Payney’s Punt | Saturday preview of Flemington races

By Aydin Payne

Welcome back for another edition of Payney's Punt, as we again cast our eye over tomorrow's packed day of racing.

There is Group One racing north of the border tomorrow, with the JJ Atkins and Stradbroke Handicap at Queensland's Eagle Farm.

But as always, Payney's Punt will stick to what we think we know.

If you are an avid follower of Payney's Punt (one of not many), hopefully last weekend you were able to fill your pockets with a few winning selections.

But last weekend is in the past and now we cast our attention to tomorrow's nine-race card at Flemington.

The rail is out 8 m and the track is rated a Soft 6, but expect the track rating to be upgraded before the opener.

If you are grabbing a couple of coins out of the money jar, remember to always gamble responsibly.

Race 1. 11.35 am — Handicap (1000 m)

In the opening race there is a (to quote Neil Young) lotta love for the Flemington straight specialist Prezado (1). The five-year-old gelding is gunning for a hat-trick of wins, after winning his past two at this track and distance. Absolutely on fire and stays at 59 kg. Jockey change from Jamie Kah to Craig Williams. In Prezado's last win, From Within (3) finished just more than a length behind in fifth when second-up, expect another good run here. Has a 4:1-2-0 record when third-up and is ready to win now. A real toss-up between those two runners. Quinella perhaps?

Top tip: From Within

Race 2. 12.10 pm — 2-Y-O Fillies (1100 m)

A tough race between the two-year-old fillies greets us in the second of the day. As expected, not a lot of experience with these youngsters and Divine Caprice (1) is the one with the most starts under her belt. Won last start at wide odds, but is two from two on soft ground. Punters have looked to Safeeya (14), with the Mick Price-trained filly beating Divine Caprice home in her only start. Does that form warrant enough? Divine Caprice's stablemate Pocket Goddess (3) missed out at Warrnambool when favourite on a Soft 7. And Zesty Belle (15) resumes after 36 weeks, finished four lengths behind Divine Caprice in only start, but has found favouritism in the market. Watch the market on Miss Kansas (2) who won last start at this distance, kicked clear in final 100 m that day and might sneak a place.

Top tip: Divine Caprice

Race 3. 12.45 pm — 3-Y-O Handicap (2000 m)

We head out past the mile in the third race and expect a slow tempo here with Dargo (8) the only one going forward. Hypercane (3) looks a serious player with a 6:2-1-2 record. Finished second last start in the Adelaide Guineas to which the winner of that race has gone on to win at this track and distance. Tony McEvoy-trained Coolth (5) is unbeaten from two starts and won strongly last start on soft ground, overcoming a horse that had won two straight. Independent Road (2) is on a short back-up of seven days and should find an easy run here in a race with no pressure.

Top tip: Hypercane

Race 4. 1.25 pm — BM78 (1400 m)

A wide-open race in the fourth. Expect Holbien (1) to find the lead alongside 9 and 14. Lindsay Park runner Gold Mag (11) is the market favourite and resumes here after a 27-week spell. Likes the track with a bit of sting out of it and has done well when resuming. Last weekend, Payney's Punt really liked the run of Redcore (13), worked home in fine fashion and will relish the extra 200 m. Might struggle from the wide barrier. Holbien may be worth a play at long odds, drops in class and has the ability to ping out of the gates. Simply Optimistic (15) has drawn the inside and enjoys a soft track, not the worst.

Top tip: Redcore EW

Race 5. 2.05 pm — BM84 (1400 m)

Another slow tempo here, with 11, 1 and 7 set to challenge for the lead. So You Swing (12) is one that most punters like. Does well when second-up and placed at Sandown at this stage last prep. Expect Shahzade (13) to register a strong run from barrier two. Has won two-in-a-row and has two wins at this distance. Steps up in grade, but must respect. Bit of value in Kings Brook (2). Recently joined the Peter Moody stable and has a terrific record at this distance with three wins. If it rains expect a good showing, with four wins on soft ground. Has been in zero form in recent weeks. Seewhatshebrings (5) is a good type and placed in a Group Two race last spring. Resumes here and has a 3:1-0-1 record when first-up. Has two wins and a placing at this trip.

Top tip: Seewhatshebrings EW

Race 6. 2.45 pm — Handicap (2520 m)

Expect Sasko (6) to lead from Valac and Indiana Lilly. Sasko has won its past two and got the job done at this distance and track. A lot of excitement for Masaff (8), with the gelding making his third appearance on Australian shores. The Chris Waller-trained runner should register a strong effort, after placing last start on a Heavy 8. Has experience over the mile and half. Gets out to a staying trip and should find a good run from barrier one. Ticks plenty of boxes. Sin To Win (7) has been in terrific form of late, with two placings and a fourth in past three starts.

Top tip: Masaff

Race 7. 3.25 pm — BM84 (1800 m)

There is one name that sticks out in this race, Sikorsky. Some say the Lindsay Park runner broke the hearts of many punters last week. Do we place our trust in him after last weekend's blunder? No. Payney's Punt is eyeing off Nobu (4). Ran fourth last start on a Heavy 8 and will enjoy a firmer track. Has performed well from three goes at this trip. Sikorsky (5) went down by a nostril last week when favourite and is on a seven-day back-up. Keep an eye on Southern Rock (7), having his third run in Australia and will strip fitter here. Has improved in both runs and fought hard last start.

Top tip: Nobu EW

Race 8. 3 pm — Handicap (1400 m)

Expecting a hard-fought race here with plenty of value if you can land the winner. Sirius Suspect (11) will likely push forward and settle behind Rox The Castle (4). Sirius Suspect faded after leading to finish sixth and just more than a length behind the winner last start. Expect him to be again fighting it out. Iconoclasm (1) triumphed in that race much to the enjoyment of Payney's Punt followers (you know who you are). We think the five-year-old is again the one to beat here. Absolutely loves it at Flemington with four wins and has four wins at this distance from nine attempts. Needs firmer ground, so hope for sunshine and plenty of it. A Shin Rook (3) finished midfield behind Iconoclasm last start, but has a 6:1-2-2 record when third-up. Worked home strongly that day and is another to watch. Finally, Rox The Castle could place at value, is 4:2-1-0 when second-up and 7:4-2-0 at this distance.

Top tip: Iconoclasm EW

Race 9. 4.30 pm — Super Vobis 3-Y-O (1400 m)

A tricky affair in the last, grab the dart and have a few pings at the dartboard we reckon. Expect a fast race with Wild Vixen (10) and Jolly Sailor (12) fighting it out for the lead. That might suit Triton Rising (9) who will settle back. Triton Rising won last start over 1100 m and drops in weight here. Has a 4:1-0-1 record at this distance and has won second up before. Wild Vixen will enjoy a firm track and has won twice at this distance. Won two runs back at Morphettville. Jolly Sailor has two wins from three attempts this campaign and won on a Heavy 8 last start. Bit of value in Hi Stranger (2), who has been in red-hot form. Wide open affair. Grab the darts.

Top tip: Triton Rising

Best of the day

When: Tomorrow

Where: Flemington

Race 6: Masaff (8)