Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing on Saturday, August 29th.
The Memsie Stakes is the first Victorian Group 1 of the season and it headlines a mammoth 10-race card at Caulfield this Saturday. Trent Crebbin has given his thoughts on every race of the meeting below!
Best Bet: Race 2 - (1) Windstorm
Best Value: Race 10 - (11) She Shao Fly
Staying race to kick us off. For once there actually looks to be a solid tempo on paper. (1) Exemplar has been gifted an easy lead and win in his last two runs, but he’ll have company on speed from (3) Mirimar and (4) Tavirun. Of the three the latter has the most hope and was enormous at The Valley last start, setting a strong pace and only getting overrun late by Mahamedeis and Polly Grey. The other leader in that race was beaten 7.7L so his effort was very good. His form prior was solid but nothing to rave about at Sandown. The interesting runner is (5) Persan who is back from a 5 week break after taking on the 3yo staying finals series. He ran 2nd in the most recent run, giving 8kg to High Emocean. Most of those staying races were junk and the horses will end up as BM64 stayers, but he is a progressive one. I don’t like the big gap between runs, assuming that he’d be off for a spell after a 7 run campaign, 4 of those at 2000m+. I’m going to go with (2) Double You Tee on top, which is fraught with danger. He hasn’t won this prep and has turned into a bit of a tease, but his last two runs have been very good. At Caulfield he was absolutely slaughtered by Brad Rawiller, somehow ending up last after being midfield on the first lap, then last start Exemplar was gifted the lead and Double You Tee couldn’t bridge the gap. He started $4.8 there, gets a 2kg weight swing, and most importantly should get a stronger tempo which is what he needs. Not getting carried away but he’s the value in the first.
Very keen to see (1) Windstorm here. He was down to run at The Valley last week and it’s a good thing the meeting was called off before he got to race, because he would’ve had no chance on that bog. Interestingly they’ve opted to go with a 2kg claim for in form apprentice Liam Riordan, rather than Pikey. I personally would’ve preferred Pike, but Riordan is riding very well and has ridden the horse in track work. He draws barrier 11 here, so the instructions should be simple: jump, let the horse settle, find a back to follow early, put the horse into the race and he’ll be far too good. If he’d drawn barrier 1 and have to weave, I’d be worried, but with only one turn for the 1100m circuit I’ve got no issue with him sitting wide, so long as he has clear air. I said with Showmanship that he was a group 1 horse in a BM84, well this is a potential group 1 horse in a BM78. Currently at $2.60, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a slight drift simply based on how far back he’ll get, and I welcome it, because anything around the $3 mark is an outstanding bet considering he hasn’t started over $1.45 since his debut. (11) Express Pass is a handy horse and was very impressive winning for us last start, but he’s often slow away and with pace drawn inside him, he’ll likely be back and buried from barrier 5. He’s also not as good as Windstorm. (16) Rulership could be the firmer if Windstorm drifts because he maps superbly. He was a gun 2yo, but I didn’t like his 1st up run at all. He was well backed but had every chance and faded late. A good surface will be to his liking, but that Vain Stakes is suspect and the other new 3yo’s have caught up to his physical attributes. Few other handy ones resuming but they won’t see which way Windstorm goes over 1100m.
Happy to be against the favourite (14) Affair To Remember here at 1400m first up. She doesn’t really get warm until 1600m and from barrier 2 she could be buried on the fence. (11) Paradee brings similar form through those fillies’ races before going to the Adrian Knox behind subsequent Oaks winner Collette but was back and wide on wet ground. She did start $4.60 there too, but I don’t like the map for her. They might just decide to go back rather than be caught wide with a short run to the turn, which probably puts paid to her chances. I thought the one at big odds who looks to lead was (9) El Questro. She’s been fairly consistent this prep without a whole lot of luck, and absolutely bolted in when leading all the way two back. Last start she settled midfield and ran well, only beaten 2L by Showmanship at this T/D. The other leader is (2) Laburnum who was outgunned by Coming Around (who would’ve bolted in on a normal track last week), with over 3L back to 3rd. She carried 62kg two back and ran well in easier grade. (17) So You Swing is a big chance if she gets a run. She draws wide here so probably goes back but she found some form last start and is better suited at 1400m. If Paradee drifts out a bit on the day I’ll have something on her, but mainly backing El Questro, each way if you like.
