Ca­landa has the speed

The Sportsman Special Issue - - Flemington preview - WITH TONY THOMAS


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.


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