Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for CF Orr Stakes Day at Caulfield on Saturday, February 10th.
We have a nine-race card on a Good 4 track with the rail in the True position. The card is of course headlined by the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (Race 8) but there’s also major interest in the two Blue Diamond Preludes, as well as a host of other black-type races.
We have betting tips and comments for every race on the card below. If you haven’t already, take a listen to Episode 21 of the Before You Bet Podcast and see which races at Caulfield and Warwick Farm Tim is keenest to bet into! Alternatively, you can find out Warwick Farm Racing Tips here.
Best Bet: Race 4 Gailo Chop $2.20
Best Value: Race 2 Pure Elation $7.50
Pretty keen on (7) Downhearted to start the day off here. The race looks particularly devoid of speed, unless Downhearted and (8) The Mighty Jrod take each other on up front. I don’t think that will happen though; I think Downhearted will go to the lead with just 51kg on its back and from there he could be hard to run down. (2) Gallic Chieftain looks under the odds for mine, but you never really know with Weir. His first up record isn’t terribly good and he’s never won below 2000m. I could make a genuine case for (1) Goldstream, (3) Self Sense and (6) Adirondack, who are all big odds but will come on greatly from their last starts. (4) Plot The Course and (5) Khutulun finished alongside each other last start and meet each other at identical weights today. (7) Downhearted a clear top pick AT $3.75 and it’s very open behind him for the place-fillers.
TIP: (7) Downhearted
Fillies division of the Blue Diamond Prelude. Hard to pick the winner as there’s three debutantes and a further seven having just their second starts. If (2) Oohood can jump cleanly and sit closer in the run, she’ll be hard to hold out. There’s little doubt she should have won last start when held up until the 100m mark. Much better drawn today in barrier 6 so can sit midfield if she jumps well, and with clear running she looks the one that can storm over the top of them. I was with (9) Pure Elation on debut when she was a rock-solid $2.70 favourite, and she burst clear at the 200m but fell in a hole at the 100m. She raced pretty keenly throughout so I think she’ll take plenty of benefit from that run, and if she’s as good as they were talking her up to be before that debut run then she could bounce back here. Not dropping off her just yet, so I’m keen to follow my money and back her again at better odds today of $7.50. That’s a super price. The Lindsay Park trio of (3) Enbihaar, (5) Angel and (8) Downloads all look talented and you always have to be wary of this stable in these races. Let’s not forget the stable had five of the first seven across the line in last year’s Blue Diamond! Interestingly, Mark Zahra jumps off Downloads to keep the ride on Angel, with Kerrin McEvoy taking over. Wouldn’t rule out any of those. I also wouldn’t rule out (4) Al Naifa who is the stablemate of Oohood and hasn’t done much wrong in two starts.
TIP: (2) Oohood / (9) Pure Elation EW
The boys version of the Blue Diamond Prelude and I struggled to separate a few of these. Sticking with (2) Ollivander who I’ve backed in both starts so far, and he was unlucky not to remain undefeated last time out behind one of the leading Diamond contenders in Long Leaf. He really hit the line hard after settling last and the step back up to 1100m here will suit. He’s had the benefit of winning over this track and distance and from barrier 2 they’ll hopefully be much closer in the run. He’ll just need a bit of luck but the tempo looks good and that will suit. Taking $4.80. The value in the race looks to be (3) Written By who won his only start back in December when beating Sanctimonious, who then came out and won impressively first up. This colt couldn’t have been more impressive in his jumpout leading into this. He led throughout on that occasion but I doubt they’ll lead here. If he can find some cover, I expect him to run a big race. I’m absolutely terrified of (5) Native Soldier for Weir. We backed him when he won dominantly at the Valley last time out and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him do it again here. (8) High Ratio is a horse that looks to have very good ability; he’s another that I’m wary of. (1) Run Naan will improve from its first up run. Choosing to take on the Godolphin horse (6) Plague Stone who trialled the house down but he was beaten on debut when a very short-priced favourite, and the form out of that race hasn’t been very strong. (9) Ben Hercules the blowout.
TIP: (2) Ollivander / (3) Written By EW
Looks a really nice race for (1) Gailo Chop, who is a Group 1 winner tackling a Group 3 race first up here. His first up record is good, with five top-three finishes from seven starts, and his record over 1600m is also very good. He should jump straight to the front from barrier 4 and be incredibly hard to run down. (2) Lord Fandango is a horse to follow this preparation, but might find the 1600m first up a bit sharp. (3) Wyndspell ran a good race first up and did place over this distance in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes last preparation, but he’s only won two of his 21 starts. (4) Harlem has only placed once from four starts first up from a spell and has never won below 2000m, so first up over 1600m looks unsuitable. (5) Seaburge is the type of horse that could completely turn his form around and pop up in a race like this. He ran the best final 400m of the race first up, but he’s not gone close to winning in a long time. (6) Petrology has only placed once from six starts when second up from a spell, while (7) Master Reset has had 10 starts at the track for one placing! So with all that in mind, (1) Gailo Chop looks near a complete moral?
