Saturday racing has arrived for another week, and with Tim still enjoying a well-deserved break, we have Tasmanian racing expert Tristan Heffernan back for another guest appearance. Tristan has provided his preview for Caulfield for Australia Day and tips for every race below.
The opening race is for the sprinting 3yo fillies with many of them in good form. Its hard to go past the Mick Price trained Crack The Code who was very impressive winning first up at Moonee Valley. She comes back to her home track here and Damien Oliver retains the ride. She can sit just off the speed and should be very hard to hold out if she can show the same devastating turn of foot that she did last start. It looks an open race outside of her with perhaps the Maher & Eustace trained Bold Arial the main danger. She has won 3 of 6 including her past two since joining the stable and it two can settle just off the speed and should be strong at the business end.
Small field for the mares here and it looks a tricky race with no definite leader. Three of these come out of a race over this track and distance 3 weeks ago with Nodoubtaboutit finishing ahead of Queen Annabel and Miss Norway. Miss Norway started favourite in that race and I'm prepared to forgive her for that run when she never really looked comfortable and simply went too hard within herself. She gets a significant jockey change here with the senior jockey going on and I think she can atone. Queen Annabel also didnt have a favourable run that day, is drawn to get a soft run here so should be in the finish. Tiara Star is a recent addition to the Will Clarken stable and is a winner of her last two. Despite the step up in grade, she is another who looks to have a great chance.
Should be a tempo here that gives all horses their chance over the 1400m. Groundbreak was heavily backed when winning at this track last start. This race looks a nice progression for him and he is drawn to get a lovely run just off the speed. He looks very hard to hold out. Jesta Dream looks the main danger if you can forgive his last start failure down the straight. His form before that was very good without winning including a close up placing in a better race than this. It is awkwardly drawn so will need some luck early to slot in. Hunamosa is the leader in the race and is in good form. It is hard to see him turning the tables on Groundbreak but should that horse be off its game then he is some chance to cause an upset at a price.
The Blue Diamond Preview for the Colts & Geldings is always an intriguing contest as it is generally the first time many of Victorias best 2yos will meet. This years edition features 8 of the 13 horses making their debut making it a tough race for punters. The James Cummings trained Microphone is the benchmark of the raced brigade being an impressive winner at Flemington at his only start. His jumpouts prior to that were excellent and he looks pretty bombproof. A number of the unraced have trialled well with I Am Immortal showing plenty of speed to win his heat at Pakenham whilst the Darren Weir trained Hulk did everything right when winning by a big space in a jumpout at Ballarat. They both will be in the firing line and should get every chance. If you are looking for a bit of value then Exeter could be the one. He comes from stable who have a great record with 2yos, has recently jumped out well and gets the services of Damien Oliver.
The Blue Diamond Preview for the Fillies looks a much stronger race than that for the male counterparts. Peter & Paul Snowden look to hold the key here with two fillies that were both very impressive on debut in Sydney. Both have trialled well at Pakenham recently to get ready for this and its hard to split them. I have slight leaning to Catch Me over Anaheed having easily won the Gimcrack Stakes which is generally a good form reference for the rest of the 2yo season. Jedastar showed great speed and looked very professional in winning on debut at Flemington on New Years Day. She should be right in the firing line here for a long way. If Microphone runs well in race 4 then you can elevate Pretty Brazen who was a great run on debut at Flemington when it came clear on the inside part of the straight but was just nabbed by Microphone late who was down the outside. Had she been racing with Microphone it may have been a different result. She also has the benefit of a recent run.
Social Spin was very impressive when beating Long Leaf at Flemington last start. He was slowly away and settled off the speed against his usual pattern but was still too good late. He jumps back up in the weights here and is drawn a tricky gate but should he get the desired luck then he looks the likely winner. Goldifox looks about the only danger and comes off a good win in a Maiden at Geelong. She ran good time and can be right on the speed here. She has been competitive against decent horses last preparation and at the price looks a better option than the favourite given the map concerns with him.
Looks to be very little speed on paper here with Snoano possibly the leader but it should only be at a slow tempo. Given the lack of tempo I think this plays into the hands of Al Galayel who was an impressive winner at Moonee Valley last start in a race that may be of similar tempo to this. Craig Williams seems to get on well with the horse and he should be hard to hold out. Second Bullet comes off a strong win at Flemington and looks the main danger. The Danny O'Brien/Damien Oliver combination has been lethal of late and the horse is a winner over the track and distance. Lamborghini is hard in the market but this looks a step up in class on his last two wins and I'm not sure the expected slow tempo will suit it.
Another race that looks like it will be run at a slow speed. Wenner should find the front and can give a great sight. This is a step up in class but he comes out of a fast race last week where he was on speed and battled on well. He can get control here and can be a hard horse to get past. He looks a good value play. The Darren Weir trained Silentz is the favourite and he is a last start winner at Flemington where he received all the favours. He was very strong at the finish so the step up to 1700m shouldn't be any issue. He will be very hard to beat but is likely to at a very short quote. Guizot will be hard in the market again but had every possible chance against Silentz last start. It's hard to see him turning the tables so looks one to risk.
Should be a genuine tempo with both Theanswermyfriend and Arbeitsam liking to run along in front plus anther host of on speed runners. Manolo Blahniq won a similar race to this at Flemington last start after sitting wide. He is drawn to get a soft run on the inside here so will need luck to get out at some stage. Should he get that luck then he looks very hard to hold out. Mr Money Bags was given a horrendous ride last start in that same race and arguably should have won. He gets a jockey change for this assignment however he may need luck early to slot in from a wide gate. He also tends to save his best for Flemington however has only had the one run at Caulfield. Chamois Road is one at odds that is always around the mark in these types of races and could be one for those looking for a bit of value in the last.
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