The final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival concludes on Saturday with the Emirates Stakes the feature race on the program. With good weather and a fine day predicted we should get a good racing surface so barring any last day track biases every horse should get its chance.
In what is an extremely open Emirates Stakes the Charlie Appleby trained gelding Folkswood will go around as the $5.50 favourite and represents good value at that price.
Coming off a solid third placing in the W.S Cox Plate he looks hard to beat here. After sitting outside Gailo Chop during the run in the Cox Plate he loomed on the corner before weakening slightly in the straight. Winx put the pressure on from a long way out in that race though which is an impossible task for any horse to overcome, but he kept battling to the corner and was too tough for his co leader Gailo Chop who finished a length and a half behind him in fifth place. His form before that was strong in taking out the Cranbourne Cup also and with no Winx to pressure him here he should be able to wait and make his move in the straight and prove too good.
Hardest to beat could be Tosen Stardom who won the Rupert Clarke two starts ago before not having much luck in the Cantala last Saturday. He had to come from the back in a race where nothing made ground and wasn't helped by the fact he copped a big check when making his run in the home straight. The step up to 2000m shouldn't hurt with his best performances in Japan coming over further than the mile and at Each Way odds looks a decent bet.
The most interesting runner in the field looks to be the 3yo Cliff’s Edge who comes off a solid performance in the Vase where he led them up before being overrun by gun filly Aloisia in the straight. They put 5.5L on the third place horse that day and if Aloisia was lining up here she would likely start favourite. He gets in with 51kg and 3yos have performed well in this race recently with Seaburge running second last year off weaker form lines. We have already seen the 3yos beat the older horses this spring too with Shoals defeating the older mares in the G1 Myer Classic last Saturday.
At big odds one worth including in exotics could be the Robbie Laing trained So Si Bon. After finishing around the money all prep including a third placing in the Rupert Clarke he had no chance in the Cantala Stakes last week after bombing the start. It was a race dominated by those on speed and on the rails and he was forced to settle at the back and could never get into it. Being a So You Think stallion he should appreciate the step up to 2000m now and from barrier one if he can get away to a better start and lob closer you should see a much improved performance. Set at $41 in the market you could do a lot worse.
There are some at the top of the market that I think we can risk at the odds. Gailo Chop was soundly beaten by Folkswood last start so I'm prepared to risk him unless he gets out to a silly price and Happy Clapper in that same race has a lot to do to turn around the result on Folkswood. The NZer Gingernuts looks slight unders in the market as well. He was initially on a Melbourne Cup prep before he missed a run in NZ so this is really plan B and I'm not sure his form at Hastings is as strong as most of his counterparts here.
Folkswood @ $5.50
Tosen Stardom @ $12
So Si Bon @ $41