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4:10pm Caulfield R7 – 1200m 2YO Open SW G1 – The Blue Diamond Stakes


THE TRACK

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

Saturday is forecast to be a warm 29c, so I expect we’ll be racing on a Good 3 surface by jump time.

I expect on pace / handy runners will be well suited on the day, however it won’t be impossible to make ground out wide when the pace has been on early and that very much looks the case in this race.


SPEED & TACTICS

I Am Immortal (9) likes to go fast and doesn’t have much option but to press forward. Bella Rosa (10) is a good chance to follow him across, while Vinicunca (4) and Free of Debt (6) have enough natural speed to be up there and make the outside runners work.

Based on I Am Immortal’s history, let alone the potential contribution from others, it’s hard to imagine this won’t be run at a solid to fast early speed with much slower sectionals home.

Early Pace Rating: Solid to Fast

Late Pace Rating: Slow to Moderate

Best Suited: 1.5L to 5L off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Based on the exposed form and the prospect of one or more runners hitting a new peak in this race, a rating of at least 98 will be needed to be somewhere in the finish, with the winning mark likely to be in the 100-101 range.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order. Ratings quoted are adjusted back to WFA for each horse.

11 Athiri: Forecast 98-101. Assessed $5.00

She ran a super competitive 98.2 in the Fillies Prelude, 0.7L behind Lyre. However, she was only first up and raced without cover, providing Lyre with the perfect trail into the race. She’s been set for this race all along so I expect her to have decent improvement to come and James Cummings is building a terrific record at getting his horses to peak at the right time. Wide draws are no problem in Caulfield sprint races and actually win more often than inside draws due to the fact it’s just a long straight run to one moderate turn and horses can sit wide without covering a stack of extra ground, while getting the benefit of less traffic and the ability to build momentum at the right time. She’s a leading chance with a very solid betting profile.

7 Lyre: Forecast 98-101. Assessed $5.50

Brings the best lead up rating with a 100 LS winning the Fillies Prelude and she was strong late, putting some good substance around the win. She was big odds that day and did a perfect run into the race, but there’s no doubting the quality of her figures. 1200m looks no problem for her and she profiles well.

8 Vinicunca: Forecast 97-101. Assessed $7.00

Ran to 99 LS in the Prelude and I liked the way she was able to show early speed, relax and then kick before being run down late. She will be fitter here and with a nice run just off the fast speed she has prospects to run to a new peak that certainly make her capable of winning the race.

6 Catch Me: Forecast 94-99.5. Assessed $10.00

She was the benchmark 2YO heading towards this race prior to the Fillies Prelude with a 99.5 rating achieved off an unfavourable run. However, she ran poorly in the Prelude as a $2.10 favourite. The blinkers go on for the first time here, she’s drawn nicely and it wasn’t too long ago that the Snowden’s had Capitalist produce an ordinary lead up to the Golden Slipper before rebounding to win the grand final easily. Catch Me definitely has the talent to win this, but it’s impossible to be confident after that last start.

4 Shotmaker: Forecast 95.5-98. Assessed $16.00

He raced wide without cover when on debut behind I Am Immortal, so his 96.3 rating in that race has good merit. While that’s comfortably short of the likely standard here, it’s not impossible for him to improve to a new peak that could put him in the finish.

14 Andrassy Avenue: Forecast 95.5-97.5. Assessed $16.00

She brings a little bit of X-factor to this race after an impressive 95.5 rating win at MV over 1000m last start where she was running away from them at the end. She could certainly improve to a new peak up to 1200m and it wouldn’t surprise to see her run very well.

1 I Am Immortal: Forecast 94.5-97.5. Assessed $17.00

He’s won both the BD Preview and Prelude for Colts & Geldings, but has shown that he likes to run along fast early and any attempts to restrain are likely to see him over-race. His ratings are very competitive, but the way he was stopping at the end of 1100m last time raises a big question mark whether he can hold that rating at 1200m, let alone make the little bit of improvement he’ll probably need to win.

13 Brooklyn Hustle: Forecast 92.7-97. Assessed $17.00

She had a big boom on her after that debut win at Moonee Valley and rightfully so, but she was quite plain in her return to racing behind Lyre in the Fillies Prelude. We suspect a great deal of talent is there, so it wouldn’t be a shock if she jumped out of the ground here, but at this stage she’s yet to put a rating on the track that could be considered a genuine chance of winning this race, so I can’t have her.

