Group l racing for 2020 in Australia kicks off this Saturday at Caulfield where it is CF Orr Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
CF Orr Stakes 🏆: View the Field for the CF Orr Stakes
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Race 1. (12:35) Big Screen Company Hcp 1800m
Really keen to see 4 King Of Leogrance (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) resume for Danny O’Brien. Formerly at Macdeon Lodge, he finds himself with the Melbourne Cup winning trainer. Was touted as a potential Melbourne Cup horse during the Spring but couldn’t put it together when it counted and was soon spelled after the Bart Cummings. Recent jumpout he closed off well and he does have class on his side over these.
2 Venice Beach (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is a big market/yard watch. Another Team Williams runner that resumes for Danny O’Brien. This bloke hasn’t raced since the 2018 Spring Carnival where he had three runs, and the first up run was a beauty behind Trap For Fools. Trial was quite good and Olly does choose this one over King Of Leogrance if that’s a lead.
If you like 9 No Committment (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS), I’d be watching the mounting yard to see how he parades. He got into an absolute mess prior to racing here two weeks ago but despite that, he ran an absolute beauty behind Sure Knee without a great deal of luck. Fitter and up to 1800m are two big ticks. Just want to see how he parades.
Race 2. (13:10) Kevin Hayes Stakes 1200m
Have always had time for 9 Frondeur (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS) and think she can measure up here. Debuted with an electric maiden win at Moe before being spelled with the Autumn in mind. Resumed against the older horses at Pakenham and admittedly was in the A1 ground, but still rattled off impressive relative late splits to win again. Good test here, but you don’t know how good a horse is til they are beaten.
2 How Womantic (Bet Now: $2.80 TOP ODDS) is the one that is up and running in good form, winning three on the bounce to start her career. Looked in a bit of trouble on the turn last time out at the Valley but once McNeil got stuck in, she drew clear and won impressively. Really good test here, but she’s at home and has had race fitness.
5 Score (Bet Now: $13.00 TOP ODDS) can measure up here for sure IMO. Don’t think she beat a great deal here two weeks ago, but it was the way in which she did it that impressed me. Put them away from the back with a good turn of foot and won despite doing a little bit wrong. Should eat up 1200m and John Sadler looks to have her flying.
Race 3. (13:45) Blue Diamond Prelude (F) 1100m
Finding it hard to see anything other than a win for the Maher/Eustace filly 2 Muntaseera (Bet Now: $2.60 TOP ODDS), who was so impressive in beating up a potentially average lot at Rosehill, but ran very good late splits. Trialled in Sydney and looked outstanding, but looked better in a jumpout last week alongside Loving Gaby. Think she takes care of these.
1 A Beautiful Night (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) is racing very well for the Maher/Eustace team and does have the runs on the board having won the Preview two weeks ago, thanks to a lovely front running steer from John Allen, who showed initiative from the start to kick up and lead and from there, she was the one to beat. Just needs to stretch it to 1100m.
8 Letzbeglam (Bet Now: $31.00 TOP ODDS) does have the recent win next to her name and stable should be respected with their juveniles. Debuted with a win over 1100m at Werribee when on speed and darting clear late to win well. Beat nothing, time was ordinary, but to the eye, she looked pretty good, so giving her a look up in grade/depth.
Race 4. (14:20) Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) 1100m
I think he’s pretty smart 7 Rulership (Bet Now: $3.00 TOP ODDS) and he could well stamp himself as the one to beat in the big dance with a win here. Debuted with a very sharp win two weeks ago over 1000m at Randwick, leading throughout. What impressed me most is that despite leading, he ran the quickest last 200m of the race, and for any leader to do that is impressive, but when it’s a two year old on debut, that’s a sign for me that he’s high class.
1 Hanseatic (Bet Now: $2.30 TOP ODDS) is clearly hard to beat here. He gave them an absolute spanking in the Preview despite sitting wide throughout. Did he beat much compared to what he faces here? I’m saying no, and will need to improve, but he’s got every right to given the grounding he had for the resumption suggested serious improvement was in the locker.
9 Valaquenta (Bet Now: $16.00 TOP ODDS) does look the one at silly odds. He didn’t smash the clock when winning on debut at the Valley, but keep in mind he was held up for a long period of the race and not sure the Valley suited him, but class got him home. Bigger track looks perfect for him, as does a rise in trip, and for mine, he’s the clear value.
Race 5. (14:55) Autumn Stakes 1400m
Giving 1 Microphone (Bet Now: $2.80) one last chance before declaring he needs to be gelded. Was a bit colty again first up in the Australia Stakes and don’t think the tight track of the Valley suited, plus the tempo was borderline farcical early. Gets back to his own age, steps up to 1400m on a bigger track…the set up is there for him to win. Just needs to produce somewhere near his best.
