Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Caulfield on Saturday, October 10th.
Caulfield Guineas Day is one of the biggest days on the Australian racing calendar, with four Group 1s on the 10-race card in Melbourne! Trent Crebbin has produced a comprehensive look at every race on the card at Caulfield on Saturday - check out his tips and best bets below!
Best Bet: Race 3 - (6) Windstorm
Best Value: Race 10 - (10) Gaelic Chieftain
Big field of first starters in a very open market makes this incredibly tough. If you want to get involved, I thought (4) Darceandermill jumped out well against older horses in fast time. Gets Kah on board, this Lonhro colt certainly showed ability and I think will be in the finish. (10) Beach Lap and (13) Naples jumped out together at Flemington and both went very well. Beach Lap narrowly won the jumpout under a stranglehold, Naples was well held too only a neck away, but is 3x the price of Beach Lap here. We saw Godolphin win the 2yo race very impressively with Integrating last week and Naples is a big hope, as is the stablemate (2) Anamoe who draws well with Olly taking the ride which is usually a good push. Stack of chances and very difficult, but I thought Darceandermill could run a race and Naples wouldn’t shock at odds either.
They should go at a decent clip here with (1) Letzbeglam kicking up from barrier one to try and hold out a couple. I think Letzbeglam is overs here second up. She ran down the straight first up, basically sharing the lead and boxed on soundly to be beaten 2.6L by September Run, and 1.85L by (3) Swats That. Letzbeglam started $10 there and I think she’ll be much better suited back at Caulfield, where she’s had two runs for a dominant Blue Diamond Prelude win sitting 3 wide the trip, and a very good Blue Diamond 6th behind Tagaloa. Fitter here up to 1200m around a bend, the $9.50 seems appealing. Swats That is obviously going to be hard to beat. She easily accounted for Letzbeglam last start before bolting in at The Valley, with (6) Highly Discreet running on very strongly for 2nd. That filly can settle closer from barrier 3 and with a 2kg weight swing is a chance of turning the tables. (4) Muntaseera was good first up but barely accounted for Valaquenta who failed badly behind September Run last start. Letzbeglam had her measure in the Blue Diamond Prelude and they finished alongside each other in the Blue Diamond, so I’m happy to be against her again. (2) Bella Nipotina was very good first up before failing in the Moir Stakes. That’s obviously a much harder race but she did finish last and I’m not sure she beat much first up despite running good time. Swats That hard to beat but I think Letzbeglam is the value here.
I’ve been on the wrong side of (6) Windstorm every single start in Victoria. I took him on last start with Buffalo River, who is favourite for the Toorak later, but the race worked out perfectly for Pike and he was too strong late. I think Windstorm is much more effective off a slow or even tempo, which allows him to really rip home over the last 400m. Two starts ago they went quite quickly, and he was forced to chase a long way out, which left him vulnerable. I don’t think they’ll break any records here early so the map looks to work out well from barrier 5 as Pike can settle him midfield one off the fence and repeat the dose of last start. (4) Cuba is one of the pace influences and it will be interesting to see how quickly Kah goes. He got an easy lead at a slow tempo first up but was only outsprinted by group one mare Probabeel. Cuba has never won 2nd up which is a slight concern, and he generally peaks 3rd up. If Windstorm can find his feet, I’m not sure Cuba will be able to hold him out late. (7) Phaistos comes here first up and is up to this class. (3) Travimyfriend knocked off Windstorm two back before Windstorm turned the tables last start. Travimyfriend draws a touch awkwardly in barrier 2 and an even tempo doesn’t play into his hands. Good race and you could make a case for a few more, but as long as they don’t go crazy in front, I think it pans out perfectly for Windstorm again.
Excited to see the return of (1) Xilong, who is one of my favourite horses. Her recent trial at Gawler was very good, extending beautifully when given a bit of reign before being eased up near the line, still winning comfortably. She carries top weight of 58kg which is a bit rough, but it’s because she actually wins races, unlike a few of these. First up last prep she ran 3rd, beaten 0.7L by Probabeel and Funstar, with (7) Lyre back in 4th. Xilong then went on to win a group 2 against the boys before leading the Goodwood field and running a very credible 7th, splitting Santa Ana Lane and Bold Star. At the prices I’m happy to back both her and (4) Felicia, who is absolutely airborne. She’s won two from her last three, the only defeat a 2nd to Showmanship. She was far too good for a very similar field last start at this T/D in the How Now Stakes, sitting outside the lead and racing away to win by 2L. She comes across and probably sits outside Xilong in the run, and I’m confident they fight it out. Lyre does too much wrong and isn’t much more, if at all more talented than the other two fillies. I know she started a very strong favourite against Felicia last start, and she did have excuses, but she always has excuses and didn’t exactly savage the line when in clear air. Keen on Xilong or Felicia and I think they run the quinella, so I’ll be backing both, with Xilong the slightly better result at the odds.
