The Melbourne Mail: Flemington - 17th July 2021

It's not quite the Winter Championships card at Flemington but it is certainly good off-season fare this Saturday with plenty for punters to sink their teeth into.


There are a handful of horses across the card that have decent chances of making their mark in better races come the spring time and none more so than the favourite in race six - Degraves. 

Degraves came to Australia a 108-rated Group Three winner from Ireland and was good enough to get straight off the mark in a strongly-run mile; not running to that 108-rated best but banging up a 102 off a 280-day break had to go down as mighty promising. 

He survived a protest which came about as a result of him getting the death wobbles late He tired and he was entitled That he was still good enough to win is a bonus. The way he went about it hints at him having been short of fitness there and that could and should have been expected given the scenario. Trainer Robert Hickmott strikes at 13% first up at 18% second Sherlock Holmes is not required to see through these clues. 

It's not a bad race around him. Dice Roll was well fancied in the Winter Championship but he was brought undone by a slow pace there. He could be vulnerable to that again and he could be vulnerable to a tactical overreaction as well. 

A tactical change will do Fundraiser the world of good after he was left with too much to do at Caulfield. Surely he will be closer from the inside barrier. But it would be a surprise if he could live with Degraves assuming the favourite goes on as expected. 

The following race is a competitive off-season sprint. There isn't likely to be any spring players lurking in this but one that seems over the odds is the resuming Fine Dane. 

He's far from a prolific winner - he hasn't won in his last 15 starts - but he ran what was arguably the race of his life down the straight last time he returned off a break and a repeat of that form over the same course and distance would see him very hard to stop. 

Of course, he has typically not run so well, but he has often run well enough to think that it is not a fluke or that repeating it is beyond him. He ran similarly well second time out and has been close up in deeper waters than this on several occasions. 33/1 undersells his chance against these. 



Bet Of The Day: Race 6 #8 Degraves @ $2.70

Each Way Play: Race 7 #7 Fine Dane @ $34.00

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