10 Loving Gaby: Forecast 93-97. Assessed $18.00

There was so much hype over her debut win at Caulfield and most of it looks misplaced to me. She had good pace up front to suit, her overall time rating was moderate and she got a dream run through the field. Visually it looked like she was powering to the line late, but she actually ran the slowest rating L200m rating of any winner on the day. Her 93 rating from that run is around 3L short of what will be needed to win this race. She no doubt has the potential to improve and I’ve allowed for that, but there’s no way I can have her anywhere near favourite in this race. Every now and again one of these types sneaks under your guard and jumps out of the ground with a massive rating improvement, but over time you’re well and truly on the right side of the ledger potting them until you actually see something with substance.  I’ll be very surprised if she’s not a drifter in the market on the day.

2 Hawker Hurricane: Forecast 94-97. Assessed $26.00

Comes off a very solid 95.8 rating performance behind I Am Immortal last start and looks better suited stepping up to 1200m. He can certainly run to a new peak in this race, but barrier 2 is likely to see him MF or worse on the fence, which is a distinct negative.

12 Lankan Star: Forecast 94-96. Assessed $41.00

Ran a solid 94.5 in the Fillies Prelude behind Lyre. The jump needed to win looks too large, but it wouldn’t surprise if she ran well.

9 Bella Rosa: Forecast 92.5-94.5. Assessed $101.00

Has a best of 93.3 over 1000m, which is a long way below the winning standard and will likely be working hard up on a fast speed. Hard to imagine her elevating to a big new peak over 1200m

3 Free Of Debt: Forecast 89-93.5. Assessed $151.00

Has a peak of 92.2 which is well and truly below the winning standard of this race. That was over 1000m and he then stepped up to 1200m and rated lower at 89.

5 Game Keeper: Forecast 88-92.5. Assessed $201.00

A peak of 90.7 say’s he’s outclassed in this race.


Betting Strategy

There’s no one standout in this race, but I do have some firm opinions around the main chances and there are a few value angles there.

I’m happy to back the two best value runners Aithiri and Vinicunca and save on Lyre, who isn’t offering a significant edge.

 BACK (WIN) ATHIRI – Bet to WIN (stake 0.9% of your total bank.)

 BACK (WIN) VINICUNCA – Bet to WIN (stake 0.6% of your total bank.)

 BACK (WIN) LYRE – Bet to SAVE (stake 0.4% of your total bank.)

Total outlay is 1.9% of your bank, which is not a large risk. On current prices we’re looking at a net win dividend of $3.15 to $3.70 for Athiri or Vinicunca to win, with the protection of breaking even if Lyre wins. That’s a nice bet.

4:30pm Warwick Farm R7 – 1200m 2YO Open SW – The Inglis Millennium


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position. There are possible storms around Sydney on Friday and Saturday, but it will also be hot 33 degrees.

It’s impossible to predict with any confidence whether rain will hit the track and how much effect it may have, so we’ll assume nothing at this stage.

Expect them to get off the fence in the straight, which will help those sitting off pace and looking to run on around the outside more than we typically see.


SPEED & TACTICS

Espaaniyah (6) looks likely to press forward with the intent to lead. There are plenty around her and out wide that will also be pushing up, which should ensure at least a genuine tempo.

Drawing mid-wide in the big field will be no disadvantage at all and may in fact be an advantage with a long run to just one turn and those horses more likely to be able to get clear and build momentum at the right time.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine

Late Pace Rating: Average to below average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

Dawn Passage and Accession bring dominant ratings into this race, which should ensure a minimum requirement of at least 87-88 (at the weights to be carried) to challenge for a win.

It’s unlikely both will fail and allow the winning standard to be lower.


RACE ASSESSMENT

In our assessed price order.

2. Dawn Passage 89-92 $2.50

Comes off an outstanding debut win over 1000m at Randwick with the best lead up rating into this race and everything about that run from the way he travelled to his acceleration and late strength suggests he has the potential to go to a new peak, especially up to 1200m.

1. Accession: Forecast 87.5-90.5. Assessed $3.20

Has gone to new peaks at each of his last two and was particularly impressive last start showing a nice turn of foot. He’s got a good grounding for 1200m here and is clearly a danger to Dawn Passage.

14. Lady Naturaliste: Forecast 84-86.5. Assessed $19.00

Two of three Melbourne ratings, including last start at Sandown over 1200m are very competitive with all bar the top two here. She could run well.

7. Espaaniyah: Forecast 75-85. Assessed $26.00

Not surprised it was a massive blower last start at Randwick because the debut win at Moonee Valley didn’t have a lot of substance. That SP says she may still have some talent, but happy to risk until we see it.

