Track: Good 4. Rail: True
Best Bet: Race 9 – THE AUTUMN SUN
Race 1: Inglis Debutant Stakes 2YO 1000m
13 first starters. Next….. Ok obviously look for money around for the bigger stables. Focus on CHAMPAGNE BOOM (6), LANIGERA (2), UTZON (13) and WEDGETAIL (4). Nothing misleading will be said here, just too hard. Watch and learn.
Race 2: Weekend Hussler Stakes 1400m
VIOLATE (5) destroyed them at Flemington fresh, then was poor as favourite here last time second-up which is standard. He raced very flat that day and looks a big improver third-up at peak fitness. He may just need a little luck getting off the fence as he will settle back in the field.
SIRRCONI (8) comes through that same race, he had the perfect run but may have just hit the lead too early and was run down late. OZI CHOICE (7) led in that race and went too quickly, if he can settle in front he will run out the 7 furlongs better today. ICONOCLASM (9) will have plenty of support, he was consistent at his first prep but had his chance fresh then had a throat issue last time. Prefer to take on at this stage.
Race 3: Thoroughbred Club Stakes 3YO Fillies 1200m
SUNLIGHT (1) was well beaten when outmuscled in the lead by Nature Strip first-up, then back against her own age group she was ridden off the leader and finished too well. She will be carving over early here and probably gets to the spot outside the leader, that can be a handy position if able to control the tempo around here.
MERYL (3) looks the obvious danger, she will roll forward early but you feel that she would either need to cross the Sunlight or get its back to have any chance, I doubt she can sit outside that filly and win. She does get the blinkers going on for the first time though. HUMMA HUMMA (6) has never missed a placing but she has been beaten fair and square by those two at recent meeting and has had her chance. She looks a nice place chance but happy to take her on for plenty if she starts singe figures. ASSERTIVE PLAY (4) next best, she will be giving them a big start.
Race 4: Northwood Plume Stakes Mares 1200m
WINTER BRIDE (3) settled further back than is the norm for her when making her Victorian debut last time, she had been racing very consistently since going to Queensland. She sat back off the speed before charging home, if she can get a cart into it there is no reason she can’t win again.
COOL PASSION (2) races well here and was closing late last time, BOOKER (1) has speed and will be charging over early from the wide gate and MOONLOVER (8) is racing great but will have to overcome the wide draw early also when going forward. Another tough mares race!
Race 5: Schillaci Stakes WFA 1100m
Looks a very open affair. BALL OF MUSCLE (3) was poor in the Moir, but we can forgive him that one run. He was super here when resuming giving nothing else a chance then went to Randwick and once again led all the way. There is no Nature Strip here so he should be able to lead for a long way and give a sight.
SNITTY KITTY (13) comes through that same race at the Valley, she was huge in defeat after sitting wide throughout not far off the lead. She maps well here too. VOODOO LAD (2) has had six weeks between runs, last time we saw him he was a fast finishing runner-up to our top selection. He will be last early but if he can navigate the big field there won’t be a horse finishing as good as him.
ILLUSTRIOUS LAD (5) took a throw at the stumps at the back-end of last campaign, going to Dubai for the big Group One where he was outclassed. He has won fresh as he is today and a big run wouldn’t surprise.
Race 6: Thousand Guineas 3YO Fillies 1600m
SMART MELODY (5) is undefeated in 5 career starts, there are plenty of people doubting that she can run a mile so expect her to be easy in the betting through the week. I loved her run here a fortnight ago when she had to work and showed great acceleration to put them away at the top of the straight. She was strong enough through the line, expect her to lead all the way here.
THRILLSTER (4) may have been the run of the race in the lead up, she sat four-wide without cover and still had the audacity to be taking ground off the winner late. EL DORADO DREAMING (1) was super in the Prelude, she was first-up that day and ran on hard from a mile back. The extra furlong looks to suit. FIESTA (2) was brave in defeat in Sydney last time, she maps to be a little closer today, expect her to be mid-field and running on hard.
Race 7: Toorak Handicap 1600m
JUNGLE CAT (2) looked like he may have needed the run when winning the Rupert Clarke here a fortnight ago, he was midfield and came wide but looked to hit a flat spot before rallying at his Australian debut. He will be fitter for that run and maps a lot better than his opponents.
SHILLELAGH (4) was huge run in defeat in the Epsom north of the border last time, she was looking for runs a mile back in the straight before running on hard and getting almost with in a length. LAND OF PLENTY (5) would have been the top pick after his super effort here two weeks ago, but the draw is just putrid. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR (6) has the wide draw but he will be speeding over early looking for the front. Great race, nothing would surprise here and a very tough start to the Quaddie.
Race 8: Caulfield Stakes WFA 2000m
HUMIDOR (2) seems to be ticking along well, he was brilliantly ridden to win the Memsie here last month, was ok at Flemington then had no luck here again last time when running on hard to narrowly go down. Look for him late again.
BENBATL (1) is obviously the query runner. He is having his first Oz start, was a Group 1 winner in Germany earlier this prep to add to his Group One win in Dubai and Group Three win in England. He obviously has a stack of ability and can travel, watch the betting late for any info re. fitness in the yard. NIGHT’S WATCH (8) is undefeated here at Caulfield, gets up in weight under the WFA conditions but he will be running on hard. UNFORGOTTEN (12) was unlucky in the Epsom last time and although he will also get well back the speed should be genuine. He is a live chance in an open race.
Race 9: Caulfield Guineas 1600m
THE AUTUMN SUN (1) is a superstar in the making, his win in the Golden Rose was at another level after coming from an impossible to position to score. He maps to be just worse than mid-field but with the likely good tempo, expect him to be charging late. He will be the star of the Autumn once this is ticked off the list and we may not see much more of him!
NATIVE SOLDIER (2) won the Prelude here a fortnight ago, he will go forward early and try to lead all the way. LEONARDO DA HINCHI (4) is another Weir runner that has not missed a placing in 5 career starts. He has versatility in being able to go forward or back, expect that he will do the latter here from the wide draw but look for him late. THE AUGUST (10) may be a big improver, although he was well beaten in the Prelude he was still going well through the line and will appreciate stepping up to the mile.
Race 10: Herbert Power Stakes 2400m
BIG DUKE (1) is not racing with a lot of luck and no doubt he will keep improving, he only got out late in the Metrop and ran on well, he will certainly get the trip.
A PRINCE OF ARRAN (2) looks an interesting runner having his first Australian start, he has a great record fresh and is well travelled. Watch for any money for him. BRIMHAM ROCKS (8) was ridden differently up on the speed in the Metrop and it almost paid off, expect that he will go forward again here. If he able to control the tempo he will be hard to run down. RISING RED (9) almost caused the boilover here last time after a masterful ride, if he can repeat that effort he will go close but will need to be ridden for luck again. I don’t think he can come wide and win. So many unknowns here with a few having there first start in Oz, always hard to win like that and the huge field will give you a nice payday if you jag the winner.