Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing on Saturday, July 11th.
Back to Caulfield for a handy 9 race card. The track is rated a soft 6 but with plenty of rain on the day expect a genuinely wet surface with the rail in the true position. Tough day to find a stand out bet, but there’s some healthy prices throughout my selections.
Best Bet: Race 5 (1) Alburq
Best Value: Race 7 (5) Intuition
Tricky little 2yo race to kick us off. I think (1) The Felon is the horse to beat. He was scratched from Flemington last week where he was well in the market against Sense Of Honour and has come up a similar price here. Bit of a query going from a synthetic to a possibly heavy track, but that win was soft. (7) Gdansk could give a sight out in front with Olly jumping on, especially if the fence/leading is hot early. (3) Efflorescence brings a good SP profile and won his maiden easily on synthetic last start. (2) Wunambal narrowly beat (7) Frisson last start, but I’m not sold on that form line. Happy to be with The Felon in the first.
Bit of a nothing race, with a few numbers coming up against a few lower grade winners. One of those winners is (3) Our Campana who is 5/12 and raced very well last preparation. Interesting to note that she’s now with Peter Moody. From barrier 1 she probably sits just behind the leaders. I can’t get (6) Propelle as short as she is. She ran well 1st up and goes well 2nd up, but she started $17 last start and had every chance from the inside, whereas (2) Miss Iano started $15, was back and wide against the bias yet still came home in far better sectionals than Propelle. Add to the fact that Our Campana comfortably had Propelle’s measure when they met at this T/D in January and I can’t fathom how she’s $4. (9) Sword Of Mercy is flying and has claims but this is a big step up, whilst (1) All Over Bosanova drops back to benchmark grade and has claims if you forgive her wide run last start.
Speaking of nothing races, this is the weekly ‘numbers’ race with one exception. (18) Tavidance who is the 2nd emergency. If he gets a run, he’s the only horse in the race I can back. I was happy to be against him first up at Sandown from barrier 1, and the run was very solid. He’ll get over further but with clear air from barrier 5 he goes close. The run at Flemington behind Vow And Declare wins this, as does the Bendigo run winning by 2L despite pulling up lame. If he doesn’t get a run it’s very tricky. (17) Street Tough is first emergency but should get a run with the wet track predicted. From barrier 1 he’ll need a good ride, but the horse is flying, beating Minyinga, who Tavidance ran 3rd to first up. (15) Sakura might have to go right back from the gate but was good against the bias here last start. The step up to 1400m probably suits. (12) Falls is unbeaten 2nd up and has some very good SP’s. He drops 7kg from his disappointing first up run and could be the value here. Very little between numbers 1, 2 and 3 who are very consistent. Any of them could win without surprising. Happy to back Tavidance if he gets a run, along with Falls.
I’ve heard a few people declaring (5) Morrissy here but I am not one of them. He was given every possible chance to run out 1400m last start, with the on pace bias meaning that the first 4 in running went very slow and sprinted home. Not to say that can’t occur again here because it can, but if the inside is chopping up or something puts a bit of pressure on through the middle stages, I think Morrissy will be found out late. Hopefully (3) Reflectivity does apply some pressure from barrier 3. He was solid first up last preparation in a much stronger race, but the big query is wet ground as I don’t think he handles it. I hope they don’t scratch the horse because of it and allow Morrissy an easy lead. (6) Kings Brook brings mares form but is flying and gets in with 53kg. (4) Superhard hasn’t won for a while but can bounce back hard here. He was huge first up in the Wangoom before a slow recovery when in the market at Swan Hill and an average run sitting much closer than usual at Flemington. He’s 2 from 3 at the 1400m and handles soft ground. The outsider of the field is (10) Battle Torque, and he’s not hopeless here. He was disappointing first up and will hit his straps a bit later in the preparation, but his run over this T/D last preparation behind group class Buffalo River on a heavy 8 was enormous, racing 3 and 4 wide the trip. I could definitely have something on him at $31, maybe more on the exchange.
Good race. There’s very little between (4) Wicklow Town, (6) Scorpius and (7) Terrace House from their Mornington clash. You could make a strong case for all of them, but I’m going to ignore the form line altogether, meaning it’s basically a race in two between (1) Alburq and (2) Mystery Shot. Alburq has been up a long time but keeps racing well. He probably should have one or two wins in his form with mixed luck and some poor rides denying him. He went straight past Scorpius at Flemington, but that was a messy race. No problems with him at 1400m, with a close up 4th to Rubisaki last preparation and a recent 2nd to Jolly Sailor. Barrier 7 is a touch tricky at this start, but with cover he should find the right lane in the straight. The clear danger is Mystery Shot who is unbeaten. His wins have been styling despite lacking a bit of substance, and he has had perfect runs in all three starts, whereas he might have a tough time crossing in behind Terrace House. At the odds I have to side with Alburq who is flying.
