TH E EARLY CROW

The Sportsman Weekend - - Flemington Preview -

THE BANKER

Hard to see any thing beat­ing Al­mandin (Race 7), which is why most will have him as the an­chor in the quad­dies. Just phe­nom­e­nal and re­turn­ing to his best at Flem­ing ton last star t, can­ing a sim­i­lar field by an ever-widen­ing mar­gin. Con­sider this. Croc­o­dile Rock and Yogi, who face him again to­mor­row, ac­tu­ally meet

worse at the weights for be­ing trounced. Won this race last year en route to his Mel­bourne Cup win. Will do the same to­mor­row.

THE LAY

Pre­pared to take on Leather’n’lace (Race 6). The set weights scale means she meets some of her last-star t rivals worse at the weights. Prob­a­bly more im­por tantly she was able to dic­tate her own terms in front last star t and will have trou­ble do­ing that here as she has to cross from a wide draw and an­other noted leader in An­gelic Spirit drawn out­side her. May find this tougher.

AT THE TRI­ALS

Of those that we’ve seen at the tri­als, Sun­light (Race 1) looked most im­pres­sive. She led un­der a throt­tle hold in a trial at Cran­bourne last month and was never ex­tended in scor­ing a sof t win. One word of cau­tion - it was heav y track. But some­times you just need to trust what see and this daugh­ter of Zous­tar looks to be well above av­er­age.

BEAT­ING THE CLOCK

Silent Sedi­tion (Race 4) has looked the par t in morn­ing gallops at Caulfield re­cently, in­clud­ing some sharp work this week which sug gests she’ll be ready to fire first-up to­mor­row. She does have to over­come the ver y smar t Spi­eth and in a race where there they may not go su­per quick but she’s de­lighted the sta­ble and will be run­ning on strongly.

SEC­TIONAL STARS

Amelie’s Star (Race 7) has her hoof on the till if her last-star t splits are any thing to go by. In a race that de­vel­oped into sprint home, she was still able to reel off the fastest last 1000m, 800m, 600m, 400m and 200m of the race won by Har­lem at Caulfield, She was the only horse to break 12s for last 200m and that on the back of a sus­tained run from 1000m mark. The big track at Flem­ing ton will help but there is some­thing stand­ing in her way - Al­mandin.

THE STATS SPEAK

Al­mandin (Race 7) again. A s men­tioned in the pre­view, he’s had two star ts at Flem­ing ton 2500m for wins, in­clud­ing this race last year. He’s had nine star ts on good tracks for five wins. And his four star ts at Flem­ing ton for three wins. If there is one pos­si­ble neg­a­tive is that he will have to find a spot from a wide draw but that’s just clutch­ing at the straws. Sim­ply too good for them.

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