9. Blazing Miss: Forecast 83.5-86.5. Assessed $26.00

Has been racing well in good form, but four runs into her first prep there doesn’t look to be much upside.

5. Pandano: Forecast 80-85. Assessed $31.00

Won easily up at Newcastle but this is much harder.

8. Biscara: Forecast 81-85. Assessed $31.00

Sound behind start Filly Catch Me last start, but need to find 3-4 lengths to challenge in this.

12. Pretty Brazen: Forecast 81-86. Assessed $34.00

Ratings are okay, but that’s at 1000m and looks some query at 1200m.

10. Avon River: Forecast 80-86. Assessed $41.00

Has had some excuses in recent runs, but needs to make 4-5L improvement.

The horses below are all outclassed.

13 My Fire Phoenix
3 Castelvecchio
11 Salome
15 My Sweet Fish
6 Soami


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) DAWN PASSAGE – Bet to WIN at $2.6+ (stake 1.7% of your total bank.)

2:55pm Caulfield R5 – 1100m 2YO C&G G3 SW – The Blue Diamond Prelude


THE TRACK

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

There’s a small chance of a shower on Saturday, but it shouldn’t impact the track at all. A top of 21 degrees is forecast and that combined with 3.8mm of rainfall on Thursday should mean there is minimal if any need for irrigation on Friday.

That’s good news and means we can be more confident that the track will play evenly without a significant pattern.


SPEED & TACTICS

Expect I Am Immortal (1) to want to lead again from an inside draw. He set an above average pace over 1000m on debut, so expect similar here.

Hulk (2) showed speed on debut and Languishing (3) did similar in his trial so expect both of them to be prominent, but unlikely to be pressing I Am Immortal to any great extent.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to moderate

Best Suited: Lead to 4 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

All of these are open to improvement and we have three first starters, including $6.50 chance Shotmaker.

Based on what we’ve seen so far though, a rating of at least 85 at the weights to be carried will be needed to be competitive. There will however be more than one in this race run to a new peak and based on those potential levels along with the dominant 91 rating that I Am Immortal brings off his debut, the winning standard is likely to be in the 87 to 91 range.


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

2. I Am Immortal: Forecast 90-92. Assessed $2.20

He was great on debut, leading at a strong speed and kicking on to run good time and a 91 rating at the weights in this race, which is consistent with solid 2YO Group class. He’s still a bit green which offers potential upside and I like the signs he showed last start to suggest that 1100m will be no issue at all. With clearly the best rating in the field, upside potential and the prospect of leading again he profiles very strongly.

6. Brazen Brando: Forecast 84-88. Assessed $8.50

He was good on debut behind I Am Immortal from a long way back in the field, copping a chequered run up the straight. He definitely should have finished closer and looks suited up to 1100m.

10. Shotmaker debut. Assessed $10.00

Fancied in the market at $6.50 on debut so I’m respecting that, but at the same I thought his trial was solid without being anything special.

1 Hawker Hurricane: Forecast 84-87.5. Assessed $11.00

His Ballarat Magic Millions win rated solidly and the form has held up well around Alburq and Absolute Flirt. 1100m looks suitable.

4. Auxin: Forecast 84-87.5. Assessed $13.00

His ratings are competitive, but he looked to have every chance behind I Am Immortal last start after a soft run and was just fair over the final 200m.

3 Aussie: Forecast 82-86. Assessed $18.00

Beaten 3.3L 2nd behind Dawn Passage at Randwick on debut. I liked the way he travelled and his acceleration when asked was okay, but he was just sticking on okay at the end of 1000m. He needs to improve 2.5L to 3L on that performance.

9 Languishing debut. Assessed $21.00

On debut off a decent looking trial win, but this is aiming high.

5 Hulk. Forecast 79.5-87. Assessed $23.00

Ex Weir which immediately presents uncertainty. I expect him to be much better for his debut run at Moonee Valley, but he needs to find at least 3.5L improvement to be somewhere in the finish.

8. Groot: debut. Assessed $61.00

This looks too tough on debut.

7. Exeter: Forecast 81-85. Assessed $67.00

Beaten 3.5L behind I Am Immortal on debut without any obvious signs that he could suddenly improve.


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) I AM IMMORTAL – Bet to WIN at $2.3+ (stake 1.9% of your total bank.)

3:30pm Caulfield R6 – 1100m 2YO F G2 SW – The Blue Diamond Prelude


The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

There’s a small chance of a shower on Saturday, but it shouldn’t impact the track at all. A top of 21 degrees is forecast and that combined with 3.8mm of rainfall on Thursday should mean there is minimal if any need for irrigation on Friday.

