One of the better racedays on the Australian calendar is Blue Diamond Day at Caulfield and it comes around on Saturday with nine races, three of which at Group l level, including the $1 Million Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m). The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
Race One (12:30) : Ladbrokes Mornington Cup Prelude 2000m:
Back Me: 4 Goldstream (Best Odds: $5.00) hadn’t won a race in Australia until last start where he was given a peach on speed by Lane and the Italian Derby winner kicked strongly down the Flemington straight to cling on for a determined win. Now that he has got the win on the board, he can go right on with it despite added depth here.
Big Danger: 5 Second Bullet (Best Odds: $2.50) resumed over 1800m here a fortnight back and though aided a bit by the tempo, gee he was impressive and dashed right away for a dominant win. More depth here, but off that first up win, and given the upside he has here, he has to be seriously respected.
Long Shot: 2 Assign (Best Odds: $12.00) is one of the better horses in the race, but his fitness levels are just an unknown. Got his way into the Melbourne Cup by winning the Herbert Power and he was just outclassed in the Cup. Really good stats at 2000m, at Caulfield, and he is a two time first up winner. Not the worst here.
Race Two (13:05) : Ladbrokes Zeditave Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: 5 Into Orbit (Best Odds: $5.00) for me here. He remains at 1200m after racing in the Manfred at this track/distance three weeks ago where he attempted to lead all the way under Dwayne Dunn and to his credit, he gave a really good kick but was no match late for Legless Veuve. Maps well here, hard fit and looks one of the hardest to beat.
Big Danger: 2 Benz (Best Odds: $6.50) is a quality three year old from South Australia for Gordon Richards. He showed during the Spring that he can measure up at blacktype level in Melbourne, highlighted by fifth placings behind Souchez during Cup Week and then behind Morton’s Fork in the Sandown Guineas. Trial win back home was very good and he did win first up last time in.
Long Shot: The freshen up could see sharp improvement from 7 Hard Promise (Best Odds: $13.00). He last raced over the mile here on Australia Day where he was heavily backed but after sitting on speed, he was beaten before the turn and dropped out to be quite disappointing. Back to 1200m should suit and he gets the services of Moreira.
Race Three (13:40) : Heritage Finance Caulfield Autumn Classic 1800m:
Back Me: 3 Cliff Hanger (Best Odds: $6.50) is one to watch. He tried hard fresh at Sandown over 1400m but was no match for the hard fit/in form Oak Door, who has franked the form by winning at Flemington and Caulfield. Cliff Hanger then raced over the mile at Sandown where he sat on speed and though there to be beaten, he fought on strongly for a narrow but impressive win. Third up now, and though there has been a break between runs, I rate him highly here.
Big Danger: 5 Bold Prescience (Best Odds: $10.00) had confident market support when racing in a 2000m maiden at Pakenham last time out and the punters faith was rewarded with an all the way spank job of his rivals under Regan Bayliss. Loses nothing with Oliver replacing, maps well, has upside and should take some beating.
Long Shot: 12 Bint El BEdu (Best Odds: $15.00) is the filly with upside here. This Mick Price trained galloper is a veteran of just two starts, the second of those coming in a Kilmore maiden a tick over two weeks back when ridden a treat by Froggy and getting the job done. That was a tough performance, so she should be strong here at 1800m, trained on the track and has enormous scope.
Race Four (14:15) : Polytrack Angus Armanasco Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Confident that 1 Jennifer Lynn (Best Odds: $4.00) can bounce back here. Did a really good job in defeat first up at Flemington before going to the Kevin Hayes where she was desperately unlucky not to finish closer to impressive winner Fuhryk. Lane made an error in judgement and made the wrong move, ending up in a bad spot whereas the winner was off and gone. Give her clear air here, and up to 1400m, should see her close to turning the tables.
Big Danger: 2 Fuhryk (Best Odds: $3.00) was given a peach from Williams to win the Kevin Hayes, trucking up beautifully before peeling clear at the top of the straight and she produced a lovely turn of foot to get the job done. Will she get 1400m? The indicators are that she will, but until they run, you do not know for sure. Still, one of the hardest to beat.
Long Shot: Really keen to see how 5 Smart As You Think (Best Odds: $21.00) resumes here. Talented filly for John McArdle that is heading down the Oaks path, so whatever she does here, she will improve on, but she showed in the Spring that she can run well at this distance range, and I have liked what I have seen from her at the jump outs/trials.
Race Five (14:50) : Italktravel Futurity Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: 1 Black Heart Bart (Best Odds: $1.95) just picks himself here. Had three wide cover in the CF Orr and though he took a little while to wind up, he lunged and surged hard to get another Group l win and confirming his status as the best horse Victoria has to offer. He will only improve off that and should be winning here.
Big Danger: He is looking for further, but you have to like what you have seen from 6 Palentino (Best Odds: $7.50) in both runs this time in. Worked home first up behind Malaguerra before savaging the line from the back in the Orr behind Black Heart Bart. The big negative is that he remains at 1400m. If it was 1600, I’d be all over him. Still, a serious threat.
