Back at our favourite track this week in Caulfield for the Phil Sly Tribute Race Day. The current racetrack assessment is a Soft 5 on Wednesday. The weather is so-so up until the weekend so we may indeed be racing on a soft track. The sunny weather on Saturday could see an upgrade but as for now we’ll be writing our form guide with a bit of give in the track.
The headline races for Saturday are the Brett and Mark Wilson Sprint (Race 8) and the Tile Importer City Timber Handicap (Race 9). Roughies galore last weekend and one of our best bets going down by a nose at $7 but unfortunately no winners. Looking to bounce back and have a big day this Saturday!
Race 1 Benchmark 90 2000m
I was pretty impressed with Doctor Care’s run at Caulfield last time out. Drew wide, he did a bit of work early but got himself into a nice position 1 out 1 back. Looked to be gone in the straight but fought back for a narrow win over the classy Real Love. Looks well weighted to do it again here. Theres no doubting Raw Impulse has a stack of ability. He was a month between runs last time and won easy over what seems to be a very average field. Plenty of upside and clearly the one to beat but up in grade here and can’t see any value at the $1.30 quote. Bajour won’t be far away. He’s usually a reasonably consistent horse and finished quite well over the mile first up. Queries over his second up form but last preparation he was stiff to miss the placings over this distance. Four Carat getting out to a more suitable trip may be able to improve. Generally races a bit flat first up and has won here before. Spur On Gold surprised many last week turning around his average form for a dominant win over this distance. Not so sure he’s as well suited to Caulfield and this is a big step up in class. Might want further now.
One for exotics: Doctor Care ($11)
Race prediction: 1-5-8-6
Verdict: Each-Way on Doctor Care. Favourite hard to beat. 0.5U E.W Doctor Care (11:2.40)
Race 2 2YO Phil Sly Memorial Plate 1100m 80k
Blue Tycoon has had two starts for one solid win first up after being well backed and one second behind the highly promising Samara Dancer. The well bred Bringaroo has strong claims here first up. Started favourite on each of his 3 starts. When it all clicks he’s a seriously talented galloper. Zelamore will be up on the pace and should run a strong 1100m. The form out of his first-up effort at Bendigo has been good. Gimlet boasts a win in a high quality Vobis race on the Heavy track. Looks a good chance here. Ridgway has trialled very well and must be respected.
One for exotics: Zelamore ($21)
Race prediction: 1-2-4-7
Verdict: Learnt my lesson last week. Too many unknowns. No bets.
Race 3 4YO+ Mares Arvanitis Philanthropy Plate 1200m 80k
Danestroem is a good fresh performer and looked nice in a recent jump-out. Has a good record at the track and over 1200. Look for her to cross to lead from the wide barrier and give a kick at the top of the straight. Sea Spray is a punters nightmare but looks to have come back in good fashion this preparation. Fitter and further are big ticks and looks over the odds at $16. Elle Excite has a good fresh record and ticks plenty of boxes here. Drawn well and is another who looks over the odds at $19. Japhils runs around with 51 on her back here and was only run down late last time. Fitter now. A Lotta Love will appreciate the drop in weight here. Dead-heated with Mefnooda who was a subsequent winner here. 6 weeks between runs? Face Forward keeps on being nominated and scratched. May have issues but is very talented on her day. Nadeem Lass keeps on threatening but hasn’t won in a very long time. Would love to see her return to the winners list. Khutulun is another chance who generally runs well fresh. Still may have missed the winner!
One for exotics: Sea Spray ($16)
Race prediction: 1-10-8-5
Verdict: Raffle. Elle Excite and Sea Spray look the value at big odds. No Bets.
Race 4 3YO Fillies Benchmark 78 1400m
Pretty keen on Lyuba here. Had no easy run last start and stuck on very well to get beaten by Abbey Marie by just over a length. Drawn to get all the favours and gets some nice weight relief after the claim.
All in the Reflexs looks a good roughie hope at $21. Boasts a 1 length second behind Jacqui’s Joy and was a strong winner first up. Only missed the top 2 once in 5 runs. Francais is another live hope here coming from the same race as Lyuba. Don’t think she can turn the tables with the wide gate but she can’t be discounted for the multiples. Air Apparent wasn’t far off subsequent winner Shockaholic last start. Track form the big query but did cross the line with Silent Sedition last time she ran here at Caulfield. Gingie and Weather the Storm next best.
One for exotics:
All in the Reflexs ($21) Gingie ($18)
Race prediction: 1-
Verdict: Lyuba for the win. 1U W Lyuba (4.00)
Race 5 Benchmark 78 1400m
The former Waterhouse trained Show a Star ran very well first up. He’s a stayer so I’m not sure why they’re staying at 1400 but he has a good second up record and is drawn to lead again and should be hard to get past. Volcanic Ash has a very good record here and loves it over this distance range. Watch the betting on him first up as he’s the class of this field. Bascule loves the rain affected track this is his pet distance. Drawn perfectly and should be somewhere around the mark.
Niminypiminy finished hard last start and looks ready for the jump in trip. $18 appeals each way. Shintaro bolted in off the freshen up at Terang. Isn’t hopeless at $34. Better Land has been hitting the line hard and might be ready to win now. Any Dream Will Do has performed quite well in his two starts off the lengthy break. This is a class jump and he is a rising 8 year old but looks an okay roughie chance at $21.
One for exotics:
Race prediction: 7-1-4-
Verdict: Chances galore. Niminypiminy and Shintaro the best of the roughies at $18 and $34 respectively. No bets.
Race 6 3YO Handicap 2000m
Unbreakable looks short on paper but he won with a leg in the air last start. The 2000 is a slight query but I can’t see anything from behind him winning here. Drawn well in the big field, should be able to find some cover and be very hard to hold out. Lightning Bell gets the senior rider on today and was the best of the closers behind Unbreakable for mine. Looks suited to 2000.
Whoop Whoop was first up after a 300 day spell and bolted in on the soft track at Cranbourne. I was very impressed with his run but this is a lot tougher. Red Alto is forever running on and doesn’t know how to win. She’s Got Speed can improve but not sure about the distance here.
One for exotics: Lightning Bell ($10)
Race prediction: 1-14-
Quaddie selections: 1, 14
Verdict: Unbreakable with the superior formlines in a very average field. 1U W Unbreakable (3.20) Odds Boosted on Ladbrokes
Race 7 3YO Handicap 1200m
Another big field here for the three year olds in what looks to be a very open race. Surprised Nat’s The Boss has come up $15. He’s drawn very wide but looked a certainty beaten last start. Would like him over a bit further but with any luck in running he’s a huge chance here with 51 on his back. Ability was huge when wide last time. Drawn favourably today and looks the one to beat. Nudierudie was up on the pace and stuck on very well to win first up. Drawn wider today but if she goes to the front she might prove hard to get past.
Payroll has a second behind Miss Gunpowder and that looks more than good enough for this. Bolted in first up on debut before a straight failure. Forgive. Tan Tat Charger wasn’t far away last time. Isn’t without claims here after the good draw. Bassett has drawn better today and although he was no match for the winner last start his best is clearly good enough for this field. Divine Mr Artie was a winner for us last start at $8 but he did have all the favours and others are more appealing. Ragazzo Del Corsa isn’t hopeless at big odds.
One for exotics: Nats The Boss ($15)
Race prediction: 10-4-3-
Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 4,
5, 6, 8, 9, 10
Verdict: Despite the wide barrier i’ll be having a bet each way on Nat’s The Boss. 0.5U E.W Nats The Boss (15:4.80)
Race 8 Benchmark 90 1100m
These big fields should make for a juicy quaddie.
Although it’s $5 the field I have come up with the favourite on top here in Duke of Brunswick. The 1100 may be short of his best but he is a seriously talented gelding when it all clicks. Drawn well here today and has a great first up record. Look for him to be finishing over the top of them from hopefully a midfield position with cover. Stack of chances here and i’ll cover the better ones in numerical order. By the Grace has drawn well and loves a soft track, might want it a bit further. Smackdown flies fresh and loves the soft track; track form the query but drawn well. Lonrockstar always seems to be running on late; he wasn’t disgraced last time in an on pace dominated race when crossing the line with Sheidel. Written Up has drawn off the track; he loves a soft track and has a great fresh record. Rich Jack wasn’t disgraced with a big weight first up behind Supido; ticks plenty of boxes here. Belesron is super consistent and has drawn well. Olivier was huge here fresh and gets in with no weight. Villopoto has a great fresh record and his Fast ’n’ Rocking and The Quarterback form reads well; doesn’t like it wet. Forgiving Pilly’s Wish’s first up effort when she ran into trouble, look for a big effort second up. Rock ’n’ Gold broke through for a well deserved win last start; can go on with it here.
One for exotics: Pilly’s Wish ($15)
Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 4, 6,
7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 17
Verdict: Sitting back and watching this one. No bets.
Race 9 Open Handicap 1600m
Settling on Refulgent here. He was hard ridden last start a long way from home and responded very well to storm home and just miss. Is well suited at the mile and looks ready to peak third up.
Nevis is 5 from 6 at the mile and although he let me down last start by going way too hard up front I’m not sacking him just yet. Drawn better today, the form from his last race has been good. I rated Lord Durante a top chance last start at huge odds and he was very stiff not to get the chocolates behind a very good one in Charmed Harmony. No knock but he’s very hard to catch on the punt. Drawn ideally and further is a big plus. Excites Zelady was run down late in a high quality race in Adelaide last week. On the quick backup but he is racing in career best form. Concede chances to Longeron and Moonovermanhattan, Every Faith
One for exotics: Lord Durante ($10)
Race prediction: 11-
1, 11, 8
Verdict: Going skinny in the quaddie for value but still will be having a bet on Refulgent. 0.5U E.W Refulgent (7:2.80)