Derby day is one of the best punting days of the year with nine quality races to bet on at Flemington.
The best three-year-old stayers in Australasia will grace Flemington over the 2500m and there’s still more group one action across the card.
The Coolmore Stud Stakes and Kennedy Mile run at the group one level and there are Melbourne Cup implications with the Lexus Stakes.
We haven’t forgotten about the Rosehill races which features a quality nine-race card of its own.
Flemington free tips & form
Race 1. (11:45) The Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)
Levendi didn’t appear to have much luck in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas last start and this is significantly easier.
The Peter Gelagotis-trained three-year-old was held up at the turn before launching late to finish sixth behind Mighty Boss. That run had plenty of merit and the stable is confident of a big effort this Saturday.
Race-favourite Kaonic has been scratched which makes it easier for Levendi to show his real potential.
Race 2. (12:20) Wakeful Stakes (2000m)
Tony McEvoy is training in rare form this season and he lines up last start winner Bring Me Roses here.
The Oaks-bound filly won the Edward Manifold by over two lengths and that win signaled her true potential. She sat back in the field and charged home over the top of some quality thoroughbreds and that has punters excited for what’s to come.
Bred by High Chaparral, Bring Me Roses is expected to improve with the staying distances and the 2000m looks ideal here.
Punters should expect the filly to settle back during the run and be given time to wind up down the long Flemington straight.
Race 4. (13:40) Lexus Stakes (2500m)
Harlem is pushing for a spot in the Melbourne Cup and a win here will ensure that happens.
The imported son of Champs Elysses has had enough time in Australia to adjust to the different conditions and his win in the Naturalism was full of class.
He found running in the Bart Cummings and Caulfield Cup a little beyond his capabilities, but this is easier and he only has to beat stayers that are on the fringe of being quality types.
He gets in perfectly on the weights at 57kg and he should attract plenty of betting attention on the day of the race.
Race 5. (14:25) Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m)
There hasn’t been a horse spruiked quite as highly as Eptimum in a long time, but it the hype could be spot on.
The Toby Edmonds-trained gelding has been compared to stablemate Houtzen and some have suggested it could be better than the star sprinter.
A son of Snitzel, he has won his last three starts by good margins and that included a win in the Red Anchor Stakes at Moonee Valley last week.
This is an exceptionally hot field, but Eptimum is heading in the right direction and he only needs to handle running down the Flemington straight to figure in the finish.
Race 6. (15:05) Myer Classic (1600m)
Silent Sedition has been well-backed throughout the week after opening over the odds at $14.
The Andrew Noblet-trained five-year-old fought on well behind Global Glamour in the Tristarc Stakes and she will take plenty of improvement from that run.
She has yet to win at Flemington from two starts, but she has placed and she has drawn well in barrier four to get every chance in the straight.
In a full field, positioning is key and we think there’s great value with this runner at the odds.
Race 7. (15:50) Victoria Derby (2500m)
Race 8. (16:35) Kennedy Mile Handicap (1600m)
Tom Melbourne is certainly one of the hardest horses to follow in Australia, but he’s got courage and that’s all we can ask for.
The Chris Waller-trained gelding has been known to finish second on many an occasion, but those placings came behind Happy Clapper and Comin’ Through – two quality thoroughbreds.
He didn’t run his best in the Toorak Handicap last start, but he has drawn much better here and he should settle on the pace and give punters a good sight in the straight.
We won’t tip him to win because he hasn’t for a while now, but he’s a strong place chance at better than even money.