Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Caulfield on Saturday, September 19th.
The Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes headlines a huge day of racing at Caulfield this Saturday, with the G3 Jim Maloney Stakes and G3 How Now Stakes also on the card. Trent Crebbin has run his eye over all nine races and picked out his tips and best bets for the day below!
Best Bet: Race 9 - (6) Lyre
Best Value: Race 2 - (12) Montenegro Man
With the scratching of Albarado who looked a good bet bringing the different form, The Valley race looks the lead up. The one from that race that can improve is (6) Surooj who was caught wide. The start prior he was a nose off (2) Cumberbatch and had a dominant SP over that horse. He can definitely bounce back here with a kinder run at nearly 3x the price. (9) Wise Counsel isn’t hopeless despite still being a maiden either. He was desperately unlucky last start and has to be respected from the stable. Very tough one to open after the scratching but Surooj does make some appeal.
There should be solid pace here over the 1200m. I’m going to take on the favourite (6) Ancestry here first up. He put together an impressive record last prep, but I just think he might be a touch vulnerable late fresh in a strongly run 1200m. The two that seriously interest me as winning chances come out of the race won by Express Pass, and they are (7) Legionnaire and (3) Riddle Me That. The former sat 2nd in run and boxed on very well to finish runner up, whilst the latter basically made his run with the winner and finished well enough for 5th. Riddle Me That did have the $5.50 SP to Legionnaire’s $21 there, but Legionnaire was coming off nearly a year’s break and looks to have come back very well. If one or the other had drawn a better gate it’d swing me their way, but I’m going to side with Legionnaire, just. The two roughie that can run well at odds in my opinion is (12) Montenegro Man. He comes here off a 7 week break and has raced well fresh. His last few runs he just hasn’t been able to draw a gate, forcing him to be back and wide which makes things tough. He’s had one start at the track and distance for an easy victory over Bam’s On Fire which is solid form, and you could argue he should’ve won his last run with 60kg after looping the field against the pattern of the day. He drops to 56kg here for Michael Rodd, draws barrier 2 which can see him settle midfield and if the gaps come, he can produce a big finish. I’ll be risking Ancestry and Riddle Me That who scares me, and backing Legionnaire and Montenegro Man.
Even more speed here over the 1000m. Unbeaten filly (9) Forever Free comes here first up. She went 3/3 in her debut prep and whilst she didn’t blow them away, the form out of the races is quite good. She started $2.70 against Ranting and accounted for him over 1100m, and that horse has been right up there against some quality 3yo’s this prep, including in the Danehill against Doubtland last week. She comfortably beat a good field which included Extra Time in Adelaide and has jumped out well. She’s one horse that will be able to show her best at the 1000m. She may have to sit wide from barrier 8 if Lane can’t get across so the wind factor will be interesting. I quite liked the debut win of (8) Portland Sky on debut as the odds on favourite at the Ballarat synthetic. He sat wide on speed but was far too good for Baaqyah who is a fairly handy horse and did start $3.30 vs (1) Valaquenta last prep. I’m not sure he’ll get the lead here with some speedy types engaged but that could be a good thing if there is a strong head wind. Valaquenta is also in the game and his recent trial at Rosehill was very good fresh off a gelding operation. He looks to get a nice run behind the speed and can peel out. (10) Muntaseera is well in at the weights but I don’t think she’s an 1000m horse and will be giving these speedy ones a big head start. I’m going to side with Valaquenta because I think he maps well, and I’ll be saving on or making a result out of Portland Sky. To put my staking as an example, from $100 I’d have $50 on Valaquenta, $30 on Forever Free and $20 on Portland Sky.
Good little race. They should go fairly quickly here with (7) Front Page a horse that can roll along and (4) From Within who is a bit of a control freak. I’m happy enough to take Front Page on. I know he’s a very promising horse and his win down the straight was outstanding, but the form out of it has been terrible, and he was blessed by severe interference back in the field. He’s going to get company on speed here and perhaps isn’t wound up for this run, with the Kosciuszko being the main aim. (6) Octane looks the horse to beat and should get a good run midfield with cover. He’s got a big finish on him and can reel off some outstanding sectionals. I’m not sure what the market does with him coming off a let up. He has a dominant SP profile, but Front Page has the map advantage and good figures. He’s the horse to beat but I’ll be monitoring the market closely and hoping he doesn’t firm in too much. The other horse I want to back is (3) William Thomas who ticks a lot of boxes. His first up record is outstanding with 3 wins from 5 starts, and he also loves the Caulfield 1100m, with 4 wins from 6 starts, one of those misses coming on an unsuitable heavy track and the other a close up 4th place. In this exact race last year he dominated a good field which included Lyre and Order Of Command by 2L. He’ll get back but should find cover and will be able to fly home off a hot speed. I want to see one more good run from (1) Despatch before getting keen. He ran solidly in the Mcewen Stakes and will appreciate 1100m, but they could go just as fast, if not faster here and despite his record at 1100m I think he’s better over 6 furlongs.
