Caulfield // 16th April

The Saturday metropolitan Victorian racing meeting takes us to Caulfield for the Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day. The track is currently rated at a Good 3 and the weather forecast says it shouldn’t change; should be a good day of racing.

The headline race for Saturday at Caulfield is the $120,000 Anniversary Vase (Race 8). The VOBIS Gold Heath (Race 7), the VOBIS Gold Sprint (Race 6), the VOBIS Gold Reef (Race 5) and the VOBIS Gold Mile (Race 4) offer $250,000 prize money and have attracted some quality thoroughbreds as well. As usual, the best bets of the card, the best roughie for each of the 9 races and the quaddie selections will be provided.

Race 1 Benchmark 90 4000m

Sly Romance beat many of these a fortnight ago and his margin was extending on the line, he’ll stay all day and think the $3.10 is generous. Dane Hussler was sent to Oakbank and easily accounted for the field on that occasion, this is harder but it looks like she’ll get the distance. Jileks Spur won this race last year by 5 lengths and hasn’t fired a shot since. He’s been put over the jumps and his best racing days may be behind him but the recent hurdle trial may have sharpened him up.  I can’t see anything out of the Mornington race turning the tables on Sly Romance and there doesn’t seem to be much between Deliberate and Prospector except the odds.

Best at odds: Prospector can run well again at $17:4.20.

Race 2 2YO VOBIS Gold Ingot 1200m

Tris won her maiden last start but I’m looking back to the Bendigo run prior. No match for the winner but she should be rock hard fit 3rd up now and has a slight weight advantage. Should be in the finish. If Not Now When looks like she’ll relish the step up to 1200m. She hit the line powerfully at Cranbourne and should be very hard to hold out again. Valliano has the class and started a short favourite against most of these at Bendigo, his best wins it but the 60kgs is the worry. Summer Glen has drawn well in the big field and should be around the mark again. Big step up for Urban Ruler from maiden class but the form from that race has been strong. Update: after the scratchings Dissolute looks the obvious danger if ready first up. In for fourth.

Best at odds: Tris looks a good bet each way at $13.

Race 3 Fillies and Mares VOBIS Gold Distaff 1400m

Scarlett Billows has never placed at Caulfield but is rarely far away against superior opposition. She was right on the heels of Chautauqua third up last prep, Japonisme has franked the William Reid form and she romped in Melbourne Cup day at her last effort over 1400. French Emotion was a best bet last Saturday and is on the quick backup. She took forever to get going last start but was flying on the line. She’ll start short and will probably win but I’m prepared to take the 4.60 about the top pick. Those look the two here, but Antelucan might be able to run a race fresh. Written is the model of inconsistency and Whistle Baby is no good here, back her at Flemington.

Best at odds: none

Race 4 VOBIS Gold Mile 1600m

I do have a soft spot for Red Bomber but he does look extremely well placed here with 58 on his back. Was in the market before a betting drift last start, his best beats this field, was $5.50 when i wrote this and as I’m publishing he’s already into $3.30. Watch the betting on Sabkhat over from Sydney. He ran a solid race first up behind some talent, has a super record second up and runs well at the distance. Zebrinz was well backed in the same race as Red Bomber last start. He’s way up in the weights but might be ready to return to the winners circle here. Entre Nous is on the up but beat a pretty average field in the Wangaratta Cup last start. Winning form is good form.

Best at odds: Can’t see any roughies beating the class here.

Race 5 3YO VOBIS Gold Reef 1600m

Thought Tarquin was a chance to turn it around last start after being gelded and he saluted at double figure odds. Stormed home to beat a subsequent winner and the step up to 1600 looks ideal. Very hard to beat. Royal Rumble was no match at 1250 last start, much prefer him back to 1600 and will be finishing strong. Bengal Cat was back to her best last week and ended my quaddie in doing so. A repeat of that effort and she can win again. Average race as these three look classes above the rest.

