CAULFIELD : LAWRENCE (LISTON) STAKES - 19th Aug 2017
Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: SHOWERS - Rail: OUT 3M
Betting Portfolio ($50):

This is probably one of the strongest meetings for a Turf Deli Spring Campaign kick off we have seen in close to 20 years of operation. There are plenty of big names resuming and plenty of horses to watch and follow and see where they go this spring.

The track is currently a GOOD(4), but there was plenty of rain on Thursday night and more forecast before race day so expecting that we will be racing on a genuine slow track. Rail goes OUT 3M and suspect that they will probably come off the rails later in the day if the track cuts up and they should be able to run on and win OK. It is a bit tricky doing selections in some fields with lots of competitive emergency runners, and there will probably be a few scratchings come through on a wet track, so it is hard to work out what the final fields will be.

Two horses away from the obvious stars we are keen to follow this spring are the promising Race 2: 5-OREGONíS DAY, and the lightly raced stayer Race 7:12 AMELIEíS STAR. Not sure if either will win today, but they should both be in for good campaigns and should be competitive in some feature races later this spring.

The feature Lawrence (Liston) Stakes is by far the strongest field we can remember (thanks WINX!), and it is actually quite tricky to line them up with most being primed for features later in the spring. 9-CHARMED HARMONY looks the clear leader and loves it wet and on his best form would give them something to chase in this (just wish he had one more run this time in), but think with all the field 1st up you have to go with the class horse in 2-HARTNELL. Respect the 4-TOSEN STARDOM though whose best runs seem to be fresh and his last two 1st up runs have been excellent, and the super consistent 3-BLACK HEART BART. 6-HUMIDOR in the mix as well, and looks like one that will improve even further this campaign and be a genuine WFA horse, just he will be giving the others here a start so will depend on how the track is racing.

Plenty to keep us interested in the Betting Portfolio, and there is a spruiked overseas runner in just about every race, which will start under the odds, get beaten, and boost the odds about the ones we like. Most of our bets are early in the day though, so we could be already done by half time.

BEST BET: Race 1: 2-DULVERTON $10 WIN
Always a bit nervous kicking off the day with the Best Bet in the first race, but she is just racing so well. Excellent 1600M record and tried very hard to chase down the leader last start. Just needs a bit of pressure up front here in a small field and for them to be running on OK, but the big plus here is the potential wet track Ė her soft track form is much better. Looks the one to beat in a small field and think the $4.80 is pretty good odds so back her straight out and hope to kick off the day with a winner.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 2: 8-MODERN WONDER $3 EW
QUINELLA: Race 2: 8-MODERN WONDER#2,5,6,10,12 x $5 = 100%
There are quite a few talented types here and we are a big fan of the 5-OREGONíS DAY who we think will go on to win a feature race this spring, so watch the betting market on her 1st up. The value runner here though is the (8), who has been competitive at this level before and has good fresh form. Drawn well and should be able to sit on speed here behind the two leaders and poke into the finish at the right time. Looks good value at around $10, so back each way, and anchor in a quinella with the main dangers, the (5), (6), (2) and a couple of roughies with apprentice claims the (10) and (12).

BEST EACH WAY: Race 4: 7-ONPICALO $5 EW
Fit and has been competitive at every start this preparation, but we all know what this guy needs Ė a wet track and an aggressive front running ride. Has yet to strike a wet track this time in and they have elected to take a sit on the speed the last few runs. Apprentice jockey needs to be on the ball here and take him to a clear lead with the light weight because that is how he wins races. Canít see anything to challenge in the lead today so looks a great each way bet with the right ride. Each way at around $8.50.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 8: 13-MURT THE FLIRT $4.50 EW
Another pretty even betting race, but this one was really good 1st up at WFA when ran on strongly from out the back. Should be plenty of improvement to come on that run and has a race fitness edge on many of these. Normally pattern is to race forward and should sit just behind the leaders here, question mark might be the inside barrier at the end of the day though. Looks a nice each way bet at around $13.

BEST ROUGH: Race 6: 9-EVIL CRY $2.50 EW
The 3YO C+G race is pretty even with lots of chances, but there does seem to be a fair bit of speed here which should set the race up for something running on. This one is still a maiden, but has been showing a heap of potential. Did rise quickly to the 1600M last start when wasnít disgraced, and is a training challenge here to freshen up back to the 1100M, but stable has a habit of pulling these sort of placements off. Pace on here will suit this strong finisher, and might be a bit more forward than many of these with more recent racing. Worth something at blow out odds of $34.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 3: 16-QUILISTA at around $4.20
We have lost count of how many overseas horses 1st up are well in the market today, but always prefer to let them run and see how they go rather than listening to the social media hype. This one is a Weir WA transfer (are there any horses left running in WA?), with good career stats, but is drawn out wide and is likely to get caught out as normally races forward. Never seen a wet track either. In a large even field just prefer to back something at value odds and prefer to take this one on.

TURF DELI WONDER BET : Here we try and turn $5 into a deposit for a house on The Block.
FIRST FOUR: Race 7: 2,4 / 2,4 / 3,6,9,10,12 / 3,6,9,10,12 x $5 = 12.50%
These early WFA races can often throw up good value exotics as something silly often runs into the minor placings. So letís have a crack at the First Four in the feature race, with the 2-HARTNELL the one to beat, but very wary of the fresh form of the 4-TOSEN STARDOM. Anchor them for 1st and 2nd and then go wide for the placings and hope a value runner like 9-CHARMED HARMONY, 10-TASHBEEH or 12-AMELIEíS STAR lobs into the finish to blow the dividend out. If you want to be clever you could also flip the 2nd and 3rd brackets around in a second bet. Plenty of value here if the 4-TOSEN STARDOM gets up to beat the more favoured rivals.

The Tips:

Race 1: 2-DULVERTON, 1-HELL OR HIGHWATER, 7-NIMINYPIMINY
Race 2: 8-MODERN WONDER, 5-OREGONíS DAY, 6-WRITTEN ERA
Race 3: 9-TANGO ROCK, 20-KAZIO (emerg), 11-CHAPEL ROAD, 2-THEANSWERMYFRIEND
Race 4: 7-ONPICALO, 4-RHYTHM TO SPARE, 1-BIG DUKE
Race 5: 1-CATCHY, 9-BROOK MAGIC, 8-CROWN WITNESS
Race 6: 9-EVIL CRY, 5-KOBAYASHI, 3-WAIT FOR NO ONE
Race 7: 2-HARTNELL, 4-TOSEN STARDOM, 3-BLACK HEART BART
Race 8: 13-MURT THE FLIRT, 2-MOST IMPORTANT, 7-SANTA ANNA LANE
Race 9: 6-DIVINE MR ARTIE, 14-OZI CHOICE, 19-OSCARíS MY MATE PA (emerg), 15-PORTMAN