This is an absolute raffle, even for a mare’s race. I think the form race is the 1200m Valley race won by How Womantic. Three of these come through that race and I think one stands out here. (10) Parmie was enormous there, sitting wide without cover for most of the race but thankfully missing by a nose. She races well at the Caulfield 1400m which can be a tricky circuit, her only failure coming with 62kg on a heavy 8 at the end of her prep. She’s 3rd up here so should be at peak fitness, draws barrier 8 which is okay and is definitely good enough. Just behind her in that race was (3) Fabric who ran very well with 62kg first up. She did have the back of Parmie in run, so she was entitled to finish off a touch better, but she ran the fastest last 600m of the race and drops 2.5kg here. The issue here is barrier 14 which is a nightmare at the 1400m start. She was ridden cold first up but has raced right on pace in the past, even at this T/D and even when drawing wide. It just depends what they want to do. If she finds a good spot early, which is doubtful, she’ll go very close, but if they ride her cold she’s going to struggle. If she gets out to $10, I’ll be making her a result, nonetheless. (12) Sierra Sue is another that draws wide. She has to come across from there and if she does so with minimal fuss, she’s right in this. Her win first up ties in very easily with Parmie through Mrs Beckham, whom she easily accounted for. She’s another one I want to monitor the track, because if leaders are struggling into the wind, I’ll probably let her go, but if it’s not too bad she should get things her own way. The other one that interests me is (14) Zousonic who comes here second up after an excellent first up win at Bendigo. This mare has always shown glimpses of ability, but it seems she may have put it all together. She defied the pattern of the day by looping the field in an outstanding run. Her 3rd last prep in the Bendigo Guineas was very good coming from last to miss by a head, and the key here is that she draws barrier 5. She’s one of those horses that seems to settle wherever she draws, meaning if she draws wide, she’ll be back and if she draws in, she’ll be midfield. She should get a beautiful run with cover and if she’s taken any improvement from her first up run, she can be right in the finish. The only knock is Moor replacing Kah who has ridden her at her last 7 starts, but at the price she’s value to me. Backing Parmie and Zousonic and saving on Sierra Sue if the wind isn’t too strong and leaders aren’t at a disadvantage.
It does look to be a race in 3, maybe 4 here with a few key Thousand Guineas hopes going around. The first is (4) Mozzie Monster who is unbeaten from two starts, both wins to the tune of 3.5L. Melham replaces Kah which is no issue, just not sure where she gets to on the map. She draws barrier 9 here which isn’t ideal at this start, but I don’t think she’ll be last in a race without a stack of pace up in trip. The ideal and positive scenario would be to follow (12) Hindaam across from barrier 8 and try to settle midfield one off the fence. I think (1) Aidensfield has to go forward from barrier 12. She jumped well enough from barrier 8 last start but had to drift back when unable to get across and ended up sitting 3rd last in run. Her effort was huge, making an early move to loop the field and only missing Night Raid who is a very good filly by 0.3L. Aidensfield ran the quickest sectionals of that race and was right on speed in her first two career starts. The draw isn’t ideal but surely she gets across fairly easily. Pretty happy to be against (6) Agreeable from that race. She’s promised a lot but hasn’t delivered this prep and had every chance to go past Aidensfield after following her into the race but couldn’t run a single split faster. The step up to 1400m will suit but she’s one that will be ridden cold from barrier 11 and at $5 she looks very short. Hindaam is the other that interests me because she can be right on speed too. Her win on the Pakenham synthetic first up was outstanding. She got a good run on the favourite’s back but did it under a hold and won by 5L. She could’ve put double that on the field if asked for a proper effort. She’s only going to get better up in trip and could be a smoky for the Guineas (currently $51) and the Oaks, for which she hasn’t yet been nominated. Found it really tough to split Aidensfield and Mozzie Monster, but at the prices and expected map I’ll just lean Aidensfield, but if Mozzie Monster gets out, I’ll just have to chop because I think she’s just as good a horse.
