The Melbourne Mail: Flemington - 1st January 2022

Flemington hosts its traditional New Years Day meeting but with a slight change for 2022.

SMOKIN' ROMANS winning the Sportsbet Pakenham Cup
SMOKIN' ROMANS winning the Sportsbet Pakenham Cup Picture: Race Images Photo


The Standish goes out and the Chester Manifold comes in. That is a fairly like-for-like change and it stands up as a betting card with plenty of depth and variety across the day. 

One theme of the day is the short and (fairly) obvious favourite. There are four of them trading inside $2.50 including in both features - both the Chester Manifold and the Bagot. 

As is the case with almost all 5/4 shots, it's easy enough to make a compelling case about all four of them. The one that we see as most watertight comes in the Bagot where Smokin' Romans finds a race without a great deal of depth. 

Good Idea is an Adelaide Cup winner, and chased Smokin' Romans gamely at Pakenham, but it's certainly advantage to the Roman and Jamie Kah who run for a stable that are a positive variable in all races but a massive plus in races at 2000m+ where their record in the past 12 months highlights a clear advantage over even other topline yards. 

They are a force and few horses highlight this as strongly as Smokin' Romans who has been racing consistently well for nine months now and there is no reason to expect the wheels to fall off as the calendar turns over to 2022. 

For an each way play we roll onto the last. There are certainly no 5/4 shots here. 20 go down the straight in a proper betting heat to close the card and we land on the top one - Broadwayandfourth. 

She was terrific late in the piece after stepping slowly at Pakenham. That's a niggle, she has a little habit of doing that, but the Flemington 1200m can be slightly more forgiving and if she is able to stalk a strong pace her accelaration is made for the task ahead of her. 

2021 was a bit of a bust for Broadwayandfourth - two failed runs in April her only racecourse appearances before the slow away return last time - but her two Group Three placings to close out 2020 are great form for this and the fresh run hinted at a return to that level now. She's a good gamble at double figure odds. 


Bet Of The Day: Race 7 #2 Smokin' Romans @ $2.25

Each Way Play: Race 9 #1 Broadwayandfourth @ $12.00


Racing and Sports