Saturday, 7 July 2012
: Exciting galloper Menados can bring up his biggest career success in today's rich final of the Winter Championship (race 6) over 1600m at Flemington.
The $150,000 Listed race, a culmination of a host of heats run across Victoria, is the feature on Flemington Finals day which plays host to the finals for a number of series run throughout the winter.
The Winter Championship is generally a race for the tough gallopers in soft conditions but this year Menados, by far the least experienced in the race, looks hard to hold out.
Prepared by Nigel Blackiston at the course, Menados
has raced just six times but already record four wins and is clearly a horse still on the way up.
The Zabeel gelding comfortably won his first two starts over 1400m at Echuca and a mile at Seymour, before his first defeat when stepping straight to 2000m for his third start at Cranbourne finishing an unlucky fifth.
After a good spell, he resumed in town with the intention of raising the bar.
He kicked off at Flemington over 1400m where he drew wide but hit the line well from well back, finishing runner up behind Chosen To Fly, who he meets again today.
Second up was back at the provincials over 1424m at Sale, where he drew better and settled midfield before heading to the outside fence and running on hard to score a narrow win.
Then last time out, back to his home course over 1630m in the Provincial Plate final at Flemington, he again drew an outside gate but ran on strongly in the straight to score a three quarter length win over New York.
Today he takes on a tougher field and rises a kilo, although does still carry the minimum.
He notched up a career best rating last start but is still on the way up and is expected to lift it further this time.
Senior rider Steven King stays aboard and from a good gate this time he should be closer to the action and hard to hold out.
Mornington galloper Future Solution
is ready to return to his best form after two runs from a let up.
The gelding ran fourth over a mile in the Tatura Cup four starts back before tackling this track and trip and working home steadily to finish midfield.
The run was sound but below what he is capable of so was given a short let-up.
Fitter a trial win over 1000m at Cranbourne, he returned over 1400m at Flemington and after settling midfield hit the line well to place behind Chosen To Fly, who he meets much better at the weights today.
The run was a new 12 month high Timeform
He matched that again last start, again over the 1400m here, when running on well to finish runner up to There's Only One, who he also meets much better weights wise here.
Future Solution carries the minimum here of 55kg and relishes the soft tracks.
The mile suits after two runs from a let up and although drawn wide he should be hitting the line hard at each way odds.
Seasoned galloper Stoneblack
can run a race at odds here with his lighter weight.
The Robert Smerdon
trained galloper, who is a winner to two miles and a hurdle winner, has returned to the flat over the last 12 months and kept to shorter races.
But he comes into this nicely with 55kg after boxing on well for fifth behind Menados last time.
He carried 60kg in that race from a wide gate and today drops 5kg and meets the winner 6kg better.
Stoneblack loves the soft ground and he will no doubt try to grind his rivals into the ground today with his light weight.
He rates highly on his best figures and at the odds on offer is worth including in the multiples.
Early favourite There's Only One
had all the favours with her last start win but is a horse on the up and looks a strong chance again.
The Peter Moody trained mare resumed at Caulfield over 1200m and ran on well to finish runner, then won at Sale over 1400m when hitting the line hard and running away with a bit in hand.
Last start, over 1400m at Flemington, she was well ridden by Daniel Stackhouse, settling back and saving many lengths on the inside before bursting clear and scoring another soft win.
She did get all the breaks last start but won with a bit in hand and now looks well placed at the longer journey.
She has a great winning strike rate, is a winner to 2000m and also has a strong record here.
Despite rising in the weight and having drawn a wide gate she should be winding up strongly in the straight again.Population
will go around big odds today but is worth throwing into the multiples.
The honest gelding ran many lengths below his bets last start behind Menados but did cover ground there and was entitled to fade.
He meets the winner 6kg better this time, is ready to show his best after four runs back and handles all conditions.
His top Timeform figure, attained when runner up here, three starts back behind Chosen To Fly, puts him right in this but he will be big odds this afternoon and perhaps overs.