Fri, May 12, 12:33pm by Senior Writer
While Group 1 racing goes to Adelaide and Brisbane this weekend, here in Melbourne, racing will be staged here at Caulfield for the fifth time in six weeks.
To the credit of the staff, and thanks to a pretty mild autumn, the track has held up very well and we are racing on good track, with the rail true, and you’d expect every runner to get an even chance.
I’ll admit I haven’t been in super form of late and I’ve redoubled my efforts in an attempt to get the good folk here at www.australiangambling.lv a winner of two this Saturday.
The one I have come up as a Best Bet is Race 9 No.7 Grey Street. She’s been excellent this campaign, running second first-up before recording a dominant win second-up here two weeks ago.
The field she meets here are no better than the lot she beat last time, and she only goes up 1kg for that win. She’s got a good third-up record and should get a nice run from in-form apprentice Ben Thompson.
WATCH: Our Preview of Caulfield
There’s a slight query with her up to 1200m, but given the way she finished off last time, I’m confident she’ll handle that with aplomb. She’s currently around the $4.20 mark, which appears generous.
In terms of a Best Value bet, I’ve landed on Race 4 No.13 Valliano.
On the surface, he has failed to flatter in two runs this campaign, but his last run wasn’t too bad. He held his spot down the straight to be beaten three lengths with a race which was dominated by on pacers and horses which were weighted much better than he was.
Interestingly he steps up to 1400m and up against the older horses here and as a result drops substantially in weight. With the claim for apprentice Beau Mertens, who is in amazing form, he carries 2.5kg less in this race.
That’s a recipe for a much-improved performance for me and at $16, I’m happy to be on him, especially when you consider at his best form, he was less than a length off Russian Revolution, who starts favourite in the Doomben 10,000 this week.
Speaking of the 10,000, it is a very even race, and the couple I picked out were Redzel and Derryn. I think Derryn, at around $11, on a soft track, appeals.
In the SA Derby, I think Ruthven is an excellent stayer, and happy to take the $6.50 as I think he’s the best 2500m horse in the race. For those looking for a complete outsider, Casta is at $51 and he’ll love the 2500m of the Derby.
Here’s our race by race preview of Caulfield.
Race 1 Chef’s Hat Plate – 1100m
1st: 1. Easy Beast ($4.20)
2nd: 6. Poet’s Corner ($13)
3rd: 5. Mister Yeoh ($6.50)
4th: 4. Found Out ($6.50)
Summary: Bit of a mystery this one with six of the ten having their first start. On exposed form, you have to go with Easy Beast, who has shown plenty of speed in his two races and will lead this up. Race experience is on his side. Of the unraced, Poet’s Corner had a couple of decent jumpouts last time in and should be ready on race debut.
Tesarc is from an in-form stable and showed speed when winning a recent jumpout. Mister Yeoh had a good trial at Cranbourne this week coming from back in the field and also should be considered,
Race 2 Arvanitis Philanthropy Hcp – 1100m
1st: 9. Spreadeagled ($4.80)
2nd: 5. Sunday Escape ($6)
3rd: 2. Shaf ($3.80)
4th: 7. Aegean Sea ($7)
Summary: Not an outstanding sprint race and looks a good one for Spreadeagled to win. His two runs this campaign have been pretty good, with a narrow loss at Mornington, followed by a close-up sixth at Flemington. Carries just 51.5kg after the claim. Similar form story for Sunday Escape, who hasn’t won in nearly 650 days, but never runs a bad race. Wil be close up again. Shaf likes the 1100m and looks ready to peak third-up here. Aegean Sea will go forward and could prove hard to catch.
Race 3 Pancare Foundation Hcp – 1400m
1st: 1. Extra Olives ($4)
2nd: 4. Savaju ($12)
3rd: 2. Fragonard ($3.70)
4th: 7. Pedrena ($6)
Summary: Pretty decent fillies race this and think Extra Olives will relish being back to her own sex after a decent run against the boys last time. Should settle on the pace and give them something to run down. Savaju has had a great campaign and looks the value in the race when you consider she’ll likely sit just behind the leader in this. Fragonard exploded for a six-length win at Sandown last time in and can measure up on the pace in this race. Pedrena has been good in lesser company and looks progressive heading into this type of race.
