Thu, Oct 11, 12:24pm by Staff Writer
It’s Caulfield Guineas day on Saturday and it’s sure to be a bumper day of racing with four Group 1 races on a ten-race card. The rail is in the true and the track set to be in the good range.
The G1 Toorak (1600m) is one of the features of the day, with a capacity field of 18 plus the one emergency accepted for the race.
Hartnell ($6) is off a last start G1 Epsom (1600m) victory in what was a well-deserved win for the 8YO gelding. That was his fourth G1 win from 23 starts in top company, with a further eight minors to his name. He’ll have to carry top weight of 59kg but he’s drawn well in barrier seven and he’s racing in good spirits.
Godolphin are also represented by Charlie Appleby’s Jungle Cat ($9), who took out the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke (1400m) at his debut run in Australia – in what was his fourth straight victory and back-to-back G1’s.
Land of Plenty ($6) was only 0.2L away in third in that Rupert Clarke and he’s one of four runners for Darren Weir who’s won this race three times in the last four years. The five-year-old is racing in good heart but he’s drawn awkwardly in barrier 19 for Saturday. Cliff’s Edge ($14) is off a last start win, Black Heart Bart ($41) is competitive without winning while Lord Langley ($61) makes his Aussie debut for Weir and connections.
Dollar for Dollar ($17) split Jungle Cat and Land of Plenty, and he lines up here for Tony McEvoy. I Am a Star ($17) is back to her winning ways with consecutive G2 wins at her past two starts. Shillelagh ($6) finished just over 1L from Hartnell in the Epsom. Noire ($10) finished alongside Invincibella when fresh and beat Youngstar last start, so that form reads well for this while Siege of Quebec ($11) finished seventh – beaten 2.6L – to Hartnell in the Epsom, which came off the back of a strong, albeit narrow win over Pierata in the G3 Bill Ritchie before that.
It’s Waller versus Weir versus the internationals in what looks a cracking rendition of the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Waller lines up with Unforgotten ($5) and D’Argento ($4.80), the latter finishing in a photo-finish to Hartnell in the Epsom with Unforgotten back in third while Weir saddles up Night’s Watch ($10), Tosen Basil ($11) and Humidor ($7.50). Night’s Watch was a last start G3 winner over this track and distance when sent out a short-price favourite. Tosen Basil showed his spring credentials when battling Homesman ($8.50) down the straight in the G1 Underwood (1800m) with Humidor back in third, and while Humidor can mix his runs and still has the odd quirk, he broke his Caulfield ‘hoodoo’ here when second-up, taking out the G1 Memsie (1400m) and he’s most likely on his way for another showdown with Winx in the G1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Homesman has two wins and a close second from his four runs in Australia. Blair House ($11) should improve from his first-up run in the Underwood when fourth, beaten 2.6L. Benbatl ($6) is on a Cox Plate mission and he’s already a dual G1 winner while The Cliffsofmoher ($12) is another of the overseas contingent who is trained by Aidan O’Brien and owned by the powerhouse of Team Williams and Coolmore.
The Autumn Sun ($1.90) is an odds-on favourite in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) as he comes off a last start G1 Golden Rose (1400m) win, his second major after taking out the G1 JJ Atkins (1600m) in the winter while Smart Melody ($2.60) looks to keep her unbeaten record intact when she goes out favourite in the G1 Thousand Guineas (1600m). There are question marks on her over the 1600m and there are plenty of other good fillies in the race, so from barrier two James McDonald can hopefully give her a soft run in transit for those wanting to take the short quote.
Suggested Bet: Voodoo Lad ($4, race 5, number 2) is racing well and he can win again on Saturday. There’s a few unknowns in the race – namely the Aidan O’Brien trio – and Snitty Kitty looks hard to beat but Voodoo Lad has a good record at Caulfield, flies over the 1100m and is in top form this prep.
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