Track: SOFT(5) - Weather: SUNNY - Rail: TRUE

Betting Portfolio ($100):
Bit of rain around Friday, clear day Saturday, but don’t think this track will improve too much and the edge might stay off it. Rail back to TRUE so we should get even racing, maybe coming off the rails later in the day with a ten race program. Some serious horses back around and a bit of a spring buzz. Big even fields and some value around so we are doubling up the Betting Portfolio today and having a bet in most races.

Reminder that at the moment for Spring Campaign 2023 we won’t be posting tips till Saturday morning (earlier if time allows). Feature race preview at the bottom of this post.

Very even mares race and there probably isn’t that much between these – but there is a big weight spread. This one is lightly raced with plenty of upside and stepped up nicely to city class last start when wide all the way and hitting the line well at the end of 1100M. First try at 1400, but plenty to like about last run and at bottom of weights here appeals. Back straight out at around $5.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 1: 11-GEORGIE GET MAD $5 EW, QUINELLA 11#5,8,9 x $6 = 200%
Pretty even field to open the day, but this one ran well here last start when boxed seated behind the speed and held up for a narrow run on the inside after turning and fought out the finish well when clear. Looks to be a rolling leading type, step up in distance suits, should lead in this and with jockey Shinn on board might be hard to run down given first use of the track. Each way at around $8 and anchor in a quinella with the 5-BOH RHAP, 9-TOKENIST and 8-SEB SONG.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 2: 12-ROGUE ROCKER $5 EW, QUINELLA 9,12,15,16 boxed x $6 = 100%
Two runs for new stable have both been excellent, dropping back and hitting the line hard. Last run at Sandown was outstanding, was last on the turn and weaved through the field with a mighty finish. Likely to drop back and will need the speed on and for them to be running on, but if he jumps and gets a spot outside horses for a clear run down the middle is going to be very hard to beat at around $10. Value box quinella in this race with the 9-SHOVE OVER fitter for the two runs in, the 15-NETANYAHU on-speed, and the classy 16-PRESSER getting the perfect run.

Put in a great run here last start when burst through along the inside which was the worse going and fought out the finish strongly. Likely to drop back a bit in this, and bit wary about the lack of speed and similarly concerned favourite 7-BENEDETTA might find a flat spot around Caulfield off a sit sprint tempo. But quite liked the run of this one last start and happy to give a try each way at around $13.

Looks a horse on the way-up and really like the last run up in Sydney, she was in the pack and burst clear along the inside which was the worse going and only nabbed right on the line. Should have plenty of improvement to come from that run, should lob on-speed here on a moderate tempo, and get the perfect run and good chance she will drop these early in the straight and sprint clear and pinch this race. Each way at around $7.

BEST ROUGH: Race 5: 4-LE ZEBRA $2.50 EW
Good chance something can jump and run and pinch the 3YO 1200M race and this looks the most likely candidate. Speedy through first campaign, and improved with each run, given two trials so should be forward for this and jump and go aggressively to the lead here could be hard to run down at around $20.

BEST ROUGH: Race 6: 14-HASTA LA WAR $2.50 EW
The Heatherlie is a super tricky race with plenty of stayers 1st up so hard to know who is forward enough here and unlikely to be much speed on. So taking this one on trust a bit, hoping jockey Meech goes forward with little speed on and he has had two trials in so might be ready to do something first up. Was heading towards the Cups in 2021 Spring and right up to this level before injury and seems to have been a little forgotten so will go around at long odds $35 today.

Last race looks wide open so might as well look for some value. A lot of these are 1st up so look for something race-fit at odds. This one was wide and back on the leaders’ track at MV last start so had no chance at all, and was quite unlucky with 59kgs at Flemington the start before when went to go make a run about 200M and the gap closed. Doesn’t win out of turn, but bottom of weights here and suspect will be strong at the end of 1400M against these so might run a race at $27 odds and probably longer come race time.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 6: 16-THE SUMMIT at around $6
Big even field and this one does have race fitness, but also got the benefit of the fast lane along the rails last start to run into the race and win. Barrier 1 is a real issue today, drop back horse in a big field of stayers first-up, unlikely to be that much speed on and might need luck to get into clear running. Prefer to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into enough to pay the staff wages for opening the gates more than a half hour before the first.
TRIFECTA: Race 9: 2,13 / 1,2,5,8,10,12,13 /2,8,10,12,13 x $5 = 12.5%
Feature race trifecta may pay OK as there are plenty at odds who can get into the finish. So we are banking around the 13-PRINCESS GRACE, 2-I WISH I WIN winning and the last season 3YOs 10-OSIPENKO, 12-AMENABLE or super roughie 8-BANDERSNATCH getting into the placings somewhere.