That’s good news and means we can be more confident that the track will play evenly without a significant pattern.


Speed and Tactics

Expect Vinicunca (16) to press forward, but outside of that, none of the raced horses have shown any great speed or intent to race on the lead.

First starters Fawwaza (5) and Maneefa (10) worked forward in their trial up on the lead but were hardly fast. Outside of that it’s very difficult to map them with any confidence.

No doubt a few will be ridden with some intent to hold positions, but it’s hard to imagine anything better than just average speed.

Early Pace Rating: Average

Late Pace Rating: Average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

There are a couple of smart Fillies here with Catch Me, Brooklyn Hustle and Athiri providing plenty of quality depth.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, a rating of at least 84-85 at the weights to be carried will be needed to be competitive with the winning standard likely to be at least 87 and potentially up to 90-91


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

1. Catch Me: Forecast 90-92.5. Assessed $2.40

Comes off a high rating win in the BD Preview, which represents the second best 2YO performance we’ve seen so far this season, behind Tassort. She did that off a less than ideal trip and draws to get a much softer run in this race, which could see her improve again. She’s clearly the horse to beat.

6. Brooklyn Hustle: Forecast 86-91. Assessed $4.50

There’s been plenty written about her debut win back on 1st December and it was an outstanding performance. Her overall rating doesn’t do the performance justice, with indicators through her sectionals and what she actually achieved from her position in the field more consistent with a horse that is not too far off what we’ve seen from the favourite Catch Me. You can never be certain until you see them do it, but at the same time she may have improved even more during her spell. Drawing wide is no problem in Caulfield sprints, if anything it will allow her to get into her stride and build momentum at a time that suits. She’s the most interesting runner at Caulfield all day and a definite winning chance.

5. Athiri: Forecast 84.5-90.5. Assessed $7.50

Her debut win at Rosehill on 1st December was impressive and her recent trial suggests she’s come back well. That debut gave me an impression she’ll be better at 1200m and potentially 1400m in time, but her rating stacks up as competitive and she does have prospects for a new peak first up here.

4. Lankan Star: Forecast 82-86. Assessed $23.00

Needs to make big improvement to measure up to the top chances, but I did like the way she hit the line over 1000m winning at MV last start.

2. Vinicunca: Forecast 81.5-84.5. Assessed $26.00

First up (Gai) after a narrow win at Flemington in November. This is much harder, but you can never really count out Waterhouse 2YO’s.

8. Lyre: Forecast 76-84.5. Assessed $34.00

Won at Sale LS and I feel the very slow pace probably masked how much edge she had over that field. That said, this is a massive step up.

13. Indiscretion: Debut. Assessed $34.00

P Stokes is an astute trainer so he’s not here for fun, but it’s a deep race this year.

7. Pelican: Forecast 75-83 Assessed $51.00

First up. Needs to improve massively on her debut win in Adelaide.

16. Presently: Debut Assessed $51.00

On debut, aiming too high.

3. Movie Role:  Forecast  79-84.5 Assessed $67.00

Won OK at Randwick fore just okay at the Magic Millions. Doesn’t look up to this level though.

10. Sensitivity:  Forecast  76-83 Assessed $81.00

Good debut at Geelong but this is significantly tougher.

9. Beach Club:  Forecast  77-82 Assessed $101.00

Looks outclassed off her run at MV.

14. Miss Elena:  Debut Assessed $101.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut

12. Fawwaza:  Debut Assessed $201.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut

11. Amarula Queen:  Debut Assessed $251.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut

15. Moneefa:  Debut Assessed $251.00

Looks to be aiming too high on debut


Betting Strategy

On current market prices there is no compelling betting value. Catch Me and Brooklyn Hustle are value neutral at the moment and are the only two I could consider if the market shifted between now and jump time.

 BACK (WIN) Catch Me

 BACK (WIN) Brooklyn Hustle

2:45pm Caulfield R4 – 1000m 2YO C&G LR SW – The Blue Diamond Preview


The Track

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

The track was verti-drained on Tuesday and will be heavily irrigated to cope with the extreme heat of 44c on Friday. Saturday will be a much milder 27c.

That type of intervention (while necessary) does raise some uncertainty about how the track will play.

However, given it will only be 27 on Saturday, there will hopefully not be any significant overnight watering to deal with temperatures on race day and that creates a little bit of confidence that the track will play evenly, without a major pattern.


Speed and Tactics

Eight of the thirteen here are first starters so mapping is naturally more speculative than in other races.

