Grade Group 1
Track Rating Good 4
Class Fillies and Mares WFA
2018 winner Shillelagh ($6.50)
A high quality group of girls have been assembled for this year's Empire Rose Stakes, in what shapes as a highly competitive race over the Flemington mile.
Many of the horses engaged come via the Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield, which appears to be the right form-line.
Speed will be crucial here and they could drop anchor mid-race, meaning those on-speed and no worse than midfield would hold the key.
I am with one who should cruise across and if they do go slow, she can kick hard off the front end to win.
Flemington Track Traits
For the latest insight into how the Flemington track is expected to play,
read our preview of the Victoria Derby here.
Racing Market Movers
Melody Belle is a slight drifter in betting early, out to $3.50 from $3.20.
There has been a longer price move for
Amphitrite, who has been $41 into $21.
#1 Invincibella $16
Did enough second-up in the Tristarc at Caulfield, when finishing 5 of 14 behind Savitiano.
She could jump out of the ground here, given her excellent third-up profile (7:2-2-1).
Expect them to push forward and look for a position midfield in the moving line. From there, she should be steaming home hard over the top.
Big price and top hope.
#2 Melody Belle $3.20 > $3.50
Gun Kiwi mare who has taken all before her at home, winning three NZ Group 1's on end!
This is still a step up in class for her however, with the quality of Australian Group horses much higher than the fields she has been facing across the Tasman.
The market has her short enough at the current quote in betting and she will need plenty of favours from the wide draw in gate 13.
Must include, however she faces a stiff test against our quality.
#3 Aristia $14
Has been looking for 1600m all prep and finally gets that distance here.
If the tempo is on, she is definitely the one and should be the strongest late.
However, there's a slight concern that they may go too slow up front.
I hope they use the inside gate in barrier 1 and punch up to ride closer, as this will be her best opportunity to win.
#4 Savatiano $9.50
She was ultra dominant last start when she raced on speed, dictated and raced right away with it to win at Caulfield.
This race looks a similar set-up, where she can cruise across to sit outside the leader on a slow tempo and pull the trigger as she likes.
Has the class and racing style for this and just needs to run out a strong 1600m to be winning. Goes on top.
#6 Spanish Reef $15
The Keys stable are flying, with the likes of Soul Patch and Rich Itch winning quality stakes races in recent weeks. They must have their feed and vet programs right on the cutting edge at the moment.
She won the Ladies Day Vase at Caulfield last start, where she used her excellent tactical speed to lead and run them all into the ground.
It's highly likely she gets a soft lead here and if left alone, will be there kicking at the end.
#7 Princess Jenni $8.00
Gets back in the field and has one of the biggest finishes you will ever see.
I loved her run two starts back, when she won the Stocks Stakes impressively after encountering traffic.
She had genuine excuses last start, when it looked as though she wasn't suited at Caulfield in the
Toorak Handicap after finishing 12 of 18.
This is much easier and back to a big track here with more room to find clean air and run on. She is a major player. Yes.
#9 Pohutukawa $6.50
Has been the sucker punch bet all Spring and has proved one of the biggest tease horses this far.
She was unlucky in the Tristarc last start when finishing 4 of 14 after being held up, however she is rapidly becoming a non-winner and the excuses are wearing thin.
#10 Nettoyer $16
Has been racing well in Sydney and brings a form-line of difference.
She was only 4.5 lengths off the winner in the
Epsom Handicap and a repeat of that would see her winning this.
There is a slight concern they go too slow for her here and it could prove impossible to execute her preferred run-on pattern from the tail.
Risking from a speed map angle.
#13 Angelic Ruler $15
Has been racing well and she was certainly unsuited at her past few. Last start, the pattern was clearly against her, when she was forced to go wide in a slow run race.
The draw in gate 15 is a horror story again and the speed looks only moderate. Both factors appear hard to overcome. No.
#15 Fidelia $15
Has a lethal turn of foot late, however is another of the get-back brigade who will need favours and some form of tempo up front.
They will have no choice but to go back again from the outside draw in gate 16 and it will be a mighty task from there.
Even with plenty against, I can't completely rule her out and have her marked as one of the better off-speed horses. Not out of it.
Of The Others
#5 Amphitrite has been a noted mover in betting here, after being backed in from $41 to now trade at $21.
If the push continues on race day, I would be very wary. Watch betting late.
Best Racing Tips
1 st Savatiano
2 nd Aristia
3 rd Melody Belle
4 th Invincibella
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