Fri, Sep 22, 12:15pm by Staff Writer
Melbourne racing heads to Caulfield on Saturday headlined by the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) with the winner gaining an automatic entry into the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m). The rail is out nine-metres and the track is in the good range.
Jameka won the Naturalism last year and went on to win the Caulfield Cup and a capacity field of 16 will be hoping to do the same this year. Stampede ($4.40) is second-up from a spell and he’s opened favourite for the race. The Waterhouse/Bott-trained gelding was a strong winner when resuming at Moonee Valley and that came off the back of back-to-back wins before a break.
Abbey Marie ($6) caught the eye last start when second – beaten 0.3L – to Bonneval in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m). A lightly raced five-year-old mare she was a G1 SA Oaks (2000m) winner last year. Amelie’s Star ($7) was unlucky at her most recent run and has received good backing early. She is one of three runners for Darren Weir with Damian Lane to ride Amelie’s Star, John Allen on Big Duke ($8.50) and Brad Rawiller on Articus ($11).
Team Hayes/Dabering has four runners in the race with Samovare ($8.50) and Harlem ($10) the most fancied of the quartet according to punters. Team Hickmott/Williams has top weight Sir Isaac Newton ($23, second-up from a spell) and Gallante ($71, resuming) with Tally ($11) the Godolphin representative to jump from barrier two and Michael Walker to ride.
Another capacity field of 16 will line up in the Group 3 How Now Stakes (1200m) for the mares with Furyk ($4.60), Missrock ($4.60) and Ravi ($5) vying for favouritism. Craig Williams’ ride on Furyk was the subject of disgruntled punters last start when a 2L seventh to Savanna Amour ($14) – who also lines up here.
That was in the G3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) when a heavily backed odds-on favourite, and she is second-up on Saturday where she is unbeaten from two second-up starts. Missrock ran down Heatherly when fresh and has had two runs over the Moonee Valley 1000m this campaign while Ravi was an impressive winner in the G3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill when ridden closer to the speed. The stable has taught her to be ridden that way and she’s been supported early on Saturday.
Prompt Response ($8.50) is first-up from a Brisbane campaign with a win and three seconds from her last four starts. That win was in a G2 Dane Ripper (1350m) with a G1 second in the Tatts Tiara (1350m) her most recent effort. Miss Gunpowder ($10) is also resuming from a QLD prep, as is Kenedna ($23) who ran second to Egg Tart in the G1 QLD Oaks (2200m) with six wins and five placings from her 15 starts to date.
Ellicazoom ($16) is a four-year-old mare trained by Neville Parnham in WA but she’s already had three starts in Melbourne during the autumn, her first two being beaten by a nose in each.
Suggested Bet: Robbie Laing has always had lofty ambitions for So Si Bon (race 5, number 2) and even though he’s only had the one win from 15 career starts, he’s racing well this campaign over the sprint distances. Provided the nine-metre rail isn’t a disadvantage to backmarkers he’ll run well at the odds of $4.50. Revolving Door (race 5, number 6) is also racing in good form and is a danger.
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