Costa Rolfe



Frankie goes to Flemington

Who to back when you're in a form slump? A mercurial swooper, that's who!

In a week where one Frankie (of the Lanfranco variety) was making headlines in the UK after his partnership with the Gosden yard dramatically ended (or took a ‘sabbatical’ as it was cutely framed), another can return the name to the winner’s circle at Flemington on Saturday.

Coincidentally and for the purposes of full disclosure, I too have been taking a sabbatical of sorts recently, only mine is from backing winners, is unpaid and is entirely without my consent.

Our boy Frankie Pinot however – one of those dry, medium-bodied swoopers I can’t seem to get enough of – might just be the ticket back to a gainful punting payday.

The McEvoy-trained five-year-old has put in a super preparation to date, winning the Wangoom first-up at the ‘Bool, charging home from a mile back in the Goodwood and then finding the line well under 60kg at Randwick last time (that run was better than it might appear on paper).

Despite his recent victory, my trust in the favourite Tuvalu has waned somewhat, probably due to the fact that the only two times I’ve relented and had something on him happen to be the two times he’s been rolled at Flemington, at odds-on. With Frankie nudging double-figure odds that is enough to justify an each-way play on the bay (enforced sabbatical from rhyming imminent).


Tuvalu succumbs to Le Don De Vie at Flemington. (Photo by Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

There are also a couple of well-related two-year-olds having their first starts for Mitch Freedman at two different tracks on Saturday.

At Flemington, he has Ostile kicking off his career in the Listed Taj Rossi Final. He is a son of Shocking, a horse who had a love for Flemington himself.

This Kiwi-bred gelding looks a similar staying type, working home in all three of his jumpouts to date. Could he be a Victoria Derby horse?

However, if you look at his pedigree you’ll also notice that he’s a three-quarter brother to Pure Pride, an old favourite of mine. She loved Flemington as well, especially in this distance range, winning a stakes race over 1400m and finishing fifth in a Myer Classic.

The second of Freedman’s first starters is at Murray Bridge where Attrition, a colt by Churchill, makes his debut in the colours of Colin McKenna.

Purchased for $180,000, he is a half-brother to stakes winner Royal Rumble. He won a recent jump-out at Kerang in reasonably good fashion and is a horse who looks well worth tracking through this, and subsequent campaigns.



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