Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: LATE SHOWERS - Rail: TRUE
Betting Portfolio ($100):
Track is currently rated a GOOD(4), but should be firming up by Saturday. There are showers and wind forecast for race day, but they are likely to come through late afternoon so assuming will be too late to affect the track. Even with a few showers around on Saturday we should just be racing into the soft range with a little give, probably not quite enough for the serious wet trackers though. Rail goes back to TRUE here after being OUT 6M last meeting and they did come off the rails that day, so the best ground should be nearer the rail and will be no disadvantage to be well drawn and on-speed today. Maybe with cover if the wind picks up during the day, but if the wind isnít an issue will be hard to run down those on-speed.

In our opinion this is the best racing and punting day of the year, with the Caulfield Guineas, Toorak Handicap and Caulfield (Might and Power) Stakes so we will do the feature form for all the Group 1 races. This year the fields are probably not as great as they could be, especially earlier on in the day. Even though we doubled up to $100 last week in the Betting Portfolio and bombed out we will double the stake again this week as we often go well on this day and it is such a good betting day most years. Note we have tipped four runners in the last race with some talk the 7-FLOATING ARTIST could be saved for the Coogny on Wednesday.

Feature form preview for the three Group One races below

Race 8: Caulfield Guineas

This is always a fascinating race to do the form on and we have a pretty good track record in this race so always look forward to picking the race apart. As we pointed out on social media this week, we are bit wary of the 3YOs this year, from 15 Group and Listed 3YO races in Melbourne this spring only 2 favourites have won Ė and 9 favourites at $3 or under have been beaten. Which may mean the spruik horses arenít actually that good and there isnít much between these at all. Often we have a dominant 3YO dominating spring, this year they are doing well if they donít trip over each other before the starting gates.

The speed here looks to only be moderate with the super tough 6-LIGHTSABER leading from 3-TIGER OF MALAY, 10-MR MOZART and 14-ZERELLE sitting handy and the 4-ALPINE EDGE and 12-KINGSTOWN behind them. Suspect they have to go forward on the favourite 1-ANAMOE and risk being caught wide as the speed isnít that fast here. Based on the racing pattern, something well-drawn and on-speed has every chance of pinching this race whilst the classier horses search for runs back in the field.

Going through the runners the 1-ANAMOE was the dominant 2YO last year and has been the subject of high expectations this spring. Not totally convinced he has lived up to them either, though obviously he hasnít done much wrong. 1st up he did win but only just got there, and 2nd up he ran on very well against a very smart leader. He is going extremely well, but has drawn wide here and think they need to go forward and try and get a position midfield and good chance he could get caught wide. If he goes forward and gets a good position off a slow tempo he can outsprint them, dropping back and making a long hard run at them think he will finish on his run. Also questioning the $2.60 odds, often when we have short priced favourites in this race they are coming off impressive wins and have been dominant in their 3YO season, donít think he really meets the criteria on his runs this spring Ė he is being priced based on his 2YO form, not his form this season. He probably doesnít have that much in the way of class opposition here, but the bad barrier draw has seriously dented his chances and made him vulnerable, though maybe jockey Oliver who is riding and yelling so well can make the difference. Actually happy to take him on in this as donít think he represents value and there are plenty of good value chances in the field we prefer to back. The 2-ARTORIUS was sensational flying late to win the Blue Diamond, then just missed here 1st up when flying late, couldnít quite run down a leader at Flemington (meets the (10) 2.5kgs better off today), and was the best run of the race in the Golden Rose, opposite way of going, dropped back, had to dodge around a horse in the straight and was flying home late. Incredible run. Inside barrier a major negative for a drop back horse, especially in a big field where there doesnít seem to be that much speed and on a track that will probably favour those on-speed. Probably has to drop back to last here, sit off the rails and try to come around the whole field in the straight, but actually has the talent to do just that so strong winning chance. Would be a clear top pick with a middle to outside barrier. The 3-TIGER OF MALAY has been racing well in Sydney and can settle handy here from a good barrier, did present at the right time last start but really didnít get into the finish and they seemed to have his measure. Likely to get a pretty good run here again, but prefer place. 4-ALPINE EDGE is one to watch out for, didnít have much luck getting clear run at them in the Guineas Prelude here and he does seem to need to be able to make long grinding runs to show his best. Suspect up in distance is going to suit today and if it turns into a tough slog home he may feature in the finish. The 5-CAPTIVANT has been going along OK up in Sydney but has been safely held by a few going around here and hard to see him improving enough to feature here, especially not with the wide barrier.

