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Caulfield – CF Orr Stakes Day – Preview and Best Bets

Fri, Feb 10, 3:10pm by Senior Writer

Group One racing returns this week with Caulfield to host the CF Orr Stakes on a super strong card, which also includes the two Preludes for Victoria’s richest two-year-old race, the Blue Diamond Stakes.

The Orr is not the strongest Group One race you’ll see this autumn, but there is still plenty of interest, with the horses who run first and second in the recent Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley, Malaguerra and Black Heart Bart, currently sharing favouritism at $3.80.

Multiple Group One winner Lucky Hussler is third pick at $7, while Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet is at $9.

The colts division of the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) sees Pariah as a $3.60 favourite ahead of Property at $5.
WATCH: Our Preview of this weekend’s races

The fillies’ division features my best bet of the Day, Race 3 No.1 Limestone.

Her two runs this time in have been exceptional. She sat off a smart one first-up and powered home to win so impressively. She then came to this track and again spotted them a start before flying home to win a couple of weeks ago. What appeals to me is that she has significant race fitness on her side and that she steps up to 1100m here.

She’s a jet and she’ll win this and go on to be nominated for the Blue Diamond. She is currently $2.90 for this race and $14 for the Blue Diamond. I’d be taking both prices if I were you, because she’ll be just about Blue Diamond favourite if she wins this as I expect.

There’s another very good filly called Catchy in the race and there is no doubt she is all class. But my concerns on her is that she is five weeks between runs and is being targetted at a Golden Slipper campaign rather than a Blue Diamond. She might be a run or two away from seeing her best.

My best value comes up in the main race, where 11 of the 12 horses are either first-up off a spell or second-up. The one who has the racing in his legs is the Gai Waterhouse trained Ecuador, Race 7 No.8.

He has put together back-to-back wins over 1400m in Sydney and comes to this in peak form and fitness.

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus has found the key to him and has a remarkable five wins from seven rides on him. His two runs the Melbourne way have been unplaced, but in one of them he was beaten less than two lengths in a Mackinnon Stakes.

This is a very winnable race as a soft Group One and he comes into it at $13, which is very appealing.

Here are the race by race previews.

Race 1 Hcp -1800m

Tips: (Odds Sportsbet)

1st: 6. Hipparchus ($2.90)

2nd: 2. Refulgent ($5)

3rd: 7. Harada Bay ($21)

4th: 3. Second Bullet ($7)

Summary: Plenty of form gallopers in this one with five of the 11 having won in their past three starts. Hipparchus broke through for a much-deserved win last time and the market says he can do it again. Looks to have reached peak fitness and is the one to beat. Refulgent rarely runs a bad race and has been in the first three at six of his eight Caulfield starts. Will benefit from a more aggressive ride from an inside barrier this time. Harada Bay could prove value if you put a line through a poor Sydney run last time. He has been placed two of his three runs in Melbourne. Second Bullet stepped up in grade last campaign and can show up first-up here.

Betting Confidence: Fairly even race, but think Hipparchus may have the class and fitness to win again here.

Race 2 Autumn Stakes – 1400m

Tips (Odds Sportsbet)

1st: 4. Snitzson ($4.50)

2nd: 1. Attention ($4.20)

3rd: 2. Peacock ($5.50)

4th: 3. Oak Door ($8)

Summary: Our ratings say there is not much between the top three selections here, but Snitzson gets the nod because he looks to have a little more upside. He was great winning over this distance on New Year’s Day and while the six weeks off is a query, the form from that race has stood up really well. Attention is a good horse who didn’t fire first-up but has won two of three over 1400m, including a win over subsequent Derby winner Prized Icon. Peacock was really good late in the Australia Stakes and will relish stepping up in distance. He won the Gothic Stakes over this track and distance in the spring. Oak Door went too hard and can give them something to run down here.

Betting Confidence: Really tough to split the top three. Confident Snitzson could be Group 1 competitive in the future and that is why he is on top.

Race 3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (f) – 1100m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 1. Limestone ($2.90)

2nd: 2. Catchy ($2.60)

3rd: 7. Pandemonium ($19)

4th: 4. Roomooz ($7)

Summary: Two top quality fillies met here and feel they are a cut above the rest. I’m a big fan of Limestone. Her New Year’s Day win was classy and she overcame some traffic to win last time. As mentioned, she should have a fitness edge on Catchy, who beat her home when the two met at Moonee Valley back in October. Catchy is classy, but is vulnerable off a let-up over the 1100m Pandemonium went too early last time and will improve greatly off that run, while Roomooz won very well first-up and has obvious talent.

Betting Confidence: Very, very confident in Limestone here. She has the conditioning to improve here up to the 1100m and that’s key.

