I'm going with the Lindsey Smith trained La Vina here in race number two, a horse who I believe represents good value as second favourite in the market.
She's been flying since making the move to Victoria, after completing her first seven career starts over in the west.
She bolted in at Ballarat in February, before having a short spell and returning with a demolition job at Warrnambool over 1200m in early May.
She sat back in the field on that day and was caught wide without cover at various stages in running. She managed to remain under a big hold into the home straight, and when asked to extend she put the field away very quickly.
The mare then dropped back to 1100m last start here at Flemington, a move which didn't seem suitable at the time and that proved to be the case.
She was comfortable in running, continually pushed along in behind runners to keep her pace. She was only beaten 1.5 lengths on the line and all things considered, it was actually a very good effort.
Third-up now and stepping out to 1400m should be ideal. She won over this trip at Belmont last year in nice style, so is proven to handle the distance.
Although untested at this BM84 level, her figures are stacking up easily to this grade and she should be given every chance here against her own sex from a solid draw with a leading rider in D Oliver engaged.
Snickerdoodledandy looks short enough at below the $3 mark, and I have La Vina priced as a $3.40 outright favourite in my market.
Flemington Race 3 Tip #5 Left Hand Man $10
I'm surprised about the price being offered here for the SA galloper in Left Hand Man, who comes off a very unlucky yet encouraging run behind Corner Pocket at Sandown last start.
A number of the top chances in this race in fact come through form-lines behind Corner Pocket, and I thought the run of this galloper was right up there with Beehunter and even Chief Altony from two starts ago.
He settled in behind the speed on the fence in an awkward position, and even managed to get one off the fence just before the turn.
But when he entered the straight, he was left with absolutely no where to go. He started to improve, but then as the tiring leader wanted to roll out under pressure he was forced to stop his run yet again.
Inside the last 150m he was given clear room, and at that stage still spotted Beehunter 2 lengths in running.
He flew home with a race fastest last 200m split to finish alongside Beehunter, and capped off a very unlucky run where he arguably should've gone much closer to the winner as well.
Fourth-up into the prep now, he will be rock hard fit and has to contend with a much kinder draw here today.
Sticking to 1400m on this big Flemington circuit suits, he holds weight with Will Price retaining the ride. These Adelaide horses have a great winning strike rate in Melbourne Saturday grade.
His last start SP profile of $19 is likely why we are getting double-figure odds again today, but in my market I have him priced as a $5 second favourite!
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