Keen on (4) Yulong January at the odds here. I loved the first up run in the Aurie’s Star, making the speed and fading to finish 5th, beaten 2.65L. That was first up at 1200m down the straight which clearly wasn’t his go. He’s won 2 from 3 when 2nd up, 5 from 9 at the 1400m, and 6 from 12 on good tracks. From his two runs at Caulfield, one was first up in a group 3 and he ran 3rd of 5 behind Terbium & Zousain, and the other he ran 2nd, beating home Streets Of Avalon and Sirrconi. Yulong January started $10 first up where not suited whatsoever yet is $6.5 here in an easier race getting a much better set up. I think he crosses (8) Morrissy and from there Melham can control the race. Morrissy is obviously a huge chance coming off a 6th in the PB Lawrence last start. He’s racing very consistently but has been up a while and he could also be in the coffin from barrier 1 if Yulong January and (13) Sir Kalahad come across, which they should be doing. I’d mark Yulong January much, much closer in the market to Morrissy so I’m more than happy to play at the $6.5 available.
Basically a carbon copy of The Valley race from last week, hence the 10 race program today. I was keen on (3) Orderofthegarter there, and I’m just as keen here. Basically regurgitating my thoughts from that race, this Galileo gelding has had two starts in Australia- the first nearly two years ago and the more recent 5 weeks ago over the Flemington mile. I thought his run there was full of merit, finishing 2nd in a strongly run race after two years off. You only have to go back to his overseas form which includes a 2nd to Benbatl as favourite, beating home Mirage Dancer and The Taj Mahal to realise that this horse has world class talent. Wet ground will be no issue and Olly will be able to roll forward in a race devoid of speed and nothing here has the class to go with him late. (6) Polly Grey did a lot of early work last start and ran very well. I was more worried about her last week on a heavy track, but on a good surface I don’t think she’s nearly as effective and looks short enough in the market, which hasn’t taken that into account. (1) Young Rascal beat Mugatoo first up last prep and is classy enough but has to carry 62kg first up on a wet track from a wide barrier at a distance short of his best. (5) Dabiyr finished close up behind Orderofthegarter last start but did start $18 there and was allowed to build momentum for longer than Orderofthegarter. He’s got a great 2nd up record and could be the danger, but I’m not sure what they do from the wide barrier. If they do a typical Waller and go back, he’s got none. (9) Schabau will appreciate a good track here but this is a pipe opener. He ran 7th off a long break in May and comes here off 15 weeks. Keen on Orderofthegarter again, he’s once again close to my best of the day.
Good edition of The Heath, but very tough at $5.5 the field. I thought (5) Bold Star could be a bit of value. His first up record doesn’t read well with just 1 win from 5 starts but his run first up last prep was good from last with 62kg over 1000m. He’s better suited at the 1100m, and his two runs at the T/D were a 2nd to Anaheed in a group 2 Rubiton, and an 8th in an Oakleigh Plate on a red hot leader bias day, coming from 14th at the 400m and running better sectionals then Bivouac on the day. He maps well here from barrier 7 and with Willo booked first up I think they’ll be ready to go. (12) Humma Humma is the other that interests me first up. She’s jumped out super and was down to run at The Valley but is far better suited on a good track here. Her record on good tracks reads 18: 5-5-2 and her first up record reads 5: 3-1-0. She also maps nicely midfield from barrier 5 and I’ll be backing her for sure. (7) Banquo looks better suited here on a dry track, but 1100m may be a touch sharp, although his first up run at 1100m behind Alabama Express in January was solid. (14) Lyre is first up here and really hit her straps at the end of last prep, but Humma Humma did beat her home at this T/D and is nearly double her price here. (13) Diamond Effort went unbeaten last prep and keeps raising the bar but probably sits wide on speed from the barrier. Also very keen to see (2) Superstorm first up here. He struggles to get warm at 1400m let alone 1100m, but he’s easily the best horse in the race and did actually open longer than I thought he would. If he keeps drifting and you get $10 on the exchange, he’s probably worth a saver based purely on class. If not, I’ll risk him here and just back Bold Star and Humma Humma.
Could be quite a strong edition of the McNeil. The Blue Diamond winner (1) Tagaloa is back and the deserved favourite. His win over Hanseatic was very strong, before running on nicely behind star colt Farnan and starting $5.50 in the Golden Slipper, which was probably just a run too many after a long campaign. He’s jumped out well but does have the Guineas and potentially a Cox Plate in mind, so whether he’s fully wound up I don’t know. I was keen on (7) Flying Award last week over 1400m because I think he’ll be the best horse in the race going forward. Here at 1200m is tougher, but he could be very good, good enough to win this. The double figures opening prices looked overs to me in a tough race. (11) Ranting was good first up in the Vain, with improvement to come. (10) Immortal Love is 2 from 2 but that 1400m race at Flemington beating (8) Khoekhoe on a heavy track was a bit junky. (4) Extra Time could be the best roughie. She draws wide here but I hope they go all out for the lead because she’s quite quick. She had no hope last start in the Spring Stakes, working hard on a very fast pace out wide. She started $6 in that race (at WFA with 51.5kg) against Behemoth and Dalasan, was given none, yet is $31 here. Something on Flying Award for the class factor, and something on Extra Time at the odds.
