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Melbourne racing this Saturday continues at Caulfield for the third week in a row where we see the finals of the VOBIS Gold races. The weather is overcast, the track is soft (5) and the rail is out eight metres for the entire circuit.



Race One (12:15) : JRA Marathon Series Final (90) 4000m:

Back Me: 2 Refectory (Bet Now: $8.00) is the top tip, but in terms of betting, it’s a race to steer clear of because they really are a bunch of plodders. He ran over 3400m at Sandown last time out and though beaten at the top of the straight, he was coming again and surged to the line. Tuned up with a lovely trial win over the jumps, Oliver on, should eventually lead and take some beating.
Big Danger: 3 Bayanova (Bet Now: $3.00) is on the quick back up for Mick Kent after racing over 3600m at Oakbank on Monday where she didn’t appear to quite handle the tight layout. She is hard to trust, but he strikes a winnable race. And she does have the hard fitness after that effort on Monday.
Long Shot: 7 Trending Hard (Bet Now: $21.00) rises sharply in grade but has fresh legs and upside so she has to be respected. Ran over 2700m at Stawell last Sunday and closed off well late in the piece behind Valhalla Princess. Most of these are unknown at the trip but gives the impression he will be okay at it. Knockout chance at odds.



Race Two (12:50) : Thomas North Handicap (78) 1600m:

Back Me: 2 Unbreakable (Bet Now: $7.00) is a handy Godolphin galloper that was given a nice ride by Williams to win first up at Sandown before going to Bendigo (Metro) where the tempo was clearly against him when down the track behind Top Me Up. Be very wary of the third up bounce back here in a thin race.
Big Danger: 3 Pay Up Bro (Bet Now: $3.10) has been very good in three runs back from a spell without winning. The latest came at Bendigo (Metro) where he sat behind a slow speed and though he lacked the turn of foot required to go with the winner, he stuck to the task quite well I thought. The mile is what he has been looking for and he gets it here.
Long Shot: Long tail to this race so a horse like 4 Aurum Spirit (Bet Now: $19.00) could bob up here at odds. He has been given a month break since racing in the Benalla Cup where he got back in the run and closed off okay late in the piece behind the talented Entre Nous. Not the greatest of winning strike rates, but the same can be said for most of these, and last time he was here, he was three lengths of Toorak placegetter Great Esteem.



Race Three (13:25) : IRT VOBIS Gold Mile 1600m:

Back Me: 1 Burning Front (Bet Now: $1.60) just picks himself here doesn’t he. Toughed it out strongly to win the CS Hayes on Adelaide Cup before going to the Golden Mile at Bendigo where he was almost Vo Rogue-esque in nearly winning. Ran first 1000m in sub 59 and was still there with 100m to go before being bloused. Winner has come out to repeat the dose and I don’t see as much pressure here for Burning Front.
Big Danger: Good roughie here is 11 Managaress (Bet Now: $12.00). She hasn’t really set the world on fire this time in, but she really hasn’t had much luck in the runs this prep, the latest coming over the mile at Flemington against the bias behind Circular. Freshened up, back to 1600m at Caulfield suits, and if she can get wide and cover, she is good enough to launch late. Definite each way player.
Long Shot: 7 Charlevoix (Bet Now: $26.00) is a classy animal that is first up here for the Mick Kent yard. Very good stayer when he is on song but where he is at remains an unknown. Performed pretty well in three runs during the Spring without winning and trialled up okay recently. I’m sure whatever he does here he will improve on but he has class/quality.



Race Four (14:00) : VOBIS Gold Heath 2000m:

Back Me: Would be quite surprised if 9 Ruthven (Bet Now: $2.25) got rolled here. High class three year old who went close to winning the Alister Clark before going to the ATC Derby where he ran a courageous fourth to Jon Snow on a shifty track. Provided he has come through that gutbuster in good order, he should be winning here.
Big Danger: 3 Hard Call (Bet Now: $5.50) is a hard fit galloper for the Salanitri stable in career best form. Hasn’t raced for a tick under five weeks since taking out the Yarra Valley Cup where he was ridden perfectly by Baster and got the win narrowly but impressively. 2000m is the issue, but he draws to get a soft run.
Long Shot: 7 Khutulun (Bet Now: $19.00) is a hard mare to trust, but there was plenty of merit in her performance over 1800m here a fortnight back when getting back in the run and closing off okay late to run fourth to Life Less Ordinary. Very good 2000m record, especially at Caulfield and senior rider takes over.



Race Five (14:35) : Swear At Spendthrift VOBIS Sires 1200m:

Back Me: Going with 3 Seized (Bet Now: $5.50) in a pretty handy two year old race. He comes through the Gold Rush at Bendigo where he sat just off the speed and tried hard but couldn’t quite finish off with the necessary turn of foot. I think back to this level suits, on his home track, maps well. Hard to beat.
Big Danger: 10 Je Suis Tycoon (Bet Now: $3.40) was a drifter in the market when debuting in the Gold Rush at Bendigo and his effort was one of the best of the race, getting back to near last in the run and finishing off with real purpose to run second. Should only have upside from that and rates highly.
Long Shot: 4 Give (Bet Now: $26.00) is a talented youngster for the John Moloney yard but he is doing so much wrong in his races, which is the real worry with him in terms of being a serious winning chance. Flashed home on debut at Ballarat when second to Platinum before racing here where he got back in the run and just couldn’t run on well enough. remains on his home track and there should be more speed engaged here.



