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Headlines Today is 24/01/2020
John O'Shea (pictured) trains Luke Murrell's favoured horse - Astern - in tomorrow's Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington.

With Justracing being one of the biggest racing websites for news in Australia with a fantastically loyal reader base it has been decided Just Racing will continue on in new ownership with an attempt to ensure that the cold hard facts and realities of the racing environment continue to be highlighted and brought to everyoneís attention in an effort to both entertain but also provide insightful knowledge that will help you in your punting life. Whilst the site itself is going to be having a revamp with an updated look and feel we are looking to uphold the brilliant work that Phil Purser has managed to achieve over the last 20 years by writing the at times hard hitting articles that others continue to stay away from.

We all know Phil Purser was not afraid to speak what everyone was thinking via Justracing and as a result he was not always the most liked but certainly one of the most respected people in the industry and in a world of political correctness gone mad we hope to continue in that trend. As we know Phil did most of the writing himself but we intend to draw from a number of respected industry experts and also via some passionate racing journalists to provide you with lots of thought provoking articles on such things as betting angles, ideas and suggestions to racing personality profiles, the Monday betting report will be returning in the near future. We will also be giving you access to some brilliant professional punters and helping you to share in their success. We will have two full time journalists plus a truck load of part time contributors and it is our hope that you choose Justracing as your main source of racing news - as at least here you will get it told exactly as it should be and without all the political BS that is becoming more and more common in our society and racing.

As always we are also open to ideas, thoughts, rumours and anything you feel news worthy and if you have a certain theory or angle you wish to share with us we are more than welcome to share with the public if your facts can be substantiated. If you wish to contact us just drop us a mail and we will respond as soon as possible

The free Friday night race previews are back starting tonight with the most eagerly awaited the race of the Spring Carnival, The Coolmore Stud Stakes to be run on arguably Australiaís greatest race day. There is no doubt that Derby Day starts the greatest week of racing in Australia. Itís the time of year where experts climb out of trees to sprout their knowledge or to impart some wisdom on anyone who wants to listen. The good thing about racing is everyone has a mate of a mate who knows someone involved with the stable who has an absolute slam dunk moral!!!

Normally there is at least such instances per race but it is for this reason that racing in Australia thrives like nowhere else Ė.Itís fair to say in recent times racing is almost exclusively on the ďwrong legĒ in terms of bad press Ė but with the spring carnival we have something to spruik about.

Whilst the racing at Ascot, Deauville this year, Hong Kong and in America is largely of much better standard overall- the hype, build up and atmosphere in Australia sees our best carnival of the year lengths ahead of the rest in terms of build up and hype. Even this year whilst our Caulfield Cup might have been of Group 3 standard and our Cox Plate a one horse affair and even with the upcoming Melbourne Cup looking like being the weakest possibly in the History of the Race Ė the carnival doesnít care and the hype and build up continues to reach new levels

Derby Day as itís known starts the official launch of the Melbourne Carnival for mine and whilst the Derby itself is often a ho hum affair itís the lead up races that attract so much interest for the racing enthusiast Ė none more so this year  than the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes (formerly known as the Ascot Vale Stakes )

A 1200m race up the straight for 3yr olds run at Set Weights is one of the feature races on the Australian Calendar and has been won by some of Australiaís best ever horses Ė such as Vain, Century, Toy Show, Rancher, Zedative and in more recent time Encosta De lago,Weekend Hussler, Gold Edition, Star Witness, Sepoy, Nechita, Zoustar  and Brazen Beau. Itís a race though that can produce a rough result with last yearís winner Japonisme, Scareedee Cat etc producing upsets.

Letís Have a Look at This yearís race as it looks an absolute beauty although in my opinion they have mucked up the market and they have clearly got it wrong which might give our readers an advantage. However first it is important to stress the following. 1.  You donít need to have had a run down the straight to perform Ė whilst it would help the horse to have had a look previously in training, jump out or a race, statistically itís of no advantage.  2.  Lanes play a massive role in these straight races and whilst last year was like a conveyor belt up the inside fence and was worth at least 4 lengths Ė I donít think we will see that happen this year as historically with the rail in the true position the best ground is 8 to 10 off the fence.  3 The major key to winning these straight races is they generally are run with a lack of serious tempo from the gates and hence a 1200m race can develop into a 900m or 1000m race. The horses you want to find though are those closest to the lead with the best turn of foot. If you can focus on these 3 factors you will do exceptionally well in these events long term.