TIP: (1) Gailo Chop
I’d be surprised if anything outside the top three won this. I’ve got (2) Tulip on top. She’s always been very talented but she looks in super form leading into this. She scorched along in a recent Flemington jump out, winning easily and recording the fastest time of the 12 heats on the day. She was the only horse to break 46 seconds for the 800m. Good first up record, great barrier, gun jockey. Happy to have a good each way crack at the $4.50/$1.73, and I’d strongly suggest making use of the multiple promos around offering money back for 2nd and 3rd! (1) Shoals was a Group 1 winner over 1600m last preparation but she’s undefeated at this distance from three starts, and she’s also undefeated first up from a spell. Draws well and looks hard to beat. (3) Booker ran 2nd to the Coolmoore Stud Stakes winner Merchant Navy first up last preparation, and form lines don’t come much stronger than that for a race like this. They’ve elected to stick to sprint distances with her this prep after failing over a mile last prep, and she in fact beat Shoals by a narrow margin last preparation. No surprise to see her win this. (4) Leather’n’lace the best roughie.
TIP: (2) Tulip
Three main chances here for mine. (6) Merchant Navy already has enormous value to his name after winning the Group 1 Coolmoore Stud Stakes in the Spring, and I doubt they’d be sending him around to race if he wasn’t a huge winning chance. He’s won five of his six starts, with his only failure coming in the Golden Rose over 1400m in Sydney. I’d say the early betting drift ($2.80-$3.80) is some cause for concern, but he looks the horse to beat. (8) Ardrossan looks a very bright prospect, having his first run in Australia after winning both his starts in New Zealand by more than three lengths. Both were on soft ground, so he has to prove himself on firm ground here, but I think he could be a serious colt, and I absolutely won’t be losing on him here. Backing him at $4.80. (2) Super Cash has won four of her five starts when first up from a spell and is undefeated from three starts at the track and distance, so shouldn’t be underestimated here. (5) Cannyescent the best roughie, and (1) Rich Charm isn’t suited here but should be followed into the Autumn. Backing both (6) Merchant Navy and (8) Ardrossan.
TIP: (6) Merchant Navy / (8) Ardrossan
Very good but very tough race. I’m having a throw at the stumps here with (14) Illumicon at $15. This horse has had a big spruik on him for a while now and started $3.60 first up at Moonee Valley, but really struggled to get around the bend and was pretty poor in the end. I think he’ll be much better suited here at Caulfield with barrier 1, and if he’s as good as Tony McEvoy keeps saying he is, he should be able to measure up in a race like this where the big boys are first up from a spell. That’s the key to this race – how forward are the others? (1) Levendi won the Carbine Club Stakes over 1600m at Flemington last time we saw him, and his ultimate goal is the Australian Guineas in three weeks. Out of them all, he’s probably the one I expect to be most forward, but he maps fairly poorly. (2) Villermont was an impressive winner of the Sandown Guineas last preparation, and the horse he beat – Peaceful State – came out and won very well first up at Sandown on Wednesday. Villermont’s two wins have both been over 1600m, so I query how sharp he will be first up at 1400m with the grand final in a few weeks’ time. (7) Black Sail maps well on speed and was only beaten half-a-length by Villermont in the Sandown Guineas. I expect a big run from him. (9) Andaz should improve sharply from his first up run, while (5) Prevailing Winds is fit and firing, and his race fitness may just prove the difference. Him stepping up to 1400m is better than horses resuming over 1400m when they’re best distance is 1600m. So it’s a very tricky race and I’ll just be playing small on Illumicon.
TIP: (14) Illumicon EW
Only three I’m really interested in here. I’m breaking my golden rule of not backing Godolphin runners in Melbourne. (8) Fragonard is undefeated first up from a spell and is undefeated at this distance, so on the back of three sharp jumpouts in preparation for this, I think she’ll run a big race. She draws to get a beautiful run from barrier 3 and hopefully she can defy the curse of the blue jackets in Melbourne. (1) Silent Sedition looks the obvious danger and the deserved favourite in the race. She was a Group 1 winner this time last year and has an outstanding record at both this track and this distance. She flies fresh and draws barrier 1, so despite carrying 59kg she should be right in the finish. Interestingly, Craig Williams rode Fragonard to victory last time we saw her, and usually rides for Godolphin in Melbourne, but chooses to ride Silent Sedition here. (4) Flying Jess is the clear value in the race at $14. Her first up record isn’t pretty but she flew home first up last preparation when beaten a nose by Savanna Amour over this track and distance. A repeat of that performance would bring her right into this and it looks as though she’ll get the speed on up front to suit. That speed will also suit the in-form (6) Just Hifalutin.
TIP: (8) Fragonard / (4) Flying Jess EW
2, 4, 5, 6, 8
1, 2, 5, 7, 9, 14
1, 3, 7, 11, 14
1, 4, 6, 8
$100 = 16.66%
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