Current Track Rating: Good 3

Rail: True

Weather Forecast:

Friday 28th – Max 20° Sunny

Saturday 29th – Max 24° Mostly Sunny

R1 Carbine Stakes G3 1600m

Race Profile

  • 4 of past 5 winners have started from barrier 4 or inside
  • 4 of past 5 winners had their lead-up run 2 week’s prior
  • 3 of past 5 winners had their lead up run in the Gothic Stakes
  • 3 of past 5 winners carried a penalty

Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Mahuta – SP $7.00 57kg BR 2 – 5th up, 2 weeks 1st Gothic Stakes Listed 1400m Caulfield

Kermadec – SP $2.70 55kg BR 2 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 2nd 3YO BM73 85k 1600m Randwick

Paximadia – SP $10 56kg BR 1 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 8th Gothic Stakes Listed 1400m Caulfield

Lunar Rise – SP $8 55kg BR 9 – 6th up, 4 wk Freshen 4th Spring Champion G1 2000m Randwick

Galah – SP $1.50 56kg BR 4 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 1st Gothic Stakes Listed 1400m Caulfield

Major Players

1. Hey Doc: Won the Stutt Stakes (1600m) two ago with everything in his favour. His third in the Caulfield Guineas was fantastic given he sat 3 wide and had to work from the 800m only to be run down by Seaburge and Divine Prophet who both had much more comfortable runs. His time from 1000m to 200m of 47.25 was easily the best before he tired late. The 2 other runners in his running line whom he beat home easily that day were Good Standing and Sacred Elixir (Derby favourite), both subsequent winners. His barrier and the Map are major concerns as he will likely have to sit wide again albeit in a race devoid of pace.

3. Morton’s Fork: Still looking for a way clear from the key lead up race, Gothic Stakes, where he was the best of good things beaten. Interesting that James McDonald takes the ride on stablemate Bezel. The sectionals out of the Gothic don’t tell us much in what was a sit and sprint with the first 800m covered in 50 seconds. He will be back off what looks a slow tempo so will need a bit of luck from Barrier 4.

5. Bezel: James Macdonald has elected to ride Bezel here which suggests to me he has an opinion of the horse and after sustaining a long sprint to win last start I can see why. He comes into this off the same race that Kermadec ran second in which profiles nicely.

7. Acatour: The jockey had a clear objective to sit up outside the lead in the Gothic and it will be very interesting to monitor any information about intentions on this occasion as whilst he seemed to race below his best that day he could easily jump and slot in the first couple here. His SP of $2.60 in the Gothic will compare nicely with his likely $5 price here but with an extra couple of class rivals I’m happy to work around him.

10. Comin’ Through: As I commented to earlier Chris Waller won this race two years ago with Kermadec and this horse comes here following a similar path off a maiden win and restricted class second. He is even around the same price $6.5 and OHC rating (CT 65 v Kerm 67). He hit the line OK last start but despite the pattern I am working around him as I doubt he has the class to beat all of his rivals here.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Acatour for 10 units at $6 or less

R2 Wakeful Stakes G2 2000m

Race Profile

  • 1 of past 5 winners (Atlantic Jewel) has carried 1kg+ penalty
  • 5 of past 5 winners had their lead up run 2 weeks’ prior
  • 4 of past 5 winners were 5th up

 Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Ambience – SP $4.20 55.5kg BR 3 – 5th up, 2 weeks 3rd Ethereal Stakes 2000m Caulfield

Thunder Lady – SP $31 55kg BR 7 – 5th up, 2 weeks 3rd Maiden 22k 1850m Newcastle

Kirramosa – SP $9.50 54kg BR 12 – 4th up, 2 weeks 2nd 3YO BM73 85k 1600m Randwick

Zydeco – SP $3.10 54kg BR 10 – 5th up, 2 weeks 3rd 1000 Guineas G1 1600m Caulfield

Atlantic Jewel – SP $1.26 fav 58kg BR 5 – 5th up, 2 weeks 1st 1000 Guineas G1 1600m Caulfield

Major Players

1. Missrock: After producing the fastest last 600 (34.39) and 400 (22.81) in the Thousand Guineas Prelude she failed to hit the line in the Guineas itself last start with moderate sectionals around the middle ranking for the race. Perhaps she was looking for the 2000m and we can forgive however in my opinion it puts a big doubt over her out to this journey.

2. Pretty Punk: Chased right to the line in the Geelong Classic (2200m) and her PB was two ago in Adelaide over 1800m so she has the seasoning and proven ability to run the distance which is an important quality for 3-year-olds as they start to stretch out over the distance.

4. Sebring Dream: The market sent her out $3.60 SP favourite in the Ethereal when she came home from last running 47.71 for her last 800m, similar to that of Bella Sorellastra. She peaked on her run over the last furlong (12.11) second only to the unlucky Tiamo Grace. Once again the map looks problematic and she will be back last but will be strong again.

5. Bella Sorellastra: Like Sebring Dream came from last to run home well last start recording the quickest last 800m (47.62). She copped a check at the 200m when squeezed up between Sebring Dream and Moqueen. Barrier 15 again says she has to go back to last and will run on again but place hopes look most likely from where she will be.