Races 7,8,9,10: 2,3,6,7 / 1,6,9,13,14 / 2,13/ 3,7,8,14,16 x $20 = 10%
Taking a bit of a bold quaddie today, whilst the 7-BENEDETTA looks very hard to beat in the first leg might be vulnerable in a sit-sprint around Caulfield. Plenty of smart sprinters in the second leg, but also the chance of something at odds winning first up like the speedy 9-MIDWEST, being bold and narrowing the feature down to just 13-PRINCESS GRACE, 2-I WISH I WIN and come home wide in a very open last leg with plenty of value chances.

Feature Race Preview:

Quality field for the Memsie Stakes, and we have some serious top liners going around, but just be wary as those without huge plans later in the spring can win this if they are more forward and ready to produce. Speed here might be leader dominated, the 14-ANNAVISTO usually goes forward but can over-race, the 3-ALLIGATOR BLOOD normally races handy but doesn’t lead till later in his campaigns, and the 7-WESTERN EMPIRE curiously took on the leader last start and probably settles handy. Other handy runners include the 8-BANDERSNATCH and the 13-PRINCESS GRACE but suspect they are not going to go that fast here and one of the leading group will run a race.

Runner by Runner comments:

1-MR BRIGHTSIDE seems to be all class and won the Lawrence Stakes 1st up for the second year in a row. Track and distance stats are excellent. Impressive winner of the Feehan 2nd up last year, his best asset is that he can jump and race handy and take a position to give himself every chance. Question then is how he goes with the outside barrier 15 today, caught wide off a slow tempo. Definite winning chance but also definitely vulnerable today.

2-I WISH I WIN has a bit of X Factor about him with some sensational finishing bursts. Effortless win this track and distance 1st up this time last year at first Australian start and really form since then has been pretty much faultless. Probably one we haven’t seen the best of yet and normally would say to take on a drop back horse 1st up over an early spring WFA race, but he might be next level. Inside barrier is an issue though, think they go slowly here and will get cluttered up, so would need to be out and running into clear air in plenty of time and also for the track pattern to allow them to run on and win. Too good to rule out.

3-ALLIGATOR BLOOD has excellent 1st up stats and has had two barrier trial wins coming into this so should be forward. Does like to lead, but doubt they take it up 1st up and probably just takes a sit. He prefers a firmer track, so slight query if the track stays in the SOFT range. Worth noting he started $5 when 1st up in this race last year and finished 7th, and actually suspect he will run a similar race this year. Drawn wide and will have to work early to go forward and out of the top three he is the one we are probably happy to risk – prefer him in smaller fields controlling tempo with a few runs in on a dry track.

4-NONCONFORMIST doesn’t often run in suitable races so his win strike rate should be so much better than it is. Surprise winner of the Blamey 1st up in the Autumn at long odds. Excellent track stats, but has competed in these sort of races a few times last couple of years without being factor.

5-AEGON has been only even around this level and really surprised with an outstanding run on from last effort here last start this track and distance – the tempo was fast that day though. Little bit of give in the ground probably suits. Did run an unlucky 4th in this race in 2021, but this year’s edition looks much stronger. Drawn out and will drop well back and will need them to be running on and the speed on, so prefer place chance and to see him do it again.

7-WESTERN EMPIRE surprisingly went forward last start and took on a noted leader and they set it up for the backmarkers. Probably takes a handy sit here and would have to go better this time with a more patient ride, but hasn’t really measured up in Eastern states runs so far.

8-BANDERSNATCH has excellent 1400M stats and has been an interesting campaign tactic to bring him down here early in the spring, when he normally contests Sydney feature miles. Totally unsuitable race first-up over 1200M here carrying 60kgs, and will get a nice on-speed run here from a barrier going forward over a more suitable distance. Question is if he is up to this class at WFA? But actually think he will run much better than the $126 odds in this and looks a great value super roughie for wide exotics as think this race will be run to suit.

9-DUKE DE SASSA is an import who ran pretty well in only Australian start when in the market in the Doncaster. Was carrying a low weight there in an handicap, up to WFