Flemington Race 7 | Australian Guineas | 1600m G1 3YO SW | 4:30pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail in the true position. Sunny weather on Friday and Saturday should see us racing on a Good 3 surface.

The track is likely to play evenly, with winners able to come from anywhere. Ground from the fence to five horses off will be suitable to run on in the straight.

Speed and Tactics

There looks to be better than average speed in this race courtesy of Cliffs Edge (16) who should be ridden with a clear purpose of crossing and leading this race. Addictive Nature (8) may try to kick up and hold the front, forcing Cliffs Edge to settle outside. Both horses have shown in the past that they can run along at a genuine to above average speed while still in their comfort zone.

The likes of Black Sail (3) and Mighty Boss (2) can hold forward positions without doing too much at all in the early stages.

D Oliver on Grunt (17) faces a tactical challenge here. Does he attempt to go forward and follow Cliffs Edge across? The risk of course is that the horse does too much work early and / or is taken out of his comfort zone. Alternatively, does he ride more conservatively, but potentially end up sitting 3 wide for the entire trip?

Early Pace Rating: Above average

Late Pace Rating: Below average

Best Suited: All horses will get their chance

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on lead up form, the winner of this race is likely to rate at least 99 at the weights and more likely in the 100-101 range.

Race Assessment

2. Cliffs Edge: Forecast 99.5-102. Assessed $3.80

Went from a 97.6 rating first up to a 99.6 last start when sitting wide without cover over 1400m at Caulfield. It was a terrific effort to only get run down by Grunt over the final stages. An equal career peak under those conditions at 1400m is a very promising sign for this Colt, who didn’t peak last preparation until he hit 2000m. He’s a Weir runner coming into this race third up as his target (big tick) and he’s ideally suited stepping up to 1600m. The wide draw looks a challenge, but on the map he seems able to get across without doing a stack of work and he’s shown in the past he can use energy early, roll along at better than average speed and still rate strongly. The scenario looks perfect here for Cliffs Edge to run to a new peak off that 99.6 last start effort and if he does that he’ll be extremely hard to beat.

11. Grunt: Forecast 97.5-100. Assessed $7.50

He’s a lightly raced promising type who sat wide with cover in the CS Hayes and was able to run down Cliffs Edge late. He’s no doubt one of the main chances here, but an unfriendly 3.5kg weight swing compared to Cliffs Edge here and a more challenging barrier draw are less than ideal. He also doesn’t seem to have had the specifically targeted prep at this race like some of the others. He raced in late December before having a short let up and then coming back for this race, so he’s been up for a while without a decent break. It looks more like he was impressive with two great wins in December so they changed plans and decided to get him to this race. None of these concerns are reasons he can’t win, he’s definitely a contender, but they are enough to say I can’t price him any shorter than $7.50, which is well above his currently market price of $5.50

1. Mighty Boss: Forecast 95-101. Assessed $10.00

His first up 98 rating in the CF Orr suggested his Caulfield Guineas win was no fluke and that he was a key contender for this race. His last start effort in the Futurity though was inconclusive. He was given no hope with the ride, but was still plain. It should be noted though that he brings a strong 4/1 SP from that G1 WFA race against older horses and that combined with his previous 98 rating and 101 from the Caulfield Guineas says he still deserves plenty of respect. Add to that the fact he’s on a quick back up into this race and looks to map ideally from Barrier 2 and he has to be considered a chance at good value odds in the current market.

15. Aloisia: Forecast 93-103. Assessed $14.00

What do we make of her? She was fairly plain first up with a 92.5 rating, which won’t get close here, but ran similarly first up last preparation before exploding second up. She went to a 103 rating (at the weights carried here) in the G1 Thousand Guineas and then backed it up with the same figure when she beat Cliffs Edge by 3.5L in the 2040m MV Vase. Does she exhibit the same pattern here? Or has she not come back as well this time? It’s impossible to tell, but she wouldn’t be the first top class filly that didn’t return at her best in the Autumn, so there has to be some caution. She’s one that I know can certainly win this race, but I couldn’t consider her a betting prospect.

7. Main Stage: 96-98. Assessed $15.00

His 1.9L fourth in the 1400m CS Hayes last start had plenty of merit. He’s suited up to 1600m and gets the chance to settle closer from a good draw. He can run well at odds.

8. Addictive Nature: 95-97. Assessed $18.00

He’s a good horse but has always been a little overrated in my opinion, evidence by the fact that only once in his last four starts has he run up to a rating figure to match his starting price in the market. He’s got competitive ratings, but will need a new peak to win and 1600m doesn’t strike me as the distance he’s likely to do that over.

16. Bring Me Roses: 95.5-98. Assessed $21.00

Comes off a good second in the Vanity last start and will be better suited over 1600m. Needs to run a clear new peak though.

4. Levendi: 94.5-97. Assessed $23.00

Ran just okay first up and his 96.5 peak in the Carbine Club last prep is still comfortably below what will be needed to win this. He’s a likely big improver here, but still a longshot.

6. Villermont: 95-97. Assessed $23.00

Inconclusive first up and does have talent, but still needs a clear new peak on his Sandown Guineas win to feature in the finish of this race.

9. Holy Snow: 95-97. Assessed $23.00

Comes off a great LS win over 1400m in the Autumn Stakes at Caulfield. Needs to find another 1.5 to 2 lengths on that to win this.

3. Embellish: 94.5-96.5. Assessed $26.00

Beaten 2.9L by Grunt LS. Can improve up to 1600m here, but deserves to be a longshot.

5. Muraaqeb: 94-96. Assessed $31.00

Very good first up run behind Grunt beaten just 1.8L. However he’s likely to be a long way back again and needs to run to a clear new peak.

13. Peaceful State: 93.5-96. Assessed $31.00

He was great first up then a bit plain last start when hard in the market $5.50 and beaten 3.7L by Grunt. He can improve here, but it will be a massive effort to bounce back to a big new career peak off what we saw last start.

14. Mr So And So: 92-95. Assessed $51.00

His ratings are well below the standard that will be needed to win this.

12. Black Sail: 90-95. Assessed $81.00

Maps ideally, but his ratings are well below the standard that will be needed to win this.

10. Salsamor: 92-95. Assessed $51.00

Needs to find 4-5L to get in the finish of this.

17. Paret (em): 87-92. Assessed $101.00

Gives the impression he has a stack of talent, but just can’t seem to put it all together on the track.

18. Mahalangur (em): 87-92. Assessed $401.00

Looks totally outclassed here.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Cliffs Edge – Bet to WIN > $3.80 – Stake 1.2% of your total bank.

 BACK – Mighty Boss – Bet to WIN at > $10.00 – Stake 0.5% of your total bank.

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