Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Caulfield on Saturday, July 25th.
Group racing returns to Caulfield this weekend with the Bletchingly Stakes run at Group 3 level, which headlines the nine-race card. The track is rated a Soft 5 with the rail out 5m.
Find Trent Crebbin's preview and betting tips below!
Best Bet: Race 9 - (1) Mystery Shot
Best Value: Race 5 - (7) Paris e/w
Gee (4) Tavidance looks hard to beat again here. I’ve been on the right side of him this preparation, taking him on first up before jumping on last start in what was a dominant win. The step up to 1600m third up is perfect, Kah should be able to roll forward in a race devoid of pace and be too strong late. The only negative I can find is back to a drier surface but his win at Bendigo last preparation on a good 4 was dominant despite pulling up lame. The wide barrier should only ensure we get better than $2 and at that price I’m more than happy to get involved. The only two dangers come out of the same race, won by (1) Heavenly Emperor. Will Price takes off 3kg, the horse won at the track, distance and grade last start and will be on speed. (3) No Say In It didn’t have much luck in that race and can settle closer, but they’ll still struggle to beat Tavidance.
Pretty happy to take on the favourite (8) Zesty Belle here who looks way too short. I don’t think she ran out the 1200m last start when seemingly having every chance, and now steps up to 1400m. Happy to risk based on that fact alone, notwithstanding her actually being good enough to win the race. The horse to beat coming out of that race is (9) Sensationalisation who was on debut and finished 3rd, half a length off Zesty Belle. The Mick Price filly ran the fastest last 400m and 200m of the meeting there and will love the 1400m 2nd up. I wouldn’t be backing her now because she maps towards the back of the field, but with natural improvement looks hard to beat. On the same day at Sandown (6) Duke Caboom ran well for 4th, grinding away to the line with much slower sectionals than Sensationalisation the race before. He’ll run well and is in with a good place chance. (4) Burleigh Boy comes out of the Cherry Tortoni form. His 1400m race two back would put him inthe finish and Olly replaces Willo but he’s had a couple of chances now. I’ll be backing Sensationalisation late and having something on Duke Caboom to place.
It pains me to do this race having backed (2) Miss Iano at big odds last start who seemingly dead heated with (1) Our Campana, the judge finding the narrowest of margins. In this race however I think it’s advantage Our Campana who is 2nd up. She generally improves with the run under her belt so to get the win when first up only adds merit to her claims here. If she’d drawn out, I’d be very keen, but I’ll trust Campbell Rawiller to find clear air from barrier one. Miss Iano will struggle to turn the tables, especially on drier ground. Happy to take on (6) Propelle again who was a touch unlucky, but I doubt can turn the tables on Our Campana regardless. Next best is (9) Sword Of Mercy who is flying and will get a nice run behind the speed. With clear air I think Our Campana wins and wouldn’t be shocked to see her start under $3 with her excellent 2nd up record.
There are only three winning chances here and they fill the top of the race book. I’ll start at the top with (1) Persan. The horse is flying and had the race won last start as soon as they didn’t make it a strong test. The horse had the best turn of foot and won easily. I wouldn’t say he exactly ticked the longer trip box given the race shape but maps well again and should get every chance despite having to carry 62kg. The win of (2) Lord Bouzeron when leading all the way here over 2000m was exceptional. The two fancies in the market there didn’t show up whatsoever, but nonetheless it was very good. He’s won on firmer ground before, gets 5.5kg off the topweight and should be able to control the race. It’s not often I declare one a moral, but I put it all on the line with (3) Grinzinger Allee at Cranbourne last start and he bolted in with 61.5kg against the older horses. His two runs prior over 1600m were excellent and tie in easily with Persan through Right You Are. Grinzinger Allee hasn’t seen the longer trip before, but his strength over the last 800m along with his staying genes (Reliable Man out of a NZ Oaks winner) should hold him in good stead. I think Melham rolls forward as he did last start and with an economical run in transit, I’m confident he has the best turn of foot and closing speed.
The omnipresent mare’s race and as usual it’s incredibly open. (3) Chassis is probably the hardest to beat 2nd up. She came from near last in a similar race over 1100m here last start, running the fastest sectionals of the race. Just behind her there was (4) Beatrix who had a nice run but still went well. (2) That Girl had the SP over both and was very good from last but faces a different challenge drawn barrier 2 here. (10) Finesse Tess was forced to stay inside for that race which was clearly the inferior going. She did an excellent job to finish 4th and does get some weight off Chassis but draws wide here so might struggle again. One that should get a lovely run is (7) Paris. I’ve been following this horse all preparation and she’s run very well with three consecutive thirds. She took on some very handy males last start in Mystery Shot and Wicklow Town and wasn’t beaten far. Don’t love her back to 1200m but she’ll be very strong late and maps beautifully with just 53kg. (12) Kimberly Spirit was very impressive winning her maiden last start, although her closing splits relative to the day weren’t great despite a solid overall time.
