Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: COLD - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($100):
Fair bit of rain over Thursday and Friday and even though not much rain for Saturday, not really drying weather either (for those considering doing a large load of washing). With a few showers lingering track should remain near the SOFT range and expect them to be chopping up the track and coming off the rails later in the day. Track staff are confident of track getting back to a GOOD(4) though, so just depends how many showers there are over Friday and Saturday. Great betting and racing program and plenty of interest, even in the races with short priced favourites so we will double up the suggested bets to $100 this week. Some simple box quinellas may be the way to go this week, can see a few at odds that might do something in the selections.

Reminder that at the moment for Spring Campaign 2023 we wonít be posting tips till Saturday morning (earlier if time allows). Feature race preview at the bottom of this post and we will post these Friday night for the spring majors to allow extra reading time and form study.

BEST WIN: Race 7: 9-DUAIS $15 WIN
Talented stayer who was looking promising for last spring and had a dead set shocker of a campaign, but seems to be back to best form now. Fitter for the three runs in and last run here in the Underwood was outstanding, was bursting through on the inside late with gusto and actually was in front shortly after the line. Proven at this level with an Australian Cup win and looks ready to do something this campaign, Will run a strong 2000M too and the speed on in this race should suit. Happy to back straight out at around $5.

Very open first race of the day, but there doesnít look to be much speed on and this one should get a perfect run on the speed from a good barrier. At the bottom of the weights, ready to do something with the two runs this time in; distance was way too short down the straight 1st up, and then in the finish with limited room at MV on the inside of horses last time out. Has won over this distance before and meets a lot of drop back staying types who can mix their form, so keen to kick us off on a big punting day at around $10.

QUINELLA: Race 3: 4,6,9,10 boxed x $6 = 100%
Solid staying type who has the advantage over these of being fit and in form and proven over the 2400M, something the two favourites in the market are not. Tough win in the Newcastle Cup and then got too far back from an outside barrier in Metropolitan and two on-speed kicked away there, but he worked home OK very wide in the straight. Smaller field and should be able to position handy here and give himself every chance. Back each way at around $8 and we are not keen to back the two favourites in this, the 7-BRAYDEN STAR and 8-CARINI who dominate the market, but both are up in distance and not proven at the 2400M and odds seem too short. Which opens up for a possible nice value quinella, with the consistent 9-UNITED NATIONS, and be wary of the Adelaide Cup winner the 6-REBEL RACER who is ready to do something with a clear lead and may prove hard to run down at $50. Throwing in the rank outsider the 10-FERAGO who needs some give in the ground, but might get that early in the day and go back and watch that Mt Gambier Cup win last start, when never gave up.

Curiously those up in the weights have often won the Toorak Handicap over the last ten years, when normally you often think of light weight chances in these feature mile handicaps. Former well performed Tasmanian miler in new stable and both runs in Sydney this time in have been excellent, particularly in Epsom last start when was cluttered for clear runs at the back of the field and flying late to the post. Should be right at peak fitness now. Well drawn here and if he can jump and settle handy he has the 1600M form to win this race. Looks a good each way bet at around $10 off eye-catching last start run.

Honest sprinting mare who can take an on-speed sit here in a race where the speed looks pretty fast. Fitter for the two runs in and she was hitting the line here well last start in a bunched finish. She ran a good third at odds in this race last year, and form since then has probably been better, but we are getting $30 again this year. She does prefer a little give in the ground, hoping earlier in the day track is more in the SOFT range. Back each way, and another race with a good value quinella with the 8-ROSE QUARTZ appreciating the fast speed as a strong finisher, and the 5-GREY RIVER sitting just off the pace.

Really donít like the rest of the horses in this race much at all, most mix their form, donít win often, or are out of form, or first-up. So letís look at a fresh horse on the scene at the bottom of the weights. This one is over from NZ with a good win strike rate, had support first up at MV, and then didnít get the clearest run with a big weight at Bendigo when finished on well late. Looks a little untapped as compared to most of his rivals here who are very well exposed as a wee bit ordinary (blunt, but true). Much rather have something each way on this one at $20 then back the others in this field.

We have to have something on the best rough chance in the Caulfield Guineas. He has been competitive at all three runs this time in, came from last on a leaderís track 1st up, gave those on-speed too big a start 2nd up and then last start here he cruised into the race like the winner after they turned and was only just run down over the last 20M. Realistically a tough 1600M here would probably find him out, but counting on him getting a pretty similar run to last time, sitting just behind the speed and bursting through in the straight and if that is the case looks a good rough chance at around $25.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 4: 2-RED CARD at around $3.30
We took this one on successfully at $1.40 last start, so might as well do it again. Got an easy lead last start and the inside was the better going, but was still swamped late. Today has drawn wide and there looks to be even more pressure up front, query was last time running out a strong 1200M and this race today there looks like even more pressure. Happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into enough to pay for a shiny Grand Pavilion.
Races 3,4,5,6: 4,6,9,10 / 4,5,8 / 7 / 2,5,6,9,11 x $5 = 8.33%
We are pretty keen on speedy sprinter Race 5: 7-ASFOORA but he is too short to include in the suggested bets, so lets take an Early Quaddie with him one out instead and to find some value. He is racing better than even this time in, box seated and kicked clear last start in a Group 1 and it took a freak performance to run him down. Taking on the favourites in the first leg staying race, hope for some value in the second leg and go wide in last leg where anything could (not) win.

