The Autumn Sun

Melbourne and Sydney are set to host yet another bumper Saturday of racing as the Autumn carnival hits full swing. At Flemington it's 'Super Saturday' with the features being the Newmarket Handicap over 1200m and the Australian Cup over 2000m. The Newmarket looks to be one of the races of the year with a big field of 22 thundering down the Flemington straight. The Randwick Guineas is the feature race at Randwick with star 3yo The Autumn Sun likely to go around an odds on favourite. The card also features a couple of key Golden Slipper lead ups as that race is just a fortnight away.

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Race 2 at Flemington looks a good way to start the day with two horses that will appreciate the expected high pressure in this race. Antah has been flying this preparation since coming from Tasmania and joining the Jason Warren stable. He has won 3 from 4 and was only narrowly beaten in his only defeat last start. He drops back to 1400m here which is some query after recent racing at a mile but it should ensure he is strong at the finish. Bravo Tango looks the other play and is coming off a strong on pace win at Sale where he didn't get much peace. That was against his usual racing pattern but given the expected pressure here he should be able to sit off the speed and he has a big finish off the right run. He is a horse that has always shown above average ability and is starting to put it all together now. Both Antah and Bravo Tango are currently $5.50 with Sportsbet.


Without doubt the race of the day is the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap for the sprinters. The current favourite and top pick is Osborne Bulls trained by James Cummings. He is likely to get back but has a booming finish and tuned up for this with a slashing run in the Lightning three weeks ago. This race has been an aim since he won down the straight in the Spring and he looks mighty hard to hold out. He is currently $4.00 with Pointsbet but given the open nature of the race I would expect better to be available closer to jump time. His main dangers appear to be Eduardo who was oh so brave riding a hot speed in the Oakleigh Plate last start. There doesn't look to be as much pressure here so he should be able to get into a controlling position and be hard to run down. Graff from the Kris Lees yard looks the other main danger after a decent first up run when finishing 4th beaten less than a length in the Lightning. The rise to 1200m looks ideal and he drops right down to 51kg for popular WA hoop Willie Pike. Both Eduardo and Graff are currently $9.00 with BetEasy.

Heading up to Randwick for Race 7 the Randwick Guineas which sees the Chris Waller trained The Autumn Sun, widely regarded as Australia's best 3yo, take on 8 rivals over the Randwick mile. The inclusion of three classy fillies certainly adds some interest to the race but from my point of view The Autumn Sun still deserves to be a deep odds on favourite. He was a strong winner over 1400m first up after a couple of trials that left a lot to be desired. He will only be better for that run and the mile at Randwick looks ideal for him at this stage. He should be able to settle much closer in the run too and in front of his main danger, Nakeeta Jane and it would be hard to see something coming from behind it and beating it. He is one that tournament players can push their chips in with and is currently $1.65 with Neds.

The last race of the day at Flemington is the Matron Stakes for the mares over a mile. A lot of these horses come out of the Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield a fortnight ago and it is the race that looks to be the best lead up. In the Mannerism Stakes, Spanish Reef received a less than desirable passage getting caught up on the inside behind the leader. She is best with galloping room outside of horses where she can build momentum into a race. She should get that scenario here as she can either lead or sit outside the leader and she has a real liking for Flemington having won 3 from 4 including this race last year. She looks a great play at $4.40 with Sportsbet.


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