Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Caulfield on Saturday, August 15th.
Caulfield plays host to the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes this Saturday, which sees seven individual Group 1 winners among the field! The feature headlines a big day of racing in Melbourne, and Trent Crebbin has previewed every race on the card below!
The track is rated a Soft 6 with the rail in the 9m position.
Best Bet: Race 9 - (4) Showmanship
Next Best: Race 4 - (2) Plein Ciel
Best Value: Race 5 - (8) The Cruiser
It does look (1) Sovereign Award’s race to lose. She’s come back very well this prep winning two in a row, the latest when leading all the way at The Valley. This race is no harder and from barrier 3 Olly can choose to hold them out and lead or sit off them. Either way she should be too strong. The even money is probably fair enough but I’m not exactly declaring her. (3) Clean Acheeva is one of the other leaders engaged and drops back 400m in trip for this. Her two runs prior at 1600m were average and her best runs have been over a touch further. She’s fit enough to be in it a long way, but I’d be surprised if she wins. (4) No Effort will be on speed too and is the danger in my opinion. She took a sit last start and ran well for 3rd in an open handicap behind Al Galayel. Her form around some handy mares including Oceanex and Greysful Glamour is good enough for this. If this were at 2000m I’d be keener but she’s starting to hit some form and could be value. (6) Mrs O’malley looks short enough for a horse that gets a long way back and couldn’t get past (2) Moscow Red last start. The favourite looks hard to beat and I won’t be losing on her, but No Effort looks overs at $9.50. You can take about $5.80 for No Effort and breaking even on Sovereign Award which appeals to me. Hoping they can run the quinella.
Bit of map related chaos here over the 1000m. If (1) Mister Mogul jumps cleanly he could find the front from barrier 1, and from there he’ll be hard to run down. His last two runs have been down the straight and both were excellent, winning one and running a narrow 2nd to Bumper Blast (who is a big chance in the Regal Roller later). Three back he ran a 1L 3rd to (3) Reward With Return after missing the start and running on strongly. Reward With Return sat outside the lead that day. Last start he led and gave a big kick in the Golden Topaz, running 2nd to King Of Hastings. Mister Mogul gets a 3.5kg weight swing and did have the slight SP over Reward With Return at Bendigo so I do lean his way. (8) Propelle was no match for Brooklyn Hustle last start but was a comfortable 2nd. Her 1000m form is very good but from barrier 2 she could be stuck behind a wall of horses. I can envisage a ‘Wilmot Pass’ situation from Kah again and another hard luck story for the maligned mare. (6) The Closer is first up but 1000m looks a bit short for her. Mister Mogul looks the horse to beat- I’d mark him favourite. Reward With Return has to be respected too and at the prices I’m happy to play both.
Impossible race for the mares, with 7 of the 8 horses at $7.50 or under. (6) Bless Her just held out (7) Chassis last start, with the latter charging from the back to just miss before coming out and winning nicely when settling closer last start. There’s very little between them, perhaps a slight leaning to Chassis, but I’m looking for some different form. (2) Our Campana fell in first up before looking hard to beat on paper 2nd up but failing in a fast race. I’m going to give her another chance here because she’s too consistent a mare to dismiss. She’s 2/2 third up, 3/5 on wet ground and 2/4 at the T/D. She also gets a senior jockey with Nolen replacing Campbell Rawiller. (4) Acting is an interesting one. She was a very good 3yo and ran very well in some quality races before setting a suicidal tempo in the Armanasco Stakes, which cooked her for the rest of the preparation. Olly jumping on off some good jumpouts scares me, but I’d need a bit longer to back her coming off such a poor string of runs. (1) Embrace Me is probably the best sprinter in the race but I’m prepared to risk her first up from barrier 1. I wouldn’t even be shocked if the roughie (8) St Edward’s Crown bounced back to her best and was in the finish. Giving Our Campana another chance but I couldn’t talk you out of anything.