Up to 1400m will really suit the Danny O’Brien trained 3 Banquo (Bet Now: $5.50). He resumed down the Flemington straight over 1100m and it was run at a farcical speed, which clearly didn’t help the claims of this horse, but his finale was quite good. Hopefully the tempo is more genuine this time around and extra trip will be ideal.
4 Zero Doubt (Bet Now: $14.00) is a very interesting runner. Didn’t beat much when breaking the maiden at Sale two back but proved that was no fluke with an outstanding win here two weeks ago, thanks to an Olly special. Ducked and weaved before cutting back to the inside and really attacking the line to score. Harder here, but has race fitness and winning form.
Race 6. (15:30) Rubiton Stakes 1100m
Back to Caulfield and up to 1100m are two big ticks for the consistent animal 3 All Too Royal (Bet Now: $6.00). He ran in the Kensington Stakes three weeks ago down the Flemington straight in what was pretty much a barrier trial. Did a pretty good job to get as close as he did to the in form Bold Star. Like him back at home and up in trip.
4 Bold Star (Bet Now: $7.50) is a Gordon Richards trained four year old who has done nothing wrong this time in, winning three of four, with the defeat being a second to Halvorsen. Not sure what to make of his Kensington Stakes win because that was pretty much a 400m barrier trial dash, which he won in the last stride. Better suited up to 1100m and stable has an unbelievable strike rate in Melbourne.
8 Sartorial Splendor (Bet Now: $7.50) races best when leading and rolling, as we saw when winning on Cox Plate Day, and I think that racing pattern is suited to this kind of race. Resumes for John Sadler, a stable that has a good time of it recently, and this guy did look sharp in a recent jumpout for his return so keen to see him resume.
Race 7. (16:10) Carlyon Cup 1600m
1 Harlem (Bet Now: $10.00) is better than these surely? Admittedly, hasn’t done a great deal outside his Australian Cup wins, but keep in mind he has contested the past two editions of those, both being when first up. 2018 he ran second to Gailo Chop then last year ran fourth to Avilius. Both of those would be $1.50 here, and his Geelong trial was quite good I thought.
10 Miss Siska (Bet Now: $2.70) is the interesting one. Talented mare for Grahame Begg that resumes, having not raced since the Zipping Classic when a game second to Southern France, who first crack at 2400m and I thought she ran really well. The two previous first up runs for the stable have come at 1400m, so 1600m here fresh is the query, but she did trial up very well last week.
A rise in trip is definitely what 5 Guizot (Bet Now: $5.00) has been looking for. Good second to Amadeus in the Chester Manifold before a solid fourth over 1400m here in the John Dillon to the in form Morvada. 1600m/1700m, especially at Caulfield, is his bread and butter and fourth up from a break, he should be close to peak fitness.
Race 8. (16:50) C.F. Orr Stakes 1400m
Would love a drop of rain to hit the track, but I think the class of 1 Avilius (Bet Now: $8.00) gets him just about home. Resumes for James Cummings after a mixed Spring, where he did win the George Main but for the most part was disappointing. Outstanding trial last week and if Lane can take advantage of gate three, gee I think he’ll run a beauty.
3 Scales Of Justice (Bet Now: $2.80) has the runs on the board and should be given enormous respect here. He would have been a moral beaten in the Australia Stakes had he not got clear but thankfully the gap came and he took it with purpose to win impressively. He has always been such a dynamic fresh horse. Not quite as effective second up, but still good enough to be a leading chance here.
6 Fifty Stars (Bet Now: $27.00) is certainly capable. The Hayes/Dabernig team trains this guy, who is first up, having not raced since the Ballarat Cup when a close up sixth to Kiwia. Can sprint well fresh and really liked the way he closed off in a Geelong trial behind Miss Siska. If he can sit near the speed without spending too many petrol tickets, he’ll be hard to beat.
Race 9. (17:30) Bellmaine Stakes 1200m
Normal luck, track plays fair and 9 Sylvia’s Mother (Bet Now: $2.90) is the best on the program, comfortably. Very good mare for Team Hawkes that is resuming, having not raced since the Cockram at this track/distance when placing behind Pippie, who at the time was flying. Her two trials in Sydney have been outstanding, she goes well fresh…just think she’s better than these.
5 My Pendant (Bet Now: $10.00) up in trip and back to Mares grade is certainly a shout here. Resumed in the Kensington Stakes in what was pretty much a barrier trial and that set up was clearly not her go behind Bold Star. Draws to get a lovely run just off the speed, a good speed, and be strong at the end. Hard to beat if that’s indeed the set up we get here.
Linda Meech is batting at 26% when she combines with the Busuttin/Young team, and she does seem to ride 12 Angelic Spirit (Bet Now: $51.00) very well. This mare was a hot head once upon a time but in recent runs, she has relaxed better and been able to finish her races off better, the latest at Sandown. Her best chance is if she sits on speed and rolls.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Nine Number 9 Sylvia’s Mother
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 2 Muntaseera
LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 1 Avilius
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 4, 8
Leg Two: 1
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Leg Four: 9
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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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