Flemington Race 8 | Kensington Stakes | 1000m Open Hcp | 5.20pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out 9m. With hot weather forecast for Friday (42c) and a cooler Saturday (26c) with a chance of a shower, the meeting should be run on a genuine Good 3 surface.

Expect the track to race very evenly with horses staying just off the fence down the Straight 1000 metres.

Speed and Tactics 

Over the 1000 metres they will run from the start with Lord Of The Sky & Amber Sky, who is having his first start since arriving from Hong Kong, setting the pace.

Given the small field, it shouldn’t take long for runners to find their positions and I would expect there would only be 3-4 lengths between first & last after a few hundred metres.

Early Pace Rating: Moderate to Fast

Late Pace Rating:Moderate

Best Suited: Every runner should get their chance.

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

I would put the winning mark for this race in the 97-99.5 range.

It is possible that with the number of First-Uppers & Amber Sky from overseas that they get up to 100 but I’d suggest the above range will see the field out at this stage of their preparations.

Race Assessment

5. Thermal Current: Forecast 97.5 - 99. Assessed $4.50

He should have a fitness edge over a lot of this opposition. Last week he didn’t find the right part of the track until too late & by then Kens Dream was off & gone. A positive sign that he backs up here 7 days later & the small field means he should be able to keep in touch over the first 400 metres. He has a great record over the 1000 metres with 2 Wins & 5 Placings from 9 starts.

6. Husson Eagle: Forecast 96 - 98.5. Assessed $5.50

He resumes here after a 168 Day Spell & has an outstanding First-Up record of 3 Wins & a Second from 5 starts. Trainer Patrick Payne has given this 6yo two soft Barrier Trials, which is how this stable normally use their Trials. Like Thermal Current he will settle off the pace but should be in touch to make a strong run over the last 300 metres.

2. Amber Sky: Forecast 96. Assessed $6.50

There are huge queries over this Hong Kong import. It has been nearly a year since his last run but at his best he was competitive in Group 3 racing over this distance. He is a high speed horse who will probably lead & it will be interesting how he handles the Flemington straight, as in Hong Kong they race the Sydney direction. He won’t want to roll over to the fence which will probably be a bit slower than the ground a few horses off.

8. Itz Invincible: Forecast 96-97. Assessed $7.50

This horse has an outstanding record & is yet to be unplaced in 14 starts whilst winning 6 of them. He is yet to race in this sort of grade but he showed he had come back in great form with an easy win at Morphettville on 16/12 rating up near his best with a 97. The query is this class but I expect him to be thereabouts, especially if some of the others don’t perform first-up.

3. Lord of the Sky: Forecast 95-97. Assessed $8.00

This 7yo resumed on New Year’s Day with a nice win here over 1200 metres at a big price. That day he led them up before kicking & then holding on strongly for a narrow win. I’m not sure he will lead Amber Sky & he doesn’t often string runs together but if he does he can be right in the finish.

4. Saracino: 93-96. Assessed $10.00

He put in 2 poor runs at the Spring Carnival, after being transferred to the Moroney Stable, & was immediately spelled. The reports are that he has been working well & if he can get back to his old ratings he would be a chance, but I’d like to see him show something before getting on. Interesting that Damien Oliver takes the ride.

1. Flamberge: Forecast 93 - 95. Assessed $15.00

He has always raced well fresh & ran a nice 4th in this race last year before backing it up with very close 4th in the Lightning. But he hasn’t run for 302 days & I can’t give him more than a roughies chance.

7. Rock N Gold: Forecast 92 - 93.5. Assessed $41.00

The majority of this field would need to fail to enable the Ellerton 3rd stringer to get the prize.

Betting Strategy

Impossible to recommend a bet with so many queries in this small field. It would be no surprise if 7 of the 8 runners won & the inclusion of the Hong Kong raced Amber Sky just further muddies the water. It will be an interesting lead-up to many chances for the upcoming Group 1 Lightning Stakes on 17/2/18.

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