Icon set to land the Prize
Massive program at Caulfield for Recovery Day and the programmers have been kind enough not to kick off until well into the afternoon. ECLAIR CALLING has plenty going for him having his third run back from a break, and nothing gets rid of headache faster than backing the first winner of the day at $5.00. Worked home nicely in The Sofitel over this trip a fortnight ago and that race was significantly tougher assignment with him going across the line amongst the likes of Dollar For Dollar and Inter locuter. He has performed very well here which is a plus, I have plenty of time for his hoop Chris Caserta who takes two off the 60kg impost. Down the bottom ARTIES DREAM WINNER looks the main danger to him following a good effort behind the dead-heaters earlier this month over this course and distance. She does drift higher in the weights on Sunday up to 56.5kg, and being just 1.5kg below top pick will make it a big ask for her. NOTIO hasn’t quite put it all together yet but you just feel as though there is a really good horse in somewhere looking to break out. Only two lengths behind Eclair Calling at his last run prior to a break, and he can pull out good run fresh. Worth a small saver around the $10 against the chance that he hits his straps this prep.
WAGING WAR produced a cracker of a run first-up in Adelaide almost a month ago, running on strongly with Widgee Turf to take ton of ground off the in-form Theanswermyfriend over 1400m. That was a Listed event at weight-for-age and he drops back to a regular open hcp on Sunday with just 55kg. He is more of miler-plus type and he sticks to the same trip here, but he has been given a freshen-up and, frankly, I’m big wrap for the horse. I think he has a good race in him somewhere and at $6.00 he’s a great gamble. AL PASSEM nibbled around the edges of the better grades this time last year with good runs in the McKenzie and Danehill Stakes down here, but he has really blossomed this campaign with two strong victories over his own age group during the winter months. Took step up to older company in his stride last run with a very gutsy frontrunning display at Moonee Valley. No shame all to be run down by Land Of Plenty and he should be right in the finish again. GRANDE ROSSO is one of the outsiders here at $14 but he was far from disgraced first-up down the straight Flemington, finishing a couple of lengths from Dothraki in a busy finish. Weighted right up to his best but is an improver.
PRIZED ICON is a mile better than these at their respective best, and even though he’s a little off the top of his game he really should be too classy for this lot and a steal at $2.15. Nice run in the Chelmsford behind Unforgotten second-up before perhaps a touch disappointing in the Cameron Hcp down the line. Last time he raced over
2000m finished third to Gailo Chop in the Ranvet Stakes. Enough said. NETTOYER is the only entrant capable of holding a candle to the top pick by any measure and will go better here than her last run when not disgraced in a super strong Tramway Hcp Sydney. Placed at all three attempts at this journey including a fast finishing second in the JRA Plate Randwick just before her spell and should get a soft run in transit on Sunday. LEGALE and OCTABELLO are in the market but both have been handed their hats when extending up into tougher grade in the past.
Super keen to see how the Godolphin mare SOOTHING handles herself on Sunday shooting for her fourth straight victory. Gave them a towelling at Warwick Farm and Randwick in weaker grade before drawing wide and showing some ticker to poke her head out at Rosehill on the heavy-8. While this is still a restricted event it’s a pretty good one with several high quality mares engaged including two more from the stable, but it will give us a great guide as to how she might fare for the rest of the carnival. Definitely worth jumping on at $4.60 back on top of ground. FRAGONARD is the stable’s second-stringer but if she has her game face on will take some beating in her own right. Last time at this track she was beaten just a length at Group three level and has won three from four fresh. WORKING FROM HOME has a good record for a 20/1 pop and is looking for
hat-trick of her own. Last run prior to the spell beat a good mares’ field here and although she might prefer it soft she can run a race first-up.
