The Group 1 Makybe Diva stakes see’s the highly anticipated return of Russian Camelot, who will be out to prove he’s come back as a genuine Cup's contender.
Master of Wine will be keen to right the wrongs of his first-up failure, as he charges towards the Caulfield Cup.
Meanwhile, mile specialist Fierce Impact returns to the scene of the crime that saw her take out the Group 1 Kennedy Cantala Stakes against high class opposition last Spring.
This race opens right up outside of the leading market contenders and will paint a picture for many who are on a path towards bigger and better things.
The Flemington track currently rates a Good 4 but with rain forecast for Saturday, we’re likely to move toward the Soft/Heavy range.
Flemington is renowned for its drainage and durability, but conditions will be testing and riders will be looking to come towards the middle of the track later in the day in search for better ground.
At the last meeting here there was no bias evident, and I expect the track to give all runners every chance once again.
Flemington Race 7 - Makybe Diva Stakes 1600m (Group 1)
There is very little speed engaged here, which should see Gailo Chop (3) press forward to lead from the inside draw. That will leave Gatting (4) and Levendi (1) to take a sit just in behind.
Russian Camelot (14) can show tactical speed here, but I expect Oliver to take a sit towards the rear first-up alongside Kings Will Dream (15).
The West Australian Perfect Jewel (2) will take a settle on the rail from the inside draw and will need a peach of a ride from Pike to find clear running in the large field.
Rupert Legh has indicated that Master of Wine (10) will be ridden towards the rear here and he maps to get a nice run.
Fierce Impact (5) went back last start over 1400m, but can be more forward here with the slow tempo.
Analysis & Tips
1st Fierce Impact $5.00
A proven miler who has returned in fine order this Spring, following a strong first up effort in the Group One Winx Stakes.
She engaged in a bumping duel down the straight in that clash, before finding the line to finish just behind the classy Very Elleegant and Star Of The Seas.
Now returning to Melbourne, she finds the same track and trip that saw her prevail in the Group 1 Kennedy Cantala last Spring on wet ground.
She’s drawn well and can be more forward in the run here to capitalise on the likely slow tempo.
A strong Gosford trial last Wednesday should see her fine-tuned and ready to win.
2nd Master Of Wine
Willing to forgive his first-up failure in the Winx Stakes, when he was heavily supported in betting.
He raced wide the trip off a hot tempo in that clash. As a result, he ran 6 lengths quicker than the average pace in the first half of that race, before failing to let down.
Now stepping up to the mile and finding Flemington should see him improve significantly against weaker opposition than he faced in Sydney.
3rd Russian Camelot
Clearly the most talented and exciting horse in the field, but I want to be against him here first-up over a mile.
The stable has him set to peak third or fourth-up into a Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup and will be keen to see him run-on strongly from the rear.
The wide draw takes out any possibility of him being forward in the run and at the $3.60 on offer, I’m happy to look elsewhere.
4th Kings Will Dream
I thought his return in the P.B. Lawrence was a superb performance in a slowly run 1400m affair.
He’s proven second-up with four placings from five attempts and will only improve stepping up to the mile.
The wide draw and likely slow speed are the only knocks, but he’ll be charging down the outside late