Thu, Feb 22, 12:54pm by Staff Writer
It’s a bumper day of racing at Caulfield on Saturday with three Group 1 races highlighting the day. The rail is out three metres and the track will be good.
Team Hayes/Dabernig won the Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m) last year with Catchy and this year they line up with four runners. Long Leaf ($6.50) is the favourite in an open race and he’s won the three from three. He won his debut back in October in Adelaide (by a nose) before beating Oohood ($7.50) at Sandown in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) – by a nose – and he then went on to take out the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) by half a length. Enbihaar ($21) is two from two and similar to Long Leaf won her debut at Morphettville before beating Oohood at her second start. Ennis Hill ($8) is a last start winner while Qafila ($26) won on debut back in the spring and is first-up into this, with multiple Blue Diamond winning jockey Dwayne Dunn to ride.
Aside from Long Leaf and Enbihaar, there are a few other unbeaten runners in the race. Written By ($11) beat Sanctimonious on debut before holding out Plague Stone ($8) in the G3 Prelude (1100m) for the colts and geldings. Lady Horseowner ($19) has won both her starts with an SP of $6 and $10 while Kinky Boom ($9) made the headlines with an 8.5L trial win before victory at her only start by nearly 2L in restricted (Inglis) company. She is one of a potential five runners for Tony McEvoy although two are emergencies. Oohood has three placings – all within a length of the winner – and all flashing from the rear. She can get fractious pre-race and drifts back but with good pace and a bit of luck, she could storm over the top of them.
Plague Stone has been placed at all his starts with a last start second to Written By which came off the back of a strong 5L trial win at Warwick Farm prior while Mick Price won the race in 2016 with Extreme Choice and he’s got Prairie Fire ($9) this year off a last start victory.
Black Heart Bart won the Group 1 Futurity (1400m) last year for Darren Weir who lines up with three runners this year. Brave Smash ($3.40) – who has opened favourite for the race – has had six of his 19 career starts in Australia. Last start he stepped up to the 1400m for the first time (in Australia) when third to Hartnell in the Group 1 CF Orr, beaten by 0.2L.
Humidor ($8) resumes off a successful spring campaign which saw him win the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and finish within half a length of Winx in the G1 Cox Plate (2040m) while Tosen Stardom ($6) is second-up after a somewhat disappointing eleventh of 13 in the G1 CF Orr (1400m) after being heavily backed leading into the race.
It was a real blanket finish in the CF Orr with Mr Sneaky ($12) and Shillelagh ($12) finishing in front of Tosen Stardom with 3YO colt Mighty Boss ($5.50) finishing alongside Mr Sneaky. He is second-up and was a G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) winner in the spring when edging out Kementari – fellow 3YO Showtime ($11) is also second-up after a second to Trapeze Artist when fresh.
A capacity field of 18 – plus two emergencies – will tackle the G1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) with Sheidel ($21) eyeing back-to-back wins in the race. She’s one of nine first-up runners in the race with favourite Russian Revolution ($4.60), Dubai-bound Illustrious Lad ($19), the well fancied Bons Away ($13) and last year’s Blue Diamond winner, Catchy ($8.50) all amongst those resuming. Last start winners Booker ($9) and She Will Reign ($6.50) have drawn barriers 16 and 17 with the speedy Snitty Kitty ($10) next door in 18.
SUGGESTED BET: In a day of big fields and open betting, Silent Sedition ($2.10, race 5, number 1) looks a fairly safe bet. Yes, she’s short but she’s a G1 winner who is always there and thereabouts, and in a small field with probably only two dangers (Flippant ($4.40) and Samovare ($5.50)) and giving the field only 4kg she can hopefully build a bank for some of those betting in the tougher races.
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