Flemington tips and race preview, VRC Derby day, Saturday, October 31, 2020
Welcome to our Victoria Derby Day preview and racing tips for Saturday, October 31, at Flemington in Melbourne.
VRC Derby day is the opening day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival and has long been consider the finest day of racing on the Australian calendar with four group 1 races: the Victoria Derby, Coolmore Stud Stakes, Cantala Stakes and Empire Rose Stakes for fillies and mares.
The race also features the Hotham Stakes for stayers, which is a final chance for hopefuls to force entry into the Melbourne Cup just three days later.
The Flemington track could be softened up by forecast rain on Friday but but is tipped to present a perfect racing surface on Saturday.
We have looked at the four group 1 races on the program and given our brief analysis on these crucial races headline by the Derby.
Read on for our free Flemington tips and previews for 2020 Victoria Derby day at Flemington on October 31, 2020.
Flemington race 5, Empire Rose Stakes, 2.20pm local time (1600m)
This group 1 race is exclusively for fillies and mares and the Flemington mile always provides a stern test, with many high-class gallopers winning this race in recent years including the star Kiwi mare Melody Belle in 2019. The three-year-old fillies get in with only 49kg and a huge weight pull over the older mares, and punters have settled on rising filly 12. Odeum, which has had only four starts for three wins, including a dashing win in the group 1 Thousand Guineas last start, as the favourite. Tasmanian star 1. Mystic Journey finally got back on the winner’s list last start and she is also well in the market but must concede 8kg to Odeum. We are wary of 5. Vanna Girl, which has won seven of 13 starts and should find this easier than her last couple of starts in Sydney. She has a powerful finishing burst when the breaks come her way.
Flemington race 6, Coolmore Stud Stakes, 3pm local time (1200m)
This race for three-year-old is one of the premier stallion-making races of the Australian turf and there are certainly a couple of contenders for the breeding barn entered here, headlined by the Golden Slipper winner 1. Farnan. That stallion, trained by the partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, was a sizzling winner of the Slipper but pulled way too hard when resumed and set a breakneck pace before collapsing late in the group 2 Run to the Rose. Farnan has not been seen yet, but if you can forgive him that run he is clear the one to beat. The favourite, though, is a filly, 14. September Run, who has been explosive winning her past couple of runs down this straight track at Flemington. 2. Wild Ruler is a Snitzel colt who has been super in winning two runs back from a spell in Sydney. He is up in class but has scope. 7. Anders is another flyer which should be given another chance after failing at odds-on at his most recent outing. He suffered in the heat that day. He will be on the pace amid what should be a cracking tempo.
Flemington race 7, Victoria Derby, 3.45pm local time (2500m)
The Victoria Derby is one of the oldest races on the Australian racing calendar and it is a notoriously tough test for the only recently turned three-year-olds over 2500 metres on the expansive track. This year for example the favourite 5. Young Werther is tackling this race at only his third career start. He is a highly promising stayer but is giving away a lot of seasoning to the likes of topweight 1. Cherry Tortoni, which has already won four of his seven starts. There has been plenty of money this week to suggest Cherry Tortoni is the one to beat and he could well start favourite. We were impressed by the way 2. Albarado savaged the lines last start over 2000m and he is probably the horse we have least doubts about running the journey right out. This is a race that can thrown up a winner at big odds and we will be having only a small interest in this group 1.
Flemington race 8, Cantala Stakes, 4.30pm local time (1600m)
This group 1 over the tough Flemington mile is arguably the hardest race all day to assess. Punters have settled on 2. Mr Quickie, a last-start group 1 winner, as the favourite, but we think you will have to look a little wider to find the winner. Mr Quickie is a talented horse but everything fell into place last start while some of his rivals backing up from that race had little luck. 13. Buffalo River was honest as always when second to Mr Quickie and should be even fitter at his third run from a spell. It’s worth examining where the winners earlier in the day have been in the run as I expect Buffalo River to be right on the pace. 7.Cascadian has been luckless at his past two starts and would not surprise if he bobs up, while 9.Rock should get a perfect run behind the speed from gate two and the breaks come his way in the straight he is a great each-way chance.
Our tip: We will be backing a couple of runners each-way, headed by the Hawkes team’s Rock and topweight 1. Fifty Stars. They are both around the $10 mark with at Unibet.
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