On to the omnipresent open handicap, with a few of the main chances competing in an identical contest two weeks ago won by (3) Travimyfriend who showed intent, opposed to (5) Morrissy who despite a slightly slow beginning, showed none. I’m still not sold on Morrissy at 1400m despite being good from the back last start. (4) Great Duchess is clearly the pick of the mares ahead of (8) Kings Brook. Great Duchess won two to kick off the campaign before paying the price in the Leilani Final with 61kg, settling near last and running on well. Draws nicely to sit in her usual off pace/midfield position and gets in well at the weights compared to the other mares. (6) Curragh isn’t hopeless and was given no hope last start. Back to 1400m hurts but his run two back was good in tougher company despite getting all the favours. With little confidence I’ll put Great Duchess on top but stake accordingly in a very tough race.
On to the Bletchingly which is a bit of an average race. (4) Viridine is the favourite and looked set to win the lead up before the heavens opened, we got another wet track and (1) Jungle Edge proved too strong. With the track leaning towards the good range I’d expect the tables to turn, however I still don’t really want to take $3 about Viridine. The three at the bottom of the weights are very poorly handicapped under the WFA conditions, and the resuming (3) Widgee Turf and (2) Streets Of Avalon aren’t exactly 1200m horses although both will run their honest race. That leaves me with (5) Great Again and (6) I Am Someone. Great Again sees a dry track for the first time in Melbourne this preparation, but he’s still capable on a firmer surface. His two runs down the straight have been excellent, with a clear forgive run at The Valley in between when wide and pulling up lame. He clearly beat home I Am Someone last start giving that horse 1.5kg, and they meet at level weights here. I Am Someone will run well again but probably can’t turn the tables on Great Again from that clash, or on Viridine from last start. Viridine is the horse to beat but I can’t take $3 about him so I’m happy to have Great Again on top.
Staying race and it’s basically three chances against a bunch of benchmark at best horses. I’ll start with the favourite (1) Double You Tee who is yet to record a win this preparation after an outstanding last campaign. I’m not sure what to make of him this time in. His run two back when 2nd to Harbour Views would win this, but his last two have been disappointing despite having to contend with slow tempos and biased tracks. He might be looking for the longer trip now, but he’ll still be a long way back off a potentially slow tempo and with the form he’s in I can’t back him as favourite. (2) Mahamedeis has been racing against the favourite most of the preparation. From what I’ve gathered, they’ll be pushing forward from the wide barrier, but I still don’t like the set up. The horse has had two jumps trials and was down to run in a maiden hurdle last week. His run at Flemington with 62kg was good when beating home (3) Sasko but that race did set up very well for swoopers. Sasko had no hope in that race, with Starcaster whipping around the field and putting paid to Sasko’s chances. His run last start in the Banjo Patterson final was very good, finishing 3rd in a bunched field behind Lord Belvedere and Alfarris. The key to Sasko is the ability to control a race from on speed which is what he gets here. Poy can slowly roll across to the lead and dictate to his opposition, giving little hope to Double You Tee. The only slight knock is the firmer ground, but it might not matter if he gets such a good run and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the money come for Sasko on race day, especially if there’s any leader bias.
Another short favourite to bookend the card, and it’s hard to see (1) Mystery Shot getting beaten. He’s unbeaten and was utterly dominant last start at this track and distance, controlling the race and powering away to win eased down. I can’t see (3) Wicklow Town turning the tables from last start. The one that possibly could is (2) Splendoronthegrass who can produce an outstanding finish. She was the only horse to make significant ground out wide that day, but despite carrying 60.5kg she didn’t really back it up at Flemington last start. Mystery Shot will continue to improve, and Rodd seems to think he’ll be even better on top of the ground which is scary. (9) Lake’s Folly should’ve won last start at Bendigo, powering late to just miss, but he’ll be a long way back and is lengths better on wet ground. From barrier 5 Rodd has options early- if Mystery Shot jumps quickly he can lead, but if something wants to take him on he can settle just off them. Either way he’ll have a big head start on the main dangers and should be winning again.
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