MONDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2016
Racing at CAULFIELD with the penetrometer TBC, but with hot weather in Melbourne (cooler but still 31 forecast Monday), currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.
RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). Racing at Caulfield for the first time in a while with the rail in the TRUE position. Hoping for an even track, pace dependant, however given the recent hot weather expecting no major disadvantage closer to pace/fence. But, as always, be sure to keep a close eye on the track and how it’s playing in the early races for best guide.
Race 1: We start with a benchmark 78 over 1200m and an open start despite the small numbers expected given a couple of these (INVINCIBLE AL, RIDGEWAY) ran Saturday. Slight lean OAK DOOR @ $4+ (most operators) at an each way price after being scratched from Saturday for this arguably slightly easier affair, definitely less competition if nothing else. Main dangers EMPTOR down from Sydney and ALTER CALL who looks well placed, but also looks rock bottom odds. Note, expecting no third dividend, given anticipated scratchings which have been confirmed race day.
SUGGEST: OAK DOOR (EACH WAY) @ $4+, FIRST FOUR (2, 7 / F / 5 / F) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 2: Next is another benchmark 78, this time over 1800m and another small, yes very even field. There doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace on paper and for this reason, leaning towards BALLYBRIT @ $6.50+ (most operators) who we didn’t mind Saturday before being scratched for this event instead. Also, want something on *TEMPS VOLEUR* @ $34+ (SPORTSBET, LUXBET, CENTREBET). Found form before last start flop, however has been freshened since. In this on the back of form two back and prior. Given the price, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main danger BIG DUKE.
SUGGEST: BALLYBRIT (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, *TEMPS VOLEUR* (EACH WAY) @ $34+, FIRST FOUR (roving 2, 7, 8 / F), (8 / 2, 7 / F / 2, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 3: Now for a benchmark 70 for the three and four year olds to be run over the mile (1600m). PLEN CIEL looks the obvious one to beat but not overly enthused by the very skinny $1.70+. Prefer to play in multies, one out early quaddie leg or similar to reduce risk assocated with large standalone investment. Instead think much better value lies with ROYAL APPLAUSE @ $9+ with most operators. Main dangers PLEN CIEL and MOVIE. Note, no third dividend.
SUGGEST: ROYAL APPLAUSE (EACH WAY) @ $9+, FIRST FOUR (3, 5 / F / 8 / F) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 4: Next is a benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares to be run over 1100m and as they say in the classics ‘weight can stop a train’ and the question is whether this will be the case in terms of stopping the white-hot LYUBA who simply keeps winning. Going with the better weighted **VERY CHOOSY** at the better $4.40+ (LUXBET, BET365) who has just missed behind the fave in recent times, but does meet 2.5kg better for a short 0.3L defeat. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers LYUBA and TYKIATO.
SUGGEST: **VERY CHOOSY** (EACH WAY) @ $4.40+, FIRST FOUR (1, 4 / 8 / F / F), (1, 4 / F / F / 8) (CONFIDENCE 40%)
Race 5: Another benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares, this time over the longer 1400m. Pace/tactics key will not a great deal of pace on paper, and the favourite LADY SELKIRK drawn wide in 10. Tricky race as a result, and hoping **VITAL IMPORTANCE** can be ridden confidently from the good gate (4) and give them all something to catch with the big weight. Happy to play with $4.40+ on offer with LUXBET and happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main danger LADY SELKIRK who just needs some luck from the gate, ahead of VIOLENT SNOW.
SUGGEST: **VITAL IMPORTANCE** (EACH WAY) @ $4.40+, FIRST FOUR (2, 5 / 1 / F / F), (2, 5 / F / F / 1) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 6: Next is the first of the features, starting with the Listed Christmas Stakes over 1200m. Pace/tactics and how track is playing set to be key again, with several runners here normally suited over longer trips, so on face value, we may get a moderate tempo once again. Slight lean MURT THE FLIRT @ $7.50+ (LUXBET) ahead of *I’M ABLAZE* at a very juicy $41+ with BET365 and CENTREBET. Given the price, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Very deep and open race, which might well be a wide quaddie leg with many legitimate winning chances.
SUGGEST: MURT THE FLIRT (EACH WAY) @ $7.50+, *I’M ABLAZE* (EACH WAY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (F / 9, 12 / F / 9, 12) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 7: Now for the second of the features, the Listed Lord Stakes over 1700m. Can’t go pasty KENJORWOOD now that he’s back to his winning ways. Happy to play on a WIN only primary basis at $2.75+ (BET365), however also want a saving play on stablemate MASTER OF ARTS @ $7+ with SPORTSBET. This still probably short of best distance, but was super first up over even less suitable 1400m, which makes me think, may be ready to do some damage even before getting to pet trips of 2000m+. Happy to simply play around the two, main danger HELL OR HIGHWATER.
SUGGEST: KENJORWOOD (WIN - PRIMARY) @ $2.75+, MASTER OF ARTS (WIN / EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $7+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 2, 7 / F) (CONFIDENCE 50%)
Race 8: And we finish with a benchmark 84 over 1400m. Good finish with a decent field assembled, but not an easy finish, with many legitimate winning chances. Pace/tactics and how track is playing key with some decent pace on paper here. In this instance, hoping those further back do get their chance as I’m looking to HARD CALL to finish over the top at $8+ with SPORTSBET and CENTREBET. Has had legitimate excuses past two when we have been on, so is due for a change of luck/fortune. Flew late against the pattern first up in a massive run, then stupidly went back to the inferior inside last time. Additionally, want something on OREGON SPIRIT at a massive $71+ with CENTREBET, first up for Williams after coming across from Peter Moody. Been a while, and I dare say has had issues, but capable fresh and has been saved for this in recent times. Hopefully as a result of waiting for the best fit to fire first up. Time will tell. Long list of dangers, those at better prices include THE NEW BOY, SPREADEAGLED, STAR FORTUNE and BRADMAN. Deep race.
SUGGEST: HARD CALL (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $8+, OREGON SPIRIT (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $71+, FIRST FOUR (2, 4, 6, 8 / 9 / F / 1), (2, 4, 6, 8 / F / 9 / 1) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Average odds $16.63+ per suggested runner!
** BEST VALUE **: VERY CHOOSY @ $4.40+, VITAL IMPORTANCE @ $4.40+
*BEST LONGSHOTS*: TEMPS VOLEUR @ $34+, I’M ABLAZE @ $41+