The last hurrah.
What a return to the track we've had as a community. There are few things quite like a Flemington spring carnival.
And - we're not done yet... The VRC have produced a mammoth finale for us all - CHAMPIONS DAY!
Formerly known as Stakes Day, the re-branded concept has added the Cantala to sit alongside the Darley Sprint and Mackinnon Stakes.
These three Group 1's will now occupy two hours of our attention like few other moments throughout the racing year.
The Champions Sprint into the Champions Mile into the Champions Stakes.
Only Champions allowed.
And this is how we're seeing and playing these three elite events.
CHAMPIONS SPRINT - 1200m, Group 1, $3,000,000
The rematch of the old bull and the young buck - plus the in-form mare.
Nature Strip's stats set up incredibly here. 7/9 third up, he loves the Flemington straight and looks drawn amazingly well. Bella Nipotina went to a whole new level destroying a handy Manikato field whilst we all witnessed the Giga Kick sensation in The Everest.
But this is a deep race, you could entertain Paulele off a hiccup run, Roch N Horse, Argentia off an amazing win last time in and even Lofty Strike who is going sneaky good and has class.
It's a deep deep race and one not to be missed.
SELECTIONS: 1/ NATURE STRIP $2
2/ GIGA KICK $5
3/ LOFTY STRIKE $41
4/ MASKED CRUSADER $34
CHAMPIONS MILE - 1600m, Group 1, $3,000,000 This is the race which has more questions than answers.
An import who could be anything. An elite sprinter stepping up to the mile. A couple of old warriors looking for one last kill this campaign. And that's not even mentioning Mr Brightside, Aegon, Tuvalu or Kolding who may finally get a good deck.
My Oberon was allegedly 75% fit when he brained them at The Valley. He could do anything here.
Private Eye is the most versatile horse in the nation.
Maybe he just turns up and wins.
Or can Alligator Blood drop back from a Cox Plate and be too tough?
I respect Tuvalu who could be a Cox Plate horse for next year and may get the right run here.
What a race this is. The mile will not be long enough for us to try sort out what's happening and who's going where in what shapes up as the race of the day.
SELECTIONS: 1/ MY OBERON $4.40
2/ PRIVATE EYE $3
3/ TUVALU $11 4/ CASCADIAN $5
CHAMPIONS STAKES - 2000m, Group 1, $3,000,000
Anamoe v I'm Thunderstruck v Zaaki - the rematch.
The Thunderstruck camp are confident they can take the scalp of Anamoe on the vast expanses of Flemington - a track Anamoe has never raced at, which of course is no knock on the horse, merely a quirk.
It's easy to say Thunderstruck would've ran past Anamoe with more luck but Anamoe is a champion built for the Champion Stakes.
I think we can pen Zaaki. I doubt he will ever beat Anamoe home again.
The three-year-olds add interest. Elliptical is a few inches away from being a dual-Group 1-winner and Mr Maestro was a Derby fancy but may be better off at this trip.
Another beauty but one that might be the most predictable.
Famous last words.
3/ I'M THUNDERSTRUCK
BEST BETS: FLEMINGTON -
Race Six - Number One: NATURE STRIP $2
Race Seven - Number Nine: MY OBERON $4.40
Race Eight - Number Seven: ANAMOE $2
Race Nine - Number Six: TAUNTING $3.80