Best at odds: El Greco might be able to run better out to 1600. His best is certainly good enough (27/6/15 0.1L second to Bengal Cat over 1400, SP of $1.65). He’s $34 and Bengal Cat is $3.40 here. $1.65 and $10 last time they met.

Race 6 VOBIS Gold Sprint 1200m

Miss Promiscuity looks good value at 8.50. She saves her best for caulfield and was very impressive last start after being well backed. Drawn wide. The Quarterback is in career best form and is clearly the one to beat. From the barrier his race style might leave him last on the rails at the home corner, a risky tactic when taking odds of $2.60. Del Prado flies fresh and could be a roughie to watch here. Unraced at the track? The young hoop Harry Coffey steered Thermal Current to perfection to salute as a best bet last start, he’ll run his consistent self but place hopes seem best here. We’ve Got This has talent and all of his wins have been at 1200, 2 months between runs and the set weights the obvious queries. Almighty Girl has some strong 3YO form, unders for mine in this field at 4.40 but she can win.

Best at odds: Del Prado might be worth a bet at $19.

Quaddie numbers: Going wide, hoping the quarterback gets stuck in some traffic.

1, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13

Race 7 VOBIS Gold Heath 2000m

This quaddie leg has field written all over it. Stack of hopes, ill cover the better ones in no particular order. Bondeiger showed glimpses of his talent last start, would like him over further. Firehouse Rock was hopeless last start, likes the track and has the weir factor. Honey Steels Gold and Ultimate Doom both go in after Maraudamiss franked the form today, big class jump and poorly weighted. Word of Mouth chased home subsequent winner Zahspeed last start, never won from 8 attempts at the track. Adirondack can give cheek dropping back to 2000, will have to work for the lead from barrier 14. London Fog ran well in adelaide but couldn’t handle this class the start prior. Winter Palace was stiff last start as my best each way, drop back in trip the query and poorly weighted. Vianden hit the line hard last start behind a good one, poorly weighted here. Rong Door Reggie is in top form and held his ground last start, sharp rise in trip?

Best at odds: All of them

Quaddie numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14

Race 8 Anniversary Vase 1400m

If Charmed Harmony had drawn a better barrier he’d be my best bet of the day. Almost held on this track and distance last start in fast time but was overhauled by a very good one right on the line. Dan Zephyr is the danger. Has been super consistent before something (I’m not sure what) went wrong two starts back. He flew home last start and a repeat of that performance and he should be winning. Precious Gem ran very well first up but can’t see him beating home Dan Zephyr here. Ticks plenty of boxes but has drawn very poorly and will be a long way back. Enquare is improving with every run; way down in the weights she might be able to sneak into the finish. Sistine Demon is hit and miss but has the talent, happy to risk him first up. Update: after the top picks scratching, inclined to put Onpicalo in the quaddie first up at a bit of odds. Drawn well for a soft lead, loves the track and has form fresh. Unknown factor.

Best at odds: Lets go for Enquare for the third time in a row. Each way at $12:3.80.

Quaddie numbers: 1, 4, 11, 10

Race 9 Benchmark 78 1100m

Another stinker of a race to finish the quaddie with half the field resuming. Sunday Escape might have needed the run first up, he started favourite on that occasion and Illustrious Lad has won impressively since. Trialled well before and after that race, if he’s right he’ll win here. Rated Ruettiger as a chance last week before he was scratched for this easier affair; runs very well first up. Shades of Bella was poor first up, needs sharp improvement but has performed at this level before. First up for the Weir stable. Tansy’s best is good enough. Coram and Niminypiminy both have first up form.

Quaddie numbers: Going for value after going so wide earlier. 8, 11.

If you want to spend more other numbers that warrant consideration are: 9, 14, 15, 17

Best Bets of the Card

Race 1: Sly Romance W@3.10

Race 3: Scarlett Billows W@4.60

Race 5: Tarquin W@4.60

Race 6: Miss Promiscuity E.W@8.50:2.60

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