Race Six (15:15) : Ladbrokes VOBIS Gold Distaff 1400m:

Back Me: 7 Diamond Baroness (Bet Now: $10.00) on top for me here. Quality mare for Ciaron Maher who was a drifter in the market when contesting the Gold Bracelet and she fought on quite well but just couldn’t quite finish it off. That was her first run in a month, so there should be improvement left and she maps well.
Big Danger: 2 Whistle Baby (Bet Now: $3.40) also comes through the Gold Bracelet at Bendigo where she had the charmed run behind the speed and looked to travel into the race was the winner but the eventual victor just packed too many punches when it mattered. This mare is racing very well but she just can’t quite crack it. Gets her chance here.
Long Shot: Certainly wouldn’t underestimate the SA mare here 4 Tidy Prophet (Bet Now: $11.00). 1200m was well short of her best when resuming a fortnight back at Morphettville when finishing down the track behind the low flying Counter Pulse. Trialled up well since and go back to the Spring, she arguably should have won a Kyneton Cup, so we know the class/quality is there.



Race Seven (15:55) : Thorougbred Breeders Victoria Bel Esprit Stakes 1100m:

Back Me: 12 Rocket Tommy (Bet Now: $7.50) is a speed demon who has been one of the real delegations during the Summer/Autumn, winning a couple of races down the Flemington straight, the latest coming a couple of weeks back when ridden a treat. This is a tough assignment, but I think he can cope and measure up here, plus he maps well.
Big Danger: 9 O’Malley (Bet Now: $7.50) is a talented yet injury prone galloper that resumes here. Had a four run Spring prep, which was highlighted with a visually spectacular win on Cox Plate Day at the Valley. Trialled recently looked very good to my eye behind Miss Vista. Bomb when produced fresh, and if they go hard in front, this is the horse to watch for late.
Long Shot: What you see is what you get with 13 Sunday Escape (Bet Now: $26.00). He is a beauty for Andrew Murray who doesn’t know how to run a bad race, but the little issue with him is that he hasn’t won for a while. Ran over 955m at the Valley last start where he looked the winner until being nutted right on the peg by Beau Rada. He’s hard fit, maps well here and gets Froggy back on.



Race Eight (16:35) : VOBIS Gold Sprint 1200m:

Back Me: Pretty keen to have a play here on 8 Tycoon Tara (Bet Now: $3.80). High class mare for Team Snowden who resumed in the Sapphire and I think just forget she went around there. Trials indicated she needed the run and that track just didn’t suit her. Back to Caulfield where she has a fab record and she does look to get the lead comfortably.
Big Danger: 4 Rich Charm (Bet Now: $6.00) will be the feel good story of the day if he was to salute for Udyta Clarke. Hasn’t raced for five weeks since racing down the straight at Flemington where he gave his rivals a nice spanking and drew right away late. Won start prior here in his lone appearance at the track and he too is a tough nut.
Long Shot: 13 Ken’s Dream (Bet Now: $6.50) is a high class three year old for Darren Weir who takes on the older horses but should be enormously respected here. Ran over this track/distance a fortnight back in a three year old race and he was very tardy to begin with, seemingly losing all hope, but he kept picking his way through the field and came with a brilliant finishing burst to win. Poorly weighted, but he is tough and loves to fight.



Race Nine (17:10) : VOBIS Gold Reef 1600m:

Back Me: 8 Think Babe (Bet Now: $5.50) has the potential to be a really good horse, but the thing between his legs could be his issue. That was definitely the case last start at Ballarat where he did get a bit excited in the gates and his mind was elsewhere but he still got the job done. The mile looks perfect…the only thing beating him is himself and his manhood.
Big Danger: 12 Sword Of Light (Bet Now: $2.60) has always been touted as a 1200-1400m horse, so she was a clear risk to some a fortnight back at this track/distance but she toughed it out strongly on speed and just kept finding to score narrowly but impressively. She has ticked the mile box now and on ratings, she does look the one to beat.
Long Shot: 1 Jaws Of Steel (Bet Now: $21.00), on potential, is the best horse in the race but what frame of mind he turns up in remains the issue. Closed off okay late in the piece when resuming over 1200m here when finishing five lengths off Ken’s Dream. You just have to go back to this time last year where he should have won the Champagne behind Prized Icon. That tells you the talent he has.



BEST BET: Race Eight Number 8 Tycoon Tara

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 9 Ruthven

VALUE: Race One Number 2 Refectory



Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9

Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, 12

Leg Three: 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13

Leg Four: 1, 7, 8, 12

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