Fri, Apr 7, 1:27pm by Senior Writer
While the focus on the Australian sporting public will be on Winx aiming for her 17th consecutive win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, Caulfield hosts a nine-race card as well.
We’ve been on a two-week road trip with Melbourne metropolitan racing taking a three-week rest in recent, while it’s been six weeks since Caulfield last hosted a race meeting.
The best of the day is clearly Hans Holbein, Race 8 No.5. He donkey-licked them at Bendigo last week in a very fast time and backs up seven days later off his first Australian win. He only has to repeat that performance to win here at odds of $2.30.
And my best value, comes up in the last Race, No.1 Tuscan Sling. Her first-up run was a virtual forget as she got back and wide and was never a chance. She drawn barrier two here, steps up to 1100m, and gets to Caulfield where she has won twice before. She’s a very good mare who is likely heading to Adelaide for a couple of Group One races later this campaign. If that’s the case, I’m happy to be on her at $15 in this race.
Our full Sydney preview is already published, but for my thoughts, I can’t see any way Winx gets beaten. The bookies all but agree, offering just $1.10 for her take her total prizemoney to over $12 million. Hartnell is the horse most fancied to cause an upset at $11 and she’s been beating up on him for the past 12 months. She’s not a betting commodity at that price, but it’s a privilege to see her go around.
WATCH: Randwick and Caulfield Preview – The Championships Day Two
The Sydney Cup is a really interesting race. We’ve got a $2.60 favourite, Big Duke, who is in great form, but we’ve also got a couple of international raiders, in Penglai Pavilion and Polarisation. I’m happy to go with the internationals here. Penglai Pavilion is around $8.50, has strong form in Europe and looks a good each way play.
I like Nurse Kitchen in the Australian Oaks. We were on her a couple of weeks back at a big price when she just got beaten and this race looks right up her alley at odds of $5.50.
In the Queen of the Turf, this could be Zanbagh’s race. She bounced back to winning form last time and will be suited by the track conditions. She’s not won at G1 level or at Randwick, but that’s doesn’t worry me. She’s at around the $13 mark.
Here’s our Race by Race preview Caulfield on Saturday
Race 1 Wellington Racing Club Hcp – 1200m
1st: 5. Shamar ($6.50)
2nd: 1. Plutocracy ($3.30)
3rd: 7. Purrhaps ($26)
4th: 6. Banish ($2.70)
Summary: Always tough to compare the form in these two-year-old races but was taken with Shamar‘s first-up win at Kyneton. She looks progressive and can measure up here. Plutocracy was a big winner in Adelaide last start, and the Hayes team have had 28 separate two-year-old winners this season at a winning percentage of 26. Purrhaps is big odds but you can ignore her last start when she was posted wide and go two back when she was runner-up at the Valley. Gets back to her home track here. Banish comes into this fresh but won a recent trial, hence the price.
Race 2 Hyderabad Racing Club Hcp – 1800m
1st: 13. Rockstar Rebel ($4.20)
2nd: 3. Khutulun ($12)
3rd: 5. Use The Lot ($13)
4th: 2. Overberg ($5.50)
Summary: Another even race, with Weir’s Rockstar Rebel seemingly ready to win third-up after two good runs this campaign. Looks well placed with just 52.5 kg after the claim and he should be right in the finish. Khutulun has taken his time to find form this campaign but does have a strong record at Caulfield, with a win and five placings from seven starts. Has an in-form jockey aboard as well. Use The Lot comes back in distance but is a three-time winner at Caulfield and twice a winner at 1800m. Again, is nice odds. Overberg was a good winnrr two back and can measure up here.
Race 3 Buyaracehorse.com.au Hcp – 1600m
1st: 3. Sword of Light ($5)
2nd: 4. Fragonard ($9)
3rd: 6. Toffee Nose ($3.40)
4th: 2. Sebring Dream ($10)
Summary: A wide open three-year-old fillies race with four of these coming off a recent race at Moonee Valley. Sword of Light wasn’t in that race, instead running a good race behind an emerging horse in the Bendigo Guineas. Has been on the verge of a win for some time and this could be her day. Fragonard has no luck at the Valley and can improve into this race on her run in the Kewney
Stakes two back. Toffee Nose is a little short for mine given her relative lack of experience, but she is well up to winning this. Sebring Dream is getting up to her preferred winning distance range.