Pretty average race with half the field resuming stayers. (2) Plein Ciel looks exceptionally hard to beat here. He’s had 6 weeks off after a taxing Winter Championship final. Normally that can be an issue but not for Danny O’Brien horses. We’ve seen recently with Russian Camelot that his horses are adaptable and can present fit and ready to go despite some time away from the races. Plein Ciel ran a good 4th in that race and prior to that dead heated with Shot Of Irish and ran a slashing 3rd to Iconoclasm. His form at the T/D reads 3: 2-0-1 and with Olly aboard I can’t really see anything beating him with most of these better at 2000m and beyond. (4) Exasperate is first up and is actually 3/3 at the T/D. I don’t think his form is as strong, but if Plein Ciel doesn’t show up he looks your winner. (9) Firstclass Dreamer looks very short and probably lacks the class coming from midweek BM64 grade, but he does have fitness edge and loves the mile. Pretty keen on Plein Ciel.
Cracking contest for the 3yo colts and geldings. There was a big spruik on (6) Hydro Star before his debut at Sandown, and after settling last off a slow start, his win couldn’t have been more impressive, powering away over the concluding stages. He’s a beast of a horse with a big stride who still does a lot wrong. I think he’ll be better on top of the ground and over further too. The problem here is he probably gets back to last again and comes up against some of the better last season 2yo’s. One of those was (3) Rulership who looked very good winning on debut before just getting run down by an airborne and Blue Diamond favourite Hanseatic. Rulership then pulled up lame in the Blue Diamond, before running again in Sydney on a heavy track which was probably one run too many. He did still start $3.30 against potential star Doubtland that day. The recent trial was very good on the synthetic. I would’ve loved to see the trial on wet ground because the Sydney run was inconclusive in my opinion. If he handles it, he could be 8 lengths in front of Hydro Star round the turn, and that horse will need to be even better than he was last start to win. I loved the debut of (8) The Cruiser at The Valley who settled midfield and seemed to lose a bit of ground around the turn, which can be tricky for new horses. His last 400m and 200m was the fastest of the meeting, and his 600m was only bettered by Brooklyn Hustle. If he’s improved his racing manners, I think he’ll run a huge race. Prepared to risk (1) Lunar Fox and (2) Larimer Street who both ran very well in stakes races last prep but will be better suited over 1400-1600m. Could have egg on my face taking on potential gun Hydro Star, but not sure this is his set up, so backing the map horse Rulership and The Cruiser.
Over to the Quezette for the girls here and the favourite is (3) Parlophone. Her two wins this prep have been outstanding, the first when nearly tossing Olly in the first 100m before settling 2nd last, peeling to the outside and letting rip to nab Peggy Selene. Last start Parlophone went to the Lightning Stakes at Morphettville, again settling back in the field before charging to win by 3L. Despite being a fairly lightly framed filly I think she’s better on good ground and it should be softer than her win first up on heavy ground. (7) Fresh is a very interesting runner. She bolted in on debut beating Thousand Guineas favourite Personal, who then ran down Parlophone next start. Fresh has an outstanding SP profile and looks to have come back well based off two good Flemington jumpouts. (12) Agreeable looked like a star on debut at Geelong, settling last before scoring by 2L to Aswaat, who came out and comfortably beat the older (maiden) horses next start. Agreeable actually ran a faster last 200m than Master Montaro on the day, who was promptly sold to Hong Kong. The other impressive debut was by (13) Icantoo at Warnambool, who also got back and finished strongly, running the fastest last 1000m of the meeting on Wangoom Day. Her last 800m and 600m were only bettered by stakes class Miss Iano in that race. The form out of that race has been awful and she’ll probably be snicked from the wide barrier again, but she’s got a lot of promise. (5) Bella Nipotina has jumped out very well and looks to have improved lengths off a solid debut campaign. I found this race incredibly tough. Parlophone looks a touch short to me because she could get a long way back again. Fresh can go forward from the midfield barrier and gets Damien Lane. Her SP’s from last preparation are very good in similar races and she’s jumped out well, so I’ll lean her way. Agreeable and Icantoo along with the favourite will be charging late in what should be a great finish.
