One of the best race days of the year comes around this Saturday at Caulfield, where it is Caulfield. Ten races, highlighted by four Group l events, with the feature race being the $1 Million BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m). The weather forecast is for storms, the track is good (3) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit..
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Race One (13:00) : Inglis Debutant Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: On the trials we have seen, Flying Jess (Best Odds: $3.40) looks the one to beat here despite the wide gate. She blitzed her rivals on Monday at Cranbourne and the time was very sharp. Trained at Caulfield, which is a big advantage, and stable rider is on. Looks the one on what we have seen publicly.
Big Danger: Pearl Congenial (Best Odds: $4.50) is a pretty sharp filly for Robert Smerdon who has led in both trials, winning the first one before being gunned down late on Monday. Should ping the gates and sit on speed, and that is usually the spot to be in these early two year old races.
Roughie: Literate (Best Odds: $31.00) is a first starter for Brent Stanley who trialled well at Cranbourne a couple of weeks back, beating home stablemate Sweet Sherry, who scored a strong debut win at Flemington last Sunday. Draws well and should be around the mark with normal luck.
Race Two (13:35) : Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes 1100m:
Back Me: Bit like the Gilgai and Chautauqua. No need to over think. Lankan Rupee (Best Odds: $1.30) wins. Moving on.
Big Danger: Shiraz (Best Odds: $4.80) was far from disgraced when he was beaten in the Shorts (1100m) at Randwick. He had to go back to the inside, which clearly wasn’t the place to be yet he finished less than a length off Rebel Dane, who ran well last Saturday. He has been up for a while, but is seemingly enjoying his racing still and handles all conditions, even if we do get a bone dry surface.
Roughie: Really interested to see how Alpha Miss (Best Odds: $8.50) goes here. This former Gary Nickson mare is now with Robert Smerdon and she appears to be loving life in Melbourne based on her recent trial at Cranbourne behind Lankan Rupee, where I think she went better than the Group l star. Suited here first up and she does run quite well fresh.
Race Three (14:10) : Thoroughbred Club Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: I’ll be surprised if I see anything other than a Harlem River (Best Odds: $3.00) win here. She is an outstanding filly for Gai and Coolmore who was excellent towards the end of the Autumn, running second to Flippant on two occasions before smashing them up in the Tatts Stakes on Tatts Tiara Day on the Gold Coast. Her trials in Sydney have been high class, and only bad luck will beat her here.
Big Danger: Serene Majesty (Best Odds: $9.00) absolutely spanked them when resuming at Canterbury, beating home a subsequent winner. She then went to the Furious and found the class a bit rich, running sixth to Speak Fondly, who of course has franked the form well and truly. This is her right level and she can definitely complete a form reversal and beat these, because she has shown enough prior. Has since trialled last week and looked pretty sharp, so for mine, she is definite winning chance.
Roughie: Northern Model (Best Odds: $19.00) was backed as if unbeatable when resuming at Echuca and thanks to a good ride from Linda Meech, the daughter of Northern Meteor proved far too good. Two runs back she made up ground behind Bassett. That horse went on to run well at Group l level, won first up recently and is a live Caulfield Guineas chance.
Race Four (14:45) : Perri Cutten Weekend Hussler Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: The Bowler (Best Odds: $3.00) should be ready now third up from a break. He closed off alright last time out in the Testa Rossa (1200m) here behind Fell Swoop, beaten just under two lengths. He should get every chance from the gate and both stable and rider are flying at the moment.
Big Danger: Gee, Good Value (Best Odds: $7.00) is a good horse for Mick Kent. A classic bread and butter horse that won’t be winning any Group l races, but he will just run an honest race every time he steps out, and his consistency was rewarded with that gritty win over Rugged Cross. 1.5kg worse off at the weights, so I doubt he can beat Rugged Cross home here, but he should run well again.
Roughie: Mecir (Best Odds: $8.50) looked pretty solid at the trials and jump outs prior to resuming here in the Testa Rossa where couldn’t really get into the race behind Fell Swoop. He hasn’t done anything decent for some time, but the trials were encouraging and he could be a sharp improver here at odds in what doesn’t appear to be an overly strong race.
Race Five (15:20) : William Hill Herbert Power Stakes 2400m:
Back Me: Prince Of Penzance (Best Odds: $15.00) also comes through the JRA Cup, and considering he was only third up, he was pretty good I thought when a close up fifth to Escado, beaten just under two lengths. He should be near peak fitness now and will prove hard to hold out.
Big Danger: Amralah (Best Odds: $3.20) toyed with them to win two back at Morphettville before going to the Turnbull and finishing his race off okay late when a close up seventh to Preferment. He will love the rise to 2400m and Hugh Bowman rides, and he rides Lloyd Williams runners just about better than any other riding going around at the moment.
Roughie: Bohemian Lily (Best Odds: $4.20) had been below par in her first two runs this time in, but she showed improvement last time out in the Colin Stephen when second to potential star stayer Amelie’s Star. Fourth up now, so she should be ready fitness wise, she draws well and is on the limit for an in form rider in Kerrin McEvoy.
Race Six (15:55) : Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes 2000m:
Back Me: Carnival defining race here because the Cox Plate big guns face each other. I really think Pornichet (Best Odds: $6.00) can win this and then the Cox Plate. He dragged the field up to Zaratone when resuming and was nabbed on the peg before going to the Chelmsford where he was out wide and that was the no go zone. He then went to the George Main and again dragged the field up to the leader, but he booted clear early in the straight and looked set to win, but he just died on the run late and had to settle for third. Condition wise, he has most upside out of he and Kermadec and he is a proven Group l winner at the distance.
