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The Melbourne Review Jan 11

7 months ago

OVERVIEW

Flemington played as expected on Saturday with fair and even racing across the card. The track was upgraded mid-way through the program but I fancy that it raced nearer the G4 side of things for much of the day after speaking to jocks. We're starting to see a better class of horse filter back into the system in Melbourne now and it will only get better from here on in; remember the first G1 of the New Year is only four-weeks away!

STAND OUT WINS

R1 JABALI RIDGE: I doubt that we have seen a standout 2YO yet in VIC and I'm certainly not suggesting that Jabali Ridge is one, but what he appears to be is a very straightforward racehorse with a good engine and a will to win. That attitude will take him a long way over summer, and while I suspect he will ultimately fall short of elite standard, he could make an impact in the Blue Diamond heats while he has a fitness edge if connections choose to go that way.

R2 RUBISAKI: She didn't give them an arse-kicking as I expected her to, but to her credit Rubisaki ended up carrying top weight against the males and was second-up 6-weeks between runs here. It was a pretty bloody good win! Her winning time wasn't overly flash on the day but I'll be a little forgiving of that when looking forward to her next start, an Inglis graduate restricted race in Sydney.  

R4 BLAZEJOWSKI: I mentioned in the preview how wary I was of this fellow first-up although unproven at 1100m in this sort of class, and when Wagner was ridden more forward and pulling its head off he had a stone cold sit on that main rival. I thought his finishing 400m was superb and although he peaked with 75m to run he kept on strongly to the line. He's a better horse at 1400m and can be followed with some confidence out to that distance.

HORSES TO FOLLOW

R3 CHIVARGO (5th) / THAT GIRL (8th): Let's start with Chivargo who I expected to run very well fresh - and she did. She was just a bit keen and fresh early and that told over the last 100m. She's not a big filly so I suspect she will be better with cover and a sit in her races, keen to see her next time. That Girl, well, I don't know what Teo Nugent was trying to do - maybe he thought he was Moses and the field would just part for him like the Red Sea. It wasn't his best ride, he basically snookered himself and we're none the wiser as to how his filly would have fared with clear running.

R4 EMBRACE ME (3rd): This mare was back to something like her best here and is well and truly worth following this prep especially back against the mares. She was home in the fastest last 800m of the day (sustained speed) the 2nd fastest last 600m and the 3rd fastest last 400m and she didn't have a lot of luck from the 250m. I wonder if the G3 Bow Mistress in Tasmania on Feb 8 could be on the cards...

R6 ROCK ON (4th): This fellow is ready to step up to 2400m now and he was a little unlucky here after running up behind the lead back and losing all momentum. Once he gathered his legs again he was predictably one-paced but stuck to his task well and kept staying on. He's an ideal Tasmanian Cups horse if the connections choose to go that way.

R8 VAUCLUSE BAY (2nd): This horse was probably entitled to start a little warmer in the market given his form. In any case he was responsible to two things here; pestering and eventually bringing unstuck the favourite Odeon, and staying on when looking beaten to rally and pick up hard the last 150m of his race. He was fresh for three months into this race and this was a really good effort - he can win an Open Hcp in town given similar opposition.