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Group l racing returns to Caulfield this Saturday where it is Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day (1400m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit.

Race 1. (12:30) Danny O'Brien Racing Pinchapoo Handicap 1600m

Back Me

5 Savvy Oak (Bet Now: $8.00 FAT ODDS) for me in the opener. The Busuttin/Young team train this gelding, who produced a lovely finale from the back to win on debut at Echuca before going to the Valley where he got back again and it was a day where those on speed were advantaged so a total forgive. Can sit closer from the draw and Regan sticks.


3 Extra Brut (Bet Now: $7.00 FAT ODDS) is a son of Domesday for the Darren Weir stable who has had two career outings. Debuted at Geelong and was an eye catcher late behind Raiding Party before going to Sandown where he was there to be beaten when he hit the front but dug in when required and was impressive I thought. Extra trip no issue and is a definite threat.

Long Shot

I really like 4 Doroza (Bet Now: $15.00 FAT ODDS) as a horse. I think he’ll be a Derby horse, whether it’s the Spring or Autumn I’m not sure. Debuted on the Synthetic at Geelong and produced one of the wins of the day from the back before taking on the older horses at Sandown where he was well backed but got back and couldn’t come on. Interesting to note the time that was run in that race was 10 lengths quicker than Extra Brut on the same afternoon.

Race 2. (13:05) Fight Cancer Foundation Handicap (78) 1800m

Back Me

Normal luck, puts everything together and 8 Lucky For All (Bet Now: $2.65 FAT ODDS) should be winning. High quality four year old for Darren Weir who resumed over the mile at the Valley a fortnight ago and closed off beautifully from the back, and really should have won the race had he not wanted to duck in. Just has to improve off that and he’ll be too good.


5 Al Galayel (Bet Now: $7.00 FAT ODDS) is a Maher/Eustace trained import who had excuses two back here before being freshened up and racing over 1700m at Flemington where he chased hard all the way but couldn’t quite finish it off when narrowly beaten by Sikandarabad. Should have upside and drops a touch in depth. Hopefully is ridden with cover and has last look.

Long Shot

Looking for 2 Belgravia (Bet Now: $11.00 FAT ODDS) to be an eye catcher late. Team Williams trained five year old who made his Australian debut over the Valley mile two weeks back and he was one of the runs of the day for mine when closing off from the back out wide behind The Avenger. If he naturally improves off that outing, he’ll go close.

Race 3. (13:40) Skyline Education Foundation Plate 1000m

Back Me

Given his record, 1 Written By (Bet Now: $2.00 FAT ODDS) looks absolutely thrown in at the weights scale. Blue Diamond winner for Grahame Begg that resumes after a stellar Autumn prep, highlighted by that Group l win before a game fourth in the Slipper. Looked outstanding in a piece of work last week and appears ready to go.


I’m very wary of 8 Roosevelt (Bet Now: $13.00 FAT ODDS). He’s a beast for Godolphin and I think he’ll win a blacktype race during the Carnival. Won so impressively on debut at Warwick Farm before being spelled and going to Rosehill where he was backed as if unbeatable but was found to be lame behind Gem Song. Spelled again and trialled brilliantly last week at Randwick. If he drew a decent gate, I’d have him on top. Just from the wide draw, I think he’ll have to give away too much start.

Long Shot

I’m giving respect to the Gordon Richards trained 3 Gytrash (Bet Now: $11.00 FAT ODDS), who looks well above average but does bump into a beauty here. Spanked them first up before being freshened up and running second to a potential Group l performer in Golden Halo. Back to 1000m with the fitness edge, I’m sure he’ll run well.

Race 4. (14:15) Living Legends Handicap (90) 1400m

Back Me

14 Shoko (Bet Now: $8.00 FAT ODDS) for me but it’s a race I don’t really want to get involved in. Peter Morgan trains this mare, who started her career with a couple of sharp wins prior to racing over the Sandown mile where she attempted to lead all the way and as she did the start prior, she gave a good kick but she couldn’t quite hold off Our Libretto. Fresh, back to 1400m and with a likely soft lead, she’s well placed to run well.


7 Istria (Bet Now: $8.00 FAT ODDS) should just about be close to peak fitness for the James Cummings stable. Two decent runs in Sydney prior to racing over this track/distance three weeks ago where she tried to lead all the way and was right there until the final few strides when bloused late. I think she’ll be more effective ridden off the speed.

Long Shot

3 Soho Ruby (Bet Now: $34.00 FAT ODDS) could be an improver at odds. Levi Kavanagh trains this mare, who comes through the Bellaria race at this track/distance three weeks back. She was first up and looked to get a good run near the speed but her condition just gave way late. Reckon she might need one more but she’s got the quality to be around the mark.

Race 5. (14:50) Grassroots Sports Club For Mirabel Handicap 1100m

Back Me

I want to take a chance on 16 Eduardo (Bet Now: $8.00), a very promising sprinter resuming for the Sarah Zschoke stable. This bloke kicked off his career in the middle of Winter, winning impressively on debut at Moe before going to the midweeks at Sandown and being even more impressive. He smashed the clock in both runs and the form has been good. Jumped out well recently at Cranbourne and appears ready to go.