From what we’ve seen in races and trials / jumpouts though I expect there to be at least genuine speed. Alburq (8), I Am Immortal (6) and Hulk (3) all look to have good early speed and despite a lack of pressure from out wide, their natural style should see them run along a little.

Microphone looks the only possible pace drawn out wide, but I suspect they’ll look to ride him 3-wide with some cover, which is a nice position in Caulfield sprint races that have large fields.

Early Pace Rating: Genuine – Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to Average

Best Suited: Lead to 3 lengths off the lead


WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark

With eight of the thirteen on debut here and a couple hard in the market off the back of nice jumpouts / trials, it’s impossible to identify a winning standard for this race with any confidence.

However, what we do know is that Microphone ran a strong rating when winning on debut at Flemington off the back of strong measures on the clock. Auxin was just behind him in that race so even if only one of those performs well here, it will set a decent standard for the others to match.

The first starters will genuinely need to be above average to win.


Race Assessment

In our assessed price order.

1. Microphone: Forecast 96-98.5. Assessed $3.60

There was plenty to like about his debut win at Flemington including good speed measures on the clock and the way he hit the line strongly. That rating was a genuine stakes class performance that sets a strong standard for the others to try and match here.

He’s drawn 13, but wider draws in these types of Caulfield sprint races have a better record than inside draws and offer much better betting value, so I wouldn’t let that put you off. It allows horses to track up 3-wide with cover, building momentum at the right time (rather than being cluttered on the inside) and with just one small turn they don’t face a major disadvantage covering extra ground.

It’s difficult to be confident in a race with so many first starters, but Microphone’s debut suggests he’s a genuine Blue Diamond contender and he profiles particularly well for this race.

3. Auxin: Forecast 94-96. Assessed $6.00

Followed Microphone in the run on debut at Flemington and matched him all of the way, just losing a little ground over the final 100m. It was a very solid debut with a good rating, from a horse that has obvious scope to improve. He maps nicely here and is a definite chance.

9. Hulk: Debut. Assesed $6.00

On debut for Weir of an impressive recent jumpout win where he really strung the field out over the final stages. It’s hard to get a confident measure on his talent, but he certainly looks above average and does map well from barrier 3.

The concern I have from a betting perspective that in the last 5 years Weir has debuted 164 two-year-olds for just a 9.7% win strike rate and -52.5% loss on turnover. If the market really likes them as favourite then the -18% POT from those runners is not as bad, but beyond that, his others that start in the market 2nd to 4th ranked are losing 53% on turnover.

The key point about this is the comparison to Weir 2YO’s beyond their first start. If you backed all of them over the last five years it shows a +26% profit on turnover, a massive difference! It’s not Weir’s style to have his 2YO’s near their best on debut.

Sometimes they are still good enough to win, but they win far less often than the market expects. Despite the obvious talent of Hulk, I have to think he’ll be better with the run and look for him at his next start.

10. I Am Immortal: Debut. Forecast $7.50

He’s been pretty impressive winning a jumpout and trial with good times. What I did note though was that he was slapped along a little to do it and still looks to have a bit to learn about racing. I wasn’t all that impressed with the way he travelled and hung at different times.

There’s no doubt that he has some talent, but the pressure of an actual race does raise a query about those habits and I have to allow for that in my price.

12. Tempo: Debut. Forecast $13.00

Has some early speed, maps well and jumpouts look okay. He’s a tough one to gauge, but I’m a little surprised he’s single figure odds in the market. Ultimately the final market price will be the best guide to him.

11. Lodestar: Debut. Forecast $21.00

Trialled nicely on Tuesday to suggest he’s not hopeless. There’s more hustle and bustle in this race though and he may be under a bit of pressure early from barrier two to hold a position or end up in a tough spot MF on the fence.

2. Alburq: Assessed 91-93. Forecast $21.00

Two runs have been okay but he’s led both times and been no match over the final stages for the eventual winners. You have to respect decent previous experience, but he doesn’t appeal as the type of horse that will suddenly make the big improvement he needs to win this race.

7. Exeter: Debut. Forecast $23.00

Looked good in a recent jumpout but the time was a little plain.

6. Brazen Brando: Debut. Forecast $34.00

3rd behind I Am Immortal in a lead up trial. Haven’t seen enough in three trials now to think he could win this.

13. Unique Bambino: Debut. Forecast $67.00

This looks to be aiming a bit high on debut. Maiden best.

4. Logans Blade: Assessed 87-90. Forecast $201.00

Well beaten at 80/1 behind Microphone on debut

8. Hernandez: Debut. Forecast $251.00

Looks up against it based on his trial.

