Flemington Preview: In-form Avilius leading Cup fancy

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Flemington G1 TAB Australian Cup $1,500,000 2000 metres

Avilius (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) has been imperious since his failed G1 Melbourne Cup attempt in the spring and the Godolphin representative is back at the very top of his game.

He has consecutive Group 3 wins in the Carlyon Cup and Peter Young S. to his credit and while he has yet to set foot on Flemington, he should revel in the wide open spaces.

A number of quality individuals are resuming here with the 2017 Melbourne Cup champion Rekindling (GB) (High Chaparral {Ire}) among them. He is a past first-up winner and is a classy performer.

Lindsay Park is also delighted with the condition of Muntahaa (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) and another whose record proves he can act when fresh.

Knight’s Watch (NZ) (Redwood {GB}) has racing on his side and has been a minor player behind Avilius in both outings. He gets up to a more suitable distance here while The Taj Mahal (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) blew out when returning at Caulfield and he’ll strip fitter.

Osborne Bulls fits the bill

Flemington G1 Seppelt Wines Newmarket H $1,250,000 1200 metres

The James Cummings-prepared Osborne Bulls (Street Cry {Ire}) is flying, by his trainer’s admission, and he’s primed for a first Group 1 title.

Placed in The Everest last campaign, he powered home when resuming to finish runner-up in the G3 Lightning and can go one better.

Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega {Ire}) has a winning first-up record to be taken seriously when analysing this race. He has met and matched a number of his rivals in the past and landed the G1 VRC Classic when last presented on the course.

Brave Smash (Jpn) (Tosen Phantom {Jpn}) was unplaced in the G3 Futurity S. at his most recent appearance, but little notice should be taken of that. He was denied clear room in the straight and would have finished much closer and with In Her Time (Time Thief) gives Kris Lees a strong hand.

The Broadmeadows trainer also has the 3-year-old Graff (Star Witness), who can’t be ignored while Eduardo (Host {Arg}) is a sprinting talent with the benefit of a run under his belt.

No need to be discreet

Flemington G2 MSS Security Sires’ Produce S $200,000 1400 metres

Really Discreet (Helmet) looked good in coming from a wide gate to win on debut with race rival La Tene (Helmet), a subsequent winner, finishing third.

Morphettville colt Dalasan (Dalakhani {Ire}) is hard to weigh up, but he is unbeaten in both starts and looks progressive. He will be ridden by Craig Williams, who won the 2011 G1 Caulfield Cup aboard Southern Speed (Southern Image {USA}) for Leon Macdonald, now training Dalasan in partnership with Andrew Gluyas.

She Shao Fly (Epaulette) has done nothing wrong and the experience of both runs will aid her while if you forgive the last unplaced run of Hawker Hurricane (Deep Field) he’s a chance to atone. His previous two runs were strong.

Strong Lindsay Park line-up

Flemington G2 TAB Kewney S $200,000 1400 metres

Lindsay Park may hold the whip hand here with Spanish Whisper (Lope De Vega), Victory Kingdom (Animal Kingdom {USA}) and Pickup The Pieces (Bel Esprit).

The best of them might be the former New Zealand-trained filly Spanish Whisper, who finished runner-up in the G3 Typhoon Tracy S. when resuming at Moonee Valley.

Sizzleme (Sizzling) placed at Group level during her spring campaign and while she will be more potent over further, she could sprint well at odds.

Angelic Ruler (Universal Ruler) impressed in her Victorian debut when second in the G3 Angus Armanasco S. and that run puts her right in this.

Spanish Reef top prospect

Flemington G3 Schweppervescence Trophy $160,000 1600 metres

Ken Keys’ Spanish Reef (Lope De Vega) has been sound in both of her runs this preparation and the progression to a mile will suit her.

She is unbeaten in two trips to Flemington and she’ll take some rolling with Mark Zahra again in the saddle.

I Am A Star (NZ) (I Am Invincible) was a shade disappointing last time, but as a Group 1 winner deserves respect. Supre (High Chaparral {Ire}) was caught wide last time and with luck from the gate can do better while Naantali (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) is in a generous vein of form.

Watch the sunset rise

Flemington Listed Incognitus S $140,000 1100 metres

Sunset Watch (Akeed Mofeed {GB}) came a long way in a short time last preparation and is a proven first-up force while Golden Halo (Your Song) is another fresh contender and the smart filly has trialled well.

Anjana (Sepoy) wasn’t far off the best fillies in the spring and with Krone (Eurozone) gives Mick Price a decent hand.