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Blue Diamond Stakes Day – Caulfield – Best Bets and Preview

Fri, Feb 24, 12:40pm by Senior Writer

The David Hayes Team has an incredible six runners in Saturday’s $1.5 million Blue Diamond, which highlights a cracking day of racing at Caulfield.

Hayes, who trains with his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, look to have a stranglehold on the race before the barrier draw threw up some challenges, with all six runners drawing either eight or above.

It’s a funny thing, but I think having six of your runners in the outside nine barriers can actually be a help, because you know where most of the other runners around you are going to settle. Now I am not suggesting that there will be any form of team orders here, that would be against the rules and there is big money at stake here. But Hayes will know which of his horses will go forward and which will want to settle back.

I’m a big fan of Catchy. She was very good last time out, running quicker late sectionals and a quicker time overall than the boys in the Prelude. She’ll improve off that run and will be right in the finish here. I think $5 will prove excellent value.

The Oakleigh Plate Is a typically tough sprint, but my best value for the day comes up in that race, a mare called Sheidel.

She won a couple of races on the bounce last spring carnival and improved greatly through her campaign. She goes into this race first-up, where she has won twice from five starts, and with the world’s greatest jockey Joao Moreira in the saddle, as he was when she won at Flemington on Derby Day.

What’s best, she’s $10, which I think is an excellent price for a mare who proved herself highly competitive at G1 level last campaign.

In the Futurity, we’ve got a short-priced favourite, Black Heart Bart here, who won over the same track and distance last start. But I’m leaning towards the stablemate, Palentino. I can’t get out of my mind that last campaign, Palentino was able to turn the tables of Black Heart Bart third-up and that all three of his third-up runs have been wins. He’s $7.50 and Black Heart Bart is $1.80.

WATCH: Our Preview of the weekend’s racing, including our Best Bets

Our best bets comes up early, Race 1 No.5 Second Bullet. He was a monster winner first-up, romping home by four lengths and this field doesn’t strike me as much harder.

He stays at a good weight and is again drawn to get a good run from an inside barrier. He loves the 2000m having won over the distance on five previous occasions and if he gets a similar run to last time, should prove impossible to hold out. He’s $2.35.

Here’s our preview for the entire Caulfield meeting.

Race 1 Mornington Cup Prelude – 2000m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 5. Second Bullet ($2.35)

2nd: 4. Goldstream ($6.50)

3rd: 2. Assign ($15)

4th: 1. Pilote D’essai ($4.40)

Summary: Distance race with a small field to kick things off and as mentioned, I think we have our best of the day in this. Second Bullet only needs to put out what he did first-up to win this. Goldstream has taken a couple of runs to find winning form but will lead in this and prove hard for them to catch. He’s nice value. As is Assign, who won this race last year, and can show up first-up here. Expect a better performance for Pilote D’essai here, who has strong support in the market.

Betting Confidence: Very confident that Second Bullet will get a great run her and will prove too strong.

Race 2 Zeditave Stakes – 1200m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 3. Derryn ($3.10)

2nd: 5. Into Orbit ($4.50)

3rd: 1. Peacock ($14)

4th: 4. Gratwick ($8)

Summary: Nice race this with some good horses engaged. Derryn was solid first-up and finished alongside Hey Doc who came out and won well last week. You’d expect him to have taken considerable benefit from that run and will get a good run from the inside barrier. Into Orbit beat him home last time, and will put himself in the race again. Peacock burned a few punters last time, but did win third-up last time at this track and is silly odds. Gratwick missed a run a couple of weeks back, but will give them something to catch up on the speed.

Betting Confidence: Derryn is a cut above these and looks a good bet, but also like Peacock each way,

Race 3 Autumn Classic – 1800m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. Farson ($2.05)

2nd: 1. Trenchant ($10)

3rd: 3. Cliff Hanger ($5.50)

4th: 5. Bold Presence ($10)

Summary: Poorest race on the card, with not a lot of depth among these aspiring three-year-old stayers. Farson‘s form looks the strongest given he’s won two on the bounce and he beat a subsequent winner last time. Trenchant‘s third-up form is very strong. He won well two campaigns back and was unlucky in the spring. The 1800m should suit. Cliff Hanger looks a handy horse, but has had six weeks off into this, while Bold Presence won by a big margin last time over 2000m and holds an ATC Derby nomination.

Betting Confidence: Not overly keen on the $2.05 about Farson, more happy to take the $10 about Trenchant.

