Some of the better juveniles will be out strutting their stuff and trying to press claims for Group l glory with the Blue Diamond Previews a key focus for the meeting at Caulfield on Saturday. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out six metres for the entire circuit.
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Race 1. (12:55) Bass Strait Beef Plate 1100m
1 Exquisite Beauty (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) on top, just. Big win two back against the older mares at the Valley before racing down the Flemington straight when on speed and fighting on strongly but couldn’t quite finish it off when fourth to Modear. From gate, Zahra has all the options he wants and gets good weight relief.
4 That Girl (Bet Now: $3.20 TOP ODDS) is worth one more chance. Narrow second to Alburq down the Flemington straight two back before racing there again two weeks ago and I think Teo would be the first to admit it wasn’t the best of steers. Gate one and used up energy to get to the outside, where he couldn’t get a run. Back on a bending track and against her own age/sex, she’s a leading chance.
2 Heka Express (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is a Team Corstens trained filly that is going about her business quite nicely at the moment. Hasn’t raced for over three weeks since taking on the older horses at Geelong when well backed and the bets were landed as she booted clear late and won well after sitting on speed. Harder here, but going well.
Race 2. (13:30) DrinkWise Plate 1400m
8 Wish I Might (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is a progressive mare for Daniel Bowman that has done little to nothing wrong this time in. Big win from the back two back at Werribee before racing over 1400m at Flemington where she was eased back from the wide gate and finished off hard to run fifth to Goldifox. Can sit closer from the inside gate and she finds a winnable race.
5 Write Your Name (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS) can be a bit hit and miss but his best is clearly good enough to beat these. No idea what happened to him two back at Pakenham but bounce back three weeks ago and worked to the line strongly to run second to Conqueror. Repeats that effort here, he goes close, but there are a couple of versions of him.
1 Ocean Deep (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) has to be rated highly against these. Was hard to miss her first up run over 1100m here three weeks ago where she was back in the run off a slow speed but produced outstanding late splits to run a close up fourth to the in form Our Campana. Good record at Caulfield and up to 1400m in what I think isn’t a strong 78, she’s hard to beat.
Race 3. (14:05) Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) 1000m
4 Glenfidditch (Bet Now: $12.00 TOP ODDS) for me in a good race. Robbie Griffiths trains this colt, who had two runs in the Spring to start his career. Was very good late on debut in the Maribyrnong Plate behind Hard Landing, then went to the Merson Cooper and pulled up lame. Jumped out last week at Cranbourne and he was the standout of the morning. Happy to be in his corner.
Keen to see 2 Hanseatic (Bet Now: $2.50 TOP ODDS) resume for Anthony Freedman. This colt has only had one start, which came in the Merson Cooper when heavily supported and the bets were landed as he scored a sharp win from off the pace. Spelled soon after and really liked the way he went in a Flemington jumpout last week. The one to beat.
3 Yulong Progress (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) looks a nice animal that could well be a sneaky Blue Diamond chance. Debuted down the Flemington straight in what was a very slowly run affair, so he really had no chance given he was back near last but he worked to the line with real purpose to run third to Jabali Ridge. Better over further, but looks talented.
Race 4. (14:40) Blue Diamond Preview (Fillies) 1000m
9 Supreme Idea (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS) looks a really smart animal for the Anthony Freedman camp that comes here off the back of a really sharp debut win over 1100m at Geelong where she led all the way and spanked her rivals to win in sharp time, which is always a good sign for a youngster, especially on debut. Keen to see how she goes.
6 Award Winner (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS) is a stablemate of Supreme Idea that is also coming here off the back of a debut win. Her win came at Bendigo and what I liked about her win is that she knuckled down strongly when asked to respond, took gaps between runners and attacked the line to win. Form out of the race has been good and stable is always to be respected with their juveniles.
10 Miss Venezuela (Bet Now: $21.00 TOP ODDS) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained that had showed really good speed in jumpouts prior to the debut down the Flemington straight two weeks ago where they opted to ride her with cover and I just don’t think that worked, but her run was still sound in defeat behind Jabali Ridge. Hoping that back to 1000m, they let her run.
Race 5. (15:20) Lamaro's Hotel Sth Melbourne Hcp 1400m
11 Shush (Bet Now: $4.50) may need a bit of luck from gate one, but it was hard to miss her first up maiden win at Geelong on Boxing Day. Sat off the speed before Bowditch eased her wider and she put them away in a couple of strides and ran very fast time relative to the meeting. Runner up went within a lip of winning last Sunday so form isn’t too bad and up to 1400m, with enormous upside, I’m in her corner.
Not sure Caulfield will suit him but 1 Wilmot Pass (Bet Now: $3.10) does have his fair share of talent. Should have won first up at Mornington had he not jumped poorly. Then went to Sandown and thought it was a smart ride from Zahra that got him home, keeping his maiden rival Wedgetail in a pocket and holding him on the line. If this was Flemington, no betting, but hard to beat all the same.