Interesting edition of The Heatherlie here with a few stayers resuming. (8) Sircconi comes here off an excellent 2nd to Savatiano in the PB Lawrence. He’s the fit horse who will be on speed making it a truly run race. He looks hard to beat here, especially if leaders are suited. His form this prep has been very consistent, bolting in a Winter Championship final before racing 3 wide with 62kg and fading in a high rating race. Up to 1700m poses no issue, he’ll give a big kick and be right in the finish. The x-factor is (14) Game Keeper who returned after a short break in the Aurie’s Star and went enormous over 1200m, running the fastest late splits of the race. He should have residual fitness but even still, he jumps straight to 1700m here which might be a bit tough, especially if Sircconi runs them along. He’d also want to jump well because he might get stuck on the fence from the innermost barrier. I’m going to have something on (11) Plein Ciel at the price. Like many others, including the market, I was very keen on him last start and he raced outside the lead but couldn’t reel in (12) Think We’re Due. He’s a horse that takes some hard riding to get going, so the sit and sprint race shape there didn’t suit him at all. Plein Ciel jumped $1.80 there, gets a 2kg weight swing and more importantly is $9 here in a race that suits better tempo wise. You only have to go back to that Winter Championship final were Plein Ciel started the $4.40 favourite, less than half of Sircconi’s price. Plein Ciel gets a 4kg weight swing and Olly aboard here yet is nearly triple the price. From barrier 11 I expect Olly to roll forward and find a spot forward of midfield in a race full of stayers that won’t keep up early, and from there he’ll be hard to hold out. (16) Shandy is flying but this is a mammoth step up from midweek grade and would need to improve lengths in my opinion. (4) Dr Drill could be the blowout, if they go forward from barrier 15. His best is certainly good enough and he could have some residual fitness, just not sure how much intent they’ll show. (3) Constantinople has the most talent in the race and should’ve won last year’s Caulfield Cup. He’s been gelded since a couple of poor runs last prep, so it’ll be very interesting to see how he’s come back. Not a race with a whole lot of interest but off weights, SP’s and race shape Plein Ciel is the wrong price here.
A long and hopefully great day of racing comes to an end here, and it’s another great race. (1) Rubisaki is the favourite first up, and rightly so. She’s won 8 from 10 and went unbeaten all last prep, becoming a real punter’s pal, only once starting under $2. They’re aiming her at a Golden Eagle in Sydney, and whilst that’s a big step up against the likes of Masked Crusader and Superstorm, she’s a deadest line chaser and her will to win cannot be underestimated. Drawn barrier 13, she’ll go back and try to round them up. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of value at the price, but if they are making ground throughout the day, I certainly won’t be losing on her because she’s a damn good horse. The value for me is clearly (11) She Shao Fly at $17. She is indeed flying, having taken on the group 3 Bletchingly and the listed Regal Roller against the males at her last two starts, both of which were won by Viridine. In the Bletchingly she was so poorly off at the weights, carrying 56kg at WFA against some group class males carrying 58.5kg, and she ran the fastest last 400/200m of the race (2nd fastest last 200m of the day). Last start she was only beaten 1.6L and made her run through the inferior ground, still beating home my Memsie value pick Begood Toya Mother. Now she drops back to mares’ grade, and actually drops in weight to 55kg. She draws perfectly in barrier 7 which should allow Dunn to sit midfield or just off, either one off the fence or 3 wide with cover, which should allow her to make an uninterrupted run down the outside. I genuinely thought she’d come up single figures so at the $19 available she’s my best value bet of the day. (12) Bless Her is airborne but has been racing on wet tracks all prep and should be on a good track here, where she’s only had 1 start for a 3rd. She keeps raising the bar, but I think her winning streak ends here. (3) Madam Rouge flies first up and was last seen running 2nd by 0.2L in the group 1 Stradbroke. That’s obviously very good form, and she’s a mare that needs a good track and should get it here. Not sure where she gets to on the map from barrier 15 but she’s a big chance. Also keen to see (4) Perfect Jewel over from WA. She’s not really a 1200m horse but her run behind Vega Magic first up in the Roma Cup, whilst finishing 10th, was very good only beaten 2.31L. She then went on to claim the Belmont/Hyperion sprint double at big odds. She’s got a bit of class about her and whilst 1200m fresh off 9 weeks might be a touch sharp, she’ll be hitting the line strongly.
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