bet365 Melbourne Mail: Flemington - 7th October 2023

The big names keep rolling in to Melbourne as Hong Kong Champion Romantic Warrior kickstarts his season in Flemington's Turnbull Stakes.


The Melbourne Spring Carnival's big name visitors have hit the mark to this point.

The best from the west, Amelia's Jewel, crossed the Nullabor to much fanfare and has made no mistake in a pair of bloodless kills.

The Tangerine Terror, Imperatriz, has been even better, crossing the Tasman and posting two of the sprint performances of 2023 worldwide.

Rothfire has been left in the tangerine jetwash but Antino has stepped up and flown the Queensland flag; first in controversy and then in conquest.

Now Romantic Warrior arrives from further afield and to greater expectations. Golden Sixty is breaking records, and Lucky Sweynesse has got the ratings, but Romantic Warrior has won the races that matter. The Hong Kong Derby, The International Cup and the QEII - the biggest prizes in Hong Kong have gone to Romantic Warrior.

Three international Group Ones landed in as many attempts and by an accumulative 8.5 lengths. Group One winners from Hong Kong, Japan, Dubai, Qatar, the United States and Australia all blown to bits - along with the clock.

And so what hope some prepping Cups horses? Handicappers with eyes on other prizes. Gold Trip, Francesco Guardi, Soulcombe; good horses all three, maybe even better than good, but at 1 1⁄4 m they are not in the same conversation as Romantic Warrior, a horse of global standing and significance. 

The market recognises this. Osipenko is thrown up as the threat and he did have a sparkle in his step in the Makybe Diva, 1 1⁄4 m calling his name and another career best is in the pipeline. He will need one of course. With a tug at the weights he can convert that potential peak into a win but it is still just that - potential. 

West Wind Blows has shared the track with horses from Romantic Warrior's world: Desert Crown, Hurricane Lane, Pyledriver, Paddington and Emily Upjohn. He's been game against them all, but they have all had a gear that West Wind Blows lacks, and so should Romantic Warrior. 

It promises to be great theatre, great sport, but for great betting we look elsewhere. The Edward Manifold for the fillies goes as race four and as a race that captures our attention with one standing out on exposed form - Legacies. 

There are plenty with nice platforms from which to improve towards the typical winning standard for the Manifold, and a look across modern winners shows that this is a race that often goes to one that improves a little or even a lot. But those already established at the right sort of level represent very few of the runners overall and from those few they have performed well - as you might expect. 

The last three Manifold winners have been rated 100 or better when only six of the 42 runners in that time have been part of the 100+ club. They've run 1-2 in the last two years meaning that only one of those six 100+ runners has been beaten by any of the 36 others rated lower. That was Moko, seventh last year having run a pair of 100+ ratings as a two-year-old in the mud.

Legacies is rated 106 and has posted that number in both the Anzac Day Stakes where she put margins through the field in a high-pressure contest and then in the McNeil when resuming. She was poor last time, and that takes forgiving, but she has the profile to do so and prices bigger than $3.00 appeal as a gamble worth taking about the daughter of Justify who has been kicking goals worldwide of late with horses with similar profiles. 

The front of the market in the Danehill that follows looks unconvincing despite some nice profiles. The right races are represented but none have really put a stake in the ground as yet and the race still looks ripe for one to establish themselves from nowhere. 

Nowhere is exactly where Kandinsky Abstract  has settled in two runs this time shaping well despite his chance being hopeless almost immediately in both the San Domenico and then the Posiedon. He has a fair bit to do to turn around the winners of both of those races but he gets the pilot to make something happen.

Anyone who has ever stared at one of Kandisnky's abstracts will know that it can be difficult to see the meaning in the mess, and his namesake's form may present a similar challenge. The truth is hidden in the abstract picture that his split times paint. There is more to this racehorse then meets the eye and Flemington on Saturday is the perfect backdrop to produce his true masterpiece.  



Bet Of The Day: Race 4 #2 Legacies @ $3.60 with bet365*

Each Way Play: Race 5 #7 Kandinsky Abstract @ $9.00 with bet365*

*odds correct as of 5:00pm AEST 

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