14 October 2017 (Group 1 racing at Caulfield)






Racing at CAULFIELD with rain falling Wednesday night, but relatively clear in the lead up to Saturday, so currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to CAULFIELD for the start of their big fortnight of the year with the rail back in the TRUE position. You’d expect an even track where all runners get their chance (pace dependant), but as always, be sure to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the Listed Inglis Debutante Stakes for the two year olds over 1000m. Plenty of guesswork as usual with a full complement of debutantes, however at least we have trial form to work with. Happy to have a two pronged play here at a couple who have trialled best to my eye in the form of GRAND CHALLENGE at $9.50+ (LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU, BETSTAR, CENTREBET) and SACRED SWORD at $6.50+ with the exact same set of bookmakers. Simply based on trial form, and always handy for them to come from top, in form stables. Both also drawn well. Happy to play around the two to start a massive day of racing.



Race 2: Next is the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes for the three year old fillies over 1200m. Wide open affair and actually looking to play three at double figure odds. Pace/tactics set to be key with not a great deal of pace on paper and as a result think DIVINE MESSENGER should be able to cross from a sticky gate relatively unscathed and if so, could be hard to catch at $10+ with BET365. Then like the Hayes/Dabernig duo of LUQYAA at $15+ (SPORTSBET, BET365) and WANTED DIVA at $26+ (most operators) who were both better than it may have seemed on paper last time, both coming from impossible positions to hit the line late once their respective races were all over. I obviously walked the track at MV on Sept 29 and as I called prior to the meet, there was far superior ground on the fence before the straight and as a result any runner who was off the fence for the duration had to do much more work than those on the fence, as was the case with WANTED DIVA. You’ll fine all winners on the night were on the fence during the run (some peeled out in the straight which was even, again as advised) with the sole exception of She Will Reign…incredible, outstanding run/win! 

SUGGEST: DIVINE MESSENGER (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, LUQYAA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $15+, WANTED DIVA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (roving 5, 8, 15 / F), (F / 5, 8, 15 / F / 5, 8, 15) (CONFIDENCE 25%)


Race 3: Next is the Group 3 Cape Grim Beef Steaks for the mares over 1200m. Wouldn’t want her any shorter, but LEGLESS VEUVE at $3.40+ (CROWNBET, BET365) comes out on top no matter how you try and slice and dice this, after sprouting wings late last time. Just needs enough tempo up front and to be close enough at the top of the straight to be hard to beat here. Secondary play PRINCESS OF QUEENS at a tidy $12+ (SPORTSBET, CENTREBET). The concern is the drop back to 1200m, but if they do go slow (as is a fair chance on paper) can pinch a race winning break and hold them off late with fitness on her side. Main dangers DESERT LASHES, MISS GUNPOWDER, COOL PASSION and PEDRENA.      



Race 4: Next is the Group 2 Herbert Power run over the mile and a half (2400m). Was hard to miss **GALLIC CHIEFTAIN** last time, weaving through the field late, admittedly when it was all over, but the race was on pace dominated and this guy was a distant last on the bend and seemingly struggling but then got going late for a galloper screaming for this trip (possibly longer) and looks to peak third up in preparations as is the case here. Keen on an each way basis at $6.50+ with CENTREBET. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers FOUNDRY, ALOFT, KIDMENEVER and WALL OF FIRE.

SUGGEST: **GALLIC CHIEFTAIN** (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 3, 5, 7 / F / 1, 3, 5, 7 / 8) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 5: Next is the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes over 1400m. Pace/tactics set to be key here as **RELIGIFY** looks set to get a potentially soft run up front and if left alone to dictate will be very hard to catch first up here at $5+ with BET365. Ultra-consistent galloper, has always had serious potential and now I think has the confidence to perform in this grade after 3 wins from 4 starts last prep. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, a secondary play on yes, at the risk of ridicule, proven non-winner DIBAYANI at $31+ with BET365. Simply over the odds, win strike rate aside and thankfully I don’t recall ever actually backing the 8YO gelding, hence not as if we have been burnt many times before like many others. Maybe that’s the problem? J Anyways, at the price happy to dabble each way. Main dangers ATTENTION, DUKE OF BRUNSWICK, OREGON’S DAY and FASTNET TEMPEST.

SUGGEST: **RELIGIFY** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $5+, DIBAYANI (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (5, 8, 9, 10 / 2, 3 / F / 2, 3) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 6: Last leg of the early quaddie is the first of four consecutive Group 1 events, starting with the Thousand Guineas for the three year old fillies over the mile (1600m). I’ve been a big fan of SHOALS since day 1, and she has been good to me and dungeon followers on several occasions, and hoping we can add another occasion right here at a respectable $4.40+ with most operators. Main danger most definitely ALIZEE, ahead of BOOKER (the trip the query but pace looks moderate enough to be a legitimate winning chance) and think they might have a clear class gap on the rest.