Coolmore Stud Stakes Preview: Provided by Luke Murrell



Is trading currently at $8 to a best of $12 around the corporates and Iíll be the first to admit as a two year old he was as slow as a wet week and had no future as an older horse. History will prove that largely the horses he beat in winning a Magic Millions and Golden Slipper are all basically legless Ė yet credit to his team he was the fastest slow horse of his generation which says more about our breeding going backwards quicker than the great mare Winx can run. However ignore his paper form and all the rubbish that is written about him and believe me when I say he is coming off his career best run where he actually showed some decent ability. He will sit forward of midfield and comes here as a small winning chance but genuine place type horse off that last run . The Snowdenís are in the top 5 trainers in Australia and B Shinn has found recent form and riding very well. (NOW SCRATCHED)

Extreme Choice

You will see some fantastic physical specimens in the yard Saturday but this bloke wonít be one of them. He is knee high to a grasshopper and amazingly has come up favourite here trading between $2.90 to $3.40 here. If you think that is value then please phone : 131114. As I canít help you and perhaps Lifeline can. Make no mistake you would love to own him as he has won a staggering $1.5m in stakes money but whilst he isnít the slowest horse to win this type of money he has to be in the top 10. But what has this thing actually done. Sure he has run some time early days as an early season 2yr old but we know that crop was legless on data. He beat the wonderful gallopers So Serene, Rampage, Highland Beat, Gratwick, Flying Artie and Zamzam. In doing so he won 2 of his first 3 races on his own training track at Caulfield which suits his style. Then he came back as a 3year old and won the Group 1 Moir over 1000m- beating those wonderful ( not) gallopers in Heatherly and Wild Rain. Sure he beat Buffering but he has been gone for 2 years from his normal level and he beat Chautauqua who is a) not a 1000m horse and b) always going to be odds on to be buggered after coming back from the graveyard for horses known as Hong Kong. (we will do a story on this later but basically if you head to Hong Kong from Australia and return they must do something to the horses as they are rarely the same again) . In winning at Mooney Valley he ran no time, and was stopping hard the last 200m and all he showed was he had a 300m sprint equal to most Group 3 horses. He races some genuine stars here and if he runs top 3 I will be amazed. If you can learn one thing from this article it should be to remember that 1000m form is only 1000m form- it has no relevance on any other distance range and especially not 1200m races. For those that like to lay horses on Betfair he represents great value to do so as he is well under his true odds and perhaps even laying him the place will be a serious consideration. I canít see him not drifting alarmingly though on his current price. He will be more than likely be back and on the inside and he canít afford to do this tactically against this field. I simply think the horse isnít good enough plus he has a poor platform for this, has a lot against and is a bookmakers dream.


Currently trading $3.80 to $4.20 in places at present and is a case of an ugly duckling who showed zero on the race track on data and figures as a two year old to returning as a three year old and announcing he was the Alpha Male of his generation and returning as an absolute BEAST. He comes into the race as the best rated horse of this field (with a buffer) and he also still has scope to improve. He is one of the only ones here who will measure up to the older horses later in life and should be the hot favourite. He comes out of the race that Russian Revolution won but for the day it was the high wind day and by his race Mcdonald got caught too far back yet the horse still was able to reel off 10.68,10.96,10.52 and 11.04 on a day he was not suited to. This says he is a jet and can sustain a long run. If he is within striking at the 500m he should be winning and only a poor ride or severe traffic will stop him. I would suggest he WILL be backed from his current price.

Flying Artie

Currently trading at around $11 to $13 and he has more scope than his stablemate Extreme Choice but gets the inside draw and Hughie, who whilst is the number 1 in Australia has by his own high standards surely not been happy with his recent current form. He has natural speed this horse and was made to work 1st up. His sectionals say he has 2-3 lengths improvement in him and if he gets a soft lead which is every chance and they race down the middle of the track then he is a knock out chance but if he stays to the rails Iím willing to say he has none unless the conveyor belt is back in action like last year on this day. The 3 weeks between runs will be ideal for him though and he has a very good trainer in Mick Price Ė like Capitalist more a place chance.

