2017 Emirates Stakes – Preview and Tips
Emirates Stakes, Flemington Tips 2000m
The VRC sure know how to trip up punters. The Emirates Stakes previously was run over a mile. Now, they’ve moved it to Derby Day, and given its title to the previous time-honoured L.K.S McKinnon Stakes, which used to be run on Derby Day. So, the Kennedy Mile was the Emirates Stakes in another life, while the L.K.S McKinnon Stakes is now the Emirates Stakes in a new life. Confused? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were!
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A solid field of middle distance gallopers assembles for what looks like a cracking race!
1 HAPPY CLAPPER (5), P Webster, B Shinn, (59kg), $7.50
2 IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA) (11), J Cummings, B Avdulla, (59kg), $18.00
3 GAILO CHOP (FRA) (9), D Weir, J Allen, (59kg), $7.50
4 TOSEN STARDOM (JPN) (4), D Weir, D Lane, (59kg), $12.00
5 SENSE OF OCCASION (6), K Lees, C Brown, (59kg), $41.00
6 TOM MELBOURNE (IRL) (14), C Waller, M Walker, (59kg), $11.00 SCR
7 FOLKSWOOD (GBR) (15), C Appleby, K McEvoy, (59kg), $5.50
8 SIR ISAAC NEWTON (GBR) (7), R Hickmott, L Currie, (59kg), $61.00 SCR
9 HARLEM (GBR) (8), D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, R Bayliss, (59kg), $23.00
10 GINGERNUTS (NZL) (12), S Autridge & J Richards, M Dee, (58.5kg), $7.00
11 ODEON (NZL) (3), M Ellerton & S Zahra, C Symons, (58.5kg), $20.00
12 SO SI BON (1), R Laing, N Callow, (58.5kg), $35.00
13 THE TAJ MAHAL (IRL) (2), A O’Brien, B Melham, (57.5kg), $34.00
14 SAMOVARE (13), D & B Hayes & T Dabernig, D Dunn, (56.5kg), $23.00
15 CLIFF’S EDGE (10), D Weir, D Yendall (51kg), $6.00
As of Thursday, the field is down to 14 with the scratching of Sir Issac Newton, the runaway leader in the Caulfield Cup – a run best forgotten. Plus we’re still no closer to finding out who replaces Hugh Bowman on It’s Somewhat. Bowman and Craig Williams picked up 11 meeting suspensions for their rides on Cup Day in some of the earlier races on the card.
Cranbourne Cup winner and WS Cox Plate placegetter Folkswood is the SP favourite, and along with Gailo Chop, is likely to contest for the lead. Add to that, Cliff’s Edge and we can see three genuine on-pacers. It should make for an interesting tussle.
The forgotten horse in the race is New Zealander Gingernuts. He was supposed to be in Melbourne a lot earlier to contest the Caulfield Cup. The awful weather in the Shakey Isles tipped his preparation upside down and his Te Akau connections deferred travelling until the last day of the Flemington Carnival. His form has been reasonable, having raced in three Group 1’s for a fifth, a win and a second. Of course, he was last season’s winner of the New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas and comes into this without too much hard racing. Former Te Akau apprentice Michael Dee gets the late call-up to replace the suspended High Bowman. Must be respected.
He is one of Darren Weir’s top three-year-olds, but Cliff’s Edge will be up against it among the older and more experienced horses. A natural frontrunner, he was made to look ordinary against top filly Aloisia in the Moonee Valley Vase two weeks back, and on that form-line, and even with the lightweight, might be out of his depth here. Don’t believe the silly money for his SP.
A better prospect might be the lightly raced mare Samovare. With 9 wins/placings from 11 starts, she is due to land a big win soon. Could it be Saturday? The former West Australian galloper did line up in Bonneval’s Underwood Stakes and wasn’t disgraced, but admittedly this is rich company.
Adding to the class are Tosen Stardom and Happy Clapper. Both are Group 1 winners this season, but their specialist distance is a mile, but with genuine speed on, they could be coming from the back.
I’m going to go with Gailo Chop ($7.50). He’s won this race before, and his recent runs in the Caulfield Stakes and Cox Plate were both very good. Has the speed to keep out of trouble, and it remains to be seen whether he can avoid being picked off in the straight before the Clocktower. I believe he can.
Gailo Chop, Folkswood, Gingernuts
Emirates Stakes – check the odds on William Hill