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A strong card of racing has been assembled for Caulfield this Saturday for Naturalism Stakes Day. The weather is overcast, the track is good (3) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit.


Race 1. (12:00) Aquis Farm Supports Pinchapoo Plate 1400m

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Great to see 4 Aloisia (Bet Now: $4.60) back at the races. I think she’s the Oaks horse and I am keen to see what she does here fresh. Last raced in the JJ Atkins where she was desperately unlucky behind Capital Gain. Recent Sandown jump out behind Jukebox was very good and she appears as forward as she can be for her fresh assignment.


9 Leather’n’Lace (Bet Now: $4.80) is a Darren Weir trained filly who gave them a nice touch up to break the maiden tag first up at the Bool before going to Bendigo where she took on a field with good depth and she led all the way under Lane, running time and doing it impressively. She has the fitness edge and up to 1400m is no issue.

Long Shot

8 Banish (Bet Now: $11.00) scored an unbelievable win first up at Cranbourne before going to the Atlantic Jewel where she didn’t appear to handle the Valley with ease and looked a bit lost on the turns but her effort was sound behind Shoals. Think she is looking for further so it’s good to see her at 1400m here. Should be near peak fitness also.

Race 2. (12:30) Sportsbet Supports Mirabel Foundation Handicap 1600m

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I think 1 Eshtiraak (Bet Now: $3.20) looks the safe play here. Hayes/Dabernig trained three year old who did a really good job first up in the Up And Coming behind Dracarys before running a narrow second to Musculino at the Valley. Third up at the mile on a bigger track looks ideal and Oliver sticks. Ticks the boxes for me.


6 Sunquest (Bet Now: $6.00) was one of the runs of the day two back in the McKenzie behind Overshare before racing in the Masculino race at the Valley where he got very wide on the turn and it probably cost him a length, but not the win, settling for third. He is running well but not winning so this is nearly his D-Day.

Long Shot

3 Padraig (Bet Now: $11.00) is a Power gelding for the Busuttin/Young team who was confidently backed when resuming over 1300m at Bendigo and the punters got it spot on. Given a lovely ride by Ben Thompson and the three year old never really looked like getting beat despite the narrow margin. Tougher here, but I think he can measure up.

Race 3. (13:05) Lojac Civil Handicap (78) 1800m

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Looking for value and I think it lies with 2 Thunder Teddington (Bet Now: $17.00). He had trialled up really well prior to resuming at Geelong where most though the trip would be too short but the way the track played, he was going to be a threat and he darted away late and was strong to the line. 1800m here second up suits and just has to overcome the sticky gate. Great each way play for mine.


Keen to see 11 Sin To Win (Bet Now: $2.70) away from the Valley and up in trip. Was all over him last time out over the Valley mile and after getting the 1/1, it looked all over, but he didn’t show a turn of foot at all but his effort was still sound behind Spunlago. He wants further, which he does get here, and his quality will carry him a long way.

Long Shot

14 Sherlock Holmes (Bet Now: $20.00) is the big watch here. Team Williams import who made his Australian debut at the Valley in January and closed off well late behind Big Duke, and we know how well that form reads for a 78. Loaded with talent and if he is anywhere near right, he’ll go close.

Race 4. (13:40) Fight Cancer Foundation Plate 1100m

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4 I Did It Again (Bet Now: $2.50) is a smart looking gelding that resumes for the Greg Eurell team. He has only had the one race start, which came here over 1200m back in July where he was heavily backed and duly got the chocolates under Nikita. Immediately tipped out with the Spring in mind, and he trialled up really well recently at Cranbourne.


1 Bandipur (Bet Now: $5.00) is a Godolphin colt that is hard fit and in form. He was a dominant winner of the Lightning at Morphettville two back before racing in the McKenzie where he sat up outside Overshare but couldn’t quite reel him in. I think 1200m is as far as he wants, so back to 1100m with the fitness edge is a big tick.

Long Shot

12 Counterplay (Bet Now: $12.00) is an above average filly trained by Philip Stokes who who resumed a fortnight back over 1100m at Morphettville where she sat near the speed under Tourneur and looked to travel well but couldn’t hold out the finishing burst of Miss Belisa, who was well backed. Testing the water here to see if she is a Thousand Guineas type and her trial leading in was very good.

Race 5. (14:15) Ladbrokes Supports National Jockeys Trust Handicap 1400m

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1 He Or She (Bet Now: $11.00) is a very good horse for the Hayes/Dabernig team who had trialled up well prior to resuming in the Penny Edition at Morphettville where he was hard in the market but just found the trip too short behind Gailo Chop. Think he wants further than 1400m, but back home in Melbourne, run under the belt and has class.


2 So Si Bon (Bet Now: $4.40) is the very interesting one here. Robbie Laing trained galloper who is loaded with ability but just does so much wrong. He didn’t jump too bad last time out in the Bobbie Lewis but instead of sitting back, Williams gave him a squeeze to get up behind the speed and that is clearly not his go. Up to 1400m, good speed here, he can ambush late.