This is an outstanding edition of the Schillaci Stakes and a very competitive race. I was keen to stick with Alfa Oro here and had made a great case for him, but with the scratching it’s become very open. (10) Diamond Effort was very unlucky in the Moir and has to be respected here. She was badly held up around the turn and would’ve run the fastest last 200m of the race if able to build momentum earlier. She loves Caulfield and will give her all but could actually get a fair way back from barrier 9 with plenty of speedy types engaged. One of those types is (3) Splintex who draws barrier one with Bowman down in Melbourne for the ride. He’s been solid in two runs back in Sydney, in elite company. He should find the front easily from barrier one now that Alfa Oro is out. (8) Dirty Work comes through the same two races and has comfortably beaten Splintex both times. He was held up around the turn last start and ran on well once clear to be beaten 1.4L by Classique Legend. He meets Splintex 2kg worse at the weights and is another that might have to be a few lengths off them with Pike aboard. (4) Order Of Command was solid first up with 62kg and has an outstanding 2nd up record, whilst (1) Hey Doc was a pass mark in the Moir when 4 wide no cover. He’s better suited at 1100m and is 3/6 when 2nd up. He’s the best horse in the field being a multiple group one winner and absolutely bolted in with the group one Winterbottom when 2nd up last time off a long break. He’ll be better suited again over 1200m in the Manikato but wouldn’t shock if he ran a huge race here. The two queries with Hey Doc is the potential soft track, but I don’t think it’ll be much, if any wetter than it was for the Moir, and that I doubt he finds the lead. Ideally, he’d sit outside Splintex and with the one turn at Caulfield Currie will have every chance to find the best ground. (7) Octane is a good horse and arguably should’ve won last start, but this is another huge step up and I think he’s better suited at Flemington. Alfa Oro being scratched has thrown a spanner in the works- I think Diamond Effort was huge in the Moir but Hey Doc at the price can improve lengths 2nd up out to 1100m and will be the way I’m playing the race.
The first of the group ones for the day, which is basically a carbon copy of the Underwood two weeks ago, won by (6) Russian Camelot in dominant fashion. As soon as he went forward and sat 2nd it was game over, as he was able to find the best ground with ease and prove too strong, winning by 1.8L to (2) Humidor and (5) Arcadia Queen just behind in 3rd. Both of those horses runs had merit, with Arcadia Queen closest to the inside which was clearly the inferior ground, and Humidor also in worse going than the winner. Regardless, it’s hard to see them turning the tables here with The Russian likely to box seat from barrier 4. The very interesting gear change here, and one I’ve been waiting and praying for is Arcadia Queen- bar plates off. That can only be a positive and suggests she’s finally over the feet issues that have plagued her all prep. If this track is close to good, I think she beats Humidor home and is a very real chance of causing the upset. Humidor drawn barrier one will get back and I think they’ll be coming off the fence by now so he could be through the inferior ground again, whereas Arcadia Queen should find the better lanes. The big improver looks to be (1) Gailo Chop 3rd up. I quite liked his run in the Underwood, settling in the one-one and boxing on for 4th. He followed Russian Camelot and was in the better ground, but surely, he finds the front for the first time this prep, which is where he’s at his best. Up to 2000m, drawn barrier 3, I’d be shocked if they don’t want the lead and I think he can run top 3 for sure. From a tipping point of view it’s hard to knock Russian Camelot, but at $1.55 I’m not particularly interested and think that’s about his right price. Arcadia Queen with the bar plates off and with a better run can peg back some of the margin, but she wants a good track and might not find it here, and the blowout and potential exacta/trifecta horse at big odds is Gailo Chop. My numbers are 6-5-1-2.
