The youngsters take centre stage at Caulfield this Saturday, with the feature race being the $150,000 Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) for the three year olds. The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit.
Race One (13:30) : Ian Miller Handicap (84) 2000m:
Back Me: I was impressed by the win of 5 Tuff Host (Best Odds: $3.10) at Moonee Valley last time out given he scouted wide and had to do the hard yards of chasing down Volcanic Ash, and it was hard to come wide and make significant ground, and he was only third up there. He should have upside left, and will love the step up to 2000m IMO.
Big Danger: 1 Commanding Time (Best Odds: $5.50) ran over 1700m here last time out and stuck to the task quite gamely when running fourth to Tuscan Fire, beaten just under half a length. He will love the step up in trip also, has upside, trained on the track and Williams sticks.
Roughie: 3 Golden Mane (Best Odds: $8.50) ran over this distance at Flemington last time out and wasn’t suited by the slow tempo at all behind Second Bullet, who ran well last weekend to frank the form. Looks better suited here and this race isn’t strong.
Race Two (14:00) : Robert Hunter Handicap 2400m:
Back Me: Going with 4 Black Jag (Best Odds: $8.50). He ran in the Australia Day Cup (2400m) at Randwick and just plugged away when fourth to Destiny’s Kiss. He is much better on top of the ground, and he tends to save his best racing the Melbourne way. Draws to lead and will stay all day, so he looks a great each way bet.
Big Danger: 5 Danjeu (Best Odds: $4.00) tried his heart out last start at Flemington but just couldn’t quite get past the tough and gritty Lucques. He is rock hard fit and in super form, and perhaps getting away from Flemington could bring out that spar required to win.
Roughie: 10 Purple Smile (Best Odds: $26.00) is a tough campaigner for the Hayes/Dabernig yard who ran in that Lucques race also where he got back and worked home alright without threatening to run fourth, beaten 6.5L. He has been up for a long time, but continues to race very well, and with some luck, he can turn the tables here.
Race Three (14:30) : Mal Seccull Handicap (78) 1600m:
Back Me: 8 Pure Karma (Best Odds: $2.50) had been luckless in two runs to kick off his prep, then got normal luck and won impressively last time out at Geelong over 1500m, and won with a bit in reserve I think. He’ll handle this comfortably and should be just about at peak fitness.
Big Danger: 4 Distant Rock (Best Odds: $8.00) ran over this distance at Ladbrokes Park last time out and stuck to the task well when second to Prix D’or, who ran well last Saturday in a strong race at Flemington. He is racing very well at the moment, and he strikes a winnable race.
Roughie: 9 Adirondack (Best Odds: $10.00) had his first run for Shawn Mathrick at Geelong a couple of weeks back where he was very impressive in winning considering he was wide no cover for the entire trip yet still drew away. He will only improve with added fitness and extra trip, and senior rider goes aboard.
Race Four (15:00) : Chairman’s Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: 1 Extreme Choice (Best Odds: $1.45) is one of the major fancies for both the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper. That comes off the back of a brilliant debut win in the Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick where he showed great early toe to lead most of the way. Hasn’t raced since then, and hasn’t caught my eye at the trials, but if he is anywhere near right, he should just about take care of this lot.
Big Danger: 8 Mandee (Best Odds: $5.50) debuts for the Moody stable. This daughter of Exceed And Excel steps out here off the back of a handy Flemington jump out effort last Friday at Flemington. Bit to like about the way she moved that morning, so I wouldn’t be shocked if she went close here
Roughie: 2 Highland Beat (Best Odds: $11.00) comes through the Magic Millions (1200m) at the Gold Coast where he sat on a hot speed and faded out of it when finishing down the track behind Capitalist. This looks more his go, and provided he has taken no harm from that gutbuster, he can definitely threaten here.
Race Five (15:30) : Inglis Premier 1200m:
Back Me: 13 Gretna (Best Odds: $6.00) debuts here for Chris Waller. This daughter of Snitzel has trialled very well on a couple of occasions, the latest on January 4 on her home track at Rosehill where she won quite comfortably under little pressure. Stable has been open in saying they want to focus more on the two year olds, and this one looks the perfect horse to showcase that.
Big Danger: 4 Lessyd (Best Odds: $15.00) ran down the straight at Flemington and produced a lovely turn of foot late to nail stablemate Hey Doc right on the peg. Gives the impression he will eat up the 1200m, and a fast tempo will only be beneficial.
