Caulfield Race 7 | Blue Diamond Stakes | 1200m G1 SW G1 | 4:05pm AEDT

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out 3m.

There’s a 65% chance of a shower sometime from Saturday morning through to early afternoon. If that arrives it should keep the track in the Good 4 range, otherwise it’s likely we’ll get to a Good 3 by race time.

The track is likely to play evenly, with ground from the fence to five horses off suitable to run on in the straight.

Speed and Tactics

Ennis Hill (4) ran a big new peak leading last start so Baster should be positive on her early. There are no obvious other front runners in the race, but plenty that “could” be attempt to go forward. Assuming the emergencies come out, the likes of Grand Symphony (5), Crossing The Abbey (8), Lady Horseowner (10), Encryption (12) and Written By (14) can add early pressure to the race. In such a large field it’s almost certain they’ll end up running along at least a genuine early speed, making this a solid test of 1200m.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine

Late Pace Rating: Below Average

Best Suited: All horses will get their chance

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

This is one of the more even Blue Diamond’s in recent memory, with lower rating lead up form than we typically see. At least an 89 rating at the weights will be needed to win, with new peaks most likely pushing it to the 90-92 level.

Race Assessment

1. Long Leaf: Forecast 88-90. Assessed $6.50

He’s unbeaten in three starts with his last two ratings right up to best in the lead up to this race. He’s had the perfect preparation in a stable that has won this race six times before, maps well settling forward of midfield and has a top class, big race jockey in K McEvoy riding. It’s impossible to knock him.

6. Encryption: Forecast 88-90. Assessed $6.50

He looks the big value in the race to me. The race won by Ennis Hill at Caulfield in the lead up was very strong on the clock, run in good time by 2YO standards with strong closing sectionals, backed up clear margins back through the field. Encryption’s rating from his 2nd placing in that race is right up to the leading chances here and we’ve already seen the form hold up well with Prairie Fire (3rd) winning last Saturday and improving his rating by around +1.3 lengths. Encryption gives the impression he’ll be better suited going to 1200m and holds as much potential as any of these to improve to a new peak for this race. Barrier 12 (after emergencies come out) looks awkward, but the perceived disadvantage is drastically overrated at Caulfield. History shows that in big fields, wide drawn runners actually have a much better winning strike rate than those drawn inside. It’s difficult to be confident of actually winning, but Encryption stands out as a great value hope at a longshot’s price.

13. Ennis Hill: Forecast 87-90. Assessed $8.50

She brings the best lead up rating into this race courtesy of her last start win over 1000m at this track. She did control the race at a moderate speed (which adds merit to the overall time run), but her speed over the last 100m wasn’t great. That could mean she’s a risk going to a more genuinely run 1200m or that she was short of fitness and will peak here at a rating level that can certainly win this race.

16. Oohood: Forecast 86-88.5. Assessed $11.00

She’s hasn’t had much luck in two runs this prep, but that’s the risk with her get back run style.  The way she’s finishing off says 1200m is ideal and barrier 10 is a nice draw at this track & distance in a big field.

8. Plague Stone: 86-88. Assessed $13.00

Running second in the BD Prelude is a good reference for this race and his run had merit after covering ground out wide (all be it just one turn in Caulfield sprints.) The figures from that race weren’t terribly strong, but there’s no doubt he’s been set to peak here, so he’s in the race among the better chances.

11. Kinky Boom: 86-88. Assessed $13.00

Boom horse that was visually impressive on debut, but it was a weak race and the figures were nothing to get excited about. With this filly it’s all about her potential to improve though. It would not surprise at all to see her win but I don’t see her as a betting prospect.

2. Written By: 86-87. Assessed $14.00

He won the BD Prelude which is naturally the dominant lead up form for this race. The figures on the clock weren’t great though which as me questioning the form a little. That said, in a race where there is no standout strong form, he still fits among the bunch with some chance.

4. Prairie Fire: 87-88. Assessed $15.00

Ran 3rd to Ennis Hill / Encryption before coming out to win the Talindert last Saturday. I like that he’s on a upward spiral of improvement heading into this race, but barrier 1 looks a clear negative. He doesn’t have great early speed and in a large field like this, being buried back on the fence means you need a significant amount of luck.

5. Ollivander: 84-87. Assessed $26.00

He was terrible last start behind Written By, but prior to that had form / ratings around Long Leaf and did win over 1100m at this track. He’s not the worst.

12. Lady Horseowner: 85-87. Assessed $26.00

She definitely needs to improve on her two ratings so far, but they’re at least somewhere close enough that says the task isn’t impossible. She’s a longshot that could run into a place.

15. Qafila: 84-86. Assessed $41.00

Attempting this race first up, which we rarely see (only 3 horses have attempted it since 2005 – 0 wins). She needs a clear new peak to win this and is likely to be a mile back in the run. Hard to like.

3. Run Naan: 83-89. Assessed $51.00

His Flemington win back in November returned a rating that measures right up in this race, but his two runs this preparation have been well below that level. Barrier two is also a poor draw.

7. Native Soldier: 82-85. Assessed $51.00

His Flemington win back in November returned a rating that measures right up in this race, but his two runs this preparation have been well below that level. Barrier two is also a poor draw.

14. Crossing The Abbey: 84-86. Assessed $51.00

Had excuses last start, but prior to that was a close 2nd to Lady Horseowner starting hard in the market at $5.50. She’s a definitely longshot, but not the worst.

10. Enbihaar: 84-85. Assessed $51.00

Unbeaten in two runs, but her ratings lack the substance of some of the others.

9. Grand Symphony: 82-85. Assessed $81.00

Beaten 1.9L by Kinky Boom at 40/1 on debut. Neither his rating or SP from that runs suggests he can do much here.

18. More Than Exceed: 82-84. Assessed $251.00

Won in Adelaide LS but needs to improve many lengths for this.

19. Roobeena: 75-82. Assessed $999.00

Looks totally outclassed.

20. Melveen : 75-80. Assessed $999.00

Looks totally outclassed.

Betting Strategy

This is a super competitive race with a stack of potential winners.

Encryption stands out as clearly the best betting value to me, but as a $6.50 chance he’s still only around a 15% chance to win.

If he runs as well as I expect then I want profit from that opinion, not lose simply because he went close but didn’t win. With that in mind the best play here is to definitely back Encryption for the win & place.

 BACK – ENCRYPTION – Bet to WIN at > $6.50 Stake 0.5% of your total bank.

 BACK – ENCRYPTION – Bet to PLACE at > $2.50 Stake 1.5% of your total bank.

Related Articles

Race Assessment: Blue Diamond Stakes

"If he runs as well as I expect then I want profit from that opinion, not lose simply because ...

Read More

Race Assessment: Hobart Guineas Stakes

"I’d expect the winner to rate in the 88 - 89 range. This is the first try at this ...

Read More

Race Assessment: Hobart Cup

"The likely winning standard of this race at the weights to be carried will be at least 96 and ...

Read More