Derby Day at Flemington

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Victoria Derby Day is considered the best day's racing on the Australian calendar. Image courtesy of
Coolmore Stud Stakes (MR4) Horses at the top of the market have won five of the past six renewals of this race but it is hard to pinpoint an obvious favourite in the race this year’s. Since finishing as runner-up in the Golden Slipper, Snitzerland  has recorded four straight wins in good company. Her worst performance this preparation came up the Flemington straight however, and she may be better racing around a bend. Sizzling  is the only Group One winner in the field and will have come on for his first up run at Caulfield behind Snitzerland, while Fire Thunderbolt  was also impressive in that event. After racing keenly, he battled hard to the line and will have come on for the run. Boom filly Nechita  had her bubble burst in the Golden Rose last time out but was impressive in a jump out down the straight on Tuesday and will be tough to beat, while Shelford  is open to improvement.
Selections: Fire Thunderbolt, Snitzerland, Nechita, Sizzling 

Mackinnon Stakes (MR5)
Ocean Park  is just the second Cox Plate winner to back up in this race since 2003 and is likely to meet the same fate as So You Think did in 2010. The Kiwi galloper scored his fourth straight win at the top level when scoring at Moonee Valley last week and will be hard to beat. Alcopop  was less than a length behind him in the Caulfield Stakes before finishing second in the Caulfield Cup and will another good race, while last year’s winner Glass Harmonium  can improve on a disappointing run last week. Prairie Star  will be much better for his first run in Australia, when he was 4th in the Coongy Handicap and is capable of running into a place on his best European form.
Selections: Ocean Park, Prairie Star, Alcopop, Glass Harmonium 

Victoria Derby (MR6)
- Despite losing his unbeaten record in the Vase at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day, It’s A Dundeel  remains the horse to beat in the Victoria Derby, having already won at the top level. New Zealand trained gallopers have a strong recent record in the race, with the past three winners all trained across the Tasman. The Spring Champion Stakes winner’s trainer Murray Baker is no stranger to success in the 2500m event, having won with Lion Tamer two years ago.

His Vase conqueror Super Cool  will reoppose at Flemington and will be in the finish again, but is not sure to appreciate the step up in trip, while every indication is that It’s A Dundeel will relish the additional 500m. Hvasstan was successful in the other traditional Derby leadup, the Norman Robinson and has won three of his past four starts. With inform big race hoop Glen Boss aboard he is an obvious chance, while placegetters Honorius  and Electric Fusion  are also in the mix.

Gai Waterhouse saddles up Desert War’s brother Our Desert Warrior , who will be bidding to become the first horse since 1992 to win the Derby coming off an unplaced run, while Michael Kent’s Malabar Man  looks open to further improvement having run second in the Geelong Classic last time out.
Selections: It's A Dundeel, Super Cool, Hvasstan, Honorius

Myer Classic (MR7) – Streama  appears to have this race at her mercy after scoring a strong win over several of these rivals in the Group Two Tristarc Stakes last time out. She has two wins at the top level to her credit and looks perfectly placed in this event. Yosei  has been running well without much luck, but is a very good mare and can give this race a shake. She will get a good run from the inside gate and be powering home at the finish. Full Of Spirit  will appreciate returning to the open expansions of the Flemington track, while Oasis Bloom  and Pear Tart  are both at the top of their game and will be well suited by the step up in trip.
Selections: Streama, Yosei, Full Of Spirit, Oasis Bloom

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