Payney’s Punt | Flemington races preview

By Aydin Payne

If you are shocked to see Payney's Punt return for another week, well that makes two of us.

Hurry up and pick your jaw off the ground and let's get stuck in to tomorrow's card.

We're back at headquarters for a nine-race card and expect to the track to be rated a Soft 5-6 and the rail is in its true position.

And tomorrow is a special day for racing and football lovers.

Legendary AFL coach Denis Pagan is saddling up his first starter at Flemington as he begins his stint as a horse trainer.

His runner Johnny Get Angry (8) is quoted $126 to get up in race three.

Imagine if it does?

They will make movies about it.

As always, if you are boosting your odds and activating the powerplay option, please remember to gamble responsibly.

Race 1. 11.50 am — 2-Y-O Sprint Series Final (1200 m)

It's down the straight for the first of the day. Expect Ilovethegame (2) to be the only runner looking to lead. Ilovethegame won easily on debut on a Soft 5, but rises in weight here. Sense Of Honour (6) just missed out last start when resuming and is favourite in the opener. Absolutely flew home that day and if the filly can back up her effort will be hard to beat. Watch the market on Latin Spirit (10), the Lindsay Park runner is on debut and the stable always does well with first starters.

Top tip: Sense Of Honour

Race 2. 12.25 pm — Banjo Paterson Final (2600 m)

We jump out to a true staying test here and expect one of the leading trio to get home. Lord Belvedere (4) won at wide odds last start at this track ahead of Chapada (3) and Sin to Win (7) and it's one of those three that will win this. We have settled on Sin to Win, who has placed four times from past five starts. Has finished runner-up both times at this distance and excels in wet weather. Looks a handy each-way bet. And how about the war horse Ventura Storm (2) winning at Ballarat last start over 3200 m on his debut over the hurdles? An old favourite of ours, but beware of old flames, they can be trouble!

Top tip: Sin to Win EW

Race 3. 1 pm — Taj Rossi Final (1600 m)

How about the career start from Cherry Tortoni (1), the gelding is unbeaten from two attempts and is red-hot favourite to take out the Listed Taj Rossi Final. Has won both starts as favourite and cruised home at this track over 1420 m. Only goes up half-a-kilogram from that win when he raced wide and Billy Egan stays in the saddle. Looks the one to beat. Keep an eye on Insaaf (12) who finished third behind Cherry Tortoni last star. Finished that race well and has two placings on wet ground.

Top tip: Cherry Tortoni

Race 4. 1.35 pm — Mahogany Challenge Final (2500 m)

No surprise to see Persan (1) at the top of the market. The Maher and Eustace-trained colt has absolutely toyed with his rivals in recent starts and is looking for a hat-trick here. He couldn't be caught last start over 2000 m, and will no doubt take plenty of catching tomorrow. The rise in weight and distance could impact Persan and we have gone for Sign Seal Deliver (4) to get the job done. Narrowly beaten last start as favourite over 2400 m and drops down to 56 kg. Damian Oliver stays in the saddle.

Top tip: Sign Seal Deliver

Race 5. 2.10 pm — Vic Sprint Series Final (1200 m)

Expecting a ripper race in this, with a number of chances capable of getting the job done. Tavisan (7) missed out last start as favourite and has done well at this distance with a record of 12:2-1-3. I Am Someone (4) did a superb job last start at this track over 1100 m. Beat the red-hot Prezado and steps out to 1200 m. Yet to win at this track and distance. Has won five from 10 attempts on soft tracks. Rich Charm (3) had no luck last start and is a serious talent on soft ground. Milwaukee (5) is a specialist at this track and distance 8:3-2-1. Loves running on soft ground with three wins from nine attempts. Can handle the straight.

Top tip: Milwaukee EW

Race 6. 2.50 pm — Leilani Series Final (1400 m)

Plenty of value in the this race for punters and expect Great Duchess (1) and La Tigeresa (5) to find plenty of love.We like El Questro (9). Hear us out here, El Questro finished just more than a length behind gun talent Alfa Oro when first-up and then ran okay behind Great Duchess last start when drawing a wide barrier. Has a 3:0-2-0 record at this track and distance and normally peaks when third-up. Has a win and second place from three attempts at this stage of her prep. Look for So You Swing (11) to run a strong race. Finished strongly last start after finding early trouble.

Top tip: El Questro EW

Race 7. 3.30 pm — Silver Bowl Series Final (1600 m)

Lots of value here, which normally means "have a ping at the dartboard". Walking Flying (3) gets the inside barrier, but don't expect her to push forward. Can the Lindsay Park runner work home with 60 kg? Is on a roll with two straight wins and has a 4:2-0-2 record at this trip. Maseratie Bay (10) looks a chance. Payney's Punt blackbooked the Maher and Eustace-trained gelding after a great win at Seymour last spring. Looks ready to peak here and should find a decent run from barrier three behind Smoke Bomb.

Top tip: Maseratie Bay

Race 8. 4.05 pm — Winter Championship Final (1600 m)

Looks a battle between the red-hot Heptagon (2), Shot Of Irish (8) and Plein Ciel (5). Heptagon dropped back in distance last start and won with 61.5 kg. Is airborne at the moment and is on the hunt for four straight. Shot Of Irish and Plein Ciel won last start in a dead heat over this trip. Shot Of Irish is a jet at this trip, with two wins and three seconds from five starts. And Victoria Star (16) finally gets a run tomorrow after a string of scratchings. Was our best of the day last weekend (not that it means anything). Narrowly beaten by Heptagon, but has drawn the car park.

Top tip: Shot Of Irish

Race 9. 4.37 pm — Rivette Series Final (1400 m)

It is a tough assignment in the last leg of the quaddie, but Splendoronthegrass (1) and Beauty Bolt (2) look solid chances. Splendoronthegrass finished runner-up last start and is on a seven-day back-up. Cordilla (7) is 4:2-0-2 in her career and rates well at this distance. But has drawn the wide barrier. Beauty Bolt finished runner-up last start at this trip, was unlucky that day. Rates strongly in these conditions and has the talent to get the job done.

Top tip: Beauty Bolt EW

Best of the day

When: Tomorrow

Where: Flemington

Race 3: Cherry Tortoni (1)