It was shaping up to be a lacklustre Thousand Guineas, but the addition of a few Sydney fillies has made it much more intriguing. The new favourite is (1) Hungry Heart on the backup from the Flight Stakes at Randwick last start. She looked home for all money (including mine), cornering a touch awkwardly but the winner Montefilia had her back and off the fast tempo proved to be the better stayer. She gets blinkers first time here, which I think will help, but could also cause her to be a touch slow away, and from barrier 3 that won’t be ideal, but you are getting $3.40 rather than the $1.90 last week. Bowman takes the ride and unless the stands there and misses the start completely, she’s simply better than these Melbourne fillies. Coming out of the same race is (5) Vangelic who led the field and was pestered in front, setting a good speed and doing very well to run 3rd, only beaten 2.2L. Her run was nearly as good as Hungry Heart’s, and a Waterhouse/Bott leader on the quick backup is a recipe for success. The start before that she was only 1.5L off Hungry Heart, and I think she can cross and go straight to the lead here with minimal pressure engaged. At the prices I’m very happy to be with both Sydney fillies, and especially think Vangelic is big overs at $12. (3) Instant Celebrity has been very impressive and was good winning the prelude, but she was given a great ride by Willo and whilst she was 1100m up to 1400m, I don’t think the 1600m is going to suit here, and she’ll be giving two much better horses a head start. (11) Mozzie Monster is potentially the blowout at $61. Not sure what she’s doing here after Sadler said she’d spell after running 8th in the prelude. She raced through the inferior ground and In think 1600m will suit, but I’m basically binning the entire Melbourne lead up so she’s not really a winning hope for me, just a big price based off her SP’s against the Melbourne fillies. You could have a nickel on her at huge odds, but I’m pretty keen on the Sydney form and think Hungry Heart and Vangelic is an outstanding two bet play.
The feature of the day is the Caulfield Guineas, and depth wise it is an outstanding edition. Perhaps no superstar favourite as the drawcard, such as The Autumn Sun two years ago, but there’s a stack of winning chances and plenty of angles. I think the Sydney form stacks up again here, especially after top Melbourne colt Glenfiddich was unfortunately scratched. The top Melbourne seed has to be (1) Tagaloa coming out of the Rupert Clarke against the older horses. His run was full of merit, racing wide without cover and finishing 6th. My question would be- if you put a horse like (3) Ole Kirk in that Rupert Clarke, does he beat Tagaloa home? I’d suggest that off his Golden Rose win he probably does. Ole Kirk is a deserved favourite here- his win was very good after changing course twice in the straight, shouldering clear and pouncing late to get up. I can’t see 1600m posing an issue whatsoever and if Pike can keep him off the fence and present at the right time, he’ll be hard to beat. Also out of the Golden Rose is (2) King’s Legacy, who ran 3rd, beaten 2 lengths. He settled last, made his run along the fence and will be suited at the 1600m having beaten Ole Kirk in the Champagne Stakes last prep over the mile. Drawn barrier 12, Bowman will need to pull out all the stops to turn the tables but he’s a legitimate winning hope, as is the unbeaten (9) Mo’unga. He’s the x-factor in the race and the one that you feel could explode here but drawn barrier 11 I can’t see a scenario where he’s better than midfield, and probably lobs behind Ole Kirk in the run. He’s a big striding horse so getting clear air down the outside is what he needs, but he’ll need to be even better than he’s looked in two runs this prep. If you’re backing Mo’unga you’re backing that he improves a few lengths on exposed form, which is very possible. I think the winner comes from one of the three Sydney colts, but they are taking up a huge percentage of the market so that’s not hard to pick. I’m going to side with King’s Legacy because I think he’s been set for this race by the grand final Snowden camp, and I think 3rd up he has the most improvement to come stepping up to the 1600m. No knock on Ole Kirk whatsoever in a very tough but outstanding edition of the Guineas.
