R6: CS Hayes Stakes – 1400m 3YO G3 SWP
The track is currently a Good 3 (Friday morning) with generally fine weather forecast for Saturday. There is a 50% chance of a shower around 3pm on Saturday. Assuming there is no rain, we expect the track to play relatively even. A good reference point is the most recent meeting with good ground and a 9m rail on 17/12/16, which saw horses both on the fence and wider in the straight do well.
Speed and Tactics
Ballet Master (6) and Hey Doc (4) look likely to press forward while Yulong Shengao (8) has the blinkers first time and that could also see him right up there. A standout feature of this race is the lack of speed drawn in the wider barriers. We may see some attempt to press forward against their natural pattern, but on exposed figures this looks likely being run at no better than even / average early pace, potentially slower than that.
Early Pace Rating: Below average to Average
Late Pace Rating: Average
Best Suited: On lead to 3.5 lengths off. Further back than 5 lengths off the lead is a disadvantage.
WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark
Looking at the overall quality of runners in this field, we expect the winner will need to run to at least a 96 WFA Performance Rating at the weights being carried. Forecasting performances in this race is tricky due to some key first up runners and the last start rating of other runners being comfortably below the anticipated winning mark. That’s primarily due to the main lead up race, the Manfred Stakes, being run at a very slow pace early and a fast sprint home. Many of the contenders in this race settled well back off the pace in the Manfred and had no chance of running to their potential.
In our assessed price order:
He comes off a solid run in the Manfred Stakes, but was one reasonably well suited racing closer to the lead in a very slow run race. He looks well suited again here and should run to a rating that puts him right in the finish.
First up here and on exposed form he’s comfortably the best horse in the race. If he runs anywhere near his peak ratings he can win this comfortably, but from an awkward draw he’s unlikely to be bustled early and that could see him settle a long way back in the field with a stack of ground to make up.
He’s a horse of considerable talent and he did have genuine excuses last start when the tempo of the Manfred Stakes was well and truly against him. However we did feel he was entitled to do a little more so it’s not yet clear if he’s back at the level we saw in the spring.
He had no chance settling back near last in the slow run Manfred Stakes last start, but his work over the final 800m all the way to the line was a good as other contenders here like Morton’s Fork and Hey Doc. Further to that, his only run over 1400m was a terrific effort in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude last Spring, which returned a rating that is super competitive here. From Barrier 1 he should get a great run much closer to the lead than he was last start and looks set up to elevate to a level that could put him right in the finish.
Ran very well first up in the Inglis Dash and with clear running may have won the race. He’s drawn awkwardly but has the ratings to be very competitive here and will be better suited up to 1400m.
Comes off a solid first up run and can improve towards ratings that are somewhere in the mix here.
He was disappointing at Sandown last start as an odds-on favourite, but his prior form suggested he has some potential to measure up to a race like this. Blinkers are on for the first time and that could see him improve.
He’s first up here and while he has the overall talent to be thereabouts, it’s hard to imagine him doing that in this race where he’s likely to settle a long way back from a wide draw.
Pulled up lame in the Autumn Stakes last start but as mentioned in that preview, his prior win was a little flattering due to strong early pace up front. His ratings aren’t yet up to the standard needed to win this.
First up here and while his career best rating is good enough to be in the finish, the rest of his form is below the standard and that aside, he’s likely to be disadvantaged from settling a long way back in the field.
Had no chance in the slow pace Manfred Stakes last start. His prior first up run was sound, but everything in his previous form suggests he’s a level below the standard needed to win this. The prospect of settling more than 5 lengths off the lead as well only makes it more difficult for him.
Had no chance in the slow pace Manfred Stakes last start but his prior best form is still comfortably below the standard needed to win this and he’ll be a long way back in the field here.
He has talent, but is likely to need further than 1400m to be competitive in a race like this.
Had no chance in the slow pace Manfred Stakes last start but the best of his prior form isn’t up to this standard of race.
Looks outclassed with his peak still well below the standard needed to win this.
Looks outclassed after dropping right out over 1400m last start at Flemington and just a prior Maiden win that was well below this standard.
This is a very difficult race to bet with confidence. Our best advice is to monitor exchange prices in the lead up to the race and use that intelligence to help make good betting decisions. Longer priced contenders Wazzenme and Land of Plenty may end up offering great value in trading, while Hey Doc also appeals at the right price.