The 6-LIGHTSABER was really impressive leading all the way to win in his 2YO races and was always heading towards this race as a 3YO. Just did enough first few runs this time in, but once up in distance and ridden on-speed won accordingly here last start and the Guineas Prelude is always a very strong form reference for this race. Well drawn to go forward here and he is pretty tough on-speed so is likely to be in the finish here somewhere. Probably needs a strong on-speed bias to win and suspect he will find one better today, but wonít be far away. The 7-GIANNIS is a Sydney drop back miler who was tough winning two starts back and then struggled to make ground last start. First time Melbourne way of going and may get a bit lost back in a big field here. The 8-FORGOT YOU has been really exciting to watch this time in, seriously unlucky 1st up when got blocked and had to switch runs and then the two MV wins have been extraordinary, both times he was going backwards before the turn before finding a hyper gear and flying home late to win. Bigger track and the 1600M has to be a big plus, but question mark would be if he can hit that flat spot and come again in a race of this quality, or if inside runners in a big field, which would be unlikely. Drawn wide and can make a clear run at them, but also ends up at the back of the field here as a result. Definitely has the ability so wary and chances will largely depend on racing pattern on the day. The 9-COASTWATCH was one we were actually going to tip so bit disappointed it has been scratched. The 10-MR MOZART has been doing everything right and is flying under the radar into this race, fought on really well at Flemington to win and again last start at MV when just nabbed on the line. Like that he has had a 1400M and a 1600M run going into a tough Group 1 race and he is perfectly drawn to race on-speed here and put himself into the race at the right time so is a strong wining chance.

The 11-DAILY BUGLE might be a little under rated and has a strong finishing burst. Career record should be better than it looks as he did strike on-speed tracks a few times and had no chance. Ran on well 1st up at MV, 2nd up dropped back in an on-speed dominated race and then loomed into the race nicely in the Bill Stutt in a close finish against several others going around here. Has a nice barrier and a nice turn of foot and think he is the best roughie in this race. The 12-KINGSTOWN is an on-pacer from Adelaide who has been going along OK, was actually pretty good last start at Sandown when was going to the line well. Inside draw and will sit just behind the speed and pretty good choice if you want a $150 chance to run top four and blow out your exotic dividend as he is a new form line to these. The 13-DARK REBEL (scratched) is a Sydney staying type who drops well back in his races, likely to be at the back of the field here and hasnít really got warm in three runs this spring. The 14-ZERELLE dropped out badly at Caulfield two starts back, but did stick on very well at Flemington last start on a day where the inside against the rail was the best going, so that might have flattered the run a little. Well drawn and will sit on-speed but prefer others. 15-RIVERPLATE is a maiden who is probably going better than his form suggests, just missed 1st up at Sandown and previous two runs were similar when he struggled for clear running room and probably could have finished closer, but looks outclassed here on form. The 16-PRIX DE TURN really impressed at his first race start running on well to just miss at Sandown against a smart one. Drawn wide, will have to drop well back and winning a Group 1 Caulfield Guineas at your second start would be unprecedented. The 17-HIOTSU was scratched from the 1800M race at Flemington last week, not sure if that was because of a setback or they were that keen they wanted to keep him for this race (surely not) ? Coming off an impressive maiden win and gets into the field as emergency with a scratching, but would have to be pretty bloody good to measure up at this level at this stage.

