Fri, Aug 18, 8:44am by Staff Writer
Caulfield plays hosts to a nine-race card on Saturday with a Group 2, two Group 3’s and a Listed event headlining the day. The rail is out three-metres and although the track was rated ‘good’ at acceptances, some rain is forecast around Melbourne.
The G2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) is the feature of the day with Godolphin’s Hartnell ($3.20) beginning his spring campaign in Melbourne in an effort to avoid star mare Winx. Whilst playing second fiddle to Winx in many of his recent runs, the seven-year-old gelding is a very good horse in his own right winning ten from 32 career starts, being placed a further 11 times and amassing around $4-million in prize money. He’s a dual Group 1 winner who’s run second to Winx at his last two fresh starts, and he makes his Caulfield debut here on Saturday.
While plenty of eyes will be on Hartnell plenty of eyes are needed to keep a watch on Darren Weir’s six runners. Black Heart Bart ($2.60) – a five-time Group 1 winner – took out two G1’s over this track and distance in the autumn with five wins from six at Caulfield, eight from 13 over 1400m and he’s undefeated from four starts over the Caulfield 1400m. His two runs over the winter (in the G1 Goodwood & G1 Kingsford-Smith) were uncharacteristic although the track itself may have had something to do with it, especially the shifty Eagle Farm surface.
Tosen Stardom ($9) has been sparingly raced since joining the DK Weir stables with 19 career starts in total for the now seven-year-old. His two appearances in the autumn saw him finish second in a G1 Futurity (1400m) and G2 Blamey (1600m).
Humidor ($9.50) has only missed the placings three times from his 15 starts with his last campaign finishing in a G1 Australian Cup (2000m) win and G1 BMW (2400m) second while Star Exhibit ($11) – who’s been backed at long odds early – is building an impressive record of her own with nine wins and six placings from her 19 career starts, her most recent run when second to Sense of Occasion in the G1 Doomben Cup (2000m).
Montoya’s Secret ($26) is resuming and is going for four straight wins, her most recent being a G1 Vinery Stud Stakes win over 2000m before a break while Team Hayes/Dabernig will saddle up He’s Our Rokki ($24) and Tashbeeh ($67).
A field of 11 three-year-old fillies line up in the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) with Catchy ($2.60) allotted top-weight of 58.5kg. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained filly has won four from her five career starts, including a G1 Blue Diamond (1200m) with her only blemish coming when last in the G1 Golden Slipper on a heavy-10.
Stable mate Tulip ($6) was fourth in the Diamond and third in the Slipper before ending her campaign when fifth in the G1 Sires (1400m). She has won the two races, one an impressive win over Alizee in the G3 Magic Night (1200m) at Rosehill.
Ploverset ($10) is the third of the Hayes/Dabernig trio and even though she has the lesser profile she did beat Madeenaty on debut at Listed level before a third to Shoals in the G3 Breeders (1200m), both run at Flemington.
Crown Witness ($9) has won the two from two with her most recent win being over Madeenaty and Chiteau Griffo a fortnight ago while Joe Pride’s Brooke Magic ($14) is down from Sydney chasing the wet weather. She has two wins and two placings from her five race starts with this her first attempt at black-type. Artic Angel ($7.50) is a Listed winner with two black-type placings from her five career starts.
Suggested Bet: Big Duke (race 4, number 1) opened at $17 with some bookmakers and has firmed into $6. A stayer resuming off a flashing third in the G1 Sydney Cup (3200m), many punters like to follow the DK Weir money but in a tough day at Caulfield, we’re going with Portman ($4.60) in the last (race 9, number 15). A consistent performer who is racing well, he gets the services of Craig Williams who piloted him to victory two starts back.
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