CAULFIELD: LAWRENCE (LISTON) STAKES - 18th Aug 2018
Track: GOOD(4) - Weather: RAIN - Rail: OUT 3M

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Spring Campaign 2018 kicks off this week with the Lawrence Stakes and there is a pretty big meeting to cover with lots of good horses resuming. There is some horrible weather forecast for Saturday morning, rain, storms and wind and that is going to have an effect on how the track races. Last meeting here the rail was TRUE and they were running on well out wide and winning, and think we will see that pattern continue, and cover in the run might be important on a windy day. Hard to tell how much rain we are going to get, but assume they will be coming off the rails later in the day.

The feature race, the Lawrence (Liston) is wide open and really there are quite a few winning chances in a big field. General rule is to go for one of the 4YOs, and especially a horse that is up and running and forward early and doesnít have long term spring ambitions. You can actually make a case for most of the 4YOs here (numbers 12-15). These early WFA races are often run at a pretty slow pace, mainly because normally most of the field are back marker stayers having warm up runs, so there isnít that much pressure up front. The speed this year should be genuine with 8-JUNGLE EDGE having to burn across from an outside barrier, and he is race fit and wants it wet and isnít without a rough chance against these, especially if the rain come. 14-SHOWTIME should also settle handy and ran a good race here in the Futurity in the Autumn this track and distance and looks like one who has been set for the early spring races. 13-GRUNT has been impressive and will settle handy as well, along with 16-MISS GUNPOWDER sitting on speed from an outside barrier.

We are going to go with the 2-BLACK HEART BART on top though, like that he has had one run in this spring, and he finished the race off well in a very strong form race won by a tear away leader. Track / distance /class and 2nd up stats are all great, and just maybe needs to be able to get off the rail from an inside barrier, but should get the run of the race here. He is one that doesnít want the rain though. The 14-SHOWTIME dropped back and ran on OK first up in Sydney, is much better sitting on speed and suspect he is being aimed at these races, so watch the market for moves. The 1-HARTNELL always has to be respected in these races, he seems to have gone off the boil with punters though after a few short priced defeats last spring. But his last four 1400M 1st up runs have been 1st C.F.Orr, 1st Lawrence Stakes, 2nd Apollo (to WINX) and 2nd Warwick Stakes (to WINX), so you have to respect that form. Other chances to 13-GRUNT and the improving stayer 11-KINGS WILL DREAM, with best rough chance for multiples to the ever reliable 8-JUNGLE EDGE. Very open race though so will probably just being having an each way bet on the top pick.

We are not overly keen on this program from a punting point of view, hard to know how the weather is going to play at the moment, and some big fields of very ordinary horses in some of the races.
As this is the official start of Spring Campaign, we will start keeping track of the Betting Portfolio from now on.

BEST BET: Race 8: 7-BRAVE SONG $7 WIN
QUINELLA: Race 8: 7-BRAVE SONG, 5-INN KEEPER x $3 = 300%
Has been racing extremely well in two starts in Melbourne with a good win down the straight with big weight 1st up, and then loomed like the winner last week, but beaten by a class sprinter. Looks really well suited here in a small field, with a genuine tempo and likely racing pattern favouring runners on late and has race fitness on his side against many of these that are 1st up. Back straight out at around $4.20, and save on a quinella with the leader and serious threat the 5-INN KEEPER whose chances will improve the more rain that comes.

BEST WIN: Race 2: 5-TRUE EXCELSIOR $7 WIN
Under rated galloper who can mix her form, but has ability when right Finished 4th in a feature Group 1 one sprint before spell and her best form is when ridden to a clear lead and allowed to run. Small field should allow them to do that here, and there doesnít seem to be that much other pressure up front in this. Suspect she can jump, lead and early in the day the rails should be OK so should just about win. Back her straight out here, and letís kick off a Poor Manís Quaddie with her to place as a back up. Confident win bet at around $5.50 is great value.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 1: 8-REMEMBER THE NAME $4 EW
Been racing really consistently, and when she draws a good barrier and box seats she is very hard to beat. Had a bad draw here last start and dropped back and finished on really well (and was still going after the line), and think she should be right in this weaker affair today with a perfect on speed run. Each way at around $5.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 7: 2-BLACK HEART BART $5 EW
Super consistent Caulfield WFA horse who ran on well 1st up and normally takes 1-2 runs each preparation to find best. Has the plus of having one run in over most of his rivals here and should get a good run from inside barrier, maybe just wants to get off rails in straight. Would prefer a firmer track, so watch the weather, but looks a safe each way bet in a very open race as a pretty reliable type. Each way at around $8.

BEST ROUGH: Race 4: 10-GOLD FIELDS $2.50 EW
Big field of pretty ordinary horses here so think you want to look for some value. This one is fitter for the 2 runs in, and has decent career win place stats. Likely to go forward and lead here in a race with plenty of drop back horses that are mixing form and looks a nice rough chance at around $19.

BEST ROUGH: Race 9: 15-NETHERFIELD $2.50 EW
Another field in the last where most of these would struggle to get any punter excited. This one is still fairly lightly raced with plenty of upside and was an eye catcher storming home late here last start. Fitter for the 2 runs in and should be ready to do something today and will be suited by an outside barrier late in the day if the racing pattern is favouring those finishing on late. Each way at around $12, but hoping for a drift come race time as money comes for others.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 8: 3-OSBORNE BULLS at around $2.90
Smart Sydney sprinter who was won 7 from 10, but have first start Melbourne way of going. Does drop well back, so will need the racing pattern to suit those running on (which it probably will), but also think 1st time Melbourne way of going, 1st up over 1200M and giving 5kgs and a head start to the (5), (6) and (7) who all go OK, he might just struggle to reel one or more of them in and prefer to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into a whole lot more.
$5 ALL UP
PLACE: Race 1: 10-ROOM TO RHYME
PLACE Race 2: 5-TRUE EXCELSIOR
PLACE Race 6: 14-FIDELIA
PLACE Race 7: 2-BLACK HEART BART
We will kick off Spring with a traditional Poor Manís Quaddie, the place getter in 4 races. In the first race the (10) has actually placed her last 6 starts, she wants some rain, but the $7 the place looks good value in a small field. Pretty keen on the (5) in Race 2 to jump and run and lead and looks a safe place bet option. The (14) in Race 6 was really good finishing on hard late last start and looks to be one on the improve in a big field, and come home on the ever reliable 2-BLACK HEART BART in the feature race as you want to be on a reliable place bet into the last leg if we are alive. Looking at around $600 for a $5 outlay if we can get on a roll here.

The Tips:

Race 1: 8-REMEMBER THE NAME, 2-NAANTALI, 10-ROOM TO RHYME
Race 2: 5-TRUE EXCELSIOR, 4-CREATIVITY, 3-RILLITO
Race 3: 1-HIGHLAND BEAT, 12-SEVEN YEAR REWARD, 13-BOB OF THE HEAD
Race 4: 10-GOLD FIELDS, 17-STREETS OF AVALON, 6-ARKHAM NIGHT
Race 5: 5-NATIVE SOLDIER, 6-TONY NICCONI, 4-THE AUGUST
Race 6: 1-SUNLIGHT, 14-FIDELIA, 6-QAFILA
Race 7: 2-BLACK HEART BART, 14-SHOWTIME, 1-HARTNELL
Race 8: 7-BRAVE SONG, 5-INN KEEPER, 6-BELLA MARTINI
Race 9: 15-NETHERFIELD, 7-CALL ME HANDSOME, 3-MASK OF TIME.