Race 4 Galilee Series Final – 2400m
1st: 4. Fontein Lad ($3.30)
2nd: 11. Miss Strathallan ($4)
3rd: 2. Parthesia ($26)
4th: 1. Wine Bush ($4.40)
Summary: Most of these step up the 2400m for the first time, so there’s a few queries over this race. Fontein Lad goes in on top based on his run at Ballarat, where he was trapped wide and was very good in defeat. Miss Strathallan comes back from a couple of Group Two runs and looks like she’ll handle the step up in trip. Parthesia won the Tassie Oaks three starts back and while her subsequent form hasn’t been great, an improved performance her at good odds wouldn’t surprise. Wine Bush comes down form Sydney and drops in class and will be competitive.
Race 5 Sandown Park (UK) Hcp – 1000m
1st: 1. Thermal Current ($4.80)
2nd: 3. Demonstrate ($5)
3rd: 9. Crystal Dreamer ($4.40)
4th: 8. Bullpit ($14)
Summary: Good quality sprint with Thermal Current clearly on top for mine on his good win in similar company two starts back at this track. Has had a bit of a freshen up and has two wins and five placings from eight 1000m starts. You’d expect Demonstrate to improve significantly in his first-up run, although staying at the 1000m is interesting. He has more upside than most of these. Crystal Dreamer will enjoy a bit more space around Caulfield as compared to the Valley last time and has won at this track as well as twice over the five furlongs. Bullpit will set the speed and can hold on for a place.
Race 6 Selangor Turf Club Hcp – 1200m
1st: 2. Ken’s Dream ($4.60)
2nd: 1. Hear The Chant ($15)
3rd: 9. Verstappen ($10)
4th: 8. Wazzenme ($21)
Summary: Some handy three year olds going around here. Ken’s Dream was upset by the stablemate Artie Dee Two last time out but that horse doesn’t run here, making it a very winnable race. Hear the Chant seems generous odds despite having to carry a big weight against the colts after her win at Flemington last time. Verstappen chased home well at Flemington last time and can figure in this. Wazzenme back to 1200m intruiges, but J Saldere is no dill and he will be finishing hard late as usual.
Race 7 Frank O’Brien Hcp – 1800m
1st: 4. French Emotion ($2.60)
2nd: 1. Leebaz ($12)
3rd: 2. Great Esteem ($6)
4th: 3. Hazzabeel ($10)
Summary: Even sort of 1800m race, and like French Emotion here dropping a long way back in class. She has won or placed in 12 of her 13 starts below Group class and should prove too classy for these. Good placement by Waller here. Leebaz could surprise back on a firm track, having won two from two over 1800m and having won at Caulfield before. Great Esteem will lead them up and will prove hard to get past as usual, while Hazzabeel can figure in the finish third=up after an indifferent run last time.
Race 8 JRA Handicap – 2400m
1st: 8. Hans Holbein ($2.30)
2nd: 1. Boom Time ($4.60)
3rd: 2. Dark Eyes ($12)
4th: 7. Lucques ($13)
Summary: Couldn’t have been more impressed by Hans Holbein last week and think the only thing that can beat him here is a lack of pace in the race. Boom Time was solid in the Mornington Cup and that should ensure he is the main threat. Can forgive Dark Eyes’ flop in the same race. Some horses don’t like Mornington and he was the Canberra Cup two starts back. Lucques improved last time and shouldnt be too far away from an inside alley.
Race 9 Mick Dillon Constructions Hcp
1st: 1. Tuscan Sling ($15)
2nd: 7. Lake Como ($4.60)
3rd: 4. Highly Geared ($7)
4th: 16. Carterista ($130
Summary: Even race, but going for the class here in the top weight Tuscan Sling. At her best, she’d eat these for breakfast and think she will appreciate the insider barrier. She’s juicy odds. Lake Como was super impressive winning last time, just not sure she’s as well suited around Caulfield as down the Flemington straight. Highly Geared comes south and off a good first-up 1000m win and can measure up to these. Carterista comes off a maiden win but looks to be a mare who can win plenty more races.
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