The Caulfield Guineas is always a race where we get several heavily spruiked runners and we are happy to go against the market and the favourites here this year, in particular the 1-ANAMOE who we think is too short and hasnít been dominant this spring as his 2YO season. The 2-ARTORIUS is definitely the one to beat then, question is if he can jump and make use of his barrier, because if he does he is going to be very hard to beat. Think his run was definitely better than the (1) last start, he looks like the 1600M will suit more, he is better this way of going and he has the class to win a race like this. Meets many of these better off on weights than the lead up runs as well. If the gaps comes he should just about win this on his form. Think we need to trust what we are seeing with the 8-FORGOT YOU as the main danger, despite the barrier and the flat spots in the run, this horse has serious talent and you are getting $18 about a horse coming into this race off two great wins. Jockey Moor has been racking up Groups 1 this spring and his run could continue in this. Respect for the 10-MR MOZART who is going to get the perfect run on-speed from a good barrier and is racing extremely well, so if any of the classier types donít perform or find issues in the run, the race is his to grab. Wary of the 4-ALPINE EDGE as the only other winning chance who is also likely to get a good on-speed run although there are lots of nice $10 plus chances in this race. Expect the 11-DAILY BUGLE to run better than the odds suggest as a nice roughie and for a real blow out the outsider of the field 12-KNIGHTSTOWN is actually quite capable of running in the first four here at $151. Betting plan is to have a win bet on the 8-FORGOT YOU and a wide trifecta with the top two picks to win.

Race 9: Toorak Handicap

The feature handicaps are always great betting races and we have had $20 winners in this race the last two years. Unlike the Rupert Clarke horses carrying weight can win this race, and in fact we have had 7 winners carry 57 kgs or more since 2000, which is a fair effort and that wouldnít include that many runners at all at that weight level. Tough fit milers win this race, and they can carry weight and do it.

The speed here looks to be the 12-SO YOU ASSUME leading from 4-ELEPHANT and 13-SECOND SLIP, with the 1-TOFANE and 9-AYSAR next in running. They should go along at a genuine tempo too set by the leader and watch for any on-speed racing pattern.

Going through the runners the 1-TOFANE is a super classy mare who has won most of her best races the other way of going. There was a query on here out to the 1600M last start, and whilst it was very strong company and she wasnít far away think the distance is an issue, plus having to give weight to so many here over a distance that is not her best. The 2-SUPERSTORM is a classy WA miler who won the Feehan via an amazing ride and fought on pretty well in the Underwood at a trip we think is past his best. Nothing between him and the (4) in the Feehan and actually think this one had more improvement to come and is better suited drawn wide and running down the middle of the track, so surprised at the price difference between them. Fitter for three runs in and at peak now and looks a very strong chance in this. The 3-SIERRA SUE has been flying this spring, picking up a Lawrence and a Rupert Clarke with a run timed to perfection, and was super unlucky in the Feehan. Drawn out suits her swooping running style, she has paid the penalty for the win though going up 3.5 kgs so she meets the (6) and the (11) considerably worse at the weights for a narrow finish last start. She has had a long campaign and think she has the task today despite having a nice collect on her last start. The 4-ELEPHANT is basically bomb proof, he jumps and settles and races handy, impressive winning 1st up at Caulfield, just bobbed out in the Feehan and had the race in his control at Sandown. Will go forward here and make his own luck again and looks hard to beat. The 5-LUNAR FOX is fitter for the two runs in and wasnít disgraced last start and might be ready to do something. Has won an Australian Guineas and ran 4th in an All Star Mile over this trip. Likely to be caught wide though from barrier and think he is better on-speed from a good barrier.

