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There is racing at Flemington on Saturday
  1. Horse Racing

Australian Racing: Saltaire can fly the flag at Flemington

It’s Oaks Day at Flemington on Thursday with the Kennedy Oaks part of a nine-race card at the Melbourne venue.

Race 8 Flemington

Aethelflaed @ 8.00 

Race 7 Flemington

Saltaire @ 7.00 

Race 6 Hawkesbury

Skyman @ 4.00

Aethelflaed for Oaks success

The previously mentioned Kennedy Oaks is set to take place as the penultimate race of the day, with a field of 14 declared for the Group 1 $1,000,000 feature contest over 2500m.

The James Cummings-trained Zardozi is expected to jump as favourite having shown solid form in recent starts.

The filly registered her first victory as a three-year-old when coming home one-and-a-half-lengths clear of her rivals in the 1600m Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes.

That Group 2 event at this venue was staged on a soft 5 track and she showed up well when losing out by a narrow margin in the 2000m Group 2 Wakeful Stakes here subsequently.

The daughter of Kingman has a top jockey up but AETHELFLAED is preferred on this occasion.

Trained by Matthew Smith, the filly caught the eye when finishing fourth in the previously mentioned Group 2 Wakeful Stakes over 2000m here. 

The pick was making her first start in Group company that day and didn’t look out of place, having previously registered a victory in a 2000m Class 1 at Kembla Grange. 

Both of those efforts came on a good 4 track and similar underfoot conditions are expected for this contest.

The step up in distance looks likely to suit with the pick having raced from off the pace prior to finishing strongly in the Wakeful.

While the Saxon Warrior filly lacks the experience of some of her rivals, she remains open to improvement, with jockey Mark Zahra on a high following his Cup success on Tuesday. 

Saltaire to register Roses triumph

There are two other Group races on the Flemington card, with the 1100m Red Roses Stakes due to take place as the race before the Oaks.

Michael Freedman saddles likely favourite Mumbai Muse, who won by a length when tackling the Listed Brian Cowley Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on 28th October.

That victory came on a soft 5 track and it’s notable that the filly disappointed when mid-division on a good 4 surface in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes the previous month.

While that Tea Rose effort came over 1400m, it was also the filly’s first outing on a good 4 track since finishing fifth of six in Rosehill’s Group 2 Silver Slipper in February.

SALTAIRE has caught the eye when racing from off the pace in both starts this spell and is selected to register her first victory since December in this event.

That December success came in the 1000m Inglis Nursery on a good 4 track at Randwick and she showed he can compete in Group company later in her two-year-old campaign.

The pick returned to action with a solid seventh in the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes over this track and trip, prior to losing out narrowly at Moonee Valley on 28th October..

That Moonee Valley effort saw the filly finishing runner-up in the 1200m Listed Crockett Stakes on a good 4 track.

Blake Shinn, on board at Moonee Valley, is again in the saddle and he is taken to steer the filly to victory. 

Skyman for Listed success

There’s Listed action at Hawkesbury where the Ladies Day Cup over 1500m comes up as the sixth race on the card. 

Veteran galloper SKYMAN has to concede weight to his rivals, however he is taken to do that successfully having tackled stronger contests in recent months.

The eight-year-old placed second in the 1400m Group 2 Tramway Stakes on a soft 5 track at Randwick in September.

While the pick failed to shine on his next two starts, he returned to form when tackling the Group 3 Craven Plate over 1800m at Randwick on 28th October.

The selection was beaten less than half-a-length into third at Randwick and with a good barrier here is selected to score for Kathy O’Hara and trainer Chris Waller. 

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