Shepparton News

Yes, I’m a Buffalo soldier


- with Aydin Payne

Welcome back to another edition of Payney's Punt.

The racing continues at Caulfield tomorrow with the running of the Group One Caulfield Cup (2400m). But there are plenty of other races to dive into, so let's strap in.

The track is currently rated a Soft 6 after a solid dumping of rain since Wednesday.

More rain is forecast for today and tomorrow, so we expect the track to be a Soft 6-7 or possibly downgraded to a Heavy 8.

The rail is back in its true position after it was out 9m for Wednesday's Thousand Guineas meeting. Good luck if you are playing along from the lounge room, the bar in the shed or at your local on Saturday. As always, please remember to gamble responsibl­y.

Race 1. 12.15pm — Grand Handicap (1700m)

Punters have dived on Eagles Crag (10) in the opener. Expect the prerace favourite to lurch forward and lead alongside Windermere (8) and

Skiddaw (2). The favourite comes in off an easy win at Benalla over the mile. Finished second behind Mr Brightside two back and he has gone on to win Seymour Cup. Glue on shoes for the first time is a genuine query. Mimi's Award (7) comes out of a strong form line race when fresh, with Sirileo Miss winning during the week. Usually fires secondup. Does have soft track form, but nothing over the Soft 6 range. Windermere runs well fresh and does seem to fire early on in the prep. Seiners Express (5) has I'm Thunderstr­uck form and runs extremely well on wet ground. Has a 9:3-1-2 record in the wet and has won over this journey before. You can't knock Ghost Doctor (9) in these conditions. Won at Benalla over the mile on a Heavy 10 by three lengths. Jumps in class, but could be worth watching the market.

Top tip: Seiners Express

Race 2. 12.50pm — 3-Y-O Fillies

Plate (1400m)

A small field of eight runners here. Looks a tricky affair to navigate. The early speed should come from the inside with Game Legend (5) and

Morioka (2), but don't expect a heap of pace. Vianello (1) comes in as favourite after running third last start in the Jim Moloney Stakes. This is an easier race and the filly goes on top. Has raced well on soft ground. Morioka drops back in class, but was well beaten over the mile. Would not surprise if she salutes. Blinkers on first time. Stern Impulse (3) is a swimmer, but this looks too tough. Game Legend has placed over this trip and comes back in distance. Not the worst.

Top tip: Vianello.

Race 3. 1.25pm — Gothic Stakes (1400m)

No surprises to see Sandy Prince (4) map to push forward and lead from Mister Me (8). The pace should be above average. Sandy Prince shares the early favouritis­m with Extreme Flight (3). The latter has been in stellar form, winning two on the trot in easy fashion. Can handle soft ground. Hard to split them, but we are leaning towards Sandy Prince to bounce back. Drops down from the mile where Forgot You pounced late. Is a wet track specialist and may be hard to mow down. Cheeky quinella perhaps.

Top tip: Sandy Prince

Race 4. 2pm — Ethereal Stakes (2000m)

Hard to say who takes up the front running in the fourth with so many pushing forward, but expect I Like Big Putts (5) and Adele Amour (4) to set the pace. Kapalua Sunset (10) should find a cosy run from barrier five behind those two on-pacers. The filly thrashed her opponents last start over 1800m on soft ground by seven lengths. Sat on the speed then kicked clear and looks hard to beat. Stalking (3) and Mokulua (7) look the two threats. Finished fourth and seventh respective­ly in the Edward Manifold. The performanc­e on wet ground separates the two, with Stalking placing twice on rainaffect­ed tracks. Glint Of Hope (6) finished third in the Manifold on the heels of Yearning, who won the Thousand Guineas. Expect to be fighting it out late. Great value bet.

Top tip: Kapalua Sunset

Race 5. 2.35pm — Caulfield Classic (2000m)

Expect to see Sharper (7), Turn It Up Tommy (11) and El Patroness (13) push forward. Gundec (2) maps to get a nice ride from barrier two and will race on the speed. Won the Derby Trial last start over 1800m and will be fine with the extra 200m. Has run well on soft ground and just goes on top in an open race.

Gunstock (6) is the favourite. Ran third last start at Listed level over 1800m. Ran home late and blinkers go on first time. Micro (1) finished fifth in the Stutt Stakes behind Forgot You. Had second fastest last 200m and should like the rise to 2000m. El Patroness must be respected. Won last start ahead of Gunstock and will be given every chance. Wide barrier is a concern.

Teewaters (9) won by six lengths over 2000m and this is a rise in class, but will stay the trip.

Top tip: Gundec

Race 6. 3.10pm — Moonga Stakes (1400m)

Looks like Buffalo River (8) will look to lead from Begood Toya Mother (7) and Morvada (2). Buffalo River on the short back-up after running second last weekend. Looked home at one stage, but was run down in final 50m. Gets the conditions to suit tomorrow. Not only does he love wet ground, but he excels at this trip 12:5-5-1. If the track gets downgraded you have to back him in. Begood Toya Mother was brave last start when second over 1300m. Has got soft track form and could surprise. Watch the market.