Despite the scratching of original favourite Right You Are, this is still the contest of the day. I’ll go as far to say as nothing can win outside of (1) Thought Of That and (3) Grand De Flora. I’ll start with Thought Of That who is 2nd up here. His first up run here was very solid, and the rumours that he may be back look to have been solidified. He’ll only improve 2nd up and out to 2000m and will cross straight to the lead. His best asset is to roll at a good clip and break their hearts. I’m a huge fan of (3) Grand De Flora and she got the job done as best bet at Sandown last start. Her strength through the line and breeding suggests she’ll eat up 2000m, and I don’t think she’ll be too far back. In a race with little pace Willo can roll forward as she has done in the past, and if she gets cover midfield or better, she’ll be in the right part of the track and has the closing speed to run down Thought Of That. It just comes down to what price you want to take. I think Grand De Flora will drift with heavy support for Thought Of That. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the market flip completely, and at anything over $3.50 late I’m happy to stick with Grand De Flora. If she remains firm and Thought Of That remains around $4, I’ll happily back him. Apologies for the spiel, but I do think that’s the way to play the race late in the market.
The feature of the day over 1100m and the favourite is (2) Viridine coming off an easy win at Randwick over 1200m. Back to 1100m is fine but that’s not the issue. I don’t think he beat much in Sydney, with Handle The Truth not in form and having every chance, and Southern Lad doing what he does as favourite. The horse is going well but there are enough knocks at $2.40 from what could be a tricky inside barrier late in the day. I don’t think (1) Jungle Edge is going well enough and would need a proper heavy track to be competitive. (7) Tavisan has been poor his last two and looks to be nearing the end of his preparation. (3) Ashlor is very consistent but was able to control the race perfectly last start, which won’t happen here. That leaves me with (6) I Am Someone and (5) Intuition. I Am Someone was a touch disappointing last start when perhaps ridden too close down the straight when starting $5. His run over this T/D first up was excellent and he should get the perfect run from barrier 3, so at the $7 available in an easier race I can back him. Intuition will be the swooper. His run first up behind I Am Someone was huge, coming home in the fastest last 400m of the meeting. He’s better suited 2nd up and a fast run 1100m has seen him produce his best. At $14 he’ll be my best result in the race.
The pace looks good as you’d expect in an 1100m fillies’ race. It’s hard to ignore the first up record of (1) Sizzlefly who is 3/3 when produced from a spell. She comes here off a 10 week let up. Around this time last year, she came off a 7 week break and was 5 wide no cover over this T/D in a much stronger race, finishing half a length off Lyre. The form behind Xilong and Garner is very strong and has held up in Melbourne. She can just sit back hopefully three wide with cover, get a cart into the race and find the best ground in the straight. Trying to do a similar thing will be stablemate (3) That Girl who was very solid behind Front Page at Flemington last start. I think Sizzlefly is the better horse so hopefully the stable have her ready. (5) Knowles isn’t hopeless at a big price, and of the on pace horses I do like (7) Elderflower who is quite speedy. She got trapped in a speed battle between Ms Catherine and Iconic Star who are both very fast and stuck on for 3rd whereas those two finished at the tail. Off that run 1100m should be fine, and with just 53kg after the claim I’d expect the instructions to be lead at all costs and try to hold on. Happy to back what I think is the best on pace horse, and best closer in the race at the generous odds.
Really tough race to finish and not one I’m super keen on. The track will be key by now, and I think horses just off the speed getting to the outside in the straight will be suited, and (3) Curragh fits that bill nicely. Disappointing first up, he was much improved last start, saving ground up the inside but still coming home in the fastest last 200m of the race behind Heptagon and Haunted, which is strong form. He loves soft ground and 1700m 3rd up is ideal. If the track is playing leaderish (6) Heavenly Emperor comes into it, who was the beneficiary of a great Aitken ride last start, just beating Thought Of That who we’ll see again in race 6. (14) Triple Strip looks short as the current favourite. I couldn’t take sub $5 about anything in this race, especially about one coming from mares/Tasmania form. (12) Our Peaky Blinders gets Olly on and has won twice 3rd up. A slightly firmer surface should help him too, but he’ll need a bit of luck from the wide barrier. Even (4) Prince Ziggy isn’t hopeless with a good 2nd up record.
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