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The Autumn Carnival in Melbourne swung into gear on Saturday at Caulfield with several blacktype events on the nine race card, headlined by the Group l CF Orr Stakes (1400m). The royal blue reached the top of the tree for the first time in a long time while the babies stamped their Blue Diamond credentials. Here are a few blackbookers from the meeting heading forward.

Race One: Handicap 1800m:

Visually, the run of Gallic Chieftain looked outstanding and the sectionals suggest that too. Got a mile back in a slowly run affair so really he did a remarkable job to get as close as he did. Quickest last 800-400-200m of the race, and he did that covering an additional 21m in the run. Big tick for the resumption. Hopefully he can go on with it.

Race Two: Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies ) 1100m:

Standout was clearly Oohood. One of only three fillies from the race to break 35 final 600m, as well as clocking the fastest 800-400-200m. Did that after playing up badly in the gates. There are no standouts for the Blue Diamond and it may take a horse with that little bit of upside to win. She is one who does fit that criteria.

Race Three: Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (Boys) 1100m:

Looking at the data, the run of Plague Stone was enormous to the eye and the sectionals back it up. 44.49 between the 1000m-200m and then bottomed out late when a half length second to Written By. He was four wide no cover for the trip so he did a remarkable job. Swap the runs, swap the results. The colt I am most looking forward to re the Blue Diamond.

Race Six: Schweppes Rubiton Stakes 1100m:

Gee if you were on Rich Charm, I feel your pain. Outstanding splits late despite never really being clear of a pocket, and the way he charged to the line and through it late, it was the run of a horse who will go awfully close in the Newmarket. Merchant Navy got a definite pass mark for his first crack at the older horses. Thought Hellbent was good too first up. The two three year olds Prezado and Ardrossan…not sure what to make of Prezado. But it does once again raise serious doubts about the Nature Strip form. As for Ardrossan, they got the tactics horribly wrong when holding him back. He’s a horse you have to let stride.

Race Eight: CF Orr Stakes 1400m:

Blanket finish, so the strength of the form…I don’t know. But the run of Tosen Stardom was huge considering the amount of ground he covered. Wide no cover throughout, ending up covering 28m more, while Hartnell covered 25m more, so that roughly equates to 1.5L. If you factor that in, plus he was without cover, the run was actually very good. Hopefully a few days at the beach will freshen him up after this gutbuster. Keen to stick.

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