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The Sportsman Weekend - - Caulfield Preview - WITH GREG SPLETTER

RACE 1

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.

RACE 2

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.

RACE 3

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.

RACE 4

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.

RACE 5

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.

RACE 6

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.

RACE 7

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.

RACE 8

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.

RACE 9

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.

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