Racing returns to Caulfield on Saturday, May 11th with punters facing the likelihood of a wet track.
With the rail out 10m I would expect riders to be steering away from the fence as the meeting goes on.
There's nine races on the card and we have our betting tips for each race below.
Best Bet: Race 5 - (8) My Biddy
Best Value: Race 7 - (5) Voila
The opening race on the card is for the stayers over 2406m with the main chances in the market all coming from different form lines. (1) Eastender took all before him over the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival winning the Devonport, Hobart and Launceston Cups to show that he a stayer of great ability. He has since had a break and returned with narrow victory carrying 65kg on his home track at Devonport in a tune up for this and he looks to have found a winnable race for his first foray in Victoria. He is likely to settle at the back of the field here but has shown he can make long runs and he keeps coming at the finish of his races. The likely wet track will also be of no concern. The main danger appears to be the Lindsay Park trained (4) Alfarris who has had two runs for the stable since coming from the UK. The step up in distance looks suitable on what he has shown so far and he looks an improving type. Should the track be Soft 7 or worse then (8) Grand Dreamer comes right into consideration given his love for severely rain affected tracks. His first two runs back this preparation have shown he is going well and a race of this nature is well within his grasp.
Very open race here but the horse that takes the most interest is (5) William Thomas. He was first up for nearly 10 months last start when 4th at this track and that run should do him the world of good. On that occasion he settled back near last and made good ground down the outside. The rise in distance will be to his advantage and the wide gate is of no concern. The chances don't end there with the Jarrod McLean trained (1) Bryan well placed to be in the finish. He is coming off a 3 length defeat in the Listed Wangoom Handicap last start in what was his first up run. He is down in class here and showed last preparation he is very adept in these types of racing having won on multiple occasions. The wet track will be of no concern.
This race looks a race in two for mine between (1) Zoutori and (3) Big Night Out. They clashed last start at Flemington over 1400m where Zoutori came out the winner after having a perfect run, relegating Big Night Out to 2nd place. On that occasion I felt Big Night Out was slightly stronger through the line and given the price difference between them here I will lean his way. The other form line for this race was the race at Caulfield over this distance two weeks ago. (10) Shandy ran 4th in that race after being held up at a vital stage and that gives her claims in this should the two already mention find trouble.
There is a distinct lack of speed in this race which should make it a tactical affair and possibly a sprint home. Happy to side with (4) Liapari who comes off a last start 2nd over this track and distance. The form out of that race has been ok with 3rd placegetter Plein Ciel winning the Easter Cup at his next start. He is likely to settle back in the field which could be problematic but he does have the services of Craig Williams and a real liking for rain affected going. (8) He Ekscels looks like he has been overlooked by the market despite the step up in grade. He comes out of a fast race first up and should find the front here with no weight on his back for Steph Thornton. Current favourite (5) Guizot looms as a danger after a dominant last start win at Warrnambool. He is always around the mark in these types of races and can sprint sharply off a slow tempo.
This looks a great race for the Tasmanian mare (8) My Biddy who comes off a last start 2nd to Grey Shadow, a horse who would be a short priced favourite in this race. She is drawn wide which should suit and given the lack of early speed in this race it should enable jockey Craig Williams to take her to the front and then plot the path he sees as best. The 1100m is ideal and the likely wet track is of no issue. As far as dangers go, (9) Josephine Sea looms as the main threat. She is racing well this preparation and comes out of the same race as My Biddy last start. She can settle closer here from the inside draw and has a liking for soft tracks.
The Redoute's Choice Stakes is the feature event of the day for the 2yos. It's a tough race for punters as five of the runners are unraced and of the raced there doesn't appear to be a standout. I'm happy to be against the early favourite (9) Moldova as there appears to be a bit of competition for the front and I'm not convinced by this time of the day that racing close to the fence will be advantageous. (11) Free Thrills ran on well last start in a stronger race. On that occasion she was held up for a run entering the straight and then had a horse laying in all over her for some of the straight. There is no doubt she should have finished closer. (10) Mishe Mokwa comes through the same race and she too made strong ground out wide which makes her a leading contender here. The best of the unraced horses appears to be (6) Hilo from the James Cummings Stable. He has looked good in three jump outs and finished with race favourite Moldova in his second one.
(1) Propelle looks well suited here. She was a dominant winner coming from off the pace last start at this track. She is drawn out which looks like the place to be by this time of the day and she retains the services of Craig Williams. If there is one query it is that all her wins have been at 1000m but the way she went through the line last start I would be surprised if 1100m would be an issue. The Chris Waller trained (5) Voila appeals as the main danger and is coming through a similar race to this last start. On that occasion she settled back and struggled a bit getting around the home turn before finishing off strongly. She should be better for the look at Caulfield and has good form on rain affected tracks. (9) Irresistable Girl comes through the same race as Voila and in that race was caught wide on the speed and was the best finisher of the on pacers. A much kinder run here can easily see her in the finish at the business end.
Open race for the sprinters here and I'm prepared to give veteran sprinter (1) Jungle Edge one last chance considering he will get conditions to suit. Not only will he get the rain affected track that he loves but he looks like getting a soft lead. He went too fast in front last start so a more measured ride can see him being in the finish. (8) Leonardo Da Hinchi is the best horse in the race but hasn't raced since the Spring of last year and is having his first run for Mick Price. He has only had one jump out which he won impressively so there is some chance he may need the run. The market will be a great guide to his chances.
A big field of mares for the last race of the day and it is without doubt the toughest. (13) Birth Of Venus is the early favourite and looks the top pick at this stage. She raced without luck at her first two runs this preparation before settling back and making good ground behind Grinzinger Star at this track two weeks ago. She drops back to mares grade here and should be at her peak now. The main danger looks to be (16) Thoughtful Harmony who is rising through the classes having won her past four starts. This is without doubt her toughest test but unlike plenty of her opposition she has some scope. The likely wet track wont be an issue and is she is racing like the 1800m will suit after winning over a mile last start. The chances don't end there in what is a tough end to the day.
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