Filthy I missed the price about (15) Buffalo River, who I think is the deserved favourite here. He ran first up over 1400m and after doing some early work, simply went too slow out in front, which allowed the better turn of foot by Windstorm with 2.5kg less to get over the top. From barrier 5 Willo will go straight to the front on Buffalo River and there should be plenty of pressure, which is when we see the best of this horse. With 53kg on his back, a drop of 6kg, he’s going to be very hard to get past. My one slight query is if the rain does miss, which is very possible, and we’re on a proper good surface. His one run on a good track was his one failure, although from all reports the trip away to Sydney was to blame there and he just didn’t travel. After being crunched in final field betting, he’s starting to get out a touch now to $4, and might get out a touch more, especially if the track is rated good. I’m happy to play him on top here and think he gets a lot in his favour. The second favourite and clear danger is (13) Junipal, also down in the weights with 55.5kg. He’s flying this prep, running a slashing 3rd to Showmanship (who would have been favourite if he lined up here) before stringing two wins together, the most recent a dominant 3.8L victory over 1700m. He did find the best part of the track last start and didn’t beat much, but he has to be respected. A soft track would also play in his favour. At their best I think Buffalo River is a better horse, but Junipal does have the runs on the board and is hard to knock. I think the clear value in the race lies with (5) Superstorm. He arguably should’ve run 2nd in the Rupert Clarke when finding all sorts of trouble in the straight, beaten 3.2L in 12th. He then very interestingly went to the Turnbull over 2000m last week and ran credibly for 7th, only beaten 2L. Looking at his sectionals from that race it’s easy to make a case fitness just gave out- he ran the 2nd fastest last 1200m and 1000m, the fastest 600-400m split (breaking 11 seconds), but only the 8th fastest last 400m and the 7th fastest last 200m. Considering he was coming off an untested 1400m run up to a genuine 2000m group one, it was a good run. We saw in the Autumn with Regal Power that the Grand & Alana Williams stable can use the 2000m to 1600m seven day backup to great effect, and I think that might have been their master plan for this horse and race. He’ll get a long way back again but at the double figure quote he simply has to be a bet for me. (4) I Am Superman is flying and maps nicely from barrier 7. The horse he beat last start ran very well in the Epsom last week. If (1) Mr Quickie gets luck from barrier 2 he can win with top weight, and (6) Chief Ironside is the potential blowout at $26 with a great 2nd up record. His Crystal Mile win last Spring at The Valley was very good and he ran fairly well behind Rock first up. Buffalo River is the clear horse to beat for mine and I think you’ll get closer to $4.50 on the day which is backable. Superstorm will be a good result at $10 coming back from 2000m, and I could have a peanut on Chief Ironside at $26 too.
Another horse I’ve been on the wrong side of every race in (3) Orderofthegarter, taking him on last start at 2000m but he was well backed and got the job done. He did get the run of the race, perhaps a touch close to a strong speed, but he battled well to hold a 0.75L margin on (9) Chapada, who came from well back in the field to run 2nd. Chapada was 11 weeks between runs there and up to 2400m coming out of that race is a big chance to turn the tables. He beat home Steel Prince, who was a huge run in the Bart Cummings last week. The other one out of that race I want to have something on is (10) Gallic Chieftain who comes here 3rd up. He’s finished 12th and 10th in two runs back this prep, but he is pattern horse that always peaks 3rd up. His record is quite astounding- he’s had 53 starts for 9 wins, with 4 of those coming when 3rd up. Whilst he started $61 in the Naturalism against Orderofthegarter last start, his run was a bit of a hidden gem. He settled off midfield as he usually does, and got completely squeezed out the ruck mid race, somehow ending up last at the 400m. He took a while to get balanced up, but his final 200m was very good, nearly identical to Chapada who had clear air down the outside. The Chief has 4.5L to make up on the favourite, but the jump he makes 2nd up to 3rd up every prep is substantial. Last prep it was a 2L improvement in terms of beaten margin (listed to group 2 race), the prep before 3.8L to 0.2L (group 3 to group 2 race). Add in a handy little 2kg weight swing and the step up to 2400m and at $17 he’s a great price. (7) In Good Health led the field last start and went down fighting. She’s improved out of sight this prep and keeps racing well. She should get an easy lead again and is right in the game. (1) The Chosen One was very good winning first up before failing in the Underwood last start. He’s a chance at odds but does have to carry topweight. (8) Zebrowski might’ve been cooked by that first up run in the Winx Stakes- he hasn’t shown much since hitting the line very strongly then. If we are on a soft track, I think he can improve lengths, but I’m not sure we’ll get it. I find it strange that Orderofthegarter is having a 2400m run a week before the Caulfield Cup, and whilst I don’t believe he’s eligible for a penalty, the level of intent shown here is a query. I can’t have him at around $2.30 even though he realistically should get map favours again. I’m keen on Gallic Chieftain at odds 3rd up- nearly $4 a place looks outstanding value in the field of 11 and will have something on Chapada to turn the tables also.
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