Race 4 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C & G) – 1100m

Tips: (Odds Sportsbet)

1st: 4. Pariah ($3.50)

2nd: 2. Property ($4.80)

3rd: 7. Marsupial ($7.50)

4th: 1. Azazel ($9.50)

Summary: The colts’ edition is much tougher than the fillies with plenty of chances. Have landed with Pariah on the strength of his first-up win. He has a lot of talent and can overcome the wide barrier. Property is the main threat having easily dealt with his rivals in the Preview last start. His improvement from first to second start was significant. If Marsupial can make similar improvement, he can be right in this. He won well against a moderate field first-up but looks to be headed upwards. Azazel was great late first-up, just feel he may need a bit further or he may need a mad speed to come into this.

Betting Confidence: Tough race, but Pariah, on his one run, has more talent than these and should he improve again, will prove very hard to beat.

Race 5 Kevin Hayes Stakes – 1200m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 5. Fuhryk ($3.60)

2nd: 1. Jennifer Lynn ($3.80)

3rd: 2. Selenia ($13)

4th: 4. Zunbaqa ($8)

Summary: Another match-race between two quality fillies in my book. Fuhryk has the fitness edge here having put together a hat-trick of wins before finishing less than a length from the winner at Flemington last start. Getting back around the corner should suit her. Jennifer Lynn was good first-up but settle too closely. She will be much better ridden with a sit and is the obvious threat. Selenia ran some really good races in Group class last time in and will improve second-up into this at nice odds. Zunbaqa is fresh but usually comes to hand pretty quickly and can be competitive from a good barrier.

Betting Confidence: It’s hard to split Fuhryk and Jennifer Lynn, but Fuhryk gets the nod with some confidence.

Race 6 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes – 1100m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 3. Hellbent ($5)

2nd: 1. Chautauqua ($2.50)

3rd: 7. El Divino ($7)

4th: 2. Fast ‘n’ Rocking ($17)

Summary: Much interest in the return of Chautauqua here, and if the best version of him turns up, then he just wins. But after a flat campaign, I’d prefer to wait and see on that. Instead, I’m happy to go for value and plonk for Hellbent. His win over this course and distance in September had to be seen to be believed. He has an incredible turn of foot and think he will benefit greatly from his first-up third down the Flemington straight. Chautauqua goes in for second. He has won five from seven first-up and this is a very winnable race. El Divino beat Hellbent home last start, but my concern is around the tight Caulfield track for the first time. Fast ‘n’ Rocking is a bit of a veteran but he is never far away and has got out to appealing odds.

Betting Confidence: Fairly confident in Hellbent here at this track, with a run under his belt.

Race 7 CF Orr Stakes – 1400m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 8. Ecuador ($13)

2nd: 3. Lucky Hussler ($7)

3rd: 1. Black Heart Bart ($3.80)

4th: 4. Malaguerra ($3.80)

Summary: Really even and intriguing Group One and think we have found some real value here in Ecuador. He’s fit, in form, loves the 1400m and gets into a race he can win at $13. Lucky Hussler likes Caulfield having won twice and been place twice in five starts here. The 1400m second-up off a good run at the Gold Coast should suit. Black Heart Bart‘s record at the 1400m is excellent, with six wins from 11 at the trip and he will be ready having run an excellent race first-up in the Australia Stakes. Malaguerra beat him home that day, but feel the immediate step to 1400m might find him out.

Betting Confidence: Very confident that Ecuador offers excellent value.

Race 8 TS Carlyon Cup – 1600m  

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. Burning Front ($4.40)

2nd: 11. Real Love ($5.50)

3rd: 5. Grande Rosso ($7.50)

4th: 6, Humidor ($4)

Summary: If Burning Front keeps winning, we may have to build a statue of him outside the Australian gambling offices. He’s had a great campaign and won this race 12 months ago. He’s two from two at Caulfield and has won three times over the 1600m. Real Love was very good late last time in her first-up run and is a two-time second-up winner. She’ll be in the finish again. Grande Rosso is in career best form with a good record over 1600m as well. Does like to be out in free running and may not get that from an inside barrier. Humidor‘s late sectionals last time were ultra-impressive and he can improve quickly into this race,

Betting Confidence: This looks an even race on paper, but we’re confident in Burning Front doing what he does best and putting another paling in the picket fence,

Race 9 Bellmaine Stakes -1200m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 6. Denpurr ($10)

2nd: 10. Ameristralia ($5.50)

3rd: 1. Silent Sedition ($3.60)

4th: 9. Prussian Vixen ($16)

Summary: Tough mares race to finish off, but feel Denpurr can be very competitive. Her trainers have a great record at this track and her run at Gold Coast was excellent after she found trouble early. Ameristralia won well in lesser company last time and has ability and a liking for this track. Silent Sedition at this track and distance last time first-up and has a class edge over most of these. Wide barrier a slight concern. Prussian Vixen has been in really good form and looks one of the best value runners in the race.

Betting Confidence: Not a race you can bet with a lot of confidence in, but on value Denpurr looks a good investment.

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