The Caulfield Cup carnival heats up on Wednesday with Thousand Guineas day. The $500,000 feature race is dominated in betting by Atlantic Jewel from the Kavanagh yard, who has looked in three runs to date and looks very hard to beat with the main danger, according to punters, being Mosheen.
Race One: I’ll be very surprised if the Lloyd Williams in pair don’t finish one-two here, but I am very keen on Collar. Black booked him after his arrogant win at Flemington when he did some early work before settling on the speed and cruising away to win with ease. 59kg doesn’t worry me as he is a big, gross type that can handle weight and the field he is up against is very weak with the exception of his stablemate Salter. First Course and Durnford round out the first four.
Race Two: Again, these early juvenile races are very tricky so look for horses with home ground advantage, decent trial form or have a close eye on the betting as that is usually the best lead, especially with two year olds. I thought The Travelling Man trialled nicely at Cranbourne last week when finishing a close second behind Planet Voyage over 800m in the fastest trial for the two year olds and the second fastest trial of the day. Those two look capable, but the better barrier has me leaning towards the Matt Laurie galloper. Planet Voyage is a serious threat for Moody and Nolen, as well as Rolling Stone and Imprimis.
Race Three: If The Counterfeiter produces his trial form, he’ll be winning here. Last time in he won his maiden at Sale before being placed in a Listed event at Caulfield behind City Of Song. She then had two subsequent runs and wasn’t disgraced on wet ground. He has had two trials to get ready for this, but it’s his first trial which I really liked. Sat on the speed, hugged the fence and was never out of first gear when winning over 800m in a tick over 46 seconds, which is low flying in a trial. He’ll be hard to beat. Rockshaft, Bolisimo Miss and Vatican are the threats.
Race Four: I have always had a huge wrap on Ulundi and he gets his chance to show that on the big stage here. Won like a good horse at Flemington four starts back before resuming with a fifth behind Typeface in a race dominated from the front. He was wide with no cover at his next outing before he stepped out on his home track and proved far too good in the heavy going, which I don’t think he appreciates. He gets firmer ground here, he meets a weak field, drawn perfectly, McLeod rides the horse very well and I think he’ll be right in the finish. Miles Above, Langridge Street and Cosmonaut are the dangers.
Race Five: I got this down to a two horse between Excluded and Absolutelyawesome. I am a big supporter of Excluded, but I think he might need this run, so I am going with the Mike Moroney horse. Wasn’t disgraced in the Autumn when he contested the Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas. Good first up run at Betfair Park before being given a poor ride by Bossy at Bendigo, sitting three deep and just missing out. He’ll do no work from barrier one, he is fitter and the Caulfield track should suit this hulking individual. Excluded, if he is right, will be right there, as will Eraset and Navillus Superman.
Race Six: There is no such thing as a good thing in racing, but Atlantic Jewel looks it. She just did it so easily last start at Caulfield over 1400m yet she did plenty wrong. The only thing that will beat her is the occasion. There will be a decent crowd on track, there will be sponsor logos everywhere and her mind may wander off elsewhere. If Rodd controls her, she’ll win and win well. Hallowell Belle, Disputes and Rahveel round out the first four for me.
Race Seven: I’d love to see Yavanna get a start, because I think she is one to follow. Huge win on debut at Cranbourne. She resumed at Mornington and should have won but there was on pace bias and she was forced very wide on the turn. She then went to Betfair Park. In the small field she sat last, eased to the outside and picked them up in a stride without Melham asking for an effort. The margin was a length, but it could have been four or five. I see she has been well found by the bookies as she is near the top of the betting, but she’ll lap up Caulfield, the step up to 1600m looks perfect and with the exception of a couple of horses, it isn’t a strong race. Lady Lynette is always in the finish. Put her in, as well as Keep The Peace and Hi Belle.
Race Eight: Very tricky race to finish off proceedings. Zedi Knight is fitter thanks to two runs back from a spell. Didn’t fire a shot behind Buffering in the McEwen, before he went to the Testa Rossa at this track and distance and wasn’t disgraced behind Amaethon. Expect him to roll forward from the barrier and being third up, I think he’ll give plenty of cheek at good odds. Facile Tigre, Top Drop and From The Terrace are three to include in exotics. Just can’t have Perturbo and Soul. Perturbo because he is better suited at Flemington and Soul because he is out of form.
BEST BET: Race One Number 1 Collar
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 4 The Counterfeiter
VALUE: Race Eight Number 1 Zedi Knight
Written by Adam Page
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