Our best comes up in the last which is probably the best of a good buch of handicaps. It would be a surprise if there wasn't quite a few coming winners in there but the one we fancy to win on Saturday is the Price and Kent-trained Fifth Position.
Fifth Position has some nice bits of form in the book from his time in the UK. He knocked off one of the better 1400m horses on the planet (Space Blues) in a Notts Novice and was campaigned like a good horse at three before running well in handicaps last year, the highlight being a third in the invariably strong John Smith's Cup at York.
He was also a winner second time out over 2050m, a similar task to what he faces at Flemington on Saturday. He arrives off a good run at Warrnambool, sitting off fence on a day where it didn't hurt to pinch the geometric advantage of the rail, and he travelled up like the winner there before getting tired in a race that was strongly-run and collapsed late. Hardly an ideal scenario for a horse that the stable had suggested would take plenty of benefit from the run.
He ran like that was true. Fitness gave out but he has been given a month to come on for that and a fitter version can step out at Flemington on Saturday. That version can win this and prices around 5/1 look very fair despite the depth to the race.
For an each way play we are looking to a fairly interesting race three where the betting is headed up by a good horse in Chief Altony.
Good horse, for sure and certain, but he may just want a mile sooner rather than later and this should be fairly competitive. Beehunter is Beehunter, and going nowhere in any great hurry, but he was good enough the other day to represent a danger. Petruchio is back from 472 days off the scene but was at least as exciting as Chief Altony before that break and Archie Alexander is turning out a stack of winners at the moment. Just Folk is a handy horse who finished quickly when resuming and is probably too big at 25/1. But for all of that is the one down the bottom, the aptly named Raise 'Em Up, who gets the each way play nod at around 20/1.
Like Fifth Position, fitness gave out on him when resuming in a high-pressure race but allowed to balance up last time he won and won really well at Kilmore.
We are talking Kilmore 58 to Flemington, he may prefer a softer surface and, like the favourite, he may also be looking towards a mile now. But such queries are much easier to stomach at 20/1 than at 2/1 and the Kilmore win last time impressed enough to bet straight through those queries and have him running for us.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 9 #10 Fifth Position @ $6.00
Each Way Play: Race 3 #16 Raise 'Em Up @ $21.00