Long Shot: 4 Tosen Stardom (Best Odds: $14.00) is the big watch here. High class animal that only had one run for the Weir camp during the Spring, which came in the Dato Tan where he did a really good job behind Awesome Rock. 1400m is clearly short of his best, but he has world class form behind him, and his best is certainly good enough to be a major threat.
Race Six (15:30) : Crown Lager Peter Young Stakes 1800m:
Back Me: 9 Humidor (Best Odds: $4.20) is a Group l winner in waiting I think, and I think he can win this before winning the Australian Cup. His effort in the Carlyon Cup was very good, but again, he wanted to do plenty wrong in the straight when trying to chase down Burning Front. 1800m third up looks perfect and I am really keen on his chances.
Big Danger: 10 Jameka (Best Odds: $3.50) had late market support first up in the CF Orr despite being clearly short of her ideal trip, but gee she worked home out wide with real purpose to run fourth to Black Heart Bart. WFA suits her perfectly, 1800m is ideal, fab record on her home track and there is just so much to like about her.
Long Shot: 11 Real Love also (Best Odds: $26.00) also comes through the Carlyon Cup and her effort was very good in defeat behind stablemate Burning Front. She got badly held up for the first half of the straight, and for this mare, she can’t have her momentum halted. She may lack the class, but you always have to respect this mare because she rarely runs a bad race.
Race Seven (16:10) : Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Sticking fat with 13 Tulip (Best Odds: $7.00). I think Williams just rode the filly a bit too cute in the Preview. On debut he gave her a good slap with the whip and she exploded but in the Preview he just nursed her where I think she would have been better with him pushing the button. She was only beaten a lip but it was still a fine performance. I think she will love the rise to 1200m and the break between runs indicates to me they really know what they are doing with this runner.
Big Danger: 11 Catchy (Best Odds: $4.20) is the number one seed from the Hayes/Dabernig and is the choice for Craig Williams. Her win in the Prelude was very good. It wasn’t brilliant, but it was the win of a horse who will love the rise to 1200m and a fast tempo. Don’t see the gate being an issue. I’m sure she’ll get good cover and launch late.
Long Shot: 9 Muraahib (Best Odds: $35.00) is the very interesting runner here. He is two from two to date. Debuted in SA and beat up a weak lot there, and then repeated the dose at Sale. Hasn’t beaten a great deal. but the manner in which he has done it has impressed me. I think he can slide over from the gate and get near the pace, and even if he is three wide, he is built like a three year old, so it won’t be hard work.
Race Eight (16:50) : The Resimax Group Oakleigh Plate 1100m:
Back Me: 2 Fell Swoop (Best Odds: $7.50) for me to get redemption here from 12 months ago. He was desperately unlucky not to win the race last year and since then he has performed so well at the highest level. Bursting to win a group l and he looks on target to do it here off the back of a sizzling trial win at Canberra where he ran cracking time under triple wraps.
Big Danger: D-Day looms for 10 Hellbent (Best Odds: $5.50). Should have won first up in the Kensington behind Tivaci before going to the Rubiton where nothing really went right for him in a slowly run race behind Super Cash. Much better than that and the key to him here is that he has drawn out, so he should get clear running. If he brings his turn of foot, he’ll take some beating.
Long Shot: Some betting agencies were offering $21 and better in all in markets for 1 Flamberge (Best Odds: $16.00) to win this race, and rightfully he has trimmed down to around the $11 mark. His effort in the Lightning last week was enormous. He was still there with about 50m to go and was beaten a neck. Draws a lovely gate here and is a previous winner of this race.
Race Nine (17:30) : Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Sticking fat with 3 Abbey Marie (Best Odds: $10.00). Like most here, she resumed in the Bellmaine and given she was first up since the SA Oaks, she was perhaps the most vulnerable of the lot, but I really liked the way she found the line and through it. Big tick for her return, and can only see her better suited here.
Big Danger: 2 Silent Sedition (Best Odds: $2.10) also resumed in the Bellmaine, and perhaps pilot error cost her the win over Prussian Vixen given she got back in a slowly run race and the race was pretty much gifted to the eventual leader/winner. This mare did a super job to finish as close as she did. Looks a great winning chance with upside.
Long Shot: 10 Written Era (Best Odds: $8.00) was enormous against the tempo first up at Ballarat before going to the Bellmaine where she was outclassed form wise but she ran a beauty when fifth to Prussian Vixen. That confirmed my thoughts that she is capable at this level. I’ll be a bit surprised if she wins, but I think she will run a beauty with a more genuine tempo in front of her.
BEST BET: Race Eight Number 2 Fell Swoop
NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 9 Humdior
VALUE: Race Nine Number 3 Abbey Marie
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 3, 9, 10, 11
Leg Two: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15
Leg Three: 2, 3
Leg Four: 2, 3
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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