A bumper nine race card has been assembled for Caulfield this Saturday where it is Bel Esprit Stakes Day. The weather is overcast, the track is good (3) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:15) VOBIS Gold Distaff 1400m
3 My True Love (Bet Now: $4.80) is a quality Fastnet Rock mare that resumes for the Waterhouse/Bott team. This mare had a two run Spring prep, placing behind the above average Invincibella first up before being down the track behind Dixie Blossoms in the Angst. First trial was terrible but her second trial was much better and we know she has the quality to measure up.
1 French Emotion (Bet Now: $2.05) is a bit of an enigma for the Chris Waller team but I think she has been outstanding in two runs back from a break. Resumed with a gutsy second to Quilista before going to the Gold Bracelet at Bendigo where I thought she did a really good job behind Miss Gunpowder. Third up at the Caulfield 1400m, she looks primed.
2 Lady Selkirk (Bet Now: $16.00) is a Matty Williams trained mare who looks as if she’ll be primed for something at the Bool but I think she can run well here. She resumed down the straight at Flemington five weeks ago and ran okay without setting the world on fire behind Quilista. Goes good on the fresh side, so give her another chance.
Race 2. (12:50) VOBIS Gold Mile 1600m
D-Day for 5 So Si Bon (Bet Now: $6.50). If he can’t run well here, he won’t be running well anywhere. Had excuses fresh in the Newmarket before trialling well on a couple of occasions before going to the Victoria Handicap where I thought he was given a sweet ride and probably had his chance to win but just felt the pinch when a close up fifth to Widgee Turf. Third up at the mile, no excuses.
3 Widgee Turf (Bet Now: $2.90) is the interesting runner. I think a hard mile sees him right out, but the way he is going at the moment, he just can’t be ruled out. Victoria Handicap win was outstanding, charging home from near last at the 200m mark to swamp them and win. Stepping up to the mile is a different pain barrier but just has to be included.
8 Sword Of Light (Bet Now: $4.60) is an Ellerton/Zahra trained mare who should be close to peak fitness now. She comes through the Golden Mile at Bendigo a fortnight ago where I thought Thornton gave the way mare every chance in the run and tried hard when a close up third to Dodging Bullets. Has the mile run under the belt so she should be better off.
Race 3. (13:25) VOBIS 2YO Sires 1200m
10 Golden Script (Bet Now: $5.00) on top. Darren Weir trains this youngster, who debuted with an eye catching third at Sandown on the Hillside before going to the Lakeside course last Wednesday where she started Winx-esque odds and won accordingly under Ben Allen. She’s had the two hard runs under the belt now so a strong 1200m, I don’t think, will be an issue.
8 Tank Attack (Bet Now: $10.00) is a son of Stryker on debut for the Robbie Griffiths team. This gelding has had several trials and jump outs for his first start so he has been given a good grounding, showing good potential each time he has stepped out. Blinkers on first time on debuting in a strong race in town tells me there is intent to run well.
1 Yulong February (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Ciaron Maher trained colt who was hard in the market when debuting at the Bool where he sat on speed and fought hard all the way but just found More Bricks too good on the day. That horse went on to have no luck in the Gold Rush at Bendigo, so the form reads well for this, back on his home track.
Race 4. (14:00) VOBIS Gold Heath 2000m
3 Kiwia (Bet Now: $2.15) for me, just. Ripping return at Flemington over 1400m behind Sovereign Nation before going to the Golden Mile at Bendigo where I thought he was just a touch flat behind Dodging Bullets after seemingly getting every chance. Think he is looking for further, and he gets it here, where he has a fab record at the track/distance.
9 Royal Order (Bet Now: $6.50) is a lightly raced four year old for Mick Kent who I thought did a really good job last time out over 1800m at Sandown. The backmarkers had no chance the way the race was run but he still managed to close off really well and record some fast splits behind Scholarly, who has won again to frank the form. He’ll eat up the 2000m and has a win over Kiwia on the CV.
5 Patch Adams (Bet Now: $46.00) is on the quick back up for the O’Sullivans after racing over 2000m at Naracoorte where I’m not sure he was entirely happy racing around the tricky circuit but his last 150m was excellent, attacking the line with purpose. He’s certainly up to these on his best form and I like that he is racing so soon after the last outing.
Race 5. (14:35) VOBIS Gold Dash 1100m
Purely from a price angle, I think the bet is 6 Deprive (Bet Now: $4.20). He looks an above average galloper for Godolphin and James Cummings, who hasn’t raced since William Reid Night at the Valley where he was set an impossible task from the back but finished off with real purpose behind True Excelsior. He doesn’t have the brilliance of Nature Strip, but he has race fitness and for mine is clearly the value.
