Herald Sun analyst has Lycurgus creating picket fence

Lycurgus's outstanding form with consecutive Sandown wins over 2400m has Superracing form analyst Chris Vernuccio convinced the Danny O’Brien-trained four-year-old can continue his winning ways at Flemington.

The Nooch has him on top as his best bet on what he regards as a terribly difficult meeting at headquarters. His preview for the early races is below with O'Brien runners in bold.

BEST BET - LYCURGUS (Race 2, No. 6)

LYCURGUS (6) is in outstanding form with consecutive wins over 2400m, easily accounting for CHOYSA (4) and FALAGO (5). The extra 100m here shouldn’t be a problem. Choysa had little luck in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington and could be the value. SWACADELIC (2) was narrowly beaten in that race by Sin To Win and the seven-year-old veteran should be competitive again despite dropping back from 3200m to 2500m. HURSLEY (3) is honest but not convinced he’ll run out 2500m. OBSERVATIONAL (1) can improve over the longer trip. LA COURBETTE (8) could be the knockout if the Waller stable decides to run here.

Would be more confident with SMOOTH LANDING (7) had she drawn better. From barrier 12 she’s likely to be ridden back as there looks to be plenty of speed in this field. She finished second behind Peaceful State over 1400m, a distance that will be more to her liking. MINTHA (4) thrashed a weak maiden field at Balaklava to finally notch her first win after failing at Group 2 level the start before. LADY OF CREBILLY (2) was disappointing last time, watch the betting on her. REMEMBER THE NAME (9) should improve second-up over 1400m, ISLAND DAZE can’t be discounted and Fred Kersley's claim bring ABSOLUTE HEAVEN (10) into calculations.

SECOND BULLET (1) drops back in grade and should push forward from the wide draw as there doesn’t look to be a lot of speed. He has to lump 59.5kg and it’s been 12 months since his last win. SILVERA (5) will carry 6kg less but 1800m is some query. JAMINZAH is a big threat after winning at the track and distance last time and he loves Flemington. There was little between he and BALCAZAR (10) and they meet on similar weight terms. QUICK DEFENCE (4) finished behind that pair but meets them 2.5-3kg better at the weights.

To view Herald Sun's full Flemington meeting preview click here

Pic by Racing.com

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