Australian racing picks for Flemington
The four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival will wrap up at fabulous Flemington Racecourse tonight.
This traditionally marks the end of the Spring Racing Carnival, however the carnival has been extended recently, to include some group races at Sandown starting next weekend.
Here are a couple of picks for the big meeting at Flemington.
This son of Deep Field is still learning his craft, yet is unbeaten in two starts. He can make it a hat trick in a listed race over 7 furlongs.
Deep Speed has just that — a lot of natural gate speed. Expect jockey Luke Currie to either lead and control proceedings, much like he did in his last start win at Moonee Valley, or drop in behind anything else that wants to take the early running.
The extra furlong won’t be an issue, and I expect his race manners to improve. The 3-year-old gelding can put this lot away and they may well be looking to aim high in Australia’s next big racing carnival, in the autumn of next year.
The reigning Australian Horse of the Year hasn’t won in three starts since being given that crown, and as much as he’s been maligned for that, I think there’s an argument to be made that his recent races haven't suited his style.
Nature Strip was in need of his run first up, when he was grabbed late by Gytrash, he over-raced second time out, and they went mental early in The Everest, when he was heavily involved in the speed battle.
This race, which he won last year, sets up to be very different to those. There’s only one other runner that can match his early speed, Fabergino, and he has drawn the outside, right next to Nature Strip. So jockey James McDonald will have two options with Nature Strip — come across and hold out Fabergino, or let him go and sit right on his hammer.
Either way, he can dictate to the rest of the field, and when they push the go button at the clocktower, I expect Nature Strip to find plenty under that race setup. He'll be too far in front for anyone to catch him.