The first of the majors for Melbourne comes around this Saturday at Caulfield with the $3 Million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), where the Murray Baker trained Mongolian Khan is the favourite after his slashing lead up run last weekend in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m). The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out six metres for the entire circuit.
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Race One (12:50) : Yellowglen Plate 1400m:
Back Me: Mihalic (Best Odds: $14.00) resumed from a near 12 month break over 1200m here where she worked home well late to finish fifth to Invincible Heart, beaten just over three lengths in what was a pleasing return. Isn’t badly treated at the weights given she is a Stakes winner on debut, should improve off that and looks hard to beat.
Roughie: Italy (Best Odds: $4.60) was a touch disappointing last time out in the Reginald Allen when eighth to Alart after receiving every chance in the run. Perhaps she didn’t handle the wet track, but her efforts this time in have been below par. On her best form, she can sharply improve, so watch market moves and that will tell you how she is going.
Big Danger: The drop back in distance and class should suit the Hayes/Dabernig runner Air Apparent (Best Odds: $10.00), who found the mile of the Edward Manifold a bit rich when eighth to Badawiya, who franked the form by running third in the Thousand Guineas last weekend. Should be leading these and with the rail out now, leaders might get there chance to prove hard to run down.
Race Two (13:25) : Polytrack Gothic Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Going with the Gary Moore trained Takedown (Best Odds: $3.60), who has been excellent in two runs back from a spell. He resumed in the Heritage and ran third to Counterattack before a game fourth in the Roman Consul behind likely Coolmore winner Exopshere. This is his right level, and he will love the rise to 1400m. IMO, he looks one of the better bets on the program.
Big Danger: Santa Ana Lane (Best Odds: $2.60) is a quality up and coming gelding for Team Freedman who has won both career outings in impressive fashion, the latest coming over 1240m at Geelong against the older horses in what was a really dominant performance. Back to his own age now and Team Freedman knows when and where to place them.
Roughie: Flying Light (Best Odds: $12.00) scored an easy maiden win when resuming at Benalla before going to the Flemington 1400m and he was one of the best of the beaten brigade in the Poseidon behind One For One. He looks well above average and is a serious threat here.
Race Three (14:00) : Dilmah Single Origin Teas Caulfield Sprint 1000m:
Back Me: 1000m is short of her best, but I am quite keen on Lumosty (Best Odds: $4.00). This mare resumes for Robert Smerdon after a strong Winter prep, which ended with a Group l placing behind Srikandi in the Tatts Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast. Had a jump out here last Tuesday and worked home strongly from the back in an eye catching effort. She bolted up when resuming last time in and should take some beating here.
Big Danger: Kinglike (Best Odds: $4.20) was very impressive in winning first up down the Flemington straight in the Danehill, beating home Ready For Victory, who franked the form by running third in the Guineas, and Headwater, who ran fourth in the Moir. Was due to run in the Blue Sapphire on Wednesday, but was scratched and instead targets the harder option here.
Roughie: Kuro (Best Odds: $4.60) was luckless when resuming in that Valley race Chautauqua won. He then went to an Open Handicap over 1100m here and stuck to the task quite nicely when third to Group l performer Sabatini, beaten a half length in a thrilling finish. Third up now, so he should be just about ready fitness wise and back to 1000m will suit, especially down in the weights.
Race Four (14:35) : New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes 2000m:
Back Me: Ambience (Best Odds: $2.20) should rubber stamp her Oaks credentials by running very well here. There was plenty to like about her win in the Dulcify at Randwick, and her last 50m was the sign of a serious Oaks contender. 2000m looks perfect for her and she still appears to have plenty of upside.
Big Danger: Just looks an ideal race for Honesta (Best Odds: $3.20). The bob of the head beat her in the Flight Stakes when a desperately close second to Speak Fondly in what was an excellent display. Looks spot on for the Oaks and should take a power of beating here.
Roughie: Dawn Of Hope (Best Odds: $7.50) was accepted to run in the Hill Smith at Morphettville last weekend, but was scratched and instead has been saved for this. There was plenty to like about her maiden win at Benalla where she won by a space and ran smart time in what was quite a dominant performance. No issues with her running 2000m and the stable is flying with their fillies.
Race Five (15:10) : Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic 2000m:
Back Me: Tivaci (Best Odds: $7.00) tried his guts out last start in the UCI at Flemington but couldn’t quite get the job done and had to settle for second to Ayers Rock. He is much better when ridden a touch more quiet and I think with a likely solid tempo here, that cold ride should eventuate, and I have no doubt he will be strong at the end of 2000m.
Big Danger: Lizard Island (Best Odds: $5.00) was excellent in defeat last weekend in the Guineas when working home strongly near the inside to finish second to Press Statement, and I think the inside wasn’t the place to be, so that adds more merit to the performance. In the inaugural running of this race last year, the horses who backed up from the Guineas failed badly, so tread carefully.
Roughie: Alkaashef (Best Odds: $31.00) was specked at odds in the UCI at Flemington and after receiving a lovely run behind the speed, he stuck to the task quite gamely when running third to Ayers Rock. His two runs prior were poor, but perhaps he has been looking for more ground, and he gets 2000m here for an in form stable, so he has to be rated a chance.
