There's nine races on today's card, headlined by the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes, with current Cox Plate favourite Mystic Journey all the talk! The Group 3 Quezette Stakes, Group 3 Vain Stakes and Listed Regal Roller Stakes also add to a terrific meeting.
The track is a Soft 5 with the rail out 10m. We've previewed every race on the card below!
Best Bet: Race 4 - (6) Age Of Chivalry
Best Value Bet: Race 7 - (4) Ken's Dream
(12) Pippie comes up the short-priced favourite having bolted in at Doomben on her return to the track five weeks ago. She won by 5L on debut last prep before being competitive behind the likes of Multaja and Sunlight, which is certainly good enough form for her to warrant favouritism here. I think she's short enough at the quote; she's going to face some competition for the lead and will have to kick up from barrier 1, or risk getting caught behind the leaders on the rail. (10) Gododdin has been an early drifter in betting but there's little wrong with her form. She won two starts ago and ran 4th down the straight last start. The horses that ran 2nd and 3rd in that race have come out and won so the race looks a good form reference. (5) Exceltara had no hope the way things panned out at the Valley. He probably needs 1200m but if the speed is on he'll be running over the top of them late. (2) Tony Nicconi is suited third up, returning from two runs in Sydney. (16) Diamond Effort was highly impressive in her final two starts last prep. She will have to sit posted outside the leader from the wide gate, but she's not to be underestimated.
(2) Benitoite should arguably be undefeated from her six starts to date. She's won four of them and the two she's lost she's had no luck at all. She continues to progress through the grades and she should be right in the finish once again today. (1) Toryjoy is flying in Sydney. She's won two of her last three races and the one she lost, she bombed the start and had to settle at the back of the field, which is completely against her best racing pattern. She should go forward and lead this field, and she gets conditions to suit with the wet ground. (5) Rat With Goldtooth is knocking on the door for another win. He gets every chance from the good draw today. Backing Benitoite at $3.80 and saving on Toryjoy at $4.60.
Interesting race. (11) Snitzepeg doesn't have the class of some of the others but he finds a winnable race with plenty of these set for targets much further down the track. He's furth up today, comes off a decent run last start and gets up to the mile, which he desperately needs now. He won his only previous start at this track and distance and down on the minimum weight he should be competitive. (9) King Of Leogrance is one of three Lloyd Williams runners entered in the race and he's the one resuming from the least time off the track. He's had 42 weeks off, while his stablemates have had 49 and 100 weeks off. The King is a winner of three of his five starts and remains undefeated first up. He resumes as a gelding today and even though he'll be better over further than this, it wouldn't shock me to see him be competitive at double figure odds here. Of his stablemates, (5) Douglas Macarthur has the class edge, but it's hard to tip them first up from two years off. (6) New Universe popped up at the Valley last start and gets his chance to win again.
What a terrific race this is. (6) Age Of Chivalry comes up the short-priced favourite and looks hard to beat after a terrific effort first up at Moonee Valley. He was slow away at the start, knuckled, was held up until the 200m and then raced tight until the finish line, but was still only beaten a length by Usain Bowler. Up to 1400m second up looks a winning formula. His form last prep behind the likes of The Inevitable and Mr Quickie looks supreme. With that said, he's not short of competition here. (2) Rox The Castle will be much better suited second up at 1400m as well, (3) Shot Of Irish loves the wet ground and draws the inside barrier off an impressive last-start victory, (4) Five Kingdom hasn't done anything right all prep but has the ability to win if he jumps properly, while (13) Silent Roar could be the forgotten runner at double figure odds. She should have won first up last prep.
Happy to sit back and watch this race as a few top-class three-year-olds return. (7) Excess Funds might be the way to go with race fitness on his side. He was an easy winner first up at Sandown before bumping into a couple of smart ones last start in Adelaide. Notably, he was very well backed to win that race, but was outclassed by Assertive Approach and Behemoth. He gets winkers on today and third up from a spell, he'll be much fitter than (1) Dubious and (2) Bivouac who head the market.
Another race which is a little bit of a guessing game. We have seven fillies first up from a spell here, stepping out for the first time as three-year-olds. Two-year-old form doesn't stand up half the time, so it's hard to be sure which horses will return in what kind of form. With that said, I think (1) Lyre has a good deal of class on her side and can go on with it as a three-year-old. The Blue Diamond winner ran 3rd in the Golden Slipper and returns for the first time since that race. She's undefeated at the distance and undefeated in two starts here at Caulfield. Happy to have something on her at $4.50. The Godolphin pair of (2) Pin Sec and (4) Exhilarates have to be respected first up, while it's notable Damien Oliver jumps off the luckless (5) Absolute Flirt to ride (7) Lankan Star for the Hayes, Hayes, Dabernig team.
This is the biggest test in the career of (8) Begood Toya Mother but based on what we saw last prep, he deserves his crack at a race like this. He went five from five last prep and resumes from a short spell today. There doesn't look to be that much speed in the race so I'd expect them to roll forward and try to run the race to suit themselves. He'll be hard to beat but there's some good horses in this race. One of the outsiders is (4) Ken's Dream who is a $26 chance. I think that's over the odds. His first up run wasn't bad at all and he typically comes on from that. He's got a great second up record with two wins and a 2nd from three starts, and three of his five career wins have been at this distance. He can improve sharply today.
There's been plenty of discussion about (11) Mystic Journey and there's plenty keen to lay her but if she's anywhere near her best then she'll win this. I think it's somewhat fishy the fact they missed the race a couple of weeks back and they're talking about a top three finish being good enough, but I just can't see them beating her IF she is 100%. Obviously, she doesn't want the track too wet, so hopefully the rain stays away. If anything is to beat her, I think it will be (4) Cliff's Edge or (5) Fifty Stars. Cliff's Edge was comfortably beaten by Scales Of Justice first up over 1200m, but he's better suited second up at 1400m. Fifty Stars will relish a wet track if the rain does arrive. (1) Hartnell is now a nine-year-old and while he's got a great record at this track and distance, he might be better with one or two runs under the belt.
I'll be backing (3) Crack The Code and (10) Causeway Girl to finish off the day here. Crack The Code was good first up and has won her only start at the track and distance. In fact, she's undefeated from two starts here at Caulfield. She rarely runs a bad race so $7.50 is an acceptable price. Causeway Girl is undefeated first up from a spell. She was tested in some tougher races after saluting first up last prep but she didn't quite measure up. She's trialled well leading into this, Oliver goes straight on from the good draw and she should be competitive at $7. (4) Working From Home can be included in numbers, while if this were run on a good track I'd be in the corner of (5) Grey Shadow, but the soft ground might see her struggle.
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