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The Sportsman Weekend - - Detailed Formguide For Caulfield - with Greg Splet­ter

Race 1

Crack­ing meet­ing f or a punt at Caulfield to­mor­row, marred some - what by the like­li­hood of soft-6 or there­abouts. A sub­dued open­ing here with a mod­er­ate group girls and the top two look to have it be­tween them. HELL OR HIGHWATER looks to get a soft lead from the good draw and I’m lean­ing her way at $4.60 with­out great deal of con­fi­dence. Hung on for a nar­row vic­tory over Dul­ver­ton at Flem­ing­ton last start af­ter rac­ing up on the speed and with just a half kilo more here af­ter the claim she is the one to beat again. She will have a kick on straight­en­ing and be aw­fully hard run down. DUL­VER­TON scored back to back vic­to­ries at this trip in July but fell a head short of her hat-trick at Flem­ing­ton. She gave Hell Or Highwater too much of a start and couldn’t run her down. It’s likely to be the same story here, though she is def­i­nitely the main dan­ger. NOT ONLY FLORINA is French im­port re­sum­ing af­ter nearly a year off the scene for the Hayes/Dabernig camp. Listed win­ner over 2000m two runs back in France and while she might need a run or two here to find her best, she did win first-up last prep over this trip. Sev­eral other hopes in the race so tread war­ily.

Race 2

It’s not of­ten I spruik a horse re­sum­ing from a 71-week spell, but RISQUE is bet­ter than these mares in terms of class and at $8.00 I think is worth the punt that she is ready to put a big run fresh. Cre­ated a huge im­pres­sion at her first Aus­tralian start in Fe­bru­ary last year when she stormed home over the top of them to take out the Group Three Kevin Hayes here over 1200m. Beaten a half length by boys in the G1 Aus­tralian Guineas at her next run be­fore train­ing off a lit­tle over Syd­ney car­ni­val. Good tempo here from Sul­li­van Bay and Pe - tite’s re­ward, and Risque will sit back off the fence with cover. Good gam­ble at odds that she can pro­duce an­other big fin­ish. ORE­GON’S DAY co­in­ci­den­tally also has Kevin Hayes form, though hers was in this year’s edi­tion where she flew home to beat all but the smart Fuhryk. Han­dled the wet at her last run be­fore the break fin­ish­ing less than two lengths from Fox­play in the Queen Of Turf, and she’s not far be­hind the top pick on class. At $3.80 I’d pre­fer to be Ris - que, but she is a threat. WRIT­TEN ERA takes big step up in grade here from her tidy first-up ef­fort at Lake - side, but she did show this track at Group Three level when last in work, and drops down to the limit. No value what­so­ever at $4.60, but she’s the mix.

Race 3

I count at least seven gen­uine hopes here and with four of them vy­ing for favouritism be­tween $4 and $5, I’ve set­tled on SAINT VALOREM as the value pick at 12/1. P ro­duced a whirl­wind fin­ish over this course and dis - tance last start to nose out Tango Rock, and he did han­dle the go­ing the run prior when a late closer be­hind Gun Case. He’s up to 59kg, but from the in­side draw D Dunn will give him

run of the race and he should be very strong again late. DUSTY JACK is out to $18 thanks to the aw­ful draw but knocked up win­ning races last prep and can put in a bold show­ing fresh. Run­ner-up when re­sum­ing off a two -year spell be­fore win­ning three in row, the last in this grade. Damien Oliver sticks with him here and with a de­cent chunk of luck early on can be in the fin­ish at big odds. TOY BOY is one of the favourites but will also need more luck than he got at Wed­nes­day’s bar­rier draw. Strong de­but win at Sey­mour last prep be­fore get­ting pipped in a photo by the handy Ken’s Dream at this track . Un­sure of him in the go­ing but he has plenty up­side.

Race 4

The trio at the top of bet­ting here have plenty of con­vic­tions and with a gen­uine soft track likely I’m go­ing for smoky here in MAGNAPAL. He did noth­ing for so very long, but at his first run Daniel Bow­man he pro - duced and out­stand­ing run and has a bit go­ing for him here. Sat off the speed at Flem­ing­ton and made steady ground in the run home to place be - hind Rhythm To Spare should strip fit­ter for run. He has a far su­pe­rior record on soft tracks and get con­di­tions to suit to­mor­row. Add to that a big weight ad­van­tage from the main hopes and the $23 is too good pass up. BIG DUKE went a long way in a short space of time last cam­paign cul­mi­nat­ing in a great run in the Syd­ney Cup, but his fresh form and record about this trip isn’t bad class will carry him a long way. RHYTHM TO SPARE scored su­per win last start at Flem­ing­ton, hit­ting the line very im­pres­sively but he doesn’t put two to­gether. Looks home with a re­peat ef­fort, but what are the chances? I’m tired of fol­low­ing AMOVATIO. He had ev­ery chance at his last two and couldn’t crack it for a win, and his wet track form is below par.