Long Shot

3 Duke Of Brunswick (Bet Now: $5.50) is the watch horse. Four weeks between runs for the Mick Price yard after running over the Moonee Valley mile last time out and failing in behind Here To There. I like that he has been freshened up, back on his home track, back to 1400m and Oliver back on.

Race 6. (14:55) Testa Rossa Stakes 1200m

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Back Me

Does look as if it will be a procession for 3 Brave Smash (Bet Now: $1.80) hence the short quote, but really does look the one. Thought his effort last time out at the Valley was very good. Ridden upside down, wide no cover, has that poor second up record yet wore down El Divino. Expecting him to make a big statement third up.


6 El Divino (Bet Now: $7.00) is the close relation to Winx who will forever be in his older sisters shadow but he is a good horse himself. Attempted to lead all the way in the Chandler Macleod and rightfully gave a really good kick but was just no match for the beast that is Brave Smash. Third up last prep he was five lengths off Sheidel in an Oakleigh Plate. Reads well for this.

Long Shot

11 Bons Away (Bet Now: $16.00) rises sharply in grade for Ciaron Maher but for mine he deserves a crack at dipping his toe in at blacktype level. He has been a revelation throughout the latter part of the Winter/Early Spring. Was confidently backed last time out at Seymour and he disposed of them with a fair bit of ease. Very tough ask, but the big tick is that he is on his home track.

Race 7. (15:35) MRC Foundation Cup 2000m

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9 Amelie’s Star…(Bet Now: $5.00) well dear me. It was just a horror show if you were on her last Saturday at Flemington over the 1700m. Looked to be bolting in the run but just couldn’t get a crack at them at all and pretty much went around like it was a barrier trial, so I like that they back her up here and up to 2000m looks perfect.


10 Abbey Marie (Bet Now: $6.00) is a quality mare for the Mick Kent yard who bounced back to some really good form last time out in the Dato where she worked home with real purpose but just couldn’t quite reel in Bonneval, the star mare from NZ. Third up at 2000m is ideal, she likes Caulfield and she’ll be strong.

Long Shot
3 Big Duke (Bet Now: $8.50) has been crying out for a trip and he finally gets it here. Loved his effort last time out at the Valley over the mile. It was a day where those nearer the speed were advantaged, certainly that race anyway given the tempo, and he really closed off well from the back behind Stampede. Looking for further, bigger track, closer to peak fitness…ticks alot of boxes.


Race 8. (16:15) Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes 1200m

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6 Ravi (Bet Now: $4.60) is a Team Snowden trained mare who was given a lovely ride by McEvoy to win the Sheraco first up at Rosehill a fortnight back. The big key for her is that she jumped and put herself into a winning spot unlike her norm of flopping out the back. If she jumps well again, she should be just off the pace ready to launch.


7 Missrock (Bet Now: $4.00)  is a quality mare for the Robbie Laing yard who was a superb win over the Carlyon first up when wearing down Heatherly before going to the McEwen where she looked to have a bit of the second up syndrome and was quite flat I thought behind Russian Revolution. Finds a very winnable race here and I am confident she can bounce back hard third up.

Long Shot

2 Kenedna (Bet Now: $27.00) is a high class mare resuming for the Weir camp. She had an amazing prep last time in, running right through Summer/Autumn/Winter, ending in the Queensland Oaks behind another star mare in Egg Tart. Haven’t seen a recent jump out, but she seems the type of horse that doesn’t need much work to be forward.

Race 9. (16:55) Inglis Victoria Handicap (90) 1400m

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Back Me

I just have to trust my eye with 13 Jamaican Rain (Bet Now: $2.50). Very promising mare for the Richard Laming yard who has bolted up in both runs this time in. Heavily backed first up at Cranbourne and duly saluted before going to the Parks track in Adelaide where she won like Black Caviar under Jamie Kah. Toughest test to date, but I’m confident she can measure up. The big thing here also is that Jamie Mott, a known heavy weight rider, is down to ride at 54kg.


7 Merriest (Bet Now: $6.50) is four weeks between runs for the O’Brien camp after resuming over 1200m at the Valley where she was confidently backed after some outstanding jump outs but she just did a bit too much work from the gate and tired late behind Fragonard. She has a lethal second up record and her form at Caulfield does read quite well for this. Massive threat.

Long Shot

8 Sebring Dream (Bet Now: $17.00) is a smart mare that resumes for the Hayes/Dabernig team. This girl was very consistent right throughout the Autumn in strong races and ran well without winning, but far first up at Sandown where she was explosive. Trial was good, looks to have come back well and she does tend to save her best when on the fresh side.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Six Number 3 Brave Smash

NEXT BEST: Race Nine Number 13 Jamaican Rain

VALUE: Race Seven Number 9 Amelie’s Star


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 3

Leg Two: 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12

Leg Three: 1, 2, 6, 7

Leg Four: 13

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