Races 7,8,9,10: 1,7,9 / 3,5,6,10 / 1,4,7,8,9 / 2,3,7 x $20 = 11.11%
We landed the quaddie here last week, but unfortunately the favourites won the last two legs after $10 and $20 winners to kick us off, but there were some nice approximates at least with five runners live in the last leg. Mainly just taking the three selections in each race with a nice mix of favourites and roughies.

Feature Race Preview:

The Caulfield Guineas is normally a really strong form line race, and thank goodness we still have the Guineas Prelude to look at (unlike the poor Thousand Guineas shunted to November this year), the Bill Stutt Stakes and the Sydney races (Golden Rose/Stan Fox) to line up the form from. Invariably you want to stick to the first three or four home in those races as winning chances in this race. Worth noting though that it is the Sydney form that has been really quite dominant in recent years with SHOOTING TO WIN (2014), PRESS STATEMENT (2015), DIVINE PROPHET (2016) all coming through the Stan Fox, and THE AUTUMN SON (2018), OLE KIRK (2020), ANAMOE (2021), GOLDEN MILE (2022) all coming through the Golden Rose. So thatís 7 out of 9 of the last winners coming from the Sydney form lines, which is about as strong a form pattern as you can get. Also worth noting that winners have usually had three runs in this preparation, and normally had more than one preparation, itís really hard to win this race against more experienced and seasoned rivals.

Often they can go very hard in a Caulfield Guineas and it sets the race up for a strong miler coming down the middle of the track, but there doesnít seem to be much speed this year at all. The roughie 12-ROCK EMPIRE probably leads from an inside barrier from the 13-LIMBURG and probably the 5-VEIGHT, 8-SCENTIFY and the 9-SOUTHPORT TYCOON making the most of their good barriers sitting handy, with the 4-STEPARTY and 2-LITTLE BROSE getting a good run in behind them. Doubt they go forward again on the 6-GRIFF from an outside barrier, but listen out for riding tactics, the 11-VERDAD probably pushes forward though. But doesnít look to be a strong speed, so might set the race up for something sitting handy from a good barrier that can sprint quickly in the straight.

Runner by Runner comments:

1-MILITARIZE is the Sydney horse ticking all the form lines with a sprinting late burst to grab the Golden Rose which seems to be the best form line for this race these days. Proven over a mile is a big plus and drawn out here is actually probably good for a Sydney horse around Caulfield first time, allowing plenty of time and space to run into the race. He will drop back in the run, and be giving some on-speed runners a start, so would be concerned if he drew inside (and he did have to work his way into a clear run last start). As long as he stays in clear running, and can come down the middle of the track he looks very hard to beat.

2-LITTLE BROSE was genuine trusty 2YO who just camped on speed and did everything right to get the run of the race to win the Blue Diamond. Has been thereabouts at three runs this time in, but hasnít really challenged and been in the finish Ė but done nothing wrong either. The others do seem to have had this measure as 3YO, so maybe his 2YO form was a little flattering? Think you still want to be wary of this one, jockey Oliver on board, he goes forward and sits on-speed and might get the right run into the race here. Hard to back with confidence, but maybe just be a little safe as $31 is pretty good odds and suspect he runs better today and maybe one for exotics.

3-KING COLORADO is the second of the Sydney visitors and was competitive last start in the Golden Rose but didnít really flash home, just fought out the finish. Drawn well so listen out as to whether they ride more forward, but good chance will drop back in the run here. Excellent 2YO form, but hard to justify the $9 odds here coming off a 9th and 7th this time in (even in stronger races). Suspect he drops well back in the run here and others will pinch a break.

4-STEPARTY is unbeaten with 5 wins from 5 starts, but the cruel reality of horse racing is that the first defeat is likely to happen when up in class or distance. Been really tough in both wins this time in, especially last start here in the Prelude when had to come from well back and get the bob in a four way finish Ė showed a huge amount of fight. Perfect barrier here, can go forward and will be leading most of his main rivals into the straight, and might have a better sprint than them so looks to get the run of the race. Also meets all the others from last start slightly better on weights. Query might just be if something is stronger at the end of the 1600M? Would want a slow tempo he can sprint off, think he probably gets run down over a strong mile. Strong chance.