Race 5

Out­stand­ing race with sev­eral boom young­sters re­sum­ing. It’s a toss of the coin whether the top two -year- olds can come back at three and con­tinue their good form, while it’s pos - sible I may re­gret it at about 2.45pm to­mor­row, I’m jump­ing on Perth filly SEANNIE at the $13. Won her first two in­clud­ing a big Listed win over 1000m first-up last prep, then gave away im­pos­si­ble starts in the Gim­crack and Kar­rakatta as hot favourite ran out of ground to catch them. Very smart filly who drops back here off the fence with cover and will be very strong late. Un­known quan­tity in wet and the Perth run­ners of­ten don’t han­dle it due to in­ex­pe­ri­ence, but not many of those are by Se­bring. I am a big fan CATCHY who I fol­lowed through her Blue Di­a­mond win here up to shock­ing run in the Golden Slip­per, though she pulled up with Car­diac Ar­rhyth­mia and we can prob­a­bly pen the run. Not sure how she will go on a wet track to­mor­row, but has drawn to get a nice run in be­hind them off the fence and with some clear air will be hit­ting the line strongly. Just a query at $2.65, but I ac­knowl­edge she could brain these. TULIP is not one of my horses she was only a length or two be­hind the bench­mark in her ju­ve­nile sea­son. Mi­nor placeget­ter the Golden Slip­per so she han­dles wet track okay and went well in a re­cent trial at Cran­bourne. I’m ex­pect­ing the form­line out of this race to hold up well into the car­ni­val.

Race 6

I was quite bullish about King’s Au­thor­ity here at the big odds un­til it scratched (don’t let him slip un­der your guard), so VERANILLO gets the call-up here in a weaker divi­sion than fil­lies. Didn’t do much wrong last cam­paign un­til he struck Group One level and the heavy tracks, he won a Listed race first-up be­fore chas­ing home She Will Reign in the Sil­ver Slip­per. He’s had a cou­ple of hitouts at the tri­als and it’s an­other great ride for Dwayne Dunn from the per­fect draw. Great value at $8.50. POSEIDON’S IDOL is fac­ing a mas­sive rise in class to­mor­row but his two vic­to­ries have been slick . Hit the line strongly in maiden grade on de­but, then was far too strong for a re­stricted field Ade­laide un­der big weight. Nicely bred lad who gets through the ground and is an up­set hope at $11. WAIT FOR NO ONE will go like clap­pers here but the soft 1100m will feel like 1200m. Led and got run down by Azazel first-up at Flem­ing­ton but his form when last in work was against some very smart colts. Last run over this course and dis­tance he fin­ished within a length of Prop­erty in the BD Pre­lude will be in front here for a long way.

Race 7

Tough race to dis­sect but i n the end I’ve gone with the class in HU­MI­DOR who can run a bold race fresh. Last sea­son’s Aus­tralian Cup win­ner hit the ground run­ning for Dar­ren Weir, run­ning home strongly at his first few in good com­pany be­fore G1 win over 2000m. He has a good re - cord the go­ing and from the gate will get a soft run in tran­sit. One of many who are bound to im­prove off the run but at $8.50 he’s worth a punt fresh. ABBEY MARIE doesn’t have as good a record as some of the boys up the top of the weights but she is a tal­ent who runs a good race fresh and will get race run to suit. Out­stand­ing first prepa­ra­tion where she picked up a G1 at only her third start over 2000m, and she started off last cam­paign in promis­ing fash­ion be­fore go­ing way­ward in Syd­ney. Last run over 1400m she took a lot of ground off Silent Sedi­tion here and at $71 is worth throw­ing into mul­ti­ples. HART­NELL is a class act him­self and he han­dles the con­di­tions, but typ­i­cally needs at least one run to hit top gear. Run­ner-up to Winx first-up last prep and if he re­peats that he can belt them, but his over­all fresh form is well below best.

Race 8

VEGA MAGIC faces a big drop in class here and at the $6.00 is hard to go past. Had just one start last cam­paign, re­sult­ing in a gutsy win at Group One level The Good­wood Mor­phettville. Ex­cel­lent fresh record and he did win his only start in soft go­ing, al­beit in a fairly weak race at Bel­mont. En­ti­tled to be giv­ing away the weight and will go close. SOUCHEZ fi­nally put it all to­gether at his last run be­fore the break rock­et­ing home to win a Listed rac at Flem­ing­ton. Goes well first-up and while he has drawn poorly he will drift back and be given one crack at them on straight­en­ing. BURN­ING PAS­SION has been dis­missed $18 but has in great form of late. His two wins up Bris­bane were very strong, and he does en­joy the sting out of the ground. Over odds and worth in­clu­sion.

Race 9

Fin­ish­ing off here with an un­der­whelm­ing Bm84 and TIAMO GRACE at the dou­ble fig­ure odds looks the best bet of the day to me. Last run be­fore break she scored a very strong win in Group Two Wake­ful Stakes over 2000m but did show some toe the shorter trips ear­lier on in her prep. She’s a win­ner in the wet, and while drawn shocker Damian Lane will ride pa­tiently and bring her to the out­side on straight­en­ing. Watch for her late. REINCARNATE has been hit­ting the line well in re­cent starts and is an­other who will get back from the bad draw and be run­ning on at end. Han­dles the con­di­tions and his last cou­ple around this grade have been sound. WAYANKA scored a well de­served win last start over this trip at Flem­ing­ton but has come up aw­fully short at $4.20. He’s con­sis­tent and has cer­tainly drawn bet­ter than my top two, but isn’t a good bet­ting propo­si­tion at the quote.

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