Caulfield Race 8 | The Caulfield Guineas | 1600m G1 | 4.30pm

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 (rail true), with 20c forecast on Saturday (mostly sunny)

Expect the track to race very evenly, with ground on the fence to 5-6 horses out perfectly fine. Race pace / position will be far more influential in results than the track itself.

Speed and Tactics 

This looks likely to be a fast run Guineas. The Mission (11) was responsible for a near record pace in the G1 Golden Rose back on 23/9 and then set another fast pace at Moonee Valley in the Stutt Stakes on 29/9. It would be a surprise if he can cross from a wide draw and then steady to run even splits.

On the inside, Showtime (1) raced just off The Mission in the Stutt and set a fast pace over 1400m prior to that at Flemington. Throw in Perast (2) and potentially Sircconi (13) following The Mission across and it’s hard to see anything but a strongly race that will be a serious test of 1600m.

Early Pace Rating: Between above average and fast
Late Pace Rating: Slow to moderate
Best Suited: 3L to 6L off lead.

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on the exposed form of the main chances, a rating of no less than 97 (at the weights) will be required to win this race and we are more likely to see the winner run to a new peak in the 98-100 range. There’s quite a long tail in this race with many of them yet to get anywhere near that mark.

Race Assessment

16. Catchy: Forecast 97 - 99. Assessed $3.70

Although beaten in two of her three runs this preparation, she’s been gradually improving her ratings with each run and looks set up to run a new peak here. Her 3rd in the Thousand Guineas prelude had a stack of merit. Settling too far back off a moderate pace with 58.5kg (a big weight for an early 3YO filly), she showed an excellent turn of foot between the 600m and 200m (a sign of her class) and then kept coming over the final stages to finish just 0.5L from Booker. She recorded the best rating last 600m speed rating of any horse at that star-studded Caulfield meeting, a top effort carrying +8.5kg over WFA. Even in her 2YO days she always appealed as the type of filly that could be better as a 3YO over more distance and that’s exactly what she gets here. From barrier 3 I’d expect her to end up in the ideal settling range of 3 to 5L from the lead in and while she’ll need some luck in running, the fact that a few of these will start to struggle inside the 400m should open up some gaps for Zahra to weave through. It’s very rare for a 3YOF to tackle the boys in the Caulfield Guineas, but it may end up a masterstroke by the Hayes & Dabernig team as Catchy presents with some very appealing figures and looks the one to beat.

11. Kementari: Forecast 94 - 98. Assessed $6.00

His 2YO win back in May 17 showed he had the talent to be a Group 1 winner and while his two runs this prep haven’t been anything to rave about, they look to have set a perfect platform for this race. Barrier 10 and the map looks to present a tactical challenge for lane, but a genuinely run 1600m looks the type of scenario that could see Kementari run to a new career peak. If he does that he can be right in the finish.

6. Royal Symphony: Forecast 93 - 98.5 Assessed $6.00

He was poorly suited by the way the Caulfield Guineas Prelude was run (slow speed 800m-400m) and there’s no doubt he has the talent to win this race. The concern again is how far back he’ll get. The pace will be suitable this time so he can certainly win, but I can’t see any value in the current $4.00 - $4.20 market price.

7. Gold Standard: Forecast 93 - 97. Assessed $9.00

He hasn’t run since the Golden Rose where he was 4th, but did beat Perast home 1.8L and that horse came down to Melbourne to win the Guineas Prelude at his next start. Prior to that Gold Standard ran a competitive rating for this race when he was a dominant winner of the Stan Fox. While maybe lacking the potential class of the top chances, his overall form / ratings measure up as competitive and he is one that looks certain to get an ideal run in the race.

5. Showtime: Forecast 91 - 96. Assessed $15.00

Won a fast run Stutt Stakes last start and while he needs to make further improvement to win this, he has at least proven he can cope with a high-pressure 1600m and has run a time rating that is somewhere in the mix. It wouldn’t surprise to see him progress off that last start win and run well here.

8. Perast: Forecast 92 - 95 Assessed $17.00

Won the Caulfield Guineas Prelude last start, but I feel he was flattered there getting away with a very soft speed from the 800m-400m and just dashing home up the straight, which disadvantaged those behind. A strong run 1600m is an entirely different scenario here so I have to be negative on him, all be it he’s not hopeless in the race.

9. Sanctioned: Forecast 91 - 94. Assessed $31.00

Drops back from the 2000m Spring Champion when running on okay from a long way back. He’s likely to be a long way back again though and while a strong pace should suit, it’s hard to see him sprinting home over the top of a horse like Royal Symphony.

13. Salsamor: Forecast 90 - 94 Assessed $41.00

Ran on well to finished 2nd in the Stutt Stakes, but was ideally suited back off the speed and this is much harder. He’s capable of improvement, but the step to actually winning is likely to be too large.

12. Eclair Sunshine: 88 - 95 Assessed $51.00

He announced himself as a contender this Spring when a close 2nd to Royal Symphony at Flemington, but was then poor last start in the Guineas Prelude and ran more like his Flemington SP of 60/1 indicated. A wide draw doesn’t help his prospects here.

14. Levendi: Forecast 88 - 92 Assessed $51.00

Totally unsuited in the Guineas Prelude and he is an improving type, but the step needed to win this looks too large.

15. Holy Snow: Forecast 89 - 92 Assessed $67.00

Ran on well in the Stutt Stakes but this is much harder and he’s likely to be a mile back in the field again.

17. Mighty Boss: Forecast 88 - 92 Assessed $67.00

Had every chance in the Stutt Stakes last start and could only run 1.6L 4th. This is much harder.

1. The Mission: Forecast 85 - 92 Assessed $81.00

His form this prep has been poor, which only strengthens the opinion that he needs a very wet track to show his best, as we saw him do in the Autumn when he won the G1 Champagne Stakes.

4. Sircconi: Forecast 89 - 93 Assessed $81.00

His ratings are well short of the standard needed to win this and a strong run 1600m looks less suitable than the 1400m races he’s been running in.

3. Azazel: Forecast 84 - 91 Assessed $151.00

Has been running on well from a long way back, but this is much harder than his 3.5L 7th in the Stutt Stakes.

10. Al Passem: Forecast 86 - 90 Assessed $301.00

Is yet to get anywhere near the ratings needed to be competitive here and was plain in the Guineas Prelude.

Betting Strategy

On current prices Catchy looks a nice betting prospect in this race with what looks to be some hidden merit in the quality of her figures and the potential to run to a new career peak over 1600m.

 BACK (WIN) Catchy at >$3.70 – Stake 1.1% of your total bank.

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