It’s the first Group 1 of the season with C. F. Orr Stakes, supported by two Group 2 & Group 3 races! The Caulfield Cup winner commences an Autumn preparation, and the juveniles go around in the Blue Diamond preludes. And that’s just Caulfield! Our expert form analyst ‘The Horse’ has had an electric week, and looks to keep things going.
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Always keen to have something in the first if possible and we find a great race to commence the program. We backed (7) Regardsmaree last start and he put in a great run to take out a BM70 at this track and distance. He won with some authority, and he has clearly come back this preparation a better horse. He has the race fitness on the other returning runners, including (6) Sonaree, however he does face one that goes well fresh, and has already raced at this grade. (1) Mystery Shot was super impressive in his first two preparations, now holding a 6 starts for 5 wins record. He goes well first-up, and gets his pet track and distance.
The price for Regardsmaree is starting to get thin, and I don’t think under $2.00 is fair. If you’re looking for a conservative staking strategy, consider 3 units against 1 on the saver.
Selections: 7, 1, 9, 6.
We were backing (3) Miss Penfold earlier in the week but she was scratched and held over for this one—which looks to be a good move. It is a small field with all runners having won or placed this preparation in similar grades. Miss Penfold does look the most likely after a nice last start victory, and steps back into this grade. The chances of (2) Devine Grey cannot be ignored, but it is clearly the toughest test, and at the metro level. I am keeping this one simple, Miss Penfold to win.
It’s the Blue Diamond Prelude for the fillies, and it is extremely tough to knock the first-up performance of (5) Arcaded. Her final 100-200 metres was stylish, and she put the field to the sword in the blink of an eye. Not surprised to see the lead jockey Damian Lane stay with her. She stays at the same distance and gets an even draw. The runner-up in that race was (9) Lady Audrey who goes around at $26, showing the depth of this field. The other Godolphin runners are (1) Picarones who we were on first-up, and won well, and also (2) Telluride. They have Oliver and Boss on respectively—Cummings clearly has a strong hand! (3) Tayla’s Moment looked to have improvement and (10) Wolves goes into the minors at a price. Great race!
Selections: 5, 1, 3, 10
Well I have simply had enough of (5) Sizzlefly after a couple of near misses. Her overall record is still pretty impressive, 16 starts for 5 wins & 5 places, but willing to take her on today. Let us hope there are no regrets! For me (1) Ididitforlove is well placed in this BM82, slightly up in class, but against a small field with really limited competition (apart from the aforementioned). The 61kgs seems like an unfair state-entry punishment, but it is nicely offset by the apprentice claim.
Hard not to be impressed by the runs of (8) April Rain this preparation. The Chris Waller runner is 2 from 2, maintains his lead jockey James McDonald, and appears to have enough to step slightly up in distance. The query is that this is clearly her toughest test to date. She is taking on more seasoned runners who have been racing in this company already, for example the stable-mate (4) Starla is due a win and has been placing in similar company. Another threat looks to be (1) Madam Legend who has similar been racing in this grade and landing minor spoils.
It is not going to be all her way, but April Rain looks the improver.
Selections: 8, 4, 1, 11.
There are no odds on offer, but this is one for the multiples. (1) Profiteer looks to be something pretty special—with early dominant speed he should be able to cross them, or at least be on pace. He has shown bags of ability and has Hugh Bowman in the saddle. As I often say, Bowman on the bets horse is a great jockey, so he should give this one a great steer. If things don’t go well, (9) Ashema will be the one to capitalise.
Selections: 1, 9, 2, 4.
I am pretty keen on the chances of (2) Nonconformist here despite him never winning first-up. His trial alongside Sir Dragonet was pretty good, and should place him a nice groove for this first-up assignment. Overall stats are great 10 starts for 4 wins & 4 places, loves this track with 6 starts 2 wins & 2 places, and distance and conditions all favour. He gets the charmed draw in Gate 1 considering there is little pace outside him, so (8) Miss Siska may cross and lead, with him one-back the rail. Jordan Childs is not my favourite jockey, but he shouldn’t need much luck to get out and win this one. Great each way play. (6) Best Of Days is up and fit, and is well and truly in this. Consecutive seconds in Group company in Sydney reads pretty well. I just can’t ignore the stable on these big days, nor Damien Oliver, so playing two in this race.
Selections: 2, 6, 4, 8
The Eskimo Prince Stakes is (3) North Pacific’s for the taking! He has shown plenty of ability, and goes pretty well first-up. Only 2 wins from 5 starts, he has not been outside the money in any race. He does like the sting out of the ground, so the stable will be happy to see a few showers. That man James McDonald is in the saddle, and could have a great day (queue the Katie Mallyon / Bruce McAvaney love fest on Channel 7). He gets a favourable draw which is important considering the main threat (1) Peltzer gets the outside gate, and will need to work hard early or late to overcome the deficit. Peltzer likes all conditions, and is a solid talent with 8 starts for 5 wins, so he has to be included in exotics—mind you, at $4.50 he is a handy saver.
Selections: 3, 1, 6, 8.
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