6. Tiamo Grace:  The unlucky runner in the Ethereal where she rocketed home in 11.8 for the last 200m, clearly the race quickest. She has enough early gate speed to settle forward of midfield and Damien Lane is a positive switch given his rich vein of form. She would have improved from that 21-day break and with even luck she’s the standout runner who can serve it right up to Yankee Rose when she backs up in the oaks. Standout.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Tiamo Grace – 7 units at $3.5 or more

R3 Sensis Stakes G3 1100m

Race Profile

  • 3 of past 5 winners were coming off a freshen or first-up
  • 3 of past 5 winners had 56kg or less
  • 4 of past 5 winners had their previous start at 1200m

Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Pittsburgh Flyer –  SP $21 55.5kg BR 13 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 6th Alinghi Stakes 1100 Caulfield

Vain Queen –SP $4.80 55kg BR 6 – 6 wk freshen, 4th Testa Rossa Listed 1200m Caulfield 

Dystopia – SP $5 57kg BR 6 – 3rd up, 5 wk Freshen 2nd Premiere Stakes G2 1200m Randwick

Honey Flower – SP $15 56kg BR 6 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 1st F & M Hcp 100k 1200m Geelong

Ortensia – SP $6.50 57kg BR 11 – 1st up, 20 wks 10th Goodwood Hcp G1 1200m Morph

Major Players

1. Wild Rain: Came off a career best in the Moir Stakes to appear a little flat in the Caulfield Sprint where after having a nice run her last 400 (22.82 ranked sixth of nine was rather plain. In good form this preparation winning two of four but her efforts late last start count her out for mine.

2. Sheidel: Followed up an impressive second to Hellbent with strong win over 1200m last start where she controlled the race from start to finish. Her times of 34.44 first 600m and 34.6 last 600m proved her ability to maintain a high cruising speed and she profiles well dropping back in distance here. She has drawn perfectly in the middle of the field for Joe Moreira and I like her here.

7. Almighty Girl: Luckless first up in the Alinghi Stakes which profiles OK for this. At her second ever start at this track and trip she ran Heatherly to 0.1 lengths with Glen Boss aboard. At only start seven of her career she’s capable of a big spike in rating here off a perfect map position in behind the speed.

11. Super Cash: Comes into this after five weeks off having been a scratched at the barrier a couple of weeks ago. We can see that freshen profiles OK here but it certainly wasn’t planned. My concern is despite being visually pleasing she failed to break 11 seconds for any 200m sectional on a good track something many of her rivals here are quite capable of. Unsuited by SWP conditions and barrier 1. Working around her.

12. Chloe In Paris: Proven up the Flemington straight over 1000m and not concerned by the extra 100m of this race in Mares grade. She was outclassed in the Moir and then luckless in the Alinghi Stakes at her latest. She may peak here third up and can win if she’s back to her best. Knockout runner.

13. Viddora: Held up at a couple of vital stages in the Caulfield Sprint just as she was running into the race. Her 600-400m split (10.93) was the race best and her 400-200 (11.0) third before going to the line relatively untested. Barrier 18 plays into her favour and despite the conditions looking unfavourable she is one of the better chances.

16. Rule The River: One from left field down from Sydney for trainer Anthony Cummings. She was very good when third to Egyptian Symbol where she had the run of the race third on the fence but took some time to get clear in the straight. Barrier 19 will probably be favourable given the way the straight has raced recently and she profiles nicely dropping back from the 1200m. Value.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Sheidel for 5 units at $5 or more

 BACK (WIN) Rule The River for 1 unit at $11 or more

 BACK (WIN) Almighty Girl for 1 unit at $13 or more

R4 Lexus Stakes G3 2500m

Race Profile

  • 3 of past 5 winners had their lead up run at 2400m
  • 4 of past 5 winners had their lead up run 2 weeks’ prior
  • 4 of past 5 winners were 5th up or further into their preparation
  • 4 of past 5 winners drew barrier 7 or wider

Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Excess Knowledge – SP $4.40 56.5kg BR9 – 5th up, 2 weeks 2nd H Power G2 2400m Caulfield

Signoff – SP $2.45 fav 56.5kg BR 3 – 6th up, 2 weeks 3rd Coongy G3 2000m Caulfield

Ruscello – SP $11 54kg BR 12 – 2nd up (6 wk freshen), 2 weeks 2nd 0-84 2000m Caulfield

Kelinni – SP $9.50 57kg BR 9 – 8th up, 4 weeks, 2nd Metropolitan G1 2400m Randwick

Niwot – SP $9.00 55kg BR 7 – 5th up, 2 weeks 12th Caulfield Cup G1 2400m Caulfield

Major Players

1. Junoob: The old warhorse is up to his 13th start this preparation with Chris Waller channelling his inner Darren Weir in what has been a remarkably consistent series of efforts. They have all been around 4L off his PB from his younger days but are well within the scope of winning this race. The market will likely forget about him assuming something will run to a peak he can no longer reach however he will represent nice value

2. Real Love: Unsuited leading for part of the Caulfield Cup in a high-pressure race. She fought resolutely to the line (Last 600m 36.29 ranked 9th). She has two of her highest career performances this preparation but both at Moonee Valley with races run to suit which puts a question mark over her at the price.

