Saturday marks the centrepiece of Victoria's winter flat program with nominations in for Flemington's Finals Day Flemington Finals Day is fast becoming a highlight of Melbourne’s winter racing program and the nominations for Saturday’s meeting point to another quality card.
The eight events at Flemington on Saturday will see the culmination of a series of races run throughout Victoria during the winter months.
Of the eight “finals”, each worth at least $100,000, they range from a series for sprinters to the middle distance Winter Championship tradition and a colder weather crown for stayers.
First run in 1980, the Listed TROA/Luxbet Winter Championship Final (1600m) has provided a rich off season alternative for trainers and connections.
This edition sees the Michael O’Leary-trained Glaneuse return for an attempt at a third straight win in the $150,000 race. Interestingly this race has provided the seven-year-old gelding’s only two victories in as many years.
Blackie, trained by Jarrod McLean, broke 27-month drought with it’s win over the mile at Moonee Valley last Saturday and the OTI Racing team will be hoping for a quick-fire follow up at Flemington.
The Listed All Victorian Sprint Series Final (1200m) sees David Hayes’ Group 1 bound gelding Pago Rock nominated. Hayes said after Pago Rock’s Flemington win on 22 June that he is looking towards a Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) run at Caulfield in September with the son of Rock Of Gibraltar.
Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) winner Sea Lord is nominated for the $120,000 contest for his second-up run this preparation for trainer Stephen Brown.
“He missed out on a couple of jump outs and a couple of runs because of the wet weather last time. He was a little underdone and the wetter track at Moonee Valley (15 June) found him out,” Brown said of the Spring Carnival bound five-year-old.
“For a Listed race this is very winnable one for him.”
The third black-type event of the day, the Listed Taj Rossi Final for two-year-olds sees the Brideoake/Feek training combination shoot for four wins-on-the-trot with Lady Lakshmi.
The Mick Price-prepared Resistant, runner-up to that filly at Flemington over 1410-metres ten days ago, could also line-up alongside the David Hayes-trained trio of Honey's Steel Gold, Tawjeeh and Street Battel, all last- start winners.
Of the other races, the Banjo Paterson Series Final (2600m) will be highlighted by Robert Smerdon’s Cooldini not only looking to make it a quartet of victories but also pave the way to the beginnings of a possible career over the jumps.
The nominations for Saturday's Flemington meeting are available here. By Danny Matthews, racingvictoria.net.au