Fri, Aug 17, 3:51pm by Staff Writer
Group 1 racing is at Caulfield on Saturday with the G1 PB Lawrence (1400m) the feature event. The rail is out three-metres and the track was a good-4 at acceptances although the odd shower is forecast leading into Saturday.
Hartnell ($6) was a strong winner of this race last year and he was also a first-up winner over this track and distance in the CF Orr (1400m) during the autumn. He jumped from barriers eight and 11 in those two wins, and he’s drawn 13 for Saturday.
Darren Weir has six runners in the race with Humidor ($16), Black Heart Bart ($7.50) and Big Duke ($101) drawn next to each other in barriers one, two and three. Humidor is none from five when first-up, and second-up over 1600m – at Flemington – might be more to his liking. Black Heart Bart was good when resuming behind Vega Magic a few weeks ago and he has a good second-up record (9s-3w-4p) and better record at the track and distance (6s-4w-2p) while Big Duke begins his spring campaign with the distance races – and potentially the Melbourne Cup – on his radar.
Danon Liberty ($8.50) is an interesting runner from the Weir camp as he makes his Australian race debut at his 28th career start. A Japanese import, he was backed at odds going into the G1 Stradbroke (1400m) but didn’t make the final field in the end. He’s drawn 12 while stable mates Red Cardinal ($35) and Kings Will Dream ($15) – barriers 11 and 14 – begin their cups campaign, Kings Will Dream being the current G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) favourite, with six wins from his last six starts and six from eight overall.
Mick Price takes three runners into the PB Lawrence and they’ll also jump in a clump – from barriers five, six and seven. Grunt ($5.50) is a last start G1 Australia Guineas (1600m) winner in the autumn which made it four straight for him and four from five in total. Mighty Boss ($10) was a G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) winner last spring but didn’t really come up in the autumn while Holy Snow ($10) had a consistent autumn campaign with one win and three minors from five black-type runs.
Team Hayes/Dabernig will also saddle up three runners including last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time ($35) who was an effortless 4¾ length winner at his last start before a break while Harlem ($35) was a G1 Australian Cup (2000m) winner in the autumn. Miss Gunpowder ($21) is the third of the Hayes/Dabernig trio and while she’s off a last start win, she’s up immensely in grade and drawn barrier 16 of 16.
There was an inkling of money at some odds for Showtime ($11) last start in the G2 Missile (1200m) in Sydney and he’s second-up here, and certainly not without a chance. Widgee Turf ($14) is enjoying a consistent run of late and he makes his G1 debut here while the popular Jungle Edge ($26) is off a last start third to Vega Magic and Voodoo Lad – which is strong form, Voodoo Lad franking that form again last week – and as always with the eight-year-old, any rain would suit.
Suggested Bet: The task for Osborne Bulls ($3.40, race 8, number 3) got a little easier with the scratching of Rich Charm and whilst it’s still a competitive race, happy to stick with the Godolphin gelding. He has drawn wide and does have to lump 59kg but he’s unbeaten fresh and he’s a seven-time winner from ten starts – with some excuses from his defeats – so hoping he can continue on his winning way here on Saturday.
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