Star Turn

If Astern is to be beaten this is his challenger Ė he showed as a two year he was promising with 1-2 hidden runs producing what good horses can do and has returned this prep a machine capable of beating the older horses which not many of these will be able to do. Currently trading at $4.20 to $4.60 he is well over the odds and thatís because Extreme Choice is taking up market percentage and whilst he was dynamic at Caulfield beating the older horses he looked better than his figures suggested. He probably has only a length or so improvement but without that he still has a rating good enough to knock Astern off. The major concern is D Dunn. Tactically he is limited and is an extremely poor judge of speed. He looks to settle 2nd or 3rd pair which will help Dunn Ė as when he leads is when he is poison constantly going either too fast or too slow and riding to extremes. However here he should be dragged along by the race shape and that helps. He is currently 0 from 3 on the horse but hopefully has been trained under the care of John Hawkes and if so will be in the finish.

Russian Revolution

Currently trading between $11 and $12 and is unbeaten winning 4 from 4 and whilst being unbeaten is a fabulous achievement and Iíd love to own him heís basically been amazingly lucky and well placed to race slow horses to this point. Before you scream he has beaten Astern and Capitalist you idiot I realise all this but he was given a 20 out of 10 ride by K McEvoy last start at Randwick on the day where the wind was threatening to blow the Grandstand down and as a result jockeys where petrified to go anywhere near the lead prior to his race. However between races the wind dropped to almost nothing and as a result McEvoy realised this and rode him positive and got away with blue murder in front whilst Mcdonald was mucking around out the back and giving him at least 8 lengths at one stage. With the leader getting a loose lead (huge advantage) and the main dangers riding well off him they crawled the first 700m of the race and hence it was a 500m race only with this thing getting a 3-4 length head start. Given his soft lead I thought he was fairly weak to the line and Saturday will be the first of many runs that this horse is exposed as an impostor and better suited back in Listed Grade rather than mixing it with the Group 1 horses.


Currently trading at $31- to $41 his coming back 400m from the 1600m. I like him when let bowl along rather than held up but his well out of his grade here and I donít like him as he has very little turn of foot , and as good a trainer as Murray Baker is Ė this horse is racing for the crumbs


Currently trading at $41 in most places but on the day I think you will get $101 on Betfair and such. If there is a knock out or big place exotic then this fellow is it. He has a lot of talent but like his father in Helmet is half a fruit loop. He has a good race in him if they train him as a sprinter only as he has done a few nice things that not many can do. The race he won at Mooney Valley is rubbish and I donít think by his head carriage and action that he loves shifty or tracks with give and a big track and firm like Flemington is Ėwill suit him amazingly well.  My concern he is in the race to provide his stable mate ASTERN a bunny to chase and also to give him cover and as a result he might be sacrificed in this but he has talent and ability and donít be surprised if he wins something in his career. His attitude isnít great so he might be a better Autumn horse but is a must include in exotics


They pay $10k down to 8th position and as good a rider as the Magic Man is his not a miracle worker and this horse best hope in this to finish 6th to 8th to pick up the $10,000. Currently trading at $31 to $41 and surely the work experience kid who framed the prices here has left a zero off.

Manolo Blahniq

Well named horse currently trading at $101. I hope they roll forward and at least run them along for the sake of the race. He is a horse of some ability but his been horribly placed his whole career in races where he canít win. Nothing has changed here. Talk about breaking a horseís spirit. If I owned him he would be in QLD or SA in a 1400 or 1600m event not wasting the ownerís money in this type of race.


In summary I think the race is a beauty with 2-3 really nice horses and as a result I think either Astern or Star Turn will win the race with minor chances to Capitalist ( prior to scratching ),Flying Artie and Archives should be included in the minor end of any first 4 betís

Preview provided by Luke Murrell: Professional Form & Racing Analyst

Good luck and have a great week endís punting.

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