Race 4 Angus Armanasco Stakes – 1400m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. Fuhryk ($2.80)

2nd: 1. Jennifer Lynn ($4.50)

3rd: 4. Oregon’s Day ($8.50)

4th: 8. Savanna Armour ($7.50)

Summary: Fuhyrk keeps winning and no reason to think that won’t keep doing so here. He’s bomb proof, super-fit and should get a great run here. Jennifer Lynn was without luck last time and will relish getting out the 1400m which looks much more suitable and she is better off at the weights on the favourites. The horses that finished second and third behind Fuhryk in the Kevin Hayes, Oregon’s Day and Savanna Armour, are both worthy including in your wider bets.

Betting Confidence: Like winning form and like Fuhryk. You’d expect Jennifer Lynn to finish closer that she did last time, but not confident she can bridge the gap.

Race 5 Futurity Stakes – 1400m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 6. Palentino ($7.50)

2nd: 1. Black Heart Bart ($1.85)

3rd: 3. Turn Me Loose ($6.50)

4th: 7. Ecuador ($11)

Summary: Really interesting race given most of these went around at the same track and distant under the same conditions 14 days ago. As mentioned above, feel Palentino is ready to step it up here. He’s got a great finish on him when he’s fit and should get a stronger pace here. Black Heart Bart is a star, and he can easily win here, but he will have to chase Turn Me Loose, who will give them plenty to go after. Ecuador was very solid last time and has plenty of race fitness on his side.

Betting Confidence: If you are looking for value, Palentino is your play here.

Race 6 Peter Young Stakes – 1800m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 10. Jameka ($3.90)

2nd: 9. Humidor ($3.80)

3rd: 1. Stratum Star ($6.50)

4th: 2. Awesome Rock ($14)

Summary: Really great race this, with some quality horses. Had to love Jameka‘s first-up run and no reason why she can’t improve again and win this race. Humidor‘s first two runs this campaign have had flashing red lights all over them and he is capable of beating Jameka with a bit of luck. Watch for him in the Australian Cup in two weeks. Stratum Star is a model of consistency having won in Perth and Gold Coast over the summer. He is never far away. Awesome Rock won second-up last time and surprise again here.

Betting Confidence: Feel it’s a battle between the top two picks, but happy to be on Jameka, who I am confident has come back even better from here break.

Race 7 Blue Diamond Stakes – 1200m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 11. Catchy ($5)

2nd: 1. Property ($8)

3rd: 4. Pariah ($6.50)

4th: 12. Formality ($7)

Summary: It’s a really even edition of the Diamond and got a feeling that there will be plenty of star horses emerge from this race. Catchy‘s form stands out because she is a professional filly who has a great turn of foot and who can get cover from a wide alley. She simply has the superior form. Property hasn’t done a lot wrong, just not convinced that the colts’ form is as strong, but he is getting out to a nice price. Pariah will be suited by the extra 1200m but a bit concerned he lacks the sprint of the top two. Formality is built for speed and will be rated well by a superstar jockey

Betting Confidence: It’s an even race as mentioned but happy to take the $5 about Catchy who looks a lock to be in the finish.

Race 8 Oakleigh Plate – 1100m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 5. Sheidel ($10)

2nd: 4. Kaepernick ($15)

3rd: 12. Ocean Embers ($26)

4th: 10. Hellbent ($7)

Summary: What a tough race to find a winner! There are legitimately 10 horses that could win this, but I’m confident that Sheidel represents the best value. She’s a top class mare, drawn well with a gun jockey, who will sit on pace and make her own luck. If she’s improved this campaign, then she might prove too slick. Kaepernick possesses a massive finish and loves the 1100m. He’ll be charging over them late and is very, very good odds. Similar story for Ocean Embers, who has won three times at Caulfield and can produce a barnstorming late charge. Ditto Hellbent, who has the benefit of two runs under his belt this time in.

Betting Confidence: There will be about two lengths between ten of them when they finish this race. But happy to be on Sheidel as she makes her on luck and will will be very hard to run down.

Race 9 Mannerism Stakes – 1400m

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 1. Miss Rose de Lago ($10)

2nd: 2. Silent Sedition ($2.20)

3rd: 4. Thames Court ($5)

4th: 5. Rocket Commander ($26)

Summary: Good little mares race to finish off, but feel Miss Rose De Lago can bounce back here. This is a big class drop for her and if she can get a soft run on the pace, then the $10 on offer looks very attractive. Silent Sedition is an amazingly consistent mare having finished in the first three at 12 of her 13 starts. She’ll be in the photo again here, but just worried she may get too far off the pace. Thames Court is honest as the day is long and is as tough as teak. She’ll sit on the pace and be there at the end as well. Rocket Commander is excellent value at $26, as she is capable of competing well in this class.

Betting Confidence: This looms as a good race for Miss Rose De Lago to rediscover her best form and get back on the winner’s list for the first time in 11 months.

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