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A strong nine race card has been assembled for Caulfield on Saturday. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (12:55) Cathie Ireland Handicap (70) 1100m

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On top in the opener is 6 Golden Gorge (Bet Now: $2.60 TOP ODDS) for the in form Robert Hickmott stable. Not sure he beat much on debut at Bendigo but gee he was impressive the way he let down and put them away to score in good time, and did plenty wrong in the process. On the home track from a soft draw, I think he can measure up against this lot.


Good little test for the Shea Eden trained 7 Ocular (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS), but it was hard not to be impressed by his debut win at Werribee on Christmas Eve, sitting on speed and spanking his rivals to win by a space and ran good time relative to the meeting. Should have no drama up to 1100m and I think he can run a positive race off the first up performance.

Long Shot

3 Lucifer’s Reward (Bet Now: $17.00 TOP ODDS) looks the one at silly odds here at nearly $20. Handy three year old for Brendan McCarthy who hasn’t raced since Pakenham Cup Day when a closing fifth to Star Surprise in a pretty good effort I thought. Gets the blinkers back on from gate one with Olly steering, he looks the knockout chance for sure.

Race 2. (13:30) Robert Newman Handicap (84) 1100m

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8 Propelle (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) finds just about the perfect race for her. Caulfield 1100m, dry ground, fast speed in front…it’s the A1 set up. Was surprised she was so well backed last start down the Flemington straight against some quality types and while she had her chance to win, she was far from disgraced behind a good one in Bold Star. Back to Mares grade, this is her race.


2 Clarice Cliffs (Bet Now: $2.30 TOP ODDS) is one of the bigger queries on the program. Talented mare for Greg Eurell that is first up, having not raced since March 16 down the Flemington straight when fifth to Swift Sis. Been given a good break and looks tuned up to go based on a December 16 jumpout win at Cranbourne in sharp time, and Olly is booked. Watch the market.

Long Shot

1 Flying Krupt (Bet Now: $31.00 TOP ODDS) is a big improver back to Mares grade for the Phillip Stokes team. Trialled up well prior to resuming down the Flemington straight where she was ordinary behind Bold Star but the market said she would need the run and I think she’s better on a bending track, so willing to give her another chance back in depth/grade.

Race 3. (14:05) Glen Wilkins Handicap (84) 1100m

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The way this race looks to map, I think 4 Tony Nicconi (Bet Now: $4.50 TOP ODDS) will take some beating here. He resumes for the Hayes/Dabernig team and I think the key to him is finding the front and getting dry ground, so both boxes should be ticked off here. He flies fresh and recent jumpouts have been sharp, plus like the booking for Olly.


Good little test for 10 The Last Napoleon (Bet Now: $3.80 TOP ODDS) but Kylie Vella has him in career best form. The race just set up perfect for him over 955m at the Valley and it was just a matter of getting clear air, which he did, and he ended up spanking his rivals. Up to 1100m should only help his cause and hopefully can sit closer in the run from the gate.

Long Shot

Third up from a spell, 6 Wise Hero (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) should just about be at peak fitness. He was terrible first up at Pakenham behind Vainstream before racing down the straight at Flemington and was okay without setting the world on fire behind Bold Star. Better suited on a bending track and he’s hard fit now so no excuses. Warms the pine if he runs poor again.

Race 4. (14:40) Melissa Broadley Handicap (70) 1200m

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This is well and truly D-Day for 3 Bam’s On Fire (Bet Now: $2.90 TOP ODDS). Threw the race away first up at Ballarat before racing down the Flemington straight and I thought she was very plain behind Our Campana, but connections put the run down to not handling the straight track. Back in a very winnable race, hard fit…no excuses this time around.


I like 13 Montenegro Man (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) up to 1200m. Resumed for Kav over 1000m here at the midweeks and probably wins if he runs straight, but just wanted to lay in under pressure and that cost him in the end when a narrow second to Pariano. You’d like to think he’ll take good improvement off that and up to 1200m is a big tick.

Long Shot

11 Symphonette (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) is a daughter of Helmet for Phillip Stokes who started favourite in a field of four when resuming on Yarra Valley Cup Day and just lacked the turn of foot to finish it off when a narrow second to Milord. I think she’ll be better ridden cold, so that should happen from the wide gate and be strong at the end.

Race 5. (15:20) Margaret Hogan Handicap (70) 1400m

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6 Mrs Beckham (Bet Now: $4.20) can measure up here for sure. Daughter of Toronado for the Ellerton/Zahra stable that took a little while to break the maiden tag but did it impressively at this track/distance at the midweeks, bolting clear of her rivals and the big tick is that she ran very fast time relative to the two other 1400m races for the meeting. Happy to be in her corner.


1 Parmie (Bet Now: $7.00) is knocking on the door to win for the Ellerton/Zahra stable. Just found the 1000m a bit sharp fresh at Pakenham before stepping up to 1400m where she was a hard luck story and you’d think with clear air, she wins, when a narrow third to Kurramae. She’s on track to win now and finds a really good race. Hard to beat.