2 Bons Away (Bet Now: $8.00) is a five year old gelding first up for the Maher/Eustace team. They tried him out as a Group l horse in the Autumn and I don’t think he’s up to that level, despite being 0.8L off Russian Revolution in the Oakleigh Plate. Trialled a couple of weeks back at Cranbourne and loved the way he move in winning. Expecting a decent showing fresh.

Long Shot

12 Bryan…(Bet Now: $18.00) he couldn’t do it again do he? The cult hero for Jarrod McLean has won his past two at this track, the first of which came at this trip before stepping up to 1200m where he again flashed through late and got the win. He’s in career best form at the moment and though I doubt he could beat a quality lot like this, I think he has to go in because the time he ran last time compared well with Native Soldier and Ellicazoom.

Race 6. (15:30) Jim Moloney Stake 1400m

Back Me

Good race this. I’ll go the way of 8 Anjana (Bet Now: $4.50). Few of these come through the Atlantic Jewel at the Valley a fortnight ago and I thought her run was full of merit behind Thrillster. Was back, held up and had to come wide on the turn, which wasn’t the spot to be, yet closed off well late, clocking the second best final 200m of the race. 1400m, bigger track should suit and with these Weir Spring horses, they’re really firing second up.


It was hard to miss the resumption of 7 Assertive Play (Bet Now: $5.00) in the Atlantic Jewel. Had little to no luck in the straight when seemingly bolting and you could make a case that she should have won when fourth. Only horse to break 35 for the final 600m, fastest last 200m..she’s very likeable. Just has to put it together now.

Long Shot

5 Spanish Whisper (Bet Now: $5.50) could be the big improver. The Hayes/Dabernig team trains this former kiwi, who resumed in the Atlantic Jewel where she was well backed early on before easing late and running accordingly, just running out of puff late behind Thrillster. Think she’ll come right on from that and Jamie Kah booked, she’ll have her near the speed.

Race 7. (16:10) Naturalism Stakes 2000m

Back Me

Darts have been thrown and it’s landed with 3 Ventura Storm (Bet Now: $23.00). The Hayes/Dabernig stable trained this stayer, who resumed in the Heatherlie where he got back to near last in a slowly run affair and I thought under the circumstances he did a good job in defeat behind Call Me Handsome. Can sit much closer from the gate this time and second up last prep finished a length off them in the Australian Cup.


1 Folkswood (Bet Now: $6.00) is the clear class of the field and that will take him a long way towards victory. He hasn’t raced since the Jebel Hatta during the Dubai Carnival where he was somewhat disappointing behind Blair House, but we know that is high class form. We saw what he did in the Spring last year and any glimpse of that here will see him go close.

Long Shot

Really like 12 Divine Unicorn (Bet Now: $14.00) as a horse. Class got him home fresh at the Sunny Coast in what has turned out to be a good form race. He then went to the Valley mile where he didn’t seem entirely happy around the circuit but stuck on well in defeat behind Moss ‘N’ Dale. Third up at 2000m looks ideal on the bigger track and stable has a 22% S/R with third up runners last 12 months. Shame about the barrier.

Race 8. (16:50) Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 1400m

Back Me

He’s just a beauty is 4 Osborne Bulls (Bet Now: $6.50) and he’s just so reliable. His resuming win in the Regal Roller was dominant and though the margin was narrow, considering it was his first look at Caulfield and clearly in need of the run, his class really came to the fore. Looked sharp enough in a recent Flemington jump out to my eye to suggest he’s ready.


2 Home Of The Brave (Bet Now: $3.70) is the very interesting runner. James Cummings trains this former UK galloper, who comes here off the back of an outstanding all the way win in the Theo Marks a fortnight back at Rosehill, leading all the way under Glyn Schofield. Siege Of Quebec franked that form last Saturday. Just needs to harness his energy.

Long Shot

If 1 Jungle Cat (Bet Now: $11.00) runs up to his best, gee he’ll go close. Charlie Appleby trains this high quality galloper, who won 3/3 during his Dubai prep in the Autumn, highlighted by an outstanding win in the Al Quoz Sprint. From all reports, he has settled in nicely at Werribee, and based on vision, he has worked quite well.

Race 9. (17:30) Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes 1200m

Back Me

Going to side with 13 Leather’N’Lace (Bet Now: $11.00). Darren Weir trains this mare, who resumed in the Cockram three weeks ago where she had the suck run nearer the inside, which probably wasn’t the spot to be by the last, and in the end she didn’t get much luck in the straight behind Ellicazoom. Think she’ll improve big time off that and I’m happy to be in her corner.


Can 2 Ellicazoom (Bet Now: $4.50) reproduce what she did in the Cockram? First run for the Hayes/Dabernig team was simply outstanding, and her finale was that of a horse who will go on to bigger and better things. It is Ellicazoom though and she can mix her form. In saying that, if she reproduces the resumption, she’ll go close once again.

Long Shot

5 Carnival (Bet Now: $46.00) is a very interesting runner. Former Kiwi mare making her Australian debut for the Cameron team at Flemington. She has some pretty solid blacktype form across the ditch, including an effort behind Ferrando, who is a Group l placegetter, so that form reads well. Can’t find a jump out for her, but she’s a fascinating watch.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Three Number 1 Written By

NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 8 Lucky For All

LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 3 Ventura Storm


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 5, 7, 8, 9, 18

Leg Two: 1, 3, 5, 10, 12

Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 15

Leg Four: 2, 5, 13, 14

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