Racing over the Christmas period may lack the stars of the spring and late-summer/autumn but it the tracks are good, the horses are thriving at the peak of the season, and there is typically great betting to be part of.
Flemington on Saturday fits that mould perfectly. Good horses and great betting.
Our best of the day comes up in the fourth on the card, a handicap for the stayers which sees a clash of four last-start winners and a couple that were unlucky not to be.
Those unlucky include Reflect The Stars who was left with too much to do at Ballarat last time but ran on really well to walk away looking stiff not to make it two wins on the bounce.
This time she draws a gate and Damien Oliver hops aboard ready no doubt to give her one of those perfect blending runs that have made him the king of staying races at Flemington in modern times.
There are holds to be picked in the main dangers here and it's far from impossble to draw this up with Reflect The Stars as favourite - given that $5.50 looks a bet worth having.
We only have to wait 40 minutes for our each way play, dropping from the 2500m to the 1000m where Fabergino heads up a good off-season sprint that features to last start stakes winners.
William Thomas has won nothing this spring, but not for lack of trying. His racing pattern makes him hard work but the odds, 20-1 in places, seem way too big about a horse in top form and hitting this on the seven-day back up having won both times he has landed in that spot in the past.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 4 #6 Reflect The Stars @ $5.50
Each Way Play: Race 5 #3 William Thomas @ $21.00