2 Obi (Bet Now: $16.00) is the interesting runner. This Symon Wilde 3YO is 2/2 this time in. Just a win first up when breaking the maiden tag at Penshurst before going to a bog Hamilton surface and was very impressive in spanking the older horses. Not sure how strong that form is for this, but have to like the fact the stable send him to town.
Race 6. (16:00) Mary Bell Handicap 1600m
7 Call It A Day (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Wez Hunter trained veteran who is starting to find some positive form. Led and felt the pinch late two back at Caulfield behind Conqueror before backing up a week later in the Chester Manifold and he ran a very cheeky race in front, just tiring the last 100m when third to Amadeus. Looks the leader, should roll and give a bold sight.
2 Amadeus (Bet Now: $7.00) is a Mick Kent trained gelding that is in a purple patch at the moment. Solid in defeat two back at Flemington behind Yulong January before contesting the Chester Manifold when well backed, getting a good run on speed and was far too good for his rivals. Just needs to stretch that out to 1600m.
3 Beau Balmain (Bet Now: $9.50) is a Jim Conlan trained stayer that is first up. This former German stayer is having his second Australian prep after teasing to win one last prep but couldn’t quite deliver. Better suited over further, but does have a touch of quality about him and do like the booking of Melham for the first up assignment.
Race 7. (16:40) Le Pine Funerals Hcp 1100m
Going the way of 4 Shokora (Bet Now: $8.50) for the Hayes/Dabernig team. This mare is first up and she does tend to race best with fresh legs. Hasn’t raced since September 21 here when down the track behind behind the then in form Fabric. Been given a good break and loved the way she has looked in two jumpouts, noteworthy without blinkers, so happy to be with her.
2 Our Campana (Bet Now: $3.50) is in a purple patch at the moment for Colin Little and is a proven performer here so she ticks a fair few boxes. Had the A1 run in transit three weeks ago at Caulfield when sitting behind the speed before McNeil shoved her into the clear and she finished best to win impressively. Hard to beat.
1 Smart Coupe (Bet Now: $17.00) is an Ellerton/Zahra trained mare that drops miles in grade/depth after contesting the Standish on New Years Day when settling last in the outside division of the field and couldn’t really come on behind Halvorsen. Last time she was at Mares grade, she won a Stakes race, and with the claim for Poy, she’s likeable at the odds.
Race 8. (17:20) John Dillon Stakes 1400m
Happy to speck 2 Duca Valentinois (Bet Now: $15.00) each way here. He’s a ripper for James Cummings that puts in every prep he races in. Resumed in the Chester Manifold and didn’t mind the way he finished his race off behind Amadeus. Staying at 1400m would be a query, but there should be good speed on here so a truly run 1400m will be right his alley.
5 Yulong January (Bet Now: $2.50) is in career best form for the Maher/Eustace stable. The question is how many times can you go to the well. He’s going super, won four on end, but the signs were just starting to appear on New Years Day at Flemington that he might be looking for the paddock. He took cover and didn’t gap them, having to dig in, but still won. He can win for sure, but I couldn’t back him.
1 Streets Of Avalon (Bet Now: $7.50) is an absolute beauty for Shane Nicholls that resumes after a busy Spring prep, which ended during Cup Week over 1400m when down the track after getting a good time of it on speed. Been given a good break and he was outstanding in a Mornington jumpout last week, so keen to see how he goes.
Race 9. (17:55) MRC Thanks Fire Services Hcp 2000m
10 Salon Du Cheval (Bet Now: $6.00) is a talented animal from WA for Lindsey Smith that is 2/2 since being transferred to Victoria, winning the Port Fairy Cup and Koroit Cup respectively at Warrnambool and each time he has really dug in when required. Better suited at this kind of distance range and stable should always be respected when they bring them to town.
6 Vaucluse Bay (Bet Now: $6.50) is a Chris Waller trained stayer that was unwanted in betting when resuming over the mile at Flemington two weeks ago but despite having no friends in the market, gee I thought he ran a ripper in defeat when a narrow second to Galaxy Raider. If he naturally improves off that, up to 2000m, he’ll take a power of beating.
2 Rising Red (Bet Now: $4.60) is flying for the Busuttin/Young team and on track to potentially head over to New Zealand for the Auckland Cup. Far from disgraced first up behind Yulong January before stepping up to the mile a fortnight back and he was one of the runs of the day from the back when third to Galaxy Raider. Fitter, up to 2000m, he’s really likeable.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 11 Shush
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 9 Supreme Idea
LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 7 Call It A Day
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 7, 8
Leg Two: 1, 2, 4, 7
Leg Three: 2, 5
Leg Four: 2, 6, 9, 10, 11
$50 Investment = 31.25% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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