Long Shot

12 Feign (Bet Now: $12.00) comes through the Kurramae race mentioned above and her run had plenty of merit to it given she was one that was back in the ruck off a slow speed and tried hard when running fourth. The worry again is the tempo may be slow once more, but like the booking of Olly and hopefully she can get a drag up into the race.

Race 6. (16:00) Tristan Parisienne Handicap (64) 1400m

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5 Necessary (Bet Now: $11.00) for me. Enve Jusufovic trains this mare, who was well backed when resuming over 1200m at Echuca and despite difficulties in the run, gee she charged to the line and was impressive in winning. Been given a little freshen up and like her up to 1400m off a genuine speed, plus Micky Dee takes over. Stable is airborne too.


Think a rise to 1400m will really suit the Team Corstens gelding 4 Thunderdome (Bet Now: $4.40), who has raced at 1200m in both runs back from a break, the latest coming at the Valley when when wide no cover on speed yet sticking on well when fourth to Reward With Return. Gets a senior jock on from an inside gate, so he’s a definite improver.

Long Shot

Where 3 Montaser (Bet Now: $8.50) gets to from the gate is unknown but if he can hold a decent enough spot in the first half of the field, he’ll take some beating. Impressive win from the back two starts ago at Donald before going to Sandown where he was back near last in the run but worked home strongly behind Scorpius. If he can hold up from one, he’s one of the hardest to beat.

Race 7. (16:40) Michele De Silva Handicap (78) 1400m

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3 Turn The Tide (Bet Now: $3.40) looks one of the better bets on the card. The Cindy Alderson stable has had a fab last couple of months and this bloke is finding form. Very good two back in the Gold Bullion behind Yulong January before going to this track/distance on Boxing Day and he bolted up. Melham on, sits off the speed, a good speed, and confident he wins.


12 Great Duchess (Bet Now: $8.00) is suited back to 1400m I feel and can register a win this prep. Beat all bar Neighbourhood two back at Pakenham before stepping up to the mile and seemingly had every chance behind Thousand Wishes, but that race turned into a real sit/sprint and that just didn’t suit her. Can sit near the speed and back to 1400m, she’s in the mix.

Long Shot

9 Write Your Name (Bet Now: $9.00) is the very interesting runner. First two runs for the prep were strong, including a first up win on Bendigo Cup Day. Last ran came at Pakenham where the market said he had three legs and ran accordingly, finishing well down the track behind Eureka Street. Freshened up with the blinkers off, keen to see how he goes.

Race 8. (17:20) Troy Janssens Handicap (84) 1600m

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2 Street Sheik (Bet Now: $8.00) is a gentleman in the sense he really enjoys finishing second. He did that for the 11th time when resuming at Warrnambool and it was a 12/120 steer from Billy Egan, but he couldn’t fend off the finale of Salon Du Cheval, a quality mare from WA. Mick Dee on, drags back for cover and should get a good cart up into the race.


12 Just Benjamin (Bet Now: $3.80) is a big watch here. A potential 2020 Melbourne Cup candidate making his Australian debut in the same interests as Steel Prince. His form in the UK suggests he will be better over further, clearly, but looked forward enough in a recent jumpout and considering he’s been purchased for the Cup, this isn’t a strong race with that in mind.

Long Shot

4 Galaxy Raider (Bet Now: $13.00) is ready to win and he finds a good race. Given the tempo, his performance in the Bullion behind Yulong January at Pakenham was full of merit. Then raced behind that horse again at Flemington and the tempo was slow again, set by that horse again, and this time Galaxy Raider looked to race a touch flat. Third up now, looking for the mile, he’s really likeable.

Race 9. (17:55) Jason Caffyn Handicap (70) 2000m

Back Me

It’s well and truly D-Day for 4 Cape Richards (Bet Now: $8.00). Needed the run first up at Pakenham before racing at Gawler two weeks ago where he was given such an ordinary steer from Rose Pearson. No hope at all and actually did a remarkable job to get as close as he did given the negative tactics. He’s on track to win and finds a very winnable race.


I think 7 Skelm (Bet Now: $4.60) is a big track horse so not sure Caulfield will be to his liking, but he did good things for me at the big odds last start at Sandown, helped by a lovely steer from John Allen and a fast tempo in front. Tempo should be genuine once again, Allen remains on…just wish it was at Sandown or Flemington.

Long Shot

5 Positive Mind (Bet Now: $10.00) is racing in really consistent form for the Hayes/Dabernig team. Has finished top two in seven of his last eight starts, the latest run coming over 2040m at the Valley when a narrow second to Vinaceous, with a peach from Lane on the eventual winner being the difference. Gets a suck run from the inside gate and is really well in after the claim for Lewis German.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Seven Number 3 Turn The Tide

NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 8 Propelle

LONG SHOT: Six Number 5 Necessary


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 3, 4, 5, 13

Leg Two: 3

Leg Three: 2, 3, 4, 10, 12

Leg Four: 2, 4, 5, 7

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