SUGGEST: SHOALS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.40+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3 / F / F / 1) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: The next of the Group 1s is the Ladbrokes Stakes over 2000m. Good race, and not easy with some unknowns with several Australian debutantes from overseas. Be sure to monitor markets closely. The obvious two are HARTNELL and BONOVARE and they will be dominating this market and on face value are hard to split at approx. $3.20 and $2.90 respectively with most operators. Lean towards HARTNELL at the slightly better price and importantly better gate, however not enough to make a standalone selection here. Instead, am leaning (somewhat reluctantly, this is tough taking on not one, but two genuine A-graders) to playing GAILO CHOP and JON SNOW both around $10+ with most operators. Both were super last time, are proven in top grade (at their best) and look well suited this track and distance. Enough for me to play, with the main dangers very obvious in HARTNELL and BONVARE. 

SUGGEST: GAILO CHOP (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, JON SNOW (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $9.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 11 / F / 1, 11 / 2, 6) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 8: The third of the Group 1s is the feature, in the form of the Caulfield Guineas, for the three year olds over the mile (1600m). And I’m with the filly here in the form of CATCHY at $4.80+ with BET365 and CROWNBET. Cracking race and plenty of chances, but have liked this filly since day 1 and don’t see a reason to jump off despite her taking on the boys here. 2kg relief, in form, looks to be ready for the mile and Mark Zahra jumps aboard. Then, want a secondary play on *HOLY SNOW* at a juicy $34+ with CENTREBET. Up in grade but made up serious ground at Moonee Valley last time and with good pace up front here, can offset the barrier by getting back with cover and coming around them late. Chances increase if they are making ground from the rear. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers ROYAL SYMPHONY, KEMENTARI and GOLD STANDARD.

SUGGEST: CATCHY (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.80, *HOLY SNOW* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $34+, FIRST FOUR (6, 7, 11 / 15, 16 / F / 15, 16), (F / 6, 7, 11 / 6, 7, 11 / 15, 16) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 9: The fourth and last of the Group 1s for the day, is the Toorak Handicap to be run over the mile (1600m). Always a very hard race when you get a Group 1 mile in the Spring and no change here. As a result, I’ll play a few here at juicy double figure prices as luck in running sure to play a part, hence not so keen on a big standalone play with all eggs in one basket. Think Waller has the strongest hand here, hwoever am starting with his two runners at the longest odds in the form of COMIN’ THROUGH at $12+ (CENTREBET) and OMEI SWORD at $14+ (CENTREBET), ahead of longshot for Hayes/Dabernig in old mate JACQUINOT BAY @ $61+ (CENTREBET) who doesn’t know how to run a bad race. COMIN’ THROUGH I’ve rated since early on, and kick started a brilliant Derby Day for us last year (10 of 18 winners across Flemington / Randwick). Should’ve finished much closer last time and with more luck here can definitely improve. OMEI SWORD is more than capable and last start makes me think might have returned to best. While JACQUINOT BAY is an honest as the day is long and simply doesn’t know his age. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers EGG TART, TOM MELBOURNE, SOVEREIGN NATION and SNITZSON. But, believe it or not, race doesn’t end there, very deep race.


SUGGEST: COMIN’ THROUGH (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $12+, OMEI SWORD (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $14+, *JACQUINOT BAY* (EACH WAY) @ $61+, FIRST FOUR (4, 9, 12, 14 / 8, 11, 17 / F / 8, 11, 17) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


RACE 10: We finish a simply cracking day of racing, with the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes over 1100m. Very good race, with a plethora of legitimate winning chances. I really rate those coming across from WA and am going to run with two here in the form of FIRST AMONG EQUALS at $8+ (BET365, CENTREBET), slightly ahead of ROCK MAGIC also at $8+ with CENTREBET. FIRST AMONG EQUALS is one that Dungeon followers from a while back may recall, we were super keen in a big Group 1 in WA at a huge price, only to see this guy fly from the rear, sprouting wings to run a luckless 4th beaten not far at all. Hopefully on this occasion some of that heart ache is reversed with a win at a nice price here. Happy to go each way, and a definite save at the least on ROCK MAGIC who was very good in hot race last time. Main dangers another couple who have been good to us in SUPER CASH and ILLUSTRIOUS LAD, as well as HELLBENT. Once again, race doesn’t end there, plenty of legitimate chances.

SUGGEST: FIRST AMONG EQUALS (EACH WAY) @ $8+, ROCK MAGIC (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8+, FIRST FOUR (5, 6, 11 / 2, 4 / F / 2, 4) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds $14.53+ per suggested runner!