The racing world will glue their eyes on Caulfield at 1.20pm AEDT on Saturday to see the worlds best sprinter in Black Caviar looking to equal Pharlaps record of 14 straight wins when she contests the Schillaci Stakes (1000m) on another super Saturday of racing with the feature race being the $1 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Race One: Whitlam was ultra impressive when winning at Bendigo. He was first up after a 130 day spell where he sat wide with no cover in a race run to suit those up front yet still was able to pull of a victory. The question is how much has that run taken out of him and has it taken the edge off him for Saturday. I’m happy to risk that and follow him because he looks to be a very smart type. Dangers are Adamantium, Revitalise and American Dream.
Race Two: Very tricky race here because there just appears to be speed galore here. Emerald Downs didn’t look comfortable at Moonee Valley or the going last Friday night when finishing fourth behind Miss Stellabelle. To finish fourth under the circumstances was good enough for me to have her on top. Nash should give her the plum run from the ideal barrier and with the expected pace on, I think she’ll be hitting the line best. First four hopes are Hollyweird, Platelet and Offer.
Race Three: Last chance to qualify for the Caulfield Cup next Saturday for a number of these horses. I like Tanby, but not at the price. He is too short for me. I’m actually going for some value in Two For Tea. Look, Gai has had a very poor start to the Melbourne carnival with Once Were Wild being injured, Herculian Prince showing nothing and More Joyous having not much luck behind Sepoy in the Manikato. So, I am tipping a 25/1 pop to get the ball rolling for the first lady of horse racing. Did a power of work two back before controlling the race and fighting on strongly behind Lamasery and Red Eye Special. Lamasery came out and ran well in the Metropolitan last week so the form is strong. Froggy Newitt rides and he should again sit on the pace and give plenty of cheek. Tanby is an obvious threat, as is Lucky Eighty Eight and Macedonian.
Race Four: Do we need to bother here punters? Black Caviar is the worlds best sprinter. Six consecutive group one wins against Australia’s best and has done it with ease. She’ll win here and win it well. First four hopes are Stirling Grove, Tasos and Karuta Queen.
Race Five: One of the best editions of the Caulfield Stakes for a long time. Alcopop is back to the form that saw him run favourite in the Melbourne Cup two years ago. Eye catching return in the Spring Stakes before recording a brilliant win in the Penny Edition. He proved that was no fluke with a super placing in the Dato Tan Chin Nam. 12 months ago he finished second behind So You Think here. I think he can go one better. Plenty of chances, but the main threats are Whobegotyou, Mighty High and Lion Tamer.
Race Six: This looks the perfect race for Luen Yat Forever. Closed off powerfully first up behind Pinnacles before settling well back and again charging home in the Sir Rupert Clarke. The step up to 1600m suits, the firm track helps, the barrier is perfect and he has Australia’s most patient rider in Nick Hall to guide him home. I think he is a good thing if he has naturally improved from his last start run. Dangers are King Mufhasa, Torio’s Quest and I’ll give Dreamaway one more chance to prove herself. Otherwise, it’s back to Perth for her.
Race Seven: Helmet was so dominant in the Guineas Prelude that he has to go on top here. He poured the pressure on Golden Archer throughout and on the home corner he was cruising while Golden Archer, rated as one of the better colts in Melbourne was hard at it and going backwards. Helmet was strong on the line and he drops back to set weights here and has only seven rivals, which helps his cause. McEvoy should again have him on the speed and dictating and there, his class should get him home. Manawanui, Smart Missile and Secret Hills round out the first four.
Race Eight: Very hard race. A number of these mares deserve to win this but which one? I am hoping the pace is hot, so it can allow for Miss Bindi to charge home. She won in a canter first up before settling well back and charging late behind Irish Dream at Moonee Valley. Dunn will ease her back to get some cover and hopefully unleash her turn of foot to get the job done for us. Dangers appear to be Valentine Miss, Celts and Lady Mahler.
Race Nine: Do Ra Mi has been a flop over the last six months but she looks beautifully placed here to get back to form. Sat on the pace but was just outclassed in the George Main behind Sincero last start. This is the easiest race she has contested for a long time and if the real Do Ra Mi turns up on Saturday, she’ll be winning to finish off what will hopefully be a winning day. Exotic players are Bullbars, Testa My Patience and Utah Saints.
BEST BET: Race Six Number 8 Luen Yat Forever
NEXT BEST: Race Nine Number 10 Do Ra Mi
VALUE: Race Five Number 5 Alcopop
Written by Adam Page
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