5. Biggie: Assessed 84-87. Forecast $401

Well beaten at 100/1 behind Microphone on debut


Betting Strategy

The lack of exposed form definitely makes this a low confidence race, but Microphone brings a very solid profile to the race and is the only one I could back in this race:

 BACK (WIN) MICROPHONE – Bet to WIN at $3.8+ (stake 1.1% of your total bank.)

2:45pm Caulfield R4 – 1000m 2YO Fillies G3 SWP – The Blue Diamond Preview


THE TRACK

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

The track was verti-drained on Tuesday and will be heavily irrigated to cope with the extreme heat of 44c on Friday. Saturday will be a much milder 27c.

That type of intervention (while necessary) does raise some uncertainty about how the track will play.

However, given it will only be 27 on Saturday, there will hopefully not be any significant overnight watering to deal with temperatures on race day and that creates a little bit of confidence that the track will play evenly, without a major pattern.


SPEED & TACTICS

Ten of the sixteen here are first starters so mapping is naturally more speculative than in other races.

From what we’ve seen in races and trials / jumpouts though I expect there to be above average speed. Jedastar (11) was fast early on debut and should push forward from out wide and inject good speed into the race. Lobster Noodles (8), Be Brilliant (7) and Andrassy Avenue (16) have all shown speed in their lead ups for debut.

There’s plenty of others as well that won’t be too far away. However they settle down, it’s hard not to see a good early speed in this race.

Early Pace Rating: Above Average

Late Pace Rating: Below Average to moderate

Best Suited: Lead to 5 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – WINNING BENCHMARK

While ten of the sixteen are on debut, the main market chances Catch Me, Anaheed, Jedastar and Pretty Brazen have all had a run.

Catch Me, Anaheed and Pretty Brazen bring the best ratings and it’s reasonable to assume that at least one of them will run up to that form, if not a new peak. That suggests the winner will need to rate at least 95 to fight out the finish of this race.

That’s a very solid mark for a lower level Fillies stakes class race, so there’s no doubt a first starter will need to be above average to win.


Race Assessment in number order

1. Catch Me: Assessed 95-98. Forecast $4.00

Was an impressive winner of the Gimrack at Randwick back in the spring with a rating that is very hard to beat and the nature of her win suggests he’s likely better than that, with new peaks to come. Her recent trial win at Racing.com Park suggests she’s come back well.

At the time of writing she’s in barrier 13, but wider draws in these types of Caulfield sprint races have a better record than inside draws and offer much better betting value.

It allows horses to track up 3-wide with cover, building momentum at the right time (rather than being cluttered on the inside) and with just one small turn they don’t face a major disadvantage covering extra ground. With the Snowden polish heading towards the Blue Diamond, I expect her to be hard to beat.

4. Anaheed: Assesed 94-97.5. Forecast $6.00

Was impressive winning on debut back in October by 4 lengths (Heavy ground), still showing she has a bit to learn, which typically translates to upside / improved performance. She trialled nicely at Racing.com Park recently and looks to get a nice run from barrier 2, although a middle draw in a big field like this would have been preferred.

5. Pretty Brazen: Forecast 95-97. Assessed $6.50

A very narrow second to Microphone at Flemington on debut in a race that was particularly strong on the clock. He rating from that performance suggests she’s a genuine chance.

3. Jedastar: Assessed 91-94. Forecast $11.00

Won by 2.3L at Flemington on New Years day showing plenty of early speed, but the figures were just okay, and certainly below the higher rated Fillies in this race. A recent jumpout shows she’s come back well, but she does need a clear new peak to win. May get a bit of pressure up on the lead.

16. Westport Debut. Forecast $12

Trialled well behind Catch Me recently. That reference alone along with Tony McEvoy’s strong 2YO record suggests she has some claims.

14. Shih Tzou Debut. Forecast $13

Another to trial well behind Catch Me at Racing.com park.

2. Biscara: Assessed 85-91. Forecast $21.00

Was okay in two runs during the Spring but they were in races where the figures lacked substance. She has prospects to resume with a new peak, but it’s unlikely to be high enough to win this.

18. Be Brilliant Debut. Forecast $31.00

She has gate speed and did look good in a recent jumpout, but the quality behind was very questionable. Looks to have some ability but this may be aiming too high.

6. Andrassy Avenue Debut. Forecast $34.00

Has looked good in trials / jumpouts but not convinced about the overall quality.

