Caulfield's nine-race card on Saturday is headlined by the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes over 1200m. The $150,000 Open WFA contest is set to be contested by 11 runners, with The Cleaner the only horse to be scratched so far.
The surface is currently rated a Soft 5 and there looks a medium chance of a shower, but possibly in the evening so we may be lucky and dodge the rain. I can't see the track being downgraded so I think we should be around the Good 4 - Soft 5 range.
There looks to be a fairly hot speed in the race with the likes of Lord Of The Sky, Mahuta, Tudor and Charmed Harmony involved, so this one may be set up for the swoopers.
Let's go through the runners:
SMOKIN' JOEY: Won this race last year but his form last preparation was far from his best. His first up record isn't great and he's now a rising 9-year-old so hard to back him with any confidence in this. Only consolation is his record of two wins from three starts at the track and distance.
FAST 'N' ROCKING: Heavily backed in the Sir John Monash Stakes and the one thing punters didn't want to happen, did happen. Just got snookered on the rails with nowhere to go and it was a very painful watch. Won't have that problem here from barrier 11 and with the speed expected today he should get every chance to round them up. Looks a good chance once again.
LORD OF THE SKY: Showed he was back near some of his best form first up in the Sir John Monash when battling on for fourth. His second up record is outstanding with three wins and a second from five starts and Oliver takes the ride which is a good lead. Problems here include the anticipated speed battle, the 1200m and the firmer ground. Each way chance.
CHARMED HARMONY: Goes very well fresh and loves the Caulfield track. Should get ideal conditions with the track around the 4-5 mark, but I just wonder if the 1200m may be a little bit sharp. Probably best suited at 1400m at Caulfield. He's another that could get caught in the speed battle too. Looks decent odds though.
THERMAL CURRENT: Never far away but this grade tests him out, and with some good gallopers engaged here he may be a bit far out of his league. Not got a great record at the track, but he should get a good run off the speed from barrier 3. Happy to let him go around without my money.
MAGNAPAL: First up since October last year so he is likely to need the run. Did win first up last prep but this is a very different scenario. Won a Group 3 over 2000m last prep and stretched out to 2400m for the Caulfield Cup so the 1200m will be too sharp for him. Nice to see him back but not expecting much.
TUDOR: Beaten 5 lengths first up in the Sir John Monash and he definitely won't get things his own way in front here, which is when he is most effective. No placings from 9 starts at the track either. Happy to pass.
TADDEI TONDO: Good effort to finish 3rd down in grade last start in Sydney at big odds, but this is a completely different race. Straight back up to Group 3 company, with some strong types involved, and his record here fails to flatter (two placings from 9 starts at Caulfield). Will need luck from barrier 1.
MAHUTA: Darren Weir 3YO that won 6 straight last campaign, including two Group 2's, before failing in the Group 1 Australian Guineas. Resumes after 5 months off and I just wonder if he is going to be fully tuned up for this. I also wonder if he might now be best suited over 1400-1600m, and he is definitely one that will go forward and could get found out by the hot tempo. Prefer others at the price but he could definitely prove me wrong.
ODYSSEY MOON: Keeps running well in slightly lower grade and it will be interesting to see if he can put previous poor performances at Caulfield behind him. Any rain is a bonus for him and he should enjoy a trail in midfield behind the speed. Each way chance.
RUNWAY STAR: Interesting runner, and the most interesting thing is jockey Dom Tourneur making the trip over to ride her. She won at Stakes level first up in Adelaide last prep and went on to finish the campaign with a Group 3 win. Has had a short break and comes into this first up, where she has won 4 from 6. Will come from a fair way back after drawing barrier 10. Early money suggests she is a good chance.
Think this race sets up perfectly for FAST 'N' ROCKING who won't have any problems getting stuck on the rail and will get the necessary speed on up front. RUNWAY STAR is the interesting runner from South Australia and money suggests she isn't just here to make up numbers. MAHUTA could be simply too good for them but there are a few queries about today's run, while LORD OF THE SKY, ODYSSEY MOON and CHARMED HARMONY at big odds are others to consider.
1st FAST 'N' ROCKING
2nd RUNWAY STAR
4th ODYSSEY MOON
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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