Racing in Victoria will head to Flemington racecourse on Saturday with the feature two races being The Straight Six and the Andrew Ramsden Stakes. We take a look at each of the races on the card and give our tips and best bets.
Race One: 6. Hands Up
Race Two: 1. Face Forward
Race Three: 2. Duibio
Race Four: 9. Arctic Song
Race Five: 2. Kenjorwood
Race Six: 9. Lumosty
Race Seven: 4. Shoreham
Race Eight: 8. Lake Sententia
Race Nine: 10. Wrotham Heath
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Best Bet: Race Three Number 2 Duibio
Next Best: Race Six Number 9 Lumosty
Best Value: Race Eight Number 8 Lake Sententia
As a respected stayer in one of Australia’s most successful stables, Thubiaan was once going well enough to start favourite to win the 2013 Andrew Ramsden Stakes.
He ran third in 2013 for Chris Waller although his new trainer concedes it will be anything but the remotest pointer to his chances in this year’s edition.
That’s because Thubiaan returns to Flemington on Saturday in a much different guise.
And Eric Musgrove will be happy if Thubiaan can finish with the pack as he puts the finishing touches on the seven-year-old’s preparation for the Australian Steeplechase later this month.
Under Musgrove, Thubiaan is a highly regarded jumper and he is unbeaten in two starts since being switched to steeplechase racing after winning three times over hurdles.
“He’s getting a bit older and he’s probably lost that dash he had when he was racing well on the flat, but in saying that he’s very well,” Musgrove said.
“If he has a good ride I would think that he wouldn’t finish a long way from them.
“I sometimes get a bit carried away going into a flat race as their greatest asset is making ground at a fence and really that is his go now.
“I would have preferred not to run him on Saturday but I don’t want to go into the Australian having him over-race.”
Musgrove said the gelding hasn’t schooled over jumps since his win in the Brierly Steeplechase at Warrnambool.
The jumper has spent his days at the beach since the Brierly, walking in chest-deep water as well as training at Musgrove’s Coronet Bay property.
The Andrew Ramsden has brought together a field of 16 over the Melbourne Cup course and distance, headed by last year’s Queensland Derby winner Sonntag, a winner over 2800m at Flemington on May 9.
Adelaide Cup winner Tanby and three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva’s half-sister La Amistad are also set to line-up.