This year’s Emirates Stakes, which is race 6 on today’s Flemington program, doesn’t seem to have the quality of past years but it certainly has depth. It usually a very open race but you can make a case for just about any runner, in fact if the emergencies had started it wouldn’t have surprised if they fought out the finish.
1. Black Piranha – Has had 50 starts for 8 wins and 16 placings. Now a 7 year old the last race he won was the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap back in June 2010, then the race he won before that was the Stradbroke of the previous year. In the last 5 years or so there have been 67 races run over the 1600 meters on a Saturday at Flemington and only two horses 7 years of age or older have won. Might be past winning this.
2. Sniper Bullet – 42 starts 8 wins and 17 placings, ran an improved race over the 1400 at Caulfield last start on a heavy track. Another 7 year old which may be past winning this handicap.
3. Wall Street – Very good kiwi horse with 18 starts for 10 wins and 2 placings and has started 12 times over this distance for 8 wins. Has won 3 Group 1 races all over a mile in New Zealand. Great jockey and drawn ok, looks very hard to beat.
4. Captain Sonador – Queensland horse who has had 24 starts for 5 wins – beat Trusting to win the Group 1 Epsom Handicap two starts ago. An underrated galloper who has a good chance from a good draw. Has G Boss onboard which is a plus.
5. Sound Journey – Won 7 from 24 and placed on 4 occasions. Good win in the Group 2 at Moonee Valley last start, but will struggle this class. M Rodd is a big bonus, great jockey.
6. Albert The Fat – Won 10 from 24 and is a Group 1 winner over the much weaker Brisbane Winter Carnival. Good run down the straight last time when hr came home well, can place with the right run but has a bad barrier.
7. Dao Dao – 7 wins from 21 starts, is a lightly raced 7 year old and a consistent Group 1 performer. Even though 7 year olds don’t win many he is the best of the older horses and can place.
8. Trusting – Raced top company as a 2, 3 and 4 year old and has had 13 starts for only 2 wins and 5 placings. Is a good horse but always finds one better, always promises to win next start but doesn’t. Has had enough chances, will be a top fancy but not keen.
9. Drumbeats – 17 starts for 3 wins and 6 placings, is racing well although always seems to struggle when up to Group 1 level. This race is a little weaker than some of the Group 1 races he has contested and is racing ok. Snowden would not be here to make up the numbers and this is his grand final.
10. Luen Yat Forever – Good Macau horse who has won 12 from 25 and placed 9. Has won 5 races over 1500 meters and 3 over 1800 meters, so distance should be perfect. Only beaten by a length in the big Group 1 Toorak Handicap, which was a better field than this, but then was hopelessly out paced in the Cox Plate. Unlikely but win wouldn’t totally surprise.
11. Rothera – Has won 10 from 23, this Queensland galloper stepped up last start and won well but it was on a heavy track which he relishes. Don’t think he can win at this level unless the track is severely rain affected.
12. Chasm – Won 8 and placed 8 from 28 starts, another horse that is always thereabouts and races ok here but will struggle this grade over this distance.
13. Gold Salute – This horse has his mind on other things and is a 7 year old, can’t see him winning today.
14. Palacio De Cristal – won 5 from 23, great run here two starts ago then failed in the Myer Classic but didn’t handle the wet and it wont be like that here today. Has already met with a lot of backing in the early markets.
15. Snow Alert – Tough Sydney welter horse has won 7 from 27 but isn’t up to this grade normally. Can’t have today.
16. Allez Wonder – Will have support because she is trained by Bart Cummings, won the Toorak last year but has gone terrible since. Can’t have today.