Big Danger: Carnival defining for some, and this could be career defining for Kermadec (Best Odds: $3.00). He is the raging Cox Plate favourite at the moment and this race will tell us just how good he is. He won with real authority on the line in the George Main, but the margin was only a half length and he only grabbed victory late, so I wouldn’t get carried away. He hasn’t proven himself against the big boys yet, which can be said for Pornichet also, and he is untried at 2000m. Those are the niggles, but he is a deserved top pick in betting.
Roughie: I think Mongolian Khan (Best Odds: $12.00) is ticking over beautifully for the Caulfield Cup and this will be a good clean out for next week. Loved his run here in the Underwood where he got left flatfooted but he picked up nicely late for a close up fourth. If you like him for the Caulfield Cup, back him now, because if he wins this, or runs very well, his price will be slashed.
Race Seven (16:30) : David Jones NBCF Toorak Handicap 1600m:
Back Me: Sticking fat with Disposition (Best Odds: $4.80). He could not have been any more impressive when winning first up for Team Freedman at Flemington before coming here for the Sir Rupert Clarke, and throughout the straight, he looked the winner, but Stratum Star lunged on his outside and got him in a thrilling finish. Yet to win beyond 1400m, but he is Group l placed up to 1800m, and third up now, he should be cherry ripe fitness wise.
Big Danger: Blind Freddy could see that Lucky Hussler (Best Odds: $5.00) was the unlucky runner in the Sir Rupert Clarke. He got badly held up in the straight and never got a chance to fully wind up. He wasn’t far off Flamberge in the Goodwood third up last time in, but he appears to be going much better this time around, and he meets Disposition 1kg better at the weights.
Roughie: Abidewithme (Best Odds: $11.00) was enormous in the Sir Rupert Clarke. She was three and four wide no cover for the entire trip yet still kept surging late and ended up only being two lengths off Stratum Star. Proven Group l performer at the mile and she just looks well placed with only 52kg on her back. She is a knockout chance, as is Flamingo Star, who was a real eye catcher in the Shannon.
Race Eight (17:05) : Schweppes Thousand Guineas 1600m:
Back Me: Really keen here on Pasadena Girl (Best Odds: $3.90). Loved her first up run in the Atlantic Jewel before not being suited by the dawdling tempo in the Prelude behind Miss Gunpowder but she was still strong late for fifth. Third up now at the mile is ideal and third up last time out she produced one of the runs of the Sydney Carnival in the Sires behind Pride Of Dubai before winning the Champagne. Looks extremely hard to beat.
Big Danger: Jameka (Best Odds: $8.50) is a talented filly for Ciaron Maher who has been pretty good in two runs back from a break. She also comes through the Atlantic Jewel/Prelude path where she has finished third on each occasion, and has been far from disgraced. Little query on her running out a strong mile, but stable is flying .
Roughie: Alaskan Rose (Best Odds: $34.00) looked awfully sharp in her first two career starts, both resulting in wins, before she went to the Prelude and she just copped too much interference behind Miss Gunpowder in what was an inconclusive run. I could certainly entertain her on an each way basis at around the $21 mark because that does seem good overs.
Race Nine (17:40) : BECK Caulfield Guineas 1600m:
Back Me: I have an all-in wager on Ready For Victory, but I think I will be cheering him on for second, because Press Statement (Best Odds: $2.30) looks the winner. The Sydney three year olds look far superior eg Exosphere. Press Statement was very unlucky in the Golden Rose before he came out and bolted home in the Stan Fox. First go racing in Melbourne, and at the grave yard for Sydney gallopers, but if he handles it, and gets normal luck, he wins.
Big Danger: Ready For Victory (Best Odds: $8.00) does look the only threat to Press Statement. His first two runs this time in were excellent before he ran in the Prelude and he was ridden along for the entire 1400m trip but he was pretty good late behind Bon Aurum. Draws to get the perfect sit off the speed and will relish the step up to the mile.
Roughie: Bassett (Best Odds: $13.00) looks the way to go here. There isn’t much of him, but there was plenty to like about his first up win at Caulfield over 1100m when sitting off the speed and pouncing to record quite a dominant win. His Grand Final is the following Saturday and the Guineas, so this could be the tune up he needs to clean out the cob webs, but he has enough brilliance to win.
Race Ten (18:15) : Cape Grim Beef Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Politeness (Best Odds: $3.20) trialled really well prior to resuming over this track/distance three weeks back where she was given a lovely steer from Mark Zahra from the back to win impressively. She normally does race a touch flat second up, so that’s the query, but her turn of foot is devastating when cuddled and saved for the straight.
Big Danger: Wawail (Best Odds: $4.40) resumed in that race Politeness won and it was a horror show if you backed her. Didn’t get out at any stage and I am pretty sure Michael Walker went in for Shoulder surgery the next day because his arms were out of the socket from pulling her back. Normal luck here and she goes very close to winning.
Roughie: Bring Me The Maid (Best Odds: $6.00) would just about be odds on here if the track had some give in it, but given we will have a firm surface, she can only be rated as an outside winning chance. She didn’t really fire a shot in three runs during the Brisbane Winter, but she has looked pretty good in a couple of jump outs in preparation for her return to racing.
BEST BET: Race Eight Number 1 Pasadena Girl
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 1 Harmel River
VALUE: Race Seven Number 15 Abidewithme
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 15
Leg Two: 1, 4, 6, 9
Leg Three: 1, 3, 5, 9
Leg Four: 2, 3, 4
$50 Investment= 14.88% 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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