Flemington Race 8 | The Emirates Stakes | 2000m Open WFA G1 | 4.55pm

The Track

The track should race as a good 3 with a sunny 25c forecast.

The rail remains at 3m from Oaks Day and there’s no reason to expect it won’t play evenly again.

Speed and Tactics

There looks to be good potential genuine speed here. Gailo Chop (9) and Cliffs Edge (10) should press forward and both have run along at genuine speed in recent starts.

One or more of It’s Somewhat (11), Samovare (13) and Folkswood (15) could also press forward.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine to Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Moderate to Below Average

Best Suited: Lead to 4 lengths off.

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on the lead up form of contenders, a rating of at least 102-104 will be needed to figure in the finish.

There’s often a perception that horses coming through the Cox Plate into this race may have already peaked and are perhaps a risk in this race, but the G1 WFA championship has proven to be the dominant form line.

8 of the last 9 winners of this race have come through the Cox Plate. Up until 2016 they did it on a 7 day back up, but the change of programming now places this race 14 days after the Cox Plate. Last year we saw Awesome Rock come through the Cox Plate to win this race 14 days later.

Since 2008, the Cox Plate has provided 88.8% of the winners of this race (8 out of 9) from just 27% of the runners.

If you had proportionally bet every horse out of the Cox Plate into this race during that time then you would have made +108% POT.

Race Assessment

3. Gailo Chop: Forecast 101 - 105. Assessed $5.00

He ran fairly in the Cox Plate, but many past winners of this race have done the same. His prior win in the Caulfield Stakes returned a 105 rating that could win this race and prior to that he went 103 in the Underwood behind Bonneval. That’s the best recent form of any horse in this race and while there’s that uncertainty about bouncing back from last start, this is a race where every other horse has one query or another over them and the market is offering the right price to take a gamble.

7. Folkswood: Forecast 101 - 104. Assessed $5.50

He was good in the Cox Plate, rating 103, consistent with his prior Cranbourne Cup win. The wide draw and structure of this map makes it very awkward for McEvoy, but on talent he’s right up to winning this race.

15. Cliff's Edge: Forecast 99 - 102 Assessed $7.00

This is a step up on his recent races against 3YO’s, but on his speed related measures and dropping down to 51kg @ WFA here he’s capable of giving plenty of cheek from up near the lead.

4. Tosen Stardom: Forecast 100 - 102 Assessed $8.00

He was plain LS in the Kennedy Mile, but his 102 rating Toorak win and the prospect of settling closer here from a good draw bring him into the race with a competitive chance.

1. Happy Clapper: Forecast 100 - 102. Assessed $9.00

He was okay in the Cox Plate which is the right lead up for this and on talent his 104.8 peaks at 1600m are right up to this race. The query is how he’ll go at a genuinely run 2000m? His past runs in those conditions have rated lower.

10. Gingernuts: 99 - 102. Assessed $18.00

He won the ATC Derby in the Autumn but it only rated moderately and there has been nothing happen since then that has made me question that. His runs in NZ this prep have been okay, but certainly not of this standard so I can’t see why he’s $6.00 in the market for this race? If he can come here, settle well back in the field and then explode to a big new peak to run them all down then all credit to him and I’ll certainly be proven wrong (not the first time), but I can’t possibly find him as anything but a longshot in this race.

2. It's Somewhat: Forecast 98 - 102. Assessed $26.00

His two ratings this prep are well below the standard need to win this race. His Doncaster Peak could be very competitive but he got away with a slow pace on a bias track that day and this race will be nothing like that.

11. Odeon: Forecast 98.5 - 100. Assessed $31.00

He won well on Cup Day, but this is another big step up.

13. The Taj Mahal: Forecast 95 - 103 Assessed $31.00

His Caulfield Stakes debut run in Australia was plain, but he does have some overseas peaks that can be competitive.

9. Harlem: Forecast 95 - 103 Assessed $41.00

He’s done nothing but go backwards since his big win at Caulfield over 2000m back in September.

14. Samovare: Forecast 96 - 100 Assessed $51.00

She’s been consistent this preparation but needs to find at least 2 lengths on her best.

12. So Si Bon: Forecast 94 - 99 Assessed $61.00

He’s run some good races this prep, but his get back style means he rarely wins and this will require a big new peak.

5. Sense of Occasion: Forecast 93 - 100 Assessed $81.00

His form this prep has been poor. He looks to need soft ground to compete at this level.

Betting Strategy

This is an open race with a number of competitive chances, so I don’t want to get too deeply involved. Gailo Chop was just fair last start but the Cox Plate is the right form line and his prior ratings can win this, so I’m happy to gamble on him at a good price.

 BACK (WIN)  GAILO CHOP – Bet to WIN at >$5.00 – Stake 0.8% of your total bank.

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