If 1 Nature Strip (Bet Now: $1.85) is indeed going to be a Group l horse, he should be putting this field away. Do I want to take silly short red figures? No, because I think there are a few question marks to warrant the query of his price. Visually, he’s been outstanding, and the times he runs suggest he’s top shelf. What I query is the form around him. Overall, it’s awful. He’s beaten nothing. This will be a good test.
If they go silly in front, a horse like 13 Miss Vixen (Bet Now: $23.00) could come to the fore. Her win at this track/distance three weeks ago was simply outstanding I thought. Got a mile back off them but once she got clear air, gee she savaged the line and got the job done. If she can hold that form, I think she runs top four.
Race 6. (15:15) VOBIS 3YO Sires 1600m
1 Cliff’s Edge (Bet Now: $1.45) should be taking care of this lot. Darren Weir trained galloper who hasn’t raced for four weeks since contesting the Rosehill Guineas where he attempted to lead all the way and tried hard but just didn’t see it out behind D’Argento. Back to the mile and miles back in depth looks a perfect recipe for success.
11 Temple Of Bel (Bet Now: $11.00) is the very interesting runner. Was hard in the market when resuming a tick under two weeks back at Ballarat where she didn’t really set the world on fire in just an average run I thought behind Mr Storm. But if you go back to the Spring, she was dynamic when winning at this track/distance and on her best form, she goes close.
10 Pure Scot (Bet Now: $14.00) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained filly who had trialled up really well prior to resuming in the Bendigo Guineas where it was hard to make ground for the meeting so I think she can get an excuse for her failing to make any impact behind So Far Sokool. Up to the mile looks ideal and the talent is definitely there.
Race 7. (15:55) Bel Esprit Stakes 1100m
D-Day for sure here with 3 Bons Away (Bet Now: $5.00). Not a Group l horse, not in Melbourne anyway, and that was confirmed last time out in the William Reid when running a shocker behind Hellbent after getting a relatively good run in transit. Back to a handicap and back miles in depth, you’d like to think he’ll go close to winning.
11 Sprightly Lass (Bet Now: $3.50) is the horse to beat on form but she is a risk at a strong 1100m. She attempted to lead all the way at that trip in the Maurice McCarten a few weeks back and looked home but the last 100m she wobbled all over the shop and cost her the win in the Stewards Room and gave it to Dothraki. If she runs straight and gets a soft lead, she wins. I just think she may cop pressure.
13 Secret Trail (Bet Now: $15.00) is a a ripping chance for sure with normal luck I think. Trialled up well prior to resuming in the Maurice McCarten a few weeks back at Rosehill and produced some outstanding late splits to run a close up fourth to stablemate Dothraki. She is a bomb when produced second up and loves firm ground.
Race 8. (16:35) VOBIS Gold Sprint 1200m
Going to give 12 Lyuba (Bet Now: $8.00) another look. Was on her back when resuming at Bendigo a fortnight ago where she had the box seat sit and tried hard but last 100m, she just ran out of condition when a close up fifth to Ashlor. She is dynamic when produced second up and she has placed five from eight at Caulfield.
2 Rich Charm (Bet Now: $2.50) is the obvious but a bit like Nature Strip, there are a few question marks. Is he going as well he was last prep. Should have won first up but bear in mind he was cuddled. He then went to the Newmarket and was okay behind Redkirk Warrior. Cranbourne trial was solid without being great, and I think there may be bigger fish to fry. He can win, but I couldn’t back him.
6 Suspense (Bet Now: $16.00) is a handy sprinter that resumes for the Snowden camp. He had a pretty solid Spring campaign, highlighted by a win over 1200m at the Valley on Manikato night under a peach from Michael Walker. He is a horse who goes very well on the fresh side and his Flemington jump outs have been encouraging.
Race 9. (17:10) TROA Anniversary Vase 1400m
2 Calderon (Bet Now: $31.00), if he brings his best form from overseas, will be taking care of this field. High quality import for Tony McEvoy who had two runs in the Spring where he failed to fire in two runs at WFA, both of which were in high class races. He has had several jump outs/trials leading in and for mine is ready to go.
This race will tell us if 7 Theanswermyfriend (Bet Now: $4.60) is a contender or pretender. At this stage, I’ll be siding with the latter, because he has been most disappointing this time in with both runs failing to live up to the hype. From all reports, they have tinkered with his training and has reacted to it. D-Day.
8 Flying Jess (Bet Now: $18.00) is a John Moloney trained mare who can be a nightmare to follow. In saying that, her last run at the Valley in the Sunline Stakes was pretty good in defeat when third to Spanish Reef after getting back in the run on a night where it was quite difficult to make up significant ground. Back on her home track, she can run well.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Six Number 1 Cliff’s Edge
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 3 Kiwia
VALUE: Race Nine Number 2 Calderon
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1
Leg Two: 3, 11, 12, 13
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 6, 12
Leg Four: 2, 7, 8, 13
$50 Investment= 62.50% of the dividend if successful
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