Race Six (15:45) : David Jones Cup 2000m:
Back Me: Dibayani (Best Odds: $7.00) was a real eye catcher two back at Moonee Valley behind The Cleaner before perhaps finding the WFA test a bit much at Group l level in the Underwood behind Mourinho. Back to a handicap should suit this horse, as should the rise to 2000m and he rates as a definite winning threat
Big Danger: Fenway (Best Odds: $3.90) had the dream run behind the speed last time out in the Stocks Stakes and Blake Shinn presented the Group l winner at the right time and she eventually wore down May’s Dream. Third up at 2000m looks perfect for her, Shinn remains on and she draws to get the run of the race again.
Roughie: Puccini (Best Odds: $26.00) was a bit of an unlucky runner in the Toorak last weekend. He got back to last and never really got a clear crack until the final 75m where he was excellent through the line. He is a Group l winner up to 2400m, so the distance will be no issue and he could be the knockout hope here at odds.
Race Seven (16:20) : William Hill Moonga Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Under The Louvre (Best Odds: $2.30) looked the winner of the Sir Rupert Clarke, but he wobbled around a bit under pressure and that cost him dearly, and perhaps cost him the victory. Back big time in class now, and the form out of that Group l was franked in spades last Saturday. Only rises a kilo and third up now…he should take a power of beating.
Big Danger: Ulmann (Best Odds: $21.00) was excellent when resuming here behind Fell Swoop before racing a touch flat second up at Flemington when sixth to Worthy Cause, who dictated from the front. He did run poor second up last time in before winning next start. He meets Worthy Cause 1.5kg better at the weights and there is more upside with him.
Roughie: Chivalry (Best Odds: $34.00) had no luck when resuming at Moonee Valley before going to Flemington and finishing his race off alright late when fifth to all the way winner Worthy Cause. His best runs have come at Caulfield, and though he meets Worthy Cause at level weights from that run, he should be around the mark somewhere with luck in running.
Race Eight (16:55) : Schweppes Tristarc Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Markets had Jessy Belle (Best Odds: $11.00) at around $15 prior to acceptances and I think that’s great value. She has been completely luckless at her past two outings, firstly here behind Politeness before going to the Blazer at Flemington and was given a pretty ordinary steer yet still hit the line as well as anything behind La Passe. Meets the winner 2.5kg better, so I am confident Jessy Belle is the one to follow from this form reference, and she looks a great bet at that price. Taking on Catkins, because I get the feeling the track will be rock hard here and I am not sure how well she is going.
Big Danger: Group l performer Sabatini (Best Odds: $6.00) resumed over 1100m here and produced a brilliant finishing burst to get the job done in high quality fashion. No issues with her running 1400m, she is unbeaten second up and four of her five career wins have come on this track.
Roughie: Scarlett Billows (Best Odds: $14.00) was luckless in her first two runs this time, then was ridden much closer to the speed in the Blazer and fought on well when fourth to stablemate La Passe. Better ridden with cover, and that is what should eventuate here.
Race Nine (17:40) : BMW Caulfield Cup 2400m:
Back Me: Blind Freddy could see how good the run was of Mongolian Khan (Best Odds: $4.50) last weekend in the Caulfield Stakes. Sat back in a slowly run race yet finished the race off better than anything, and did produce the fastest final 200m of the race and the second fastest of the day. He hasn’t done the seven day back up previously, but based on last prep, he really produced his best fourth up before going on to win a host of races, including the New Zealand Derby (2400m). He is unbeaten in two runs at the distance and in terms of last starts, he was the clear eye catcher.
Big Danger: I think had Set Square (Best Odds: $9.00) got luck in the Turnbull, she would have gone very close to beating Preferment. Her two runs prior were very good, but that effort at Flemington was just about her career best. Ciaron Maher has her ticking along beautifully and is just so well weighted at only 51kg, meeting every runner from the Turnbull better at the weights here. She is the horse to follow from that form reference.
Roughie: Really warming to the UK visitor Snow Sky (Best Odds: $8.00). From all reports he has settled into Australia well and Damien Oliver was glowing in his appraisal of the horse on the weekend. Two starts back this horse smashed Criterion at Royal Ascot, and we saw what Criterion did to his rivals, including Mongolian Khan last weekend. Topweights have a great record in this race in recent times, he runs well fresh and loves 2400m, plus is lethal on firm ground, which is what we will get here.
Race Ten (18:15) : Crown Golden Ale Allinghi Stakes 1100m:
Back Me: Brook Road (Best Odds: $4.60) was one of the best of the beaten brigade in the Moir, charging home from near last to run seventh to Buffering, beaten just over two lengths. Drops a mile in class now and only goes up half a kilo, plus she will be better suited on a bigger track. Looks extremely hard to beat.
Roughie: The Messina Nymph (Best Odds: $5.00) was given a gun on steer ride from Matty Neilson when proving far too classy for her rivals in the Whylie. Harder here, but plenty of upside and she is a Stakes winner at this track from this time last year. Hard to beat for sure.
Big Danger: Fontiton (Best Odds: $7.00) was enormous when resuming in the Moir, sitting outside Buffering, which is a near impossible task, but to her credit she stuck on very well and was only beaten a tick over two lengths, finishing alongside Brook Road. Meets that mare 5.5kg worse off at the weights, so I don’t think she can turn the table of Brook Road, but she should run well.
BEST BET: Race Ten Number 5 Brook Road
NEXT BEST: Race Nine Number 6 Mongolian Khan
VALUE: Race Eight Number 12 Jessy Belle
Quaddie Tips (Races Seven Through To Ten):
Leg One: 5, 6, 7, 8, 11
Leg Two: 2, 5, 6, 12, 13
Leg Three: 2, 6, 9, 12, 17
Leg Four: 4, 5
$50 Investment= 20% 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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