Follow the Flag tomorrow


January 30, 2016
PRINCE ANDREW (left) with Paul Francis up, scoring a half length win over RED FLAG (O'Brien White) in last year's Allan E. 'Billy' Williams Memorial Trophy race over 1400m.

RED FLAG gets the right distance and a great draw from which to stalk and beat rivals in tomorrow's 1100-metre overnight allowance for the ISP Finance Services Plaque.

Though post-position one is feared in sprint distances, it is often beneficial to run-on sprinters such as RED FLAG, who drop back behind the speedsters and make their move off the final turn. More often than not, they get acres of room when the quicker horses step off the rail entering the straight.

Last time out RED FLAG took a similar route after racing wide from post-position seven in a nine-horse field, chasing the quartet of ROYAL ASSAULT, RIO COBRE, LADY SHANKARI and MOM'S STUDENT into the lane.

Quickening well off the turn, RED FLAG was travelling smoothly along the rail but had to be checked twice in the stretch run. LADY SHANKARI first moved from mid-track to the rail, causing jockey Ian Spence to change course.

After RED FLAG was switched, RIO COBRE moved inwards to close the space, causing jockey Ian Spence to return to the rail. Under the circumstances, RED FLAG rallied strongly to get within a neck of second-place LADY SHANKARI, who was subsequently disqualified for the interference.

Pulling up at the clubhouse turn, RED FLAG was right on the shoulders of five-and-a-quarter length winner, ROYAL ASSAULT, in the 1000-metre round race.

Going a half-furlong longer tomorrow, the eight-year-old gelding renews rivalry with LADY SHANKARI and RIO COBRE, who will both have FORCE DE JOUR for company on the lead. A torrid first half mile is expected among speedy trio, setting it up for RED FLAG to mow them down inside the final furlong.

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