Caulfield // 23rd April

Caulfield sets the stage again this Saturday for Melbourne Racing. With the Sydney Autumn Carnival now finished the spotlight returns to Victorian Racing. The track is currently rated at a Good 3. Showers are forecasted for Thursday which might mean we race on a Good 4 by Saturday.

The headline races for Saturday at Caulfield is the $120,000 Bel Esprit Stakes (Race 8) and the $90,000 Group Plate (Race 9). Some talented horses are resuming in the Bel Esprit preparing the long road ahead for the Spring Carnival, should be a cracking race. A race by race analysis including one for exotics, best bets of the card and quadrella selections are provided below.

Race 1 2YO Fillies Handicap

Cant have a confident bet here.
Decoco looked smart on debut, can go on with it. Giroux has been freshened after being well beaten by Highland Beat who won today at Sandown; drawn 15. Merriest, Modern Warrior, Phoenix Rising and Special Diva are all bred well.

One for exotics: Modern Warrior ($14)

Race prediction: 3-11-8-1. Plenty of scratchings. pass

Race 2 Fillies and Mares Benchmark 78 1000m

Pilly’s Wish has a good fresh record and never runs a bad race. Looks well placed after the claim in this grade and will be storming home. Grey Street has some good form around the likes of Jalan Jalan, Petits Filous and Stellar Collision. Finished well last start and the drop back in distance is the only query; should be very hard to beat. Hotel Sierra looks ready to win after finishing hard at her previous two outings. Looks a good chance to run a place at $3.80. Bella Capri resumed in a weak race at Pakenham and just missed. She has a good record second up but might find this a bit tough. If Hotel Sierra can run well that ties in Solar Duchess.

One for exotics: Hotel Sierra ($12)

Race prediction: 1-6-3-8

Race 3 Benchmark 78 1800m

Raw Impulse ran a cracker of a race first up beating subsequent winner Into The Mist. It was his first run in Australia and if he’s progressed at all he will be winning this one too. Houdini the Great drops back from a stronger race where he just missed after finishing hard at this distance. Should go well again. Tips and Beers hasn’t quite found his form from last preparation but he does seem to like it at caulfield so look for an improved showing. Bantry Bay looks a true stayer and is the pick of the Hickmott pair for mine. Watch the betting on him and also Morning Mix for their first runs in Australia.

One for exotics: Houdini the Great ($13)

Race prediction: 5-10-9-12

Race 4 Benchmark 84 1440m

King’s Dance can run a nice race fresh at $10. Last preparation he was run over late but beat home Tonopah and has the relative weights advantage as well. Running Bull’s best is certainly good enough. His last start effort suggests he may be ready to return to the winners circle. Goes well at 1400. Harbour Grey drops a whopping 6.5kg on his last start second at odds on. Should prove hard to beat here. Armada finished powerfully last start to just miss and looks as though he’ll relish the 1440 here (4 starts at the distance for 0 placings though). He might want it wet. Watch the betting on Time to Test from Adelaide first up.

One for exotics: Running Bull ($17)

Race prediction: 7-2-10-1

Race 5 Fillies and Mares Benchmark 84 1440m

She’s Miss Devine was eased up on the line at her first run in Victoria and the form from the race has been good. Up 5.5kg the concern. Mefnooda was impressive resuming and dead heated (stiff not to win) in a high quality race. Her third to La Passe last prep reads well for this and seems the logical danger. Telopea was no match for the top pick last start. She gets a 3 kilo swing for a 2 length defeat but was losing ground over the latter stages of the race. Undefeated at the distance. It’s One was promising first up. has a good record second up and can sneak into the placings.

One for exotics: Its One ($26)

Race prediction: 1-9-6-5

Race 6 3YO Fillies Benchmark 70 1440m

Deja Blue will be hard to beat here after Ben Thompson’s claim. She raced very greenly in the straight last time but the step up in distance looks ideal and think she can turn the tables on the talented undefeated Lyuba. Take nothing away from Lyuba as she showed plenty of fight in her most recent win. The one issue i have with the formline above is it is Wednesday grade. If Magna Rossa shows her form from January she can take this out. She was 4 wide without cover last time in a stronger race than this and ran on okay. Backstreet Lover can run a big race fresh and must be kept safe after trialling well. Air Apparent’s best is good enough; she hasn’t shown it this prep. Watch the betting on Francais from Sydney.

One for exotics: Magna Rossa ($14)

Race prediction: 4-1-5-3

Quaddie numbers: 1, 3, 4, 5, 11

Race 7 3YO Benchmark 78 1100m

I think Prussian Vixen is terrific value here at $19. She’s in career best form and the drop back in distance looks ideal after leading, kicking in the straight and just holding on last start. The start prior she was close up to French Emotion who has two close seconds since (should be two wins). Second out of that race is Stoker who probably wants further and is $5. I know who my money will be on out of those two. Invincible Heart can run a race fresh from the good barrier. Whether she tries to lead or goes back I’m not quite sure, hopefully settles forward. Our Vidia could be good value at $21; like the Jalan Jalan form out of that race. Fleur Fatale might be one to watch first up off a lengthy spell. Will be risking from the wide barrier.

One for exotics: Prussian Vixen ($19)

Race prediction: 2-4-3-8

Quaddie numbers: 2, 3, 4, 8

Race 8 Bel Esprit Stakes 1100m

Sheidel was given no hope after her tardy start last time, it was on-pace dominated and she finished hard; won’t be taking short odds in this field but she can win. Pittsburgh Flyer loves the track despite her deceiving record. Flopped in the Galaxy but if she runs up to her Oakleigh Plate effort prior she can take this one out. That’s A Good Idea was only 1 length off Terravista at his most recent first up effort. Loves the short trip; keep safe. Mirage is one that can bounce back at big odds. Under the Louvre has a good record fresh but raced a bit flat first up last prep. He’ll be storming home and might find 1100 a touch short. Also conceding chances to Husson Eagle, Girl Guide and We’ve Got This.

One for exotics: Mirage ($21)

Race prediction: 9-4-2-8

Quaddie numbers: 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16

Race 9 Group Plate Open Handicap 2000m

Kareeming had a tough run last start and was run over late by a handy one. Drawn well, he should get a nice run on the pace. A repeat of his last performance and should be very hard to get past in the straight. Good Value put in an improved run last time after being specked at odds. The drop in class helps and he was less than two lengths off Guardini who romped in last week at Randwick. Real Love has had two tries at Caulfield (at Group Level) and finished a long way off them. This is clearly easier but 5 weeks between runs and the sharp drop in distance is a query. Weir will have her firing but she might just need this run. Golden Mane will be flying home late but i prefer Kareeming out of their most recent outing. Digitalism is one who can mix his form. Very strong at the distance and Mornington Cup winner Berisha finished behind him at his previous start. Likes it wet.

One for exotics: Good Value ($13)

Race prediction: 12-9-1-14

Quaddie numbers: 9, 12, 14

Best Bets of the Card

Race 2: Pilly’s Wish E.W@7:2.50

Race 3: Raw Impulse W@2.20

Race 5: She’s Miss Devine W@2.70 High confidence on the second pick after the scratching. Mefnooda W@3.40

Race 7: Prussian Vixen E.W@19:5.50

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