Another Godolphin runner heads the betting here but if local lass BOOKER produces anything better than an average run they won’t beat her. Beat a cracking Group bunch of fillies first-up last prep over this track and distance before finishing half a length from Russian Revolution in the Oakleigh Plate. She has superb fresh record and is over odds at $4.40. TREKKING is definitely one on the up with three wins from his last four outings. Strong win when resuming at Rosehill in August before going under on the soft-5, but bounced back a fortnight ago with a tough win in a Bm88 under 59.5kg. This is significantly stronger but he gets a nice weight drop for the step up to black type and makes it a very interesting race. Japanese import KEMONO has put in two solid runs on Australian soil, the latest a closing third the Bobbie Lewis over this trip. Not sure how much improvement there is left in the tank, but if he still has more to give he will be right in the thick of things at the end despite tricky gate.
Very competitive line-up here to kick off the quaddie but I’m going to bank on the Brutal formline and go with GOOD ‘n’ FAST. Raced very well at his first campaign over the winter, falling just a lip short of being unbeaten in three starts at Flemington. Gave them a big start and had no luck on straightening before finally seeing daylight
running home solidly into the minors. Probably wouldn’t have picked up Brutal but he would have made it interesting. Finished off his last bit in 11.57secs and if he has better luck on Sunday probably wins. Good each way hope at the $6.50. DECLARATION OF HEART was also out the back in same race and came wider on the bend before running home well. Finished about a length behind Good ‘n’ Fast on the line and the clock couldn’t split them for their last 200m. Wherever my bloke ends up, this one won’t be far away. TAVISAN has produced two outstanding results in top grade since winning his maiden at Cranbourne but he has drawn out a bit and he will be feeling the extra furlong at the death.
SMART MELODY maintained her unbeaten status at Flemington two weeks ago with a very impressive win down the grandstand rail. The second horse looked as though she might make things interesting 200 out, but Brenton Avdulla gave her a couple around the rump and she found another length to beat them easily. Too strong at the end in 11.26s and although she has to go round a bend here does look to have bright future. MUSIC BAY will sit off the favourite as she did at Flemington but without luck playing a role in her favour I can’t see her turning the tables. Nice enough type who showed ability in Adelaide last prep and is one for the exotics. Of the roughies I thought EAWASE was capable of a sharp improvement after an even first-up result behind Trekking in Sydney. Back to the fillies on Sunday and will strip fitter, she could add some value to our multiples at around 25/1.
This is not an easy race but I’ve settled on GRUNT who has defied me this campaign. I was on him here two runs back when he looked a bit one-paced over the shorter trip behind Humidor then jumped off just in time for him to bolt in on the roomier track in the Makybe Diva. Back
Caulfield but he is out to 1800m which won’t hurt him and he is at the top of his game. No favours $3.00 but he is entitled to be up the top of betting. COMIN’ THROUGH gave them a big start in Makybe and did run home well following a great first-up win the Tramway. Genuine Group One performer and if he gets a clear crack at them from the inner draw he will be in finish. There are two HUMIDORS, one of which scored a superb nose win over Kementari in the Memsie here second-up and is only horse in years to scare world champion Winx. Then there’s the other one. Even splitting difference he should run a race as we get closer to his pet trip.
This is a long way from being an acid test for the youngster FURRION but he does have to take on a slightly stronger field here than did over the same trip at Flemington and has an extra 2kg to boot. Still, He been super in all six of his runs and was only beaten the once by a flying Lucky For All here on very wet track. Drawn to trail the speed at his leisure and honestly the $2.30 feels like a good price. We’ll throw a couple of extras into our quaddie against the chance that he has an offday or can’t get out when it matters, and LIFE LESS ORDINARY is a likely candidate to pick up the pieces. Very encouraging run from a 2000m runner resume with luckless fifth to Night’s Watch here last start and had to give the winner 5kg no less. His form is patchy but on his day he very smart and this is getting out to something like a preferred distance. Of the real rough types I thought SULLY could run a race after making ground first-up in the Sofital. Placed at Group One level in both the Spring Champion and Vic Derby last spring
if you’re looking to throw in an upset runner this is the one around the $34 mark.