide draw and run on strongly late. 3. COOL PASSION was just nabbed by Global Glamour at Caulfield and his holding her form well. Big threat. 5. WHITE MOSS was dominant winning at Randwick last start and has earned a crack at this grade. 1. FUHRYK (is she just a Caulfield horse?) and 13. PEDRENA (maybe a tad underrated) are other chances.