Race 4 Recycal Hcp – 1400m
1st: 13. Valliano ($16)
2nd: 7. Dane Thunder ($6.50)
3rd: 12. Royal Ace ($14)
4th: 14. Our Peaky Blinders ($4.80)
Summary: Open race this one, but we’ve found value here with Valliano, who has been reasonable this campaign and on his best form would win this. Down in weight and with Beau Mertens in the saddle, he looks a good each-way bet. Dane Thunder was excellent late last time. If he races more generously, he can be powering over them late in this one. Royal Ace was one of the 14 Weir Army to win at Warrnambool and can back up that with a good performance here, while Our Peaky Blinders creates plenty of interest, first up from New Zealand.
Race 5 Ladbrokes Hcp – 1600m
1st: 10. Castelo ($7)
2nd: 6. Dan Zephyr ($21)
3rd: 2. Kenjorwood ($2.80)
4th: 3. Zebrinz ($6)
Summary: Any of the 10 can win this, but think Castelo‘s last run was excellent, beaten less than two lengths by Burning Front. He gets in well here with just 54kg and will get forward on the pace. Dan Zephyr is silly odds, even if he is up to the 1600m for the first time. He has been in Group and Listed company last three and caries just 51kg in this after the claim. If Kenjorwood can push forward, then he will prove hard to chase down, while Zebrinz has been so consistent this time in and will be in the finish again.
Race 6 Chandler Macleod Hcp – 2000m
1st: 7. Hursley ($4.60)
2nd: 11. Grand Dreamer ($3.80)
3rd: 4. Loving Home ($13)
4th: 9. O’Lonera ($13)
Summary: Oh Hursley. Can a horse simply forget how to win? Four consecutive seconds! I do think that he can win this race. He was six weeks between runs last time and confident that the two-week back up into this is ideal. Grand Dreamer comes off a good win in Sydney and is an obvious danger. Loving Home was excellent first-up and improvement second-up would see him figure here, while I’ll stick with O’Lonera, who surely must find his best form at some stage this campaign.
Race 7 Noel Rundle Hcp – 2000m
1st: 1. Mongolian Wolf ($2.40)
2nd: 14. So Poysed ($11)
3rd: 5. Ceylon ($11)
4th: 12. Red Right Hand ($6.50)
Summary: This race looks Mongolian Wolf‘s for the taking after Weir elected to stay in Melbourne rather than go to Brisbane. His form is vastly superior to these. So Poysed has been very good his past two and the step up to 2000m looks ideal. It’s a similar story for Ceylon, who wasn’t far away at Bendigo last time. Red Right Hand made huge ground from the rear last start and will appreciate the extra 200m.
Race 8 Clanbrooke Racing Hcp – 1200m
1st: 5. Bord Du Gain ($10)
2nd: 11. Enigman ($4.80)
3rd: 2. Artie Dee Two ($8)
4th: 10. Katsuro ($6.50)
Summary: Eight of these met here a fortnight ago over the same distance, with just four lengths between first and last in that. Bord Du Gain was excellent in running second that day, sitting wide, doing work and then almost winning at just a third start. He’s a horse with a real future. Enigman was one of the few not in that race, but off his unlucky sixth in a Listed race at the Flemington carnival, could be a very good horse. I’ll forgive Artie Dee Two his one poor run last time and include him in the chances on his form prior to that, while Katsuro was very good last time and can figure along with about six others. Tough race.
Race 9 Catanach’s Jewellers Hcp – 1200m
1st: 7. Grey Street ($4.40)
2nd: 6. Violent Snow ($17)
3rd: 2. Tykiato ($8.50)
4th: 5. Vital Importance ($15)
Summary: Well, we had to wait, but hopefully you’ve still got a bank to have on Grey Street here. She’s been in very good form this campaign and deserves another win here. She should be a round the $3 mark in my book, so happy to take the overs. Violent Snow can figure first-up. Didn’t have a lot of luck first-up last time and has a win and placing from three Caulfield starts. Tykiato was a good run second-up and third-up last time won at this track over 1100m beating Grey Street home. Vital Importance resumes having won very well first-up last time, although that was over 1400m.
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