Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Caulfield on September 30th!
It’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes day, with the feature coming up in Race 8. The track is currently a Good 4 with the rail in the True position.
We’ve got tips and comments for every race on the card below.
Best Bet: Race 9 #10 Furrion
Best Value: Race 8 #8 Homesman
Good betting race to kick things off and I’m keen to get involved. (2) Éclair Calling looks well placed third up here after a solid 3rd placing behind Violate and Dollar For Dollar in Listed company at Flemington last start. He won over the mile at Flemington third up last preparation and looks set to give this a real shake. Drawn to get a great run from barrier 4. (3) Holbein was good first up when 3rd over 1200m at this track and he took that form to an easier race at Geelong, where he got the job done nicely. Third up today and should be able to find the lead from barrier 13. He has to carry the full 60kg but he’s good enough to do that. Outside of those two, (11) Kentucky Breeze looks an each way chance. He was good behind Moonlover first up at Mornington and Moonlover then came out and won again on Friday night at Moonee Valley, so the form is standing up. (7) Muraahib has recorded successive victories to open his campaign, but both have been on the synthetic. I don’t particularly like that form when coming to metro grade, so I’ll take him on, but he did run well over this distance at Flemington last preparation. Happy to have a decent bet on both Éclair Calling and Holbein with something small on Kentucky Breeze.
Another very good race with a number of chances. There looks to be a stack of speed on paper here but I’m hoping (8) Al Passem can just settle behind the front runners. He ran 3rd behind Land Of Plenty and Peaceful State last start and that race has turned out to be a very solid form reference with Land Of Plenty very nearly winning a G1 last weekend. He should be improved off that run given it was his first in seven weeks and he won over this track and distance not that long ago. If they do go ridiculously hard up front, it could set it up for the likes of (6) Waging War coming from off the speed. He resumed with a solid 3rd placing behind TheAnswerMyFriend and Widgee Turf in Adelaide and his only start at this track was a 3L win over the mile last prep. (4) Violate was dominant winning first up at Flemington but my concern is his second up record. His only win at this track also came over 2000m, but the gelding operation seems to have done the trick and it wouldn’t surprise to see him repeat that effort today. (2) Cliff’s Edge was very solid in the market last start and was a complete horror show. He ran into backsides for the whole straight. Third up today and has three wins from six starts at this track. Interesting to see what tactics they employ from the wide gate. Damian Lane taking the ride on (5) Federal also creates some interest. Can make a genuine case for every runner in the race here.
Not a race I’m keen on at all. (1) Prized Icon isn’t a horse I ever back but this is the easiest race he’s contested in a long time. His last start over 2000m came in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes, where he was 3L behind Gailo Chop. He brings some strong Sydney form to a very moderate Melbourne race today and the step back up to 2000m should see him winning. $2.10 for a horse with three wins from 29 starts is always a bit sketchy though. (2) Shoreham at $31 isn’t the worst bet. His form looks horrible but he has a knack of popping up in races like this, just as he did at the end of last prep when he won at $101 over this track and distance. Barrier 1 helps his chances. (7) Octabello and (8) Legale come out of the same race at Ballarat two starts ago, which was won by Octabello. Both are still lightly raced and can measure up here. (10) Nettoyer always puts the writing on the wall but she’s only won the one career race, which was by 10L on a Heavy track. I’d need to see her win again before taking $4.20.
Impossible race to bet in, you could make a case for nine or 10 runners. (3) Soothing goes on top with three wins from three starts this prep. The form out of her latest start has been very solid, with both the 2nd and 3rd horses winning their next starts. (9) In Good Time has won all six career starts and resumes from a spell here. Hard to tell if she can measure up in this sort of race but she did win a Listed race at cone the last time we saw her. McEvoy booked to ride is a positive sign but barrier 18 hurts. $15 about a horse that’s never lost isn’t a terrible bet though. (12) Our Crown Mistress has won four from five career starts and returns for the first time since last year’s Spring carnival. I think she’s well and truly short enough first up for 11 months over 1100m, especially given the stable is underperforming. (14) Miss Leonidas has been very well backed early ahead of her resumption. She won by 6L over the 1000m course at the Valley last time we saw her. She’s trialled well leading into this but this is her biggest test. (16) Grey Shadow is a good chance at double figure odds after a good victory over a talented horse last start, while the $31 about (1) Cool Passion and (2) Working From Home looks big odds. Unlikely to bet here.
Think (7) Trekking is short enough at $3.70 here. He’s won two from three this prep and was when winning last start after sitting wide without cover, but the form out of those races is somewhat questionable and there’s some very good horses going around here. (1) Kemono goes on top – Weir has said all prep that this is his race and if he’s hopeful of getting an Everest slot then he’ll want to be winning this. 59kg and barrier 11 at Caulfield isn’t an easy set of circumstances to overcome but we’re getting a decent price. (2) Booker flies first up and won comfortably at this track and distance first up last prep. From barrier 1 she’ll go straight to the front and take some catching. (6) Brave Song might be being a bit overlooked here. He won first up and was then beaten by Voodoo Lad and Home Of The Brave, before running 3rd to Land Of Plenty and Osbourne Bulls. That kind of form is very solid and from barrier 2 I suspect he’ll run very well. Backing both Kemono and Brave Song.