8. Donttelltheboss Debut. Forecast $51.00

Not sure on jumpouts? Market suggests outclassed

9. Kibibi: Assessed 85-90. Forecast $51.00

Failed on debut in the Gimcrack at Randwick, but also started 50/1

13. Miss Elena Debut. Forecast $67.00

Not sure on jumpouts? Market suggests outclassed

15. Urjuwaan Debut. Forecast $67

Well beaten in a Cranbourne trial

11. Lobster Noodles Debut. Forecast $101.00

Has early speed. Jumpout time was very moderate.

10. Lady Doro Debut. Forecast $151.00

Not sure on jumpouts? Market suggests outclassed

7. Dama Rapida Debut. Forecast $251.00

Well beaten in two trials. Needs a weak maiden.


Betting Strategy

This is a difficult race to play with Catch Me, Anaheed and Pretty Brazen all bringing solid credentials. My strongest opinion is that Jedastar needs to improve notably to beat them and her market prices doesn’t reflect that.

If there is a play in this race, you could LAY JEDASTAR up to $8.00

 LAY (WIN) Jedastar (Small Stakes)

2:25pm Gold Coast, Race 8, $2M Magic Millions 2YO Classic


The Track

The track is currently a Good 4 and the rail is in the true position.

The track came in for some criticism for being too hard last week so will be interesting to see if they have gone for more watering.


Speed and Tactics

Speed looks like being strong from the get go. Unite And Conquer and Betaima have the quickest early speed figures and given where they’re drawn, they are sure to inject plenty of pace early.

A few others like Czarson, Movie Role and Girls Are Ready will roll forward, while the likes of The Odyssey and Oh Five Glory will be keen to hold good spots off their nice draws.

Early Pace Rating: Above average

Late Pace Rating: Below average

Best Suited: Lead to 6 lengths off the lead


WFA PERFORMANCE RATINGS – Winning Benchmark

In the past three years, the winners (Capitalist, Houtzen, Sunlight) all had run WPR ratings of 100+ leading into the race and the latter two were able to produce 100+ figures to win.

Last 3 winning ratings:

  • Capitalist 96.6
  • Houtzen 101
  • Sunlight 101.5

This year, not one single runner has cracked the 100 mark.

Dubious boasts the highest rating in the field, having recorded a 99 on debut in late September, but his most recent run came in at just 92.

The three highest last start ratings in the field belong to Czarson (98), Unite And Conquer (96.5) and Yes Yes Yes (96.2).

Based on those numbers, we anticipate the winner will have to rate at least 96 to win and possibly up to 100, if a couple of them make improvements into what should be their Grand Final for this campaign.

Of course, it is not unusual for two-year-olds to take a big leap in the early part of their careers, so given there is no dominant performer/performance this year, it’s possible an upset result could happen without being overly surprising.

That said, it’s a race that generally runs to script, with favourites having won seven of the last nine runnings.


Race Assessment in number order

1. Unite And Conquer: Forecast 95-100. Assessed $6.50

Was too speedy up the straight at Flemington running a 93.5 on debut and then lived up to the short price tag at Wyong, improving his speed figure and overall rating to 96.5. Has since been given a trial, where he appeared to be overshadowed by stablemate Czarson, but not reading too much into that. Jumps from barrier 14 if the emergencies don’t secure a start. That’s not ideal, but he does have one of the best early speed figures in the race.

2. The Odyssey: Forecast 88-93. Assessed $21

Showed promise in two runs before a break, then came back with a new peak of 87, in a race where he had the better of Sun City and Krameric. Has since taken on Exhilarates, where the weights were against him last week, rating a new best of 88.3. Obviously needs to take another big step forward to beat all of these, but at least he’s drawn to get an economical run. .

3. Yes Yes Yes: Forecast 95-100. Assessed $7.50

Has shown lovely improvement in each of his three runs and put himself right in the mix for this with a promising 96.2 rating at his most recent win at Moonee Valley. We noted on that occasion he’s a horse that’s likely to rate higher when he gets into a high pressure race. Likely to get that scenario here, although we weren’t anticipating him jumping from 16 of 16.

That said, he comes in with one of the top three last start ratings, is still on an upward spiral, from a stable with a proven record of success on this day. Could become a value play if the market continues to overreact to his draw.

4. Dubious: Forecast 92-99. Assessed $9.50

As noted from the top, boasts the highest rating in the entire field with the Breeders’ Plate 99 on debut. Resumed on the new track at Eagle Farm and had to race wide (not certain that was a big negative) under top weight and proved too good.

He did give ground late there, indicating Ciaron Maher has left a little up the sleeve for this, his Grand Final. Given he gets the economical run, he is a probable improver here.