Roughie: 3 Hell Of An Effort (Best Odds: $4.40) is unbeaten in two runs for Peter Moody, the latest coming over 1100m here on Boxing Day in a strong form race subsequently. Recent jump out was very encouraging, draws well and Linda Meech retains the ride.
Race Six (16:00) : John Moule Handicap 1400m:
Back Me: 1 He Or She (Best Odds: $3.80) is a very talented galloper that resumes for the Hayes/Dabernig yard. He was last seen in the Emirates Stakes (1600m) where he produced one of the runs of the day when fifth to star kiwi Turn Me Loose. Resumes here off the back of a sharp jump out at Flemington last Friday. He is better than this grade, and if he is fit, which I think he is, he’ll prove awfully hard to beat.
Big Danger: 3 Mighty Like (Best Odds: $7.00) can be hard to catch, but he is good on his day, as we saw on Australia Day here when he won the John Dillion Stakes. He rarely wins back-to-back, which is the worry, but he is hard fit and strikes a winnable race.
Roughie: 2 Gracious Prospect (Best Odds: $10.00) ran in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) last time out and stuck on well I thought when sixth to star galloper Lucky Hussler. He runs very well at Caulfield, drops in depth a touch and is fit. He’ll run well no doubt.
Race Seven (16:30) : W.J. Adams Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: 9 Trevinder (Best Odds: $13.00) was very good I thought last time out at Moonee Valley last start when lumping 60kg and working home well out wide against the bias behind in form galloper Runsati. Drops 4kg in weight and he has run well against this sort of field here before, so despite the wide gate, he is a definite winning chance.
Big Danger: 3 Atmospherical (Best Odds: $3.30) is the watch horse. She is a Stakes class mare that was with David Pfieffer but is now with Robert Smerdon. She also had a pretty good jump out performance and moved quite nicely. She is dynamic on her day, and if she brings her best form here, she’d be certainly right in the mix.
Roughie: 5 Tahitian Black (Best Odds: $26.00) has been freshened up since running in the Bat Out Of Hell (900m) at the Gold Coast where he was just run off his legs, but his last 200m was excellent. That was far too short for him, so I think coming back onto a firm track and with an extra 100m, he could get every chance to blouse these.
Race Eight (17:00) : Manfred Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: Race of the day for mine across Australia, and by some distance. I am going to take the chance with Team Freedman galloper 7 Golden Spin (Best Odds: $3.80). He was outstanding in winning here a month back, leading all the way and showing a lovely turn of foot, and the time was good considering he carried 58kg. Had a jump out last Friday and looked good there, so he has residual fitness and though rises in grade, he looks very likely.
Big Danger: 4 Ready For Victory (Best Odds: $6.50) is clearly the best horse in the race, but can be hard to trust. He ran a brave third to Press Statement in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) before being freshened up and running down the track in the Coolmore Stud (1200m) but I think he had enough by then. Jump outs haven’t been as impressive as the top two, but they have been good enough.
Roughie: 2 Bon Aurum (Best Odds: $15.00) looks the big overs. He is a classy colt who resumes for Ciaron Maher after a strong Spring, with the highlight being a win in the Guineas Prelude (1400m). Recent jump outs have been excellent, trained on the track and he can sprint well fresh.
Race Nine (17:30): Thomas North Handicap (84) 1400m:
Back Me: 5 Blendwell (Best Odds: $21.00) looked sharp at the jump outs prior to resuming over this track/distance in a mares race where she got stuck wide no cover for the trip and faded out of it behind Miss Softhands. If she gets better luck here, she can definitely bounce back and be a serious winning chance.
Big Danger: 8 Boundary (Best Odds: $7.00) ran over this track/distance in a similar race on Australia Day and tried very hard, but couldn’t quite nail in form type Fast Approaching in a close finish. Her last two efforts have been superb, so she is clearly knocking on the door to win a race and she gets her chance here.
Roughie: 6 Written (Best Odds: $26.00) resumed over 1400m here and was kept safe in the market, but after leading, she tired late and ran second last behind Miss Softhands. Might have needed the run, I am not sure. She can definitely bounce back.
BEST BET: Race Six Number 1 He Or She
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 1 Extreme Choice
VALUE: Race Seven Number 9 Trevinder
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 4
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 6, 9
Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12
Leg Four: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8
$50 Investment= 5.20% of the dividend if successful.
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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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