Great edition of the Regal Roller stakes with a few handy types resuming up against some of the good off season sprinters. I have to be against (2) Viridine. I thought he was absolutely blessed in the Bletchingly, sticking to the fence and never going around a horse. He probably had more to give if needed but he had all the favours and jumps in weight here under the handicap conditions. He shares topweight with (1) Jungle Edge who can only win if it’s a heavy 8 or worse. (3) Begood Toya Mother resumes after a poor last prep in which he had a few issues. The Sir Rupert Clark winner is clearly good enough when right but also carries a fair bit of weight first up with potentially bigger targets in mind. (6) Age Of Chivalry is in a similar boat and probably better over 1400-1600m and may be left a touch flat footed on the soft ground. All the way down in the weights is (8) Bumper Blast who carries just 56kg and gets 6kg off the favourite. I was hard against him last start down the straight at 1000m, but he was simply far too good over an unsuitable distance against some solid enough T/D specialists. Up to 1200m here suits far better and Willo sticks. With the topweights somewhat vulnerable and certainly with no improvement to come and some of the classier horses first up with big weights I think this is the perfect race for Bumper Blast to win again.
An outstanding edition of the PB Lawrence Stakes and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. Anyone who has followed me for a while knows that (9) Arcadia Queen is my absolute favourite horse. At her best she’s in the top 3 middle distance horses in the country. They targeted the Everest/Golden Eagle last year which was a mistake because she’s not a sprinter. She nearly fell in the Golden Eagle as favourite and has had some serious feet issues, hence the bar plates first time. I can’t back her today with them coming off such a long break but watch out later in the prep. (8) Mystic Journey is a star mare and won this race last year. She had just one run in the Autumn and ran on very nicely in the William Reid behind Loving Gaby. She’s trialled as well as ever and does look hard to beat at the 1400m which is too short for some of these. Map is a bit tricky because she won’t want to give some fit horses too big a head start, but she does look the likely winner. One that loves the distance is (3) Streets Of Avalon. His record at the Caulfield 1400m reads 9: 4-2-1 including a group one Futurity Stakes win (albeit on a leader biased track). Second up at his pet T/D off an excellent first up run looks the right recipe to secure more group wins when the classier horses aren’t at peak fitness. My only issue with him is the soft ground, which I don’t think he goes on. If it’s dried out to a soft 5, I’d be keen on him to lead all the way, but even on a soft 6 he’s not hopeless. His Cantala 8th beaten 4.9L on a soft 7 when 3 wide no cover on a hot speed suggests he can get away with some moisture. (10) Savatiano flies fresh and doesn’t mind a soft track. I don’t think she’s as classy a mare as Mystic Journey or Arcadia Queen, but she’ll be on speed taking luck out of the equation. (1) Regal Power is a star but hasn’t won first up or at 1400m. He’s a very good horse but again, look for him later in the preparation. I hate to tip against Arcadia Queen but from a wagering POV she’s far too risky here. Streets Of Avalon is the fit horse on speed who could run them into the ground, just praying it’s not too wet, whilst Mystic Journey is the class 1400m horse first up and looks hard to beat.
Cannot wait to see what (4) Showmanship can do here. Like Arcadia Queen, I’ve got a huge opinion of this WA galloper. If he stayed in Perth, he’d have won the group 1 Railway in a canter, but they’ve chosen to test him in Melbourne. The horse just keeps improving and all 4 starts this preparation have been outstanding, the last three basically hands and heels and the last two as the $1.08 and $1.12 favourite. He’s adaptable in his racing pattern, has a win on debut on heavy ground and Pike should be able to blend into the race one off the fence or 3 wide with cover midfield. The horse bolts in under double wraps like it’s a trial, so with some classic Pikey vigour he could absolutely gap these. If they go the handicap route (Sir Rupert Clark/Toorak) route he’s a moral in both. I liked the first up run of (10) Titan Blinders and he should be improved 2nd up at 1400m but he draws the carpark and might struggle to get across easily. (14) Wilmot Pass probably should’ve won that race as favourite, having no luck in the straight. Draws wide here so probably gets back but will at least get clear air. (15) O’tauto was very good running 2nd to Harbour Views first up last prep. Not sure barrier 2 is ideal for him but with some luck I’d say he’s the danger to Showmanship. The $1.80 is more than fair, but if for some reason there are layers and you can take north of $2; I’ll be launching.
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