This is an open one. Surely Olly is more positive on (9) Orderofthegarter from barrier 4. The horse did a bit wrong which probably cost him victory last start. He hasn’t exactly promised yet but should be suited here. It was hard to miss the run of (3) Dr Drill first up in the Heatherlie. They went back from a wide gate and railed up the inside, running on very strongly from an impossible position to finish 5th, only 1.1L off 3rd placed (14) Game Keeper. Dr Drill draws much better in barrier 6 here and Game Keeper draws 10 so Dr Drill really should be in front of that horse in run. Game Keeper was jumping from 1200 to 1700m last start which wasn’t the platform, but Dr Drill was fresh off 12 weeks and the better run. Throw in the Maher/Eustace factor and it’s easy to be entertained. (18) Kinane hasn’t done enough this prep to suggest he’s good enough. I know he ran on well, but he was still beaten 4L by some pretty average horses in Sydney last start, and he draws wide here so will be back near last. There are two at big odds that interest me here however. The first is (4) Haky who comes out of the Heatherlie. He settled midfield and held his ground okay in the straight. He’s probably going to be better 3rd up over a bit further, but I’m very interested to see if they send out a change of tactics. If that occurs, or there’s market support for him I’ll be on because when this horse is on speed and rolling, he’s very good. His 3rd in the Geelong Cup behind Prince of Arran and True Self was excellent, as was his win over Vow And Declare in the Autumn. There’s a chance they’ll go back again but at the price you don’t need much on in case they do show intent. The other at odds is (19) Super Girl who comes here third up. She won first up over an unsuitable 1400m but was a bit flat second up. If you go back through her form last prep, she posted a good 4th in the worst ground behind Too Close The Sun, and then ran 3rd beaten 2L by Oceanex and King Of Leogrance in an Andrew Ramsden. She’ll get back but up to 2000m suits and you could be looking at a huge price on the day. I’m risking Orderofthegarter for the first time this prep but admit he looks suited. Dr Drill is the pick from the Heatherlie, but I’ll be having something on Haky, especially with a COT or a market push, and something on Super Girl.
The feature of the day is the Sir Rupert Clarke stakes! I’m not doing a runner by runner preview, but Tim and I will be doing an in depth video going over the speed map and many key chances so look out for that.
In terms of speed, they should go at a cracking pace here. Begoodtoyamother probably holds them out for the lead, with Streets Of Avalon forced to come across. Dollar For Dollar will be right there and Age Of Chivalry has to press on from out wide too. Tagaloa and Banquo are the other two that can be right on speed but are drawn awkwardly. There should be plenty of pressure. Favourite Behemoth maps beautifully midfield from barrier 5, Cascadian might not need to be as far back as he has this prep. Superstorm will have to go right back with Madam Rouge.
I’m going to start by saying how disappointed I am that Showmanship is out with a tendon injury, not just because I’d taken a big price all in but because he would’ve been very exciting to watch win this. To fly the cerise and white flag solo is (5) Superstorm who has been dealt a horror draw. He’ll be back near last and needing to circle the field. You could make a case he’s the best horse in this race though off his Guineas/All Star Mile 2nds. He was simply run off his legs first up over 1100m, but still ran on strongly and is much better suited at 1400m. He gets in okay at the weights with 57kg which I think is fair, it just depends how much work he has to do. It’s hard to knock (1) Behemoth who is 2/2 this prep and dominated the Memsie field last start. He got a dream run that day off a hot speed and was eased down late. He deserves every bit of the 60kg and can carry it to win. Another brutally run race will suit and he should get every chance. (4) Cascadian keeps giving himself too much to do but draws a touch better in barrier 8 here in the bigger field. I think he’s better at 1600m and at Flemington so the Toorak or Cantala looks his race. (6) Dollar For Dollar looks a big price. He’s one that will be on the hot speed, but I don’t think he has to lead and could park just behind them. He ran 2nd in this race in 2018 in a strong field. He finished basically alongside Superstorm first up and does have a 3rd in a Doomben 10,000 behind The Bostonian and Osborne Bulls, beating home Nature Strip. He’s been met with early support in from around $34, so I might just wait because I think around that $26 mark now is his right price and you may get the $34 come race day. Probably my new least favourite horse (13) Pretty Brazen isn’t hopeless after clinging on to deny Arcadia Queen last week. (15) Tagaloa the sole 3yo is a tricky one. He’s a quality horse but doesn’t map well at all and could be cast. This is a huge step up in a high pressure group 1. I know Behemoth has to carry the 60kg, but he’s a beast of a horse and can do so. He loves brutal tempos and maps superbly again. I’ll be backing him, Superstorm despite the gate because he’s a quality animal, and Dollar For Dollar.
For a detailed breakdown of the race, check out our video preview below.
This race is all about (6) Lyre and whether she can find the winning post. To be fair to her, she’s been taking on some hot races and accounting herself very well. The furthest she’s been beaten since her debut is 3L, and her biggest defeat this year was 2.4L first up last prep behind William Thomas. She then contested the Sangster and the Goodwood in Adelaide, running 2nd and 3rd respectively behind Bella Vella in the former and Trekking/Gytrash in the latter. The Caulfield 1200m is probably her best track and distance, it’s simply a question of whether she gets the gaps from barrier 3. Personally I’ve never been a big fan and don’t think I’ve ever backed her, but this is the easiest race she’s contested for some time and if she’s ever going to be getting another win it will be here. (12) Felicia is an obvious danger and probably leads the race. She was in the right spot but did run 2nd to Showmanship last start. (5) I Am Eloquent is probably the value in the race. First up last prep she ran a narrow 3rd to Garner and Xilong which ties in fairly easily. Lyre is probably a length or two better than Xilong but at $5 the place I Am Eloquent isn’t hopeless. Pretty keen on Lyre to blast us out and something 1x3 on I Am Eloquent.
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