5. Sebrakate: Forecast 86-91. Assessed $301

Hit a career best three starts back at Rosehill of 91.5, which is obviously well short of the required mark. Has regressed to around the 86 mark at latest couple.

6. Hightail: Forecast 90-93. Assessed $41

Unusual to see a Snowden youngster backing up for its third Saturday in a row. Has made steady improvement in each of three starts, getting to a 90.7 last week in Sydney. Speed figures weren’t hopeless in comparison to most of these, so capable of running a race, but hard to see him improving enough to beat all of them.

7. Czarson: Forecast 97-102. Assessed $5.00

Brings the best last start rating to the table after leading throughout at Rosehill. Had a very time of it early there and was able to sprint home in a very strong sectional rating in comparison to what most of these have achieved. Beat Exhilarates comfortably on debut prior to that and has since looked sharp in a trial against stablemate Unite And Conquer.

The draw is the potential negative here, as to where he might end up. Even though he’s led, he hasn’t had to show blinding speed to get there and a couple of others look faster, so it’s a matter of whether he gets in. As far as form goes, he is entitled to be right at the top of the pecking order. We have assessed him at this price penalising him a full point on his last start win and he still comes out the clear top rater.

8. Exhilarates: Forecast 94-99. Assessed $6.50

Has kept improving with every start and comes through the same race that has provided three of the past four winners of this. Finished off nicely at Wyong prior to her win last week and looks like she will relish 1200m. Has had a few starts, so not sure how much improvement there is to come, but she gets the right run and looks certain to appreciate the good speed.

9. Betaima: Forecast 84-88. Assessed $201.00

Will show speed from the outside draw, but looks a major risk at the trip and beyond that, hasn’t hit a mark anywhere near the required level for this.

10. Champagne Boom: Forecast 87-92. Assessed $101.00

Won in soft figures on debut at Caulfield and has gone backwards off that rating in two runs since. Seemed to have her chance at Wyong and find it hard to see her turning the tables on those that finished ahead of her there.

11. Better Reflection: Forecast 91-95. Assessed $61.00

Posted a big margin on debut at her home track, then did it tough at Doomben and kept coming to win. Speed figures from that race were superior to The Odyssey on the same day, but subsequent form says the boys race was probably still stronger. Drawn out again so might end up with a similar run to last time. She’s a rough hope, but needs quite a few ahead of her in the market to come up short on what they have already produced.

12. Girls Are Ready: Forecast 90-94. Assessed $41.00

She’s improved nicely from her debut to post a couple of Sydney wins, probably in softer races than some others. She took a big step forward last time and needs to do the same to be in the finish here.

13. Courseshewill: Forecast 78-80. Assessed $1001.00

Won her first two in soft figures but has been found out in two better races since resuming.

14. Movie Role: Forecast 91-97. Assessed $51.00

Took good improvement from first to second starts and had a margin to spare over Hightail (3rd) when notching a winning figure of 91.1 at Randwick. Like quite a few others, is in that fringe brigade whereby she needs to take a big step forward and other more established runners have to regress.

15. Oh Five Glory: Forecast 80-88. Assessed $251.00

Has a best of 87.5 which is obviously going to be short of the required level. One thing in her favour is a softer draw this time, but likely to be outclassed.

16. Champagne Jet: Forecast 80-85. Assessed $801.00

Hasn’t gone on from the debut win over stablemate Betaima. Outpointed in an Ipswich midweeker last time and that’s not going to be good enough to be in the finish here.

17. Em Gala Miss: Forecast 80-85. Assessed $1001.00

First emergency. Not good enough.

18. Em Krameric: Forecast 91-96. Assessed $51.00

Second emergency. Career best 94.6 came in the Breeders’ Plate and best in three since then was 91.3. Better credentialed than a few others and if he happens to sneak into the field, will beat more home than beat him. Just not sure he’s sharp enough at 1200m.

19. Em Rome 3: Forecast 94-98. Assessed $16.00

Third emergency. Would come in as one of the better chances if the field falls away and he gets in. Had his chance to beat Sun City, but was only first up and there’s certain to be improvement to come.

20. Em Alburq: Forecast 90-94. Assessed $66.00

Fourth emergency. Better than some others, but unlikely to get a run.

21. Lubuk: Forecast 89-96. Assessed $81.00

Fifth emergency. Big improver at second race start and looks a horse of the future, but unlikely to get the chance to show that in this race.


Betting Strategy

 BACK (WIN) Bet to WIN at $5+ (stake 1.0% of your total bank.)


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