Caulfield R7 | The Easter Cup | 2000m Open G2 Hcp  | 4:30pm EDST

The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail out 6m. Mostly sunny weather on Friday & Saturday (23c) should see the surface remain in the Good 3 – Good 4 range.

Expect the track to play evenly without any significant pattern.

Speed and Tactics 

The pace looks to revolve around tactics adopted on Jacquinot Bay (11). If he’s ridden quietly then the pace is likely to be slow with perhaps Homesman (2), Odeon (6) or Shoreham (7) settling up on the lead. Even the Lloyd Williams import Steps (3) can be close up at this distance.

However, it would seem more likely that given the scenario above, connections of Jacquinot Bay will identify that he’s best served pressing forward, most likely to lead with the others mentioned above settling just off him.

That should ensure the pace is a little better, although I expect C Parish will be mindful of 2000m being beyond Jacquinot Bay’s best, so he’ll be attempting to back the speed off in the middle stages and conserve energy.

Early Pace Rating: Moderate to Below Average

Late Pace Rating: Above Average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead

WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

Based on lead up form, the winner of this race is likely to rate around the 100-101 mark at the weights.  A rating of 99 would be very competitive, but it’s very difficult to see anything less than that being good enough.

Race Assessment

1. Homesman: Forecast 101-102. Assessed $3.30

Ran 100.3 on debut in Australian when showing great sectional speed in a slow run race and then fight to hold off Almandin, before running 99.8 in the Australian Cup when trying to make his run in the wrong part of the track. That performance can be reasonably assumed to carry merit at least in the 101-102 range and with the prospect of an ideal trip just behind the lead here he looks an excellent chance to run to that level again.

4. Odeon: Forecast 101-101.5. Assessed $4.00

Rated 101.1 in the Blamey Stakes and is well established around that level with 3 similar ratings in the past (2 of them at this track) as well as a peak of 102.6 which came in the G1 Emirates over 2000m last Spring. He looks to get a good trip just off the pace here and only needs to maintain his form to win or be right in the finish.

3. Midterm: Forecast 98-99. Assessed $9.00

A team Williams import having his first Australian start and the stable has an excellent recent first up record with these runners. His ratings suggest he can run to at least 98-99 here, so subject to what market intelligence says about his readiness for this race, he certainly must be respected.

9. Golden Mane: Forecast 97-98. Assessed $13.00

He ran a 99 last start behind Homesman which is an equal peak and a repeat can be very competitive. The majority of his form though is below that level so he’ll potentially regress a little here.

5. Steps: 97-98. Assessed $13.00

A team Williams import having his first Australian start and the stable has an excellent recent first up record with these runners. His best overseas ratings are right up to winning this with 55kg’s, but he has been a little inconsistent. The market moves on him will be interesting.

8. Life Less Ordinary: Forecast 96-97. Assessed $13.00

He’ll be much fitter after his 93.1 rating run in a solidly run Ajax Stakes where he was caught in the wrong part of the track and he does have 3 past ratings (all at 2000m) which can be very competitive or win this race. However, he doesn’t look all that well set up for this needing to make a significant improvement, going from 1500m to 2000m second up and likely to be giving the top chances in this race a head start in the run. It wouldn’t totally shock me if he won, but I prefer others.

2. Berisha: Forecast 96-98. Assessed $26.00

He ran right up to his best winning the Yarra Valley Cup last start but did end up well suited settling a little closer than normal with good pace up front. Coming to this race he’s likely to be further back from a wide draw in a race with less early pace that will develop into a sprint home.

6. Montoyas Secret: Forecast 95-96. Assessed $31.00

Apart from a one-off big rating spike on Heavy 9 in the 2017 G1 Vinery, the rest of her form is no better than 95.5 to 96.5. That combined with the fact that she’s yet to do much this preparation makes her hard to like.

7. Jacquinot Bay: Forecast 94-95. Assessed $51.00

His absolute best figures can be competitive, but they’ve come over 1600m-1700m and he did peak on his run inside the 200m mark last start in a slowly run 2000m Canberra Cup. It would be a surprise if he could pull out something like a career best at this distance.

11. Shoreham: Forecast 94-95. Assessed $61.00

On the quick back up from last week, but his best figures over the last 12+ months suggest he can only reach a 94-95 rating.

10. Fastnet Dragon: Forecast 93-95. Assessed $126.00

He brings a peak of 96 and drops back from a solidly run 2400m race last Saturday to a slower run 2000m race here. It would be a surprise if he could be competitive.

Betting Strategy

On current markets Odeon appeals as good value with Homesman offering a small edge. Recent form / ratings and the fact they look well suited here puts them well clear of the others and backing both of for a nett dividend of around even money looks a solid bet.

 BACK – ODEON – Bet to WIN – Stake 1.2% of your total bank.

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