Three main standouts for me here in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude. (2) Long Leaf looks an attractive each way bet at $10. He was super first up over 1100m here at Caulfield before failing in Sydney. Back to Melbourne now, gets blinkers on again and James McDonald takes the ride. He ran his final 200m in 11.57secs first up, which is exactly the same final split that both (4) Good ‘N’ Fast and (14) Declarationofheart ran behind Brutal at Flemington last start. Good ‘N’ Fast finished 3rd on that occasion and recorded the fastest final 600m in the race, while Declarationofheart ran 4th and recorded an identical final 200m to Good ‘N’ Fast but actually ran a faster final 400m. Leonardo Da Hinchi has franked that form from that race with victory at Moonee Valley on Friday night. Happy to have something on all three runners.
Interesting edition of the Thousand Guineas Prelude. (3) Smart Melody is the short-priced favourite having won four from four, including a strong win at Flemington last start down the straight. There’s some query about the sharp step up to 1400m after two 1100m runs, but she was strong on the line last start and the stable is flying. (13) Music Bay ran 2nd to Smart Melody at Flemington and she was only first up while Smart Melody had had the extra run, so up to 1400m second up here gives her claims to turn the tables. (1) El Dorado Dreaming is already a Group 1 winner but there must be huge queries over the legitimacy of that given her trainer has since been suspended for doping. With that said, she makes her stable debut for Kris Lees and trialled enormously recently alongside the likes of In Her Time. (4) Qafila and (15) Cristal Eyes aren’t hopeless at big odds, while (6) Spanish Whisper was huge in defeat last time out.
The Group 1 Underwood Stakes. Fascinating race to assess but I’m keen to back a couple. The most intriguing runner is Godolphin’s (7) Blair House, who represents the Charlie Appleby stable. Appleby has a lethal strike rate with his runners in Australia, as evidenced by the Group 1 win of Jungle Cat last weekend at his first run in the country. I think this horse finds a winnable race at his Australian debut, too. He’s won two of his three starts over 1800m, including one at Group 1 level in Dubai last preparation. His first up record stands at one win and three 2nd placings from four starts. He also returns as a gelding today. McDonald booked to ride, he is definitely the X-factor in the race and I’ll be backing him at $4.80. I’ll also be backing (8) Homesman at $7.00. His run first up behind Magic Consol at Moonee Valley was huge and you’d expect improvement second up today. The blinkers go back on which is a very positive sign and that race at the Valley has already produced the likes of Night’s Watch and Hartnell as winners to come out of it. Should get a good run from barrier 5 and looks a big chance. (2) Humidor won the Memsie Stakes over 1400m at this track two starts ago but not much went right in the Makybe Diva last start. From barrier 1 he can bounce back here but the market will tell you the story pre-race. (5) Comin’ Through won the Tramway Stakes first up in Sydney before finishing midfield behind Grunt last start. He recorded the best closing splits of the race but there remains some doubt with me as to whether he’s a genuine top line WFA Group 1 winner. The favourite (9) Grunt was dominant in the Makybe Diva last start when we backed him at good odds but I’m jumping off today. He returns to Caulfield and there’s good reason to say he goes significantly better at Flemington. His first two runs here this preparation were good but he really grew a leg on the big track last start. The wide draw also poses a problem. (1) Black Heart Bart has been earmarked for this race all preparation. He simply went way too quick in front last start but it’d surprise me if we saw him in that role today. This is D-Day for him. (10) Bonneval was apparently a run short first up but she didn’t do much anyway. She won this race last year though so isn’t hopeless.
(10) Furrion looks to be a very good horse in the making and justified short-priced favouritism with a comfortable victory at Flemington last start. He draws barrier 1 again today which isn’t necessarily ideal but if the luck falls his way he’s the one to beat again. (16) Danon Roman made his Australian debut when placing 3rd behind Furrion at Flemington. Inly very lightly raced still and draws ideally in barrier 6. Should run another good race today. (8) Best Of Days brings the Sydney form line and comes off a 3rd placing in G3 company at Newcastle last time out. James McDonald jumps back on today to take over from Schofield which is a big positive. (2) Life Less Ordinary was good first up without much luck and the form out of that race has stacked up big time with both Muraaqeb and Night’s Watch winning again since. He’s an each way chance, while the blowout could be (4) Interlocuter at $31. I thought his first up run was good without being spectacular and he’ll improve from the run. He’s won two from four when second up and Damian Lane sticks with him.
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