Flemington Race 8 | Lightning Stakes | 1000m G1 WFA | 4:45pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 3 with the rail in the true position. With fine sunny weather forecast the track will remain a Good 3.

Straight racing is complicated by the question “what part of the straight will the field come down?”

Recent history of similar meetings is very mixed with fields travelling on the fence at some meetings, down the middle at others and even one down the outside fence when the field split into two divisions.

It’s something we’ll need to monitor in the two straight races prior to The Lightning. Either way, it’s unlikely to make a major difference to our assessment.

Speed and Tactics

There’s good early speed here as Super Too (5) and Ball of Muscle (2) both like to get out in front and run along. Redzel (9) can certainly match motors with them as well, but Kerrin McEvoy is unlikely to want to get into a speed value with the relative longshots and should be happy to take a sit just off them.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine to Solid

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: All horses will get their chance

WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

Taking the incredibly consistent performances of Redzel at the 105 rating level with the best form of some of the others in this race, a mark in the 103 to 105 range will be needed to be in the finish.

Race Assessment

1. Redzel: Forecast 104-105. Assessed $2.00

He’s won six straight now and his last four runs from the Spring of 2017 rated 105, which is remarkably consistent. That gives him an edge over the best form we’ve seen from his challengers in the last 12 months and there’s no reason to expect he won’t return here with a performance close to that same level. He’s clearly the horse to beat.

2. Terravista: Forecast 102-103.5. Assessed $7.50

If there is to be an upset then Terravista appeals the one most likely to deliver that blow. He absolutely loves the Flemington straight. Barring one poor run in the 2017 Newmarket, his five other most recent runs up the Flemington straight have rated 103.4, 103.5, 103.4, 104.3 and 105.5. He won this race last year with a 103.5 rating and was nosed out by Chautauqua in 2016 with a 104.3 rating. Head to Head against Redzel he’s been competitive both times, running 2nd to him by 0.8L in the 1200m Darley Classic last Spring (103.4 rating) and then a photo finish 2nd in a 1000m LR in the Spring of 2016. Everything points to Terravista running very well in this race and if he can hit that 103.5 mark he’s been so consistent at up the straight, then Redzel will need to be right on his game to beat him.

4. Redkirk Warrior: Forecast 100-104. Assessed $10.00

He has two 104 rating peaks from 1200m runs up the Flemington straight, which is clearly his best form and they’ve both come first up. The query is that when he’s not peaking, his other runs have been poor. He’s got the blinkers of for the first time here to sharpen him up for the 1000m and given the strength of those previous first up ratings up the straight, he should be respected.

3. Hey Doc: Forecast 100-101. Assessed $14.00

He’s been very consistent around the 101 rating level in recent times, but that’s very unlikely to be good enough to win this race. McEvoy said this is the first time he’s trained him purely as a Sprinter, so perhaps he has a new peak in him… but he’ll definitely need it.

6. Ball Of Muscle: 99.5-101. Assessed $17.00

He closed out last prep with two ratings of 101.8 and 100.5, which came over this track and distance. He can run well, right up to his rating but it’s very unlikely to be good enough.

10. Formality: 99-100. Assessed $18.00

Her peaks are in the 100-101.6 range which won’t be good enough to win this and while she may still have bigger peaks to come, it’s hard to see one coming over 1000m.

8. Missrock: 98-99. Assessed $31.00

It’s hard to forecast her running any better than 98-99 here and that won’t be good enough.

5. Rock Magic: 97-98. Assessed $51.00

He didn’t break a 98 rating in 5 runs last preparation and while he has peaks slightly higher, they’re still well below the winning standard of this race.

9. Super Too: 96.5-98. Assessed $67.00

This is a massive step up in class and while she could run to a new peak first up here, the improvement needed to be competitive looks far too large.

7. Supido: 96-98. Assessed $81.00

The best of his form in the last 12 months is around a 96.5 rating, you have to go back almost 2 years to find his best 101 ratings. Even if he could get back to that level here, it still won’t be good enough.

Betting Strategy

Redzel is clearly the horse to beat and I have no knock on him at all. I don’t see any value in $1.80 about him though, I’d really want a shade better than even money to see a clear edge worth betting. In those circumstances I’m typically happy to stay out of the race… betting against dominant top chances you like simply because you don’t see enough value in them is typically a losing proposition.

However, I can’t get away from how appealing the price on Terravista might end up in trading leading up to the race. I can’t possibly mark him any longer than $7.50 and could have marked him $6.50-$7.00. You can get clearly greater than that in the market now and the BF Exchange could end up offering an even better price.

While it’s hard to be confident, I’d rather risk losing a small outlay on him to cause the upset than stay out and see him win.

 BACK  – TERRAVISTA – Bet to WIN at $7.50+ Stake 0.5% of your total bank.

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