The Melbourne Mail - March 10

Melbourne's autumn carnival comes to the boil at Flemington this Saturday with the running of two of the biggest races of the year, the Newmarket and the Australian Cup.
Timeform ratings show the Newmarket to be a typically competitive affair with plenty of evenly matched chances on exposed form. The key to the race is who can improve the most, with the race looking almost certain to be won by a horse going to a new peak rather than matching old deeds.
Looking for those on the up must begin with the three-year-olds and Merchant Navy, a veteran of just seven starts, who comes to the race with a strong profile being a Coolmore winner at the course and distance back in the spring. The likes of Brazen Beau, Weekend Hussler and Alinghi have all followed up Coolmore success in the spring by taking out the Newmarket in the autumn and it's the most recent of those, Brazen Beau, who Merchant Navy most closely resembles.
Brazen Beau was rated 121 after winning the Coolmore. Merchant Navy was rated 120p. Near enough to identical. Brazen Beau resumed in the Lightning and while no match for Lankan Rupee on that day he returned a respectable 117 rating and looked on track to peak up to 6 f.
Merchant Navy resumed in the Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield over 5 1⁄2 f and ran to 119. A slightly better performance than Brazen Beau's return and he did so running strong closing splits which pointed to him being back every bit as good as he was in the spring. In fact, those closing splits pointed to Merchant Navy being capable of running to a figure in the low 120s which is a mark that would leave us more than happy to be betting at prices better than 7/2.
For an each way play we are looking to the Sires which looks a really interesting contest, deep in chances.
We like the look of the Lindsay Park-trained Seberate who chased home Blue Diamond-winner Written By last time in the Prelude.
He was chasing throughout over 5 1⁄2 f there but gets his chance to travel up to 7 f now. He was strong though the line in a race that returned good figures and the prospect of him improving sharply on an already competitive base makes prices around the $9-$10 mark very appealing
Bet Of The Day: Race 6 #11 Merchant Navy @ $5.00
Each Way Play: Race 4 #5 Seberate @ $9.00

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