The track is rated a Soft 6 and the rail is out 12m for the nine-race card.
Find Trent Crebbin's preview and betting tips below!
Best Bet: Race 7 - (9) Alfa Oro
Best Value: Race 4 - (11) Gina’s Hope
I was very keen on (1) Euphoric Summer first up at Mornington over 1000m. She sat outside the lead, looked home for all money before getting nailed late by one I’d jumped off, who had the dream run. Drawing wide isn’t necessarily a bad thing with the Caulfield 1100m start, so Ben Melham can opt to try and cross to the rail or just ease out of the battle and be fine sitting wide. Does have to carry weight but looks the horse to beat. The danger looks to be (4) Yulong Island. His debut behind Tagaloa was good and he maps beautifully from barrier 4. Happy to take on (12) Clean Machine at the price as she started $51 on debut and was well beaten in an iffy form race. Not getting carried away early but a dutch bet on 1 & 4 is the way I’ll be approaching the race, with a slight leaning to Euphoric Summer.
This is a yucky race with a fair few ‘numbers’ going around. Most of the chances in the market tie in easily and there’s maybe 2 lengths separating them at most, so it’ll come down to the best ride/run. (1) Thought Of That brings different form, and whilst his best 3yo form would give nothing else a chance, he was awful in two starts last preparation and has jumped out poorly. If the rail is hot after race one, he might come into it more so. I’m not sure about (5) Heavenly Emperor on a soft track. His best performances have been on dry tracks and he hasn’t been great in two starts this time in, but he’s up to this on his best form. The import (7) I Could Do Better was only fair first up. He looks like he’ll get over further but the step up to 1600m suits, just not sure where he gets to on the map. The form out of that Flemington race has been very good though with Holbein and Mount Popa both winning their next start. (6) No Say In It was awful last start after an excellent run from last at this T/D two back. He’ll be a long way back though and it’s hard to trust him off that effort. Wouldn’t be at all surprised to have missed the winner, but I’ll stick with Olly/Waller.
A bit simpler here. (7) Mystery Shot is unbeaten from two starts and a deserved favourite. It’s more the style of his wins that have been impressive, rather than the times and sectionals. The camp is flying, but this is a big step up and I’m not sold on him. He draws awkwardly too with the short run to the first bend at Caulfield. The return of (5) Deserved was good. She ran some of the better sectionals of the day at Ballarat on heavy ground. 2nd up last preparation she arguably should’ve beaten I Am Eloquent. That ties in (9) Scorpius who raced in the Creswick last start. He was well beaten down the straight after an excellent first up run at Mornington coming from a long way back to finish 2nd. If you erase that run, he’d probably be favourite. The first and third horse from that race both won at Geelong on Friday, so the form looks good. He’s been ridden back in the field this preparation, but he has led in previous runs, so I’m not sure what they do from the gate. Happy enough to be against the top three in the weights who aren’t good enough at this level/distance in my opinion. Backing Scorpius and Deserved and depending on the market could chop out on Mystery Shot.
(11) Gina’s Hope was good first up on a heavy track, running home in solid sectionals after copping a bump on turning. She drops 6.5kg from that run after the claim, meaning she meets (5) Power O’hata 3kg better. I think she’s better suited at 1400m but there’s pretty good pace here, and a softer track is in her favour too. They may be starting to come wide in the straight which will allow her to find the best ground. Gina’s Hope is the 2nd longest priced runner in the field which demonstrates how open this race is. (8) Zaberlarina would be the danger for me. She started a short favourite last start and won well at Pakenham. She’s never seen a soft track but will be up on speed. (2) Mystery Love looked excellent winning three back at this track, but you couldn’t back her off the last two runs where she ran 16th and 9th. Host of other chances but I do think Gina’s Hope is value.
My best value was going to be Heavenly Light, but she’s been scratched. (3) Merited spiked last start in the Front Page race and comes here on the backup. I think she’s better over further and just managed to stay out of trouble last week in a messy race, where she started $41. (4) Felicia started $5 in the Heavenly Light race and ran a narrow 2nd so has obvious claims but seems short enough. If they are running on don’t be shocked to see (10) Paris improve. She’s been crying out for 1200m in my opinion, and her first up run was good. The wetter the better for her and with the scratching she’s my top pick at big odds.
Cracking race. It’s very similar to the race at The Valley two weeks ago which was taken out by (2) Iconic Star. He sat just off the speed set by (1) Ms Catherine and pounced late. We backed both last start and I think Ms Catherine can turn the tables. The comments from Henry Dwyer after the race were that she had a good blow and was a bit more underdone that he thought she was going in. Ms Catherine gets a 2.5kg weight swing here, and with the added fitness can prove too quick. Her gate speed is electric, and she’ll be in front for at least 95% of the race. The early money has come for (6) Acumen who is a clear danger. He brings an outstanding SP profile, only starting over $2.50 once which was on debut. I highly doubt he can cross Ms Catherine, but Rodd will be happy to sit outside the lead. The soft track is a slight concern as he failed on heavy last preparation, but that may have just been the end of his campaign and he did start $3.10 against group horse Splintex that day.
One of my favourite horses going around at the moment is (9) Alfa Oro. I’ve backed him every start this preparation and he’s won his last three, including last start at Flemington. The margin was very narrow, but the win was better than it looked. He was attacked up front, headed a couple of times, but would not lay down and kept kicking. Personally, I think he’ll be better suited back around a bend, and back onto slightly firmer ground won’t hurt either. (4) Miss Iano can’t crack it for a win this preparation but she’s going well. There’s enough speed for her to come wide and run on and at double figures I wouldn’t be losing on her. Next best is (3) Sansom who comes out of the Ms Catherine race. He’s the main danger but does draw wide with plenty of pace inside. Pretty keen Alfa Oro continues his winning ways, and also backing Miss Iano.
Pretty similar race to the one at The Valley two weeks ago, which was won by (4) Harbour Views in dominant fashion. I was happy to take him on that day and got burnt. He did get the perfect run and the win didn’t rate through the roof, but it’s hard to see anything turning the tables. I’d much prefer if (3) Double You Tee had drawn out, but I think the horse is ready to peak here. Hope claims 2kg so he does get a weight swing on the favourite, but he could be buried on the fence from the gate. If he gets some luck he’ll give Harbour Views a scare. Big watch on (7) South Pacific who brings outstanding overseas form, having beaten Constantinople before being beaten 10L by Stradivarius at his most recent run (which is actually very good going off Strad’s recent Gold Cup win!). The 2000m does look a bit short off his best and he’ll just look to be going through the line well. I think the way to play the race is have a good crack at Harbour Views north of $2, and back Double You Tee 1x4. I wouldn’t be shocked if they ran the exacta.
I had (13) Victoria Star as my best bet but he hasn't made the field. (2) Inn Keeper was scratched as my best value last week but jumps right back up in the weights this week and draws wide again, so he will find it tough to turn the tables on Victoria Star from their Cranbourne clash. The danger could be (8) Onslaught down from Sydney. His form around Phaistos last preparation is good enough, but I don’t love the soft ground or jockey booking. If (16) Howlowcanyougo gets a run as 3rd emergency, I’ll be backing him at big odds. This lightly raced 4 year old probably should’ve won first up and is better suited here. Another emergency (15) Scottish Rogue can run well if the track isn’t too wet.
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