Justacanta (4) won last start, but rises 4kg. Loves a wet track. Zoutori (1) is our old faithful and got pipped for second last start. Does have three placings from six attempts at 1400m. Not here. King Magnus (10) does well at this track/distance and is racing strongly. Morvada peaks now third-up.

Top tip: Buffalo River

Race 7. 3.45pm — Tristarc Stakes (1400m)

There should be a fast tempo out of the blocks, with 8, 5, 3, 6, 2 and 7 pushing forward. Colette (2) has taken up the early money. If the track is downgraded then she will relish the conditions. Has three wins on heavy ground and has beaten home Kolding over this trip. Sirileo Miss (7) won on Wednesday in the Ladies Day Vase and drops back to 1400m. The Symon Wilde runner has a 4:2-2-0 record over this trip. Stablemate Pride Of Jenni (8) is worth respecting. Is a three-time runner-up over 1400m. Has won two and placed twice on wet ground. Is third-up here and will be fitter. A great each-way bet. Aidensfiel­d (6) has been running well without any reward. Will appreciate the wet track. Has a 6:0-3-2 record over 1400m, but is a track specialist. Top tip: Pride Of Jenni EW Race 8. 4.30pm — Alinghi Stakes (1100m)

A full field greets us in the Alinghi Stakes. Tough to get an idea of who leads, but expect Emante (9), 17, 19 and 14 to push forward. It's a wide-open race. Rubisaki (10) returns to the races and loves wet ground. Query on the barrier position and may be left behind by the front runners. Varda (2) is the one we think gets the job done. Should sit off the speed. Ran second when fresh over 1000m, but has a great second-up strike rate. Has five wins from eight attempts over this journey. Undefeated on heavy ground! Rainbiel (13) was not good enough against Lombardo last time out, but that sprinter is on fire. Can handle both conditions and has drawn nicely here. How Womantic (4) performs well here, but any rain is a query. There is plenty of value if you can land it. Aquagirl (14) has drawn out wide, but has speed to burn. Placed second when fresh and expect improvemen­t.

Top tip: Varda

Race 9. 5.15pm — Caulfield Cup (2400m)

The feature race has gathered a full field. All the early speed looks to come from the wide barriers in Incentivis­e (2), Delphi (10) and Homesman (1). Premier stayer Incentivis­e is leading the way with the bookies and for good reason. Is on a silly run of race wins and keeps finding another level. Is undefeated from four attempts on wet ground. The barrier draw has thrown some excitement in the mix with the Peter Moody runner out in the car park. Jockey Brett Prebble said during the week he didn't want to make it a sit and sprint race, so he will be pushing forward from the wide barrier. Delphi will be crossing along with him from barrier 19. Ran superbly last weekend in the Herbert Power and just missed to Nonconform­ist (16)

two back. Nonconform­ist then beat home Zaaki last weekend and drops to 51.5kg. Young Werther (15)

looks the pick of them outside of the favourite. Just beaten by Incentivis­e last start after flying home late. Can stay the trip and has wet track form. In terms of value, we aren't writing off Persan (7). Has been looking for a staying trip and gets it now. Can handle the soft footing. Lindsay Park's Port Guillaume (13) had genuine excuses last start in the Bart Cummings. Three-time winner in the wet. But Incentivis­e is hard to tip against.

Top tip: Incentivis­e

Race 10. 5.50pm — Caulfield Sprint (1000m)

A tough race to end on. Blink and you will miss them, with 3, 9, 12, 11 and 7 zipping forward. Malkovich (3) resumes and fires fresh. Can handle the rain and is undefeated at this trip. Deserves respect. Oxley Road (9) comes back from a let-up. Just beaten by Masked Crusader — who is off to the Everest — last time out. Drops down to 53kg and will be hard to chase down. Can handle wet ground.

Swat's That (1) will get plenty of Goulburn Valley support. Forgive last start in the G1 Moir. Has two wins on soft ground, but they came on a Soft 5. Watch out for Curran (10). Flew home over 955m and broke the 55 seconds.

All Banter (7) is undefeated secondup and has four wins over this trip. Enthaar (11) and General Beau (8) can factor here.

Top tip: Oxley Road

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 ?? Picture: Reg Ryan/Racing Photos ?? Hard to beat: Punters will be hoping Brett Prebble can celebrate before the post when he rides Caulfield Cup favourite Incentivis­e.
Picture: Reg Ryan/Racing Photos Hard to beat: Punters will be hoping Brett Prebble can celebrate before the post when he rides Caulfield Cup favourite Incentivis­e.
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