3. Tally: Dropped out of the Caulfield Cup finishing 7L of the winner and 2.8L off Real Love. His last 400m (24.81) was 15th of 18. Talented but it would take a huge turnaround here and I expect his price to drift from the initial $9 mark.

5. Tom Melbourne: Several gear changes that seemed to work a treat last time out in the Coongy when he settled much better, the tongue tie the most obvious. He steps out to 2500m and his only attempt in this range was a failure in the 2400m Mornington Cup, a race in which he went too keenly. He may get a comfortable lead here but he’s a hard runner to trust at this stage.

7. De Little Engine: Made late ground when out of his depth in the Caulfield Cup (L600 35.84 ranked 4th) and goes well at Flemington winning three of his seven races at the venue so there are some positives however his PB winning at Ballarat two years ago seems a long time ago now and I don’t seem him getting back to that.

8. Oceanographer: Charlie Appleby (Godolphin) trained horse who finished a fast finishing third in the Geelong Cup win by stablemate Qewy. Fellow stablemate Francis Of Assisi bolted up in the Bendigo Cup today. He will get back but will be improved for his first Australian run and is clearly the one to beat.

9. Black Tomahawk: Like Junoob a horse that is up to his 12th start this preparation six of which were for Darren Weir from which he has not missed a place. His three recent efforts over the track and distance would again be good enough to see him into a place. Not often you get to take $20+ about a Weir stayer with blinkers on first time.

Betting Strategy

 LAY (WIN) Real Love for 10 units at $6 or less

R9 Salinger Stakes G2 1200m

Race Profile

  • 4 of past 5 winners have carried 55kg or less
  • 4 of past 5 winners drew barrier 8 or wider
  • 1 of past 5 winners were first up
  • 3 of past 5 winners had their previous run 2 weeks’ prior

Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Éclair Choice – SP $14 55kg BR 11 – 4th up, 2 weeks 1st Caulfield Sprint G2 1000m Caulfield

Deep Field – SP $1.60 fav 54kg BR 10 – 3rd up, 2 weeks 1st Tatts Listed 1100m Canterbury

Fontelina – SP $12 57.5kg BR 8 – 3rd up, 5 wk freshen 2nd Sir Rupert Clarke 1400m Caulfield

Fontelina – SP $13 54kg BR 3 – 1st up, 24 weeks 6th Phar Lap G2 1500m Rosehill

Sister Madly – SP $4.00 54.5kg BR 9 – 4th up, 2 weeks 2nd Tristarc Stakes 1400m Caulfield

Major Players

5. Keen Array: Quickly becoming bullet proof with his ability to take up good positions, leading or just off the lead and has now won six of his 14 starts. His only two unplaced runs coming in the Newmarket handicap and Oakleigh Plate in the Autumn when he was several lengths below his best. He has the perfect bunny in Ball Of Muscle to tag into the race and looks the winner

6. Counterattack: Drops back a notch in grade and 400m in distance from the Toorak. 1600m is beyond his comfort zone and he was very unlucky over 1300m first up this preparation. My concern is that he is racing a few lengths below his best and I think he needs to return to something like that to be a threat. Happy to oppose here on a Good rated track.

7. Durendal: Comes into this off an eighth to Voodoo Lad over 1400m where he was just even to the line. He has won previously at this track and distance having come back from the 1400m in a weaker grade. His third to The Quarterback and We’ve Got This two starts ago has plenty of merit and the early price of $25 looks over the odds.

8. Ocean Embers: The only mare in the race she meets her male rivals poorly at the weights here. She was no match for one of the star 3-year-olds Star Turn last start but her win in the Cockram to that was full of merit after producing a blistering 22.2 for her last 400m. She has failed previously down the straight which is a worry as will be her map position back and on the inside of the field.

9. We’ve Got This: Has picked up a nasty habit of being slow away in his races, forcing himself to have to do a lot of work to win. This has been the story in his last three starts when better starts may have been the difference between placings and victories. Until he jumps cleanly again I have to oppose.

10. Illustrious Lad: Looked as if he would run into the finish with Keen Array last start after travelling three deep only to be severely hampered by a riderless horse. Once he regained his momentum he ran home the quickest last 200m (11.78) to be beaten 2L. Has ability and justifiable claims to beat the favourite but the should be getting an extra couple of kg off him and as such I doubt he will turn the tables here.

11. Southern Legend: Caught wide but failed to fire last start in the Premiere Stakes in Sydney. He has a good overall record of four wins from eight starts. Freshened since his last run and despite obvious scope for improvement I have to oppose in this race, his first in Melbourne and unsuited with the compressed weights leaving him too closely weighted to experienced rivals.

Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Keen Array for 5 units at to win at $4 or more

 BACK (WIN) Durendal for 1 unit at $17 or more

 BACK (PLACE) Durendal for 2 units at $4 or more

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