The 6-DICE ROLL was excellent in the Rupert Clarke last start when only just missed and that was his first run for a while so should have plenty of improvement to come from that. He is a tough grinding type, just not sure about him from barrier 1 back in the field, think he is better rolling out wide with room in running. Going well enough to feature in the finish though if he can get the space to perform. Hard to believe the 7-HARBOUR VIEWS has only had 16 starts, he does seem to have been around forever. Surprised with first up win off a long lay-off and then ran OK at Sandown when not suited by sprint home and had to switch runs when no room. Excellent distance stats, fitter for the two runs in, and can sit off the back of these with no weight and isnít hopeless at $30. The 8-QUANTUM MECHANIC has excellent stats over the mile, placed 11 from 12, but normally races against her own sex. Fitter for the 3 runs in and ran on well behind the (12) last start, and she is pretty good odds for a mare with decent form Ė though the record of mares in this race isnít the best and only 3 mares have won this race since 2000. The 9-AYSAR is one of the most frustrating horses going around, had plenty of chances in plenty of good races, but always finds one better and despite being fitter for the 3 runs in he just doesnít seem to be going as well as his 3YO season. The 10-IRISH FLAME is super honest and would love to see him in a Cox Plate for the thrill. Still stinging from how he folded up and lost the race here at $31 back in Sept 2020 when he looked home and hosed. Excellent run over an unsuitable trip 1st up when he appreciated the fast speed, and then even enough in the Rupert Clarke, but well behind many of these. Up further in trip suits and can roll on-speed and in space and although likely outclassed here you could probably have a little interest bet on at $100 and get a good run for your money. The 11-IíM THUNDERSTRUCK was unlucky not to win the Rupert Clarke and is a youngster rapidly improving with untapped talent. Fair effort to come from last on the turn there and almost win, that was 1st run for a while so plenty of improvement to come too. No weight, horse on the rise, guess main worry might be an on-speed track for a horse that drops well back, but looks very hard to beat. Donít think $2.60 is worth taking though in a field with this much depth. The 12-SO YOU ASSUME has been flying through her grades leading and winning easily, gone from a BM78 to a Group 2 in three starts and made it look easy. Would probably need a strong on-speed pattern to be a serious threat in this, and slightly wary about forecast wind that might leave her exposed as the clear leader. The 13-SECOND SLIP has been racing extremely well, fitter for the three runs in and been quite dominant in his two wins this spring. Pretty tough race last start and fought on well with weight. That was first try at the 1600M and canít see any reason why he canít measure up at this level with a cosy on-speed ride from Meech and is some rough chance in this, especially if on-pacers are favoured. The 14-EMBOLISM has some ability and should have a better career record, just hasnít had the best of luck a few times or ran in top level races. Loomed into the race like the winner 1st up, but beaten by a classy one. Fitter for that run, but think probably is challenged at this level.

Whilst the 11-IíM THUNDERSTRUCK is definitely the one to beat in this, we have no interest in taking the $2.60 and there is plenty of good value about talented horses in this race. Pretty keen to have something each way on the 2-SUPERSTORM at around $12, fitter for the 3 runs in, think he probably peaks today and suited running on late from a wide barrier over the mile. The 11-IíM THUNDERSTRUCK the main danger, and the consistent on-speed 4-ELEPHANT right in the finish with the perfect run. Good value roughies with the 7-HARBOUR VIEWS, 13-SECOND SLIP and even the $100 shot 10-IRISH FLAME. Betting plan is to have a confident each way bet on the top pick and a wide box quinella with the rough chances.

Race 6: Caulfield (Might and Power) Stakes

This race tends to attract a small field more often than not, even down to three runners a few years ago with WINX going around. There was a period for a while in the mid-2000s where short priced favourites came unstuck in this race, but in more recent times we have had a swag of very short priced favourites win in small fields. Interestingly, WINX started a $1.24 in a field of three in this race back in 2016, and it looks like the 2-ZAAKI may even start shorter in a field of five in this.

Tactics are always important in a small field, but tactics donít really phase the 2-ZAAKI because of his racing style as he can make his own luck on-speed. The 6-NO EFFORT should run along in the lead here, from the 1-HOMESMAN and 2-ZAAKI with the 5-PROBABEEL sitting behind them. The 1-HOMESMAN is actually pretty tough to run down when he races on speed and is in form, his best form is always early on in his preparations, and you are getting $12 about a horse that has won an Australian Cup and ran 2nd in a Caulfield Cup. Has placed 5 from 7 this track, and for some reason the two times he has missed the place has been in this race when he has failed to even run top 5! Most strange. Actually would rate him a slight boil over chance here, but that stat really has us bothered. The 2-ZAAKI is all conquering and all dominating, won easily over the unsuitable 1400M distance 1st up and then was good winning at Sandown, but not breath-taking. He did run around a bit there and do a few things wrong which might mean he could be vulnerable in the Cox Plate, but hard to see him being upturned in this unless he blows it badly. The 3-NONCONFORMIST has deserved a good win for a while and finally got it last start, form this time in has been excellent and heading towards a Caulfield Cup, hard to see him troubling these at WFA but good odds for a fit horse in winning form. The 4-NICKAJACK CAVE is an import with little profile or market support. The 5-PROBABEEL is a class mare who we thought might at least challenge the 2-ZAAKI last start, but she had every chance and he was just too good. She did look to run into the race at one stage, but didnít even really get warm, so hard to see her doing it here. The 6-NO EFFORT loves Caulfield and leading, but better on wet ground and needs a handicap. Tips are 2-ZAAKI from 1-HOMESMAN and 5-PROBABEEL with maybe an interest bet on the 1-HOMESMAN to cause the upset, as think he might make a race of this at least.

This is not the best bet of the day, rather the best horse to back straight out. NT sprinter who surprised everyone destroying them during the middle of the year, and ended up winning the Group 1 Goodwood leading all the way, which is an extremely difficult thing to do. Won 16 from 30 starts, and won a recent barrier trial under a hold so watch the market to see how forward they think he is first up here. Small field, he will jump and run and lead and if the track is favouring those on-speed he is going to be very hard to run down. Does have to carry top weight against some lightly weighted 3YOs, but just think he leads clearly here and happy to back straight out at around $6.

QUINELLA: Race 4: 1,5,10,11 boxed x $6 = 100%
This one was an eye catcher flying home late last start against many of these at MV and probably wins in another 20 metres or so. There looks to be good speed in this and she should be able to drop back here and run into the race late and looks a good each way bet at around $12. Even field so the quinella should pay well with the two from the finish last start the 1-SERADESS and 5-LARKSPUR RUN, and keep an eye out for the strong finishing 11-SPINNING here at odds who is coming off a maiden win, but has ran some good races in town so should be up to these at value odds of $26.

Super consistent sprinting mare who is very under rated and deserves a win at this level. Last two starts at Group level here over the Caulfield 1200M she has ran 2nd where pushed and almost beat PROBABEEL, and then looked the winner here last start before BELLA NIPOTINA got out and flew late. Racing very consistently, but keeps going around at double figure odds for some reason. Each way at around $10.

Very talented miler and not scared to back those up in weights in the Toorak Hcp because they have a history of going pretty well. Needed the run 1st up, class ride won the race 2nd up, and thought he fought out the race pretty well 3rd up behind a super star. Much better suited back to 1600M on a dry track and draw out will suit him running home late down the middle of the track off a fast speed here. Should be ready to do his best today, and he should be the same odds as the 4-ELEPHANT at least, but we are instead getting double the odds at $12. Ran third in this race last year off probably worse form. Confident each way bet and main bet of the day today.

TRIFECTA: Race 8: 2,8 / 1,2,4,8,10 / 1,2,3,4,6,8,10,11,12 x $15 = 26.7%
We claimed social media bragging rights here last year by picking out a $3000 trifecta for a 1/3 in the Caulfield Guineas, so we have to at least give it a try to do it again. Obviously not as confident this time around, but we think the main two winning chances are the 2-ARTORIUS, 8-FORGOT YOU, with the 10-MR MOZART, 4-ALPINE EDGE likely to be handy and in the finish and the value roughies for exotics being the 11-DAILY BUGLE and 12-KNIGHTSTOWN. So we will work a wide trifecta around that, adding in the favourite the 1-ANAMOE, but obviously this only really pays well if he misses the place.