5-VEIGHT showed he had ability with the VRC Sires Produce win, and seemed to come back this spring in top form, but then was disappointing last start in the Prelude when safely held by the four-way finish. Question is if that was just an off day, or indicative of his ability? Drawn well, can sit handy just behind the speed and likely to burst through at the top of the straight here and look a contender. Probably prefer place chance off the last run.

6-GRIFF seems very long odds at $21 for a horse coming off two city wins, including Bill Stutt Stakes last start. Had four runs in and solid preparation which will be a plus if this turns into a strong mile. Peeled off them and pounced at Flemington and then positive forward ride at MV won him the race on a leaders track. Drawn out and check the riding tactics, assume they will settle back here instead of going forward? Question is if this is the right form line, market seems to be saying No and another who we prefer the place, especially if he drops back in the run.

7-SCHEELITE has been promising something all spring, but has been drifting back in the run, leaving it too late and running on late. Can be slowly away and race a bit erratic, which will be an issue at this level. Drawn out and likely to drop well back here. Out to 1600M should suit though and important to note that the winkers are going on first time which might make the difference. Last run was excellent when came from well back to just miss, but concern is that the racing pattern may bring him undone in a big field. Would need the speed on and for them to be winning down the middle of the track. We have been following him all spring, and really not sure about today, but some winning chance.

8-SCENTIFY has been flying this spring, came from last on a leaders track to win first-up, gave the (4) too much of a start 2nd up and couldnít pull in the gap, and not beaten far at all here in the Prelude. Presented and looked the winner here at the 200M last start and really only headed in the last 20m. Quite like his chances today, he showed last start he can box seat from a good barrier, he might be the one sitting on-speed who bursts through early and pinches this race whilst the backmarkers run on. Think he is the value runner and best roughie in this race.

9-SOUTHPORT TYCOON has done nothing wrong in three career starts to date, and was impressive fighting back to win at Sandown, before going up in grade and being right in the finish of the Prelude. Well drawn, races handy and still improvement to come puts him in the finish here. Chance.

10-WOLFY represents a new form line, which might be a plus and was strong chasing one down to win at Flemington. Had a long hard preparation which might be a plus as well, and looks like he will run a strong 1600M and come home hard down the middle of the track. Market seems to have warmed to his chances as well. He is another who will be giving these a start, but some rough chance.

11-VERDAD is showing a fair bit of promise, but faces a task ask up against these at only start number three. Really impressive winner at first start, and chased really hard to the line in the Bill Stutt Stakes and that was a really eye-catching run and a horse to take note of. Drawn wide and does like to go forward and probably gets caught out wide here. Seems to be a pretty smart horse on the way up, question is whether this race has come around a little too soon and probably needed to draw a barrier and camp on-speed to be a genuine winning chance against these, but should run well and some rough place chance in this.

12-ROCK EMPIRE is only in his first preparation and only had the two career starts so faces a pretty big test up against more seasoned rivals here. Led and finished 7th here in the Guineas Prelude, and all six horses that beat him home there are going around again here, so hard to see him improving enough to beat all of them. Likely leader, but safely held.

13-LIMBURG is a maiden who should be hard fit for this with the four runs this time in. Gave a really good kick at Sandown when only headed late, and then ran OK at odds in the Bill Stutt, but did lead and it was a leaders track that night so was actually expecting him to go a little better than that. Will race on-speed, but hard to see him being a factor in this.

14-COPACABANA has only had the three starts but is showing a fair bit of potential and is in second preparation. Chased home really hard against the (11) 1st up, but was well beaten by that one, and then those on-speed dictated last start at Sandown and he chased hard but couldnít really make much ground on them. Seems to be one on the improve and looks a genuine strong finishing miler. Well drawn and doesnít have any of the traditional form lines, so unlikely to win, but think he is a great super roughie for trifectas and first fours at $150 and he probably will be around the finish here with some upside to come.

15-THE LONGEST YARD is well drawn, but was well held at Sandown last start in a weaker race and only win has come over 1000M. Hard to see him being competitive in this.


The speed and tempo and racing pattern is going to be critical here, many of these will need them to be winning down the middle of the track to be a genuine winning chance, but that may well be the racing pattern. Some of these may get too far back though if the speed is not strong. The Sydney favourite and visitor 1-MILITARIZE looks the one to beat, has the right form lines, proven over the distance and draw suits, but after that it is a very even field and not much between then at all. Keen on the 8-SCENTIFY as the main danger and best roughie though, well drawn, settles on-speed and suspect may burst through early in the straight and look the winner, which means we also have to consider the 4-STEPARTY who is likely to get a similar run. But putting the 7-SCHEELITE in for third only because we have been following him all spring, and had been waiting for the blinkers or winkers to go on, so we will get stung if we drop off today. Outside of those the value runners for exotics are the 2-LITTLE BROSE who suspect runs better today and 14-COPACABANA for super rough wide exotics.

The Tips: