Group l racing returns to Melbourne this Saturday with the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield the highlight on a fabulous nine event program. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is good (4) and the rail is out six metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:30) Clanbrooke Racing Handicap 2400m
3 Jaameh (Bet Now: $2.25) does look the one to beat here. He’s being touted as a Caulfield Cup but if he is to be heading down that path, he’d want to be putting this lot. Same was said prior to his run last time at Flemington and he duly saluted, but he beat nothing compared to what he faces here. Good test, but I think he’s got the upside.
8 Zilbiyr (Bet Now: $9.00) is bursting to win a race. He’s flying for the Robert Kingston team…is it here though? I’m not sure he’s got the class. His run last Saturday, albeit aided by bias, was pretty good behind Tiffany’s Lass after getting well back. He’ll do no work from the inside draw and he’ll be strong late.
I reckon 4 Tall Ship (Bet Now: $14.00) is ticking over quite well. On the quick back up after racing over 2040m last Saturday at the Valley where he really had no chance given the bias but ran better than expectations I thought behind Trap For Fools. He has a fab record at 2400m and this is the first time he steps out to the trip since winning the 2015 Werribee Cup in impressive fashion.
Race 2. (13:05) Nitto Denko Handicap (78) 1200m
Waddle your finger and hope for the best. 8 Dane Thunder (Bet Now: $27.00) on top. He hasn’t raced in over a month since finishing down the track in the Mildura Cup behind Husson Eagle after getting well back off the pace. He seems to be a good horse on the fresh side and has run well at this level before. Happy to have him on top in a dartboard job.
18 Grey Shadow (Bet Now: $4.80) is a quality mare resuming for Darren Weir. This girl had quite a consistent Autumn/Winter prep where she won the one race, which came over 1100m here, and placed on a few other occasions. Finds a very winnable race for her resumption and did look sharp in a recent jump out.
11 Lord Barrington (Bet Now: $16.00) is a Michael Moroney trained gelding who is rarely far away at this level. He comes through the Bryan race from a fortnight ago over 1100m here where he did a bit too much work in the run from the wide draw and weakened late. Draws much better and senior jock on so he has a few positives.
Race 3. (13:40) Hockingstuart Handicap 1400m
I’m very keen to back 7 Harmattan (Bet Now: $12.00) here. James Cummings trains this mare, who resumed over 1400m at Flemington three weeks back and if you were on, at the time you’d be filthy with the run, but looking at the splits, she would have had to run Winx-like splits to win. No chance. If she gets a more genuine tempo, confident she wins.
6 Istria (Bet Now: $4.60) is a James Cummings trained mare who should be respected enormously. Eye catching resumption when second to Oria before racing over 1400m where the tempo was against her and she couldn’t run on at all in a race won by the in form Irithea. I think third up in a race with more tempo, hopefully, she can bounce back.
12 Coral Coast (Bet Now: $20.00) is a quality daughter of So You Think resuming for the Anthony Freedman stable. This mare hasn’t raced since the Queensland Oaks where she ran a gutsy fourth to Youngstar in what looks as if it’ll be a high quality edition of the race. Think she’ll need the run but trialled well enough at Cranbourne to suggest she’ll be competitive.
Race 4. (14:15) Jockey Celebration Day Handicap 1400m
9 Night’s Watch (Bet Now: $2.25) for me. Darren Weir trains this galloper, who produced one of the runs of the day when resuming over 1400m at Flemington three weeks ago where he was forced to make his run nearer the inside and he chased hard, but Theanswermyfriend just packed too many punches on the line, and that form has been franked. Good second up record and hard to ignore that resumption.
12 Muraaqeb (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Hayes/Dabernig galloper who was kept safe in betting when resuming in the Regal Roller and was far from disgraced for mine behind a potential Group l horse in Osborne Bulls. Has a fab second up record, draws well, Jamie Kah steering and is bred to handle give in the track if the rain comes.
3 Fastnet Tempest (Bet Now: $16.00) is a talented galloper first up for the Hayes/Dabernig team. He had a four run Autumn prep, highlighted by a narrow win in the Anniversary Vase at this track/distance. Not the most brilliant of first up horses, but looked quite impressive I thought in a recent Tatura trial win. Goes in all exotics.
Race 5. (14:50) Heatherlie Stakes 1700m
12 Miss Admiration (Bet Now: $5.00) for me. Mick Price trains this mare, who was really good in the Autumn in some of the 3YO Classics, placing in both the ATC Oaks and SA Oaks. Resumed over the mile here a fortnight back and looked to hit the line strongly late when third to Plein Ciel. Got more upside than the well fancied Call Me Handsome and more confident Miss Admiration will be stronger at the end than him.
1 Big Duke (Bet Now: $14.00) is a high class animal for the Darren Weir team who looked clearly in need of the run when resuming in the PB Lawrence a fortnight back but despite that, I thought he got a definite pass mark behind Showtime. Up to 1700m and back in depth are two big ticks and he does have class on his side.
7 Cordero (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Team Hawkes trained gelding who had specking when resuming three weeks back at Rosehill over 1400m but it was a day where those out the back didn’t have much hope when down the track behind Flow. Quickly up to 1700m will suit him and from gate one, he can sit much closer.
Race 6. (15:30) McNeil Stakes 1200m
Very keen to see how 15 Granny Red Shoes (Bet Now: $12.00) measures up. Talented filly who resumes for Toby Edmonds after a really good campaign during the Brisbane Winter, which saw her win a couple of Listed races in very impressive fashion before being tipped out. Loved the way she went in a recent Gold Coast trial and if the rain forecast is right, she comes even further into play.
All you can do is win and that is what 4 Tony Nicconi (Bet Now: $4.20) has done so far in his career, winning 2/2, both coming here. The latest of those wins came in the Vain a fortnight back where he did a pretty good job outside the speed, put Rock Hard away and then held off Native Soldier. More depth, but has race fitness…personally, I’d love to see him ridden with cover. I think he’ll be better with a bunny to chase.
3 Not A Single Cent (Bet Now: $21.00) is a Maher/Eustace trained colt that resumes. Only won the one race from four outings in the Autumn, but that win was an impressive victory in the VRC Sires before a two run prep in Sydney. Comes here with two jump outs under the like belt, like he did prior to the debut. I think whatever he does here, he will improve on, but has the quality to be competitive.
Race 7. (16:10) Memsie Stakes 1400m
I reckon this race evolves around 1 Happy Clapper (Bet Now: $5.50). If he handles Caulfield, I think his class just about gets him home. He is a beauty for Pat Webster who isn’t far off being the best horse in Australia behind Winx. Had a fab Autumn prep, highlighted by his Doncaster triumph. Two trials have been great to the eye and from all reports has come on big time since the latest trial.
I think the weather will determine the winning chances of 3 Vega Magic (Bet Now: $2.70). If the track remains in the good range, the horse to beat. But if gets soft, genuinely soft, then I think he’ll struggle, as we saw in the Goodwood on a testing track where he really struggled to let down. That wasn’t the case in the Bletchingly as he was simply stunning in winning. Looking to defend the title from last year…the weather gods need to be on his side.
I think this race will tell us if 11 Showtime (Bet Now: $11.00) is a contender or pretender. The stable and connections want this horse to have a life at stud and in order to get the rubber stamp, he needs a Group l. Won’t get a better chance than here. PB Lawrence win was tough, gritty and overall just impressive. Has to raise the bar again but who says he can’t.
Race 8. (16:50) The Heath 1100m
Are we going to see the Everest winner here? Perhaps we might, and he hasn’t even got a slot yet. His name is 12 Kemono (Bet Now: $5.50) and this former Japanese galloper makes his Australian debut for the Darren Weir team. He worked sensationally on a bog track at Ballarat on Grand National Day but apparently after he trialled at Warrnambool, Weir has stated he wants a slot for this horse. The noise is too positive out of the stable to ignore.
3 Voodoo Lad (Bet Now: $3.40) is a beauty for Darren Weir and the speed engaged here will really suit him. He got a lovely ride from Olly to win the Aurie’s Star last time at Flemington, wearing down a potential top class galloper in Home of The Brave. Has a sensational record at Caulfield, hard fit, in form and rain certainly won’t harm his chances.
Great to see 1 Santa Ana Lane (Bet Now: $8.50) back at the races. He hasn’t raced since doing the Goodwood/Stradbroke double, a feat that hadn’t been achieved prior to the Freedman galloper. Looked sharp enough in the Cranbourne trial to my to suggest he’s forward enough to win this and clearly has class on his side.
Race 9. (17:25) Cockram Stakes 1200m
Could this be the prep that 14 Petition (Bet Now: $10.00) stands up and be counted. She’s promised so much throughout her career, showing glimpses of Group l talent but not quite going on with it. Just the one run in the Autumn at this track/distance when doing a huge job against the bias behind Prussian Vixen. Two trials leading into this prep compared to one in the Autumn, so I reckon there is intent to run well fresh.
The class of the field is 2 I Am A Star (Bet Now: $19.00). She got a definite pass mark for mine when resuming in the Aurie’s Star, sticking on well in defeat behind Voodoo Lad. She’ll be much better suited back on a bending track, fitter, likes Caulfield and back to mares grade, she does look the most obvious of this lot. Barrier just puts me off.
13 Crystal Fountain (Bet Now: $17.00) is an Anthony Freedman trained mare who had good late market support when resuming over 1100m here a fortnight back and for a couple of strides she loomed large to win but the class and finale of La Bella Diosa came to the fore late. Not quite as dynamic second up, but I think is a must for exotics.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 1 Happy Clapper
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 9 Night’s Watch
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 15 Grannt Red Shoes
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 3, 4, 7, 15
Leg Two: 1, 3, 10, 11
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 5, 12
Leg Four: 1, 2, 5, 13, 14
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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