QUINELLA: Race 2: 2,5,11 boxed x $3 = 100%
Really consistent type who doesnít win out of turn, but often runs good races at odds. Does prefer some give in the ground, but assuming for Race 2 there will still be some give from the overnight watering. There is a tear away leader in this race, the 2-BUFFALO RIVER who will be hard to run down, but this one will get a perfect trailing position in 2nd and probably run into the race half way down the straight. Lots of drop back no-hopers in this race (think 9-GALAXY RAIDER) and suspect he is going to land in the perfect spot here and run a race at around $20. Back each way and box up in a quinella with the front running 2-BUFFALO RIVER and the strong finishing 5-RIDDLE ME THAT who also looks value at $13, but might just need one more run coming off a break.

BEST ROUGH: Race 3: 1-SAMSOM $2.50 EW
Pretty talented dry track sprinter and no surprise to see him grab a black type race here back in July. Was then tried over longer distances, but really the 1200M is his go. Won 5 from 11 this distance, won 4 from 6 1st up and suspect he is going to do something fresh. Does have to carry top weight and up against a short priced favourite in the 7-LOMBARDO, but most of these arenít doing much so he looks a good value rough chance at around $16 if the favourite doesnít run to expectations.

We are going to just throw a lazy $1 EW on one at $100 here who is not in the selections, just because he is a horse we normally follow and we would be shattered if he did something without us being on. First up run was excellent over an unsuitable 1200M, just ground away 2nd up, and suspect he is just about ready to do something third up here over the 1600M. Really consistent and tough on-speed horse when right and trainer is openly throwing around the idea of running in the Cox Plate! He can jump and race handy here and actually think he is going to run a lot better than his odds suggest so just in case having a whopping $1 EW.

The favourite in the last race, the improving import the 5-DELPHI is going to be very hard to beat, as is the flying 7-FLOATING ARTIST if they decide to run today. However, these staying races are often more open than they seem and suspect this one is ready to do something at odds up to the 2400M here today. Has placed 12 from 17 over 2400M (most overseas), won a Metropolitan, ran third in a Caulfield Cup, and should be fitter for the 2 runs in and suited out to this distance. Looks ready to do something today and the $34 odds on offer look generous.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 4: 8-NEW YORK BABY at around $6
We struggled to find a Lay Of The Day today especially with smaller fields earlier on. This is one of the tougher races of the day, this one is undefeated and coming off a good Flemington win where the form has held up. But those wins were over 1000M, she is out to 1200M today, drawn wide, has to try and lead in a race with a lot of speed and likely to get caught wide and suspect she comes unstuck here. Prefer to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into a tunnelling machine to get on course to watch the races.
QUINELLA: Race 9: 2,4,7,10,13 boxed x $5 = 50%
The 11-IíM THUNDERSTRUCK is all the rage as the short priced favourite in this race and punters seem to be mad for this horse so he will probably get backed even further and he is definitely the one to beat. But not impossible for him to race flat 2nd up or just not live up to the hype and definitely canít back him at the odds on offer in a race where most of these are in form and going pretty well and the race has some depth to it. The quinella pays extremely well if he misses the finish for whatever reason, we have already backed the 2-SUPERSTORM confidently each way, the 4-ELEPHANT will get the perfect sit on-speed here, and there are some great value roughies in the 7-HARBOUR VIEWS (fitter for two runs in, unlucky last start), the 13-SECOND SLIP (fit, on-speed, no weight) and even the $100 shot 10-IRISH FLAME who might run a race today and is honest and often around the finishes.

Races 7,8,9,10: 3,4,6 / 2,4,8,10 / 2,4,7,11/ 3,5,7 x $20 = 13.88%
Bit of a tricky quaddie, mainly because not sure if we are going to lose a favourite in the last leg due to scratching. Stick to the three selections in the first leg and we should be pretty right there, bite the bullet and dodge one of the favourites in the second leg to try and find a value winner in an open race. Quaddie really opens up if the short priced favourite gets beaten in the Toorak Hcp so donít be scared to take other runners, and the 5-DELPHI, 7-FLOATING ARTIST are the two to beat in the last, and throw in one roughie for value. If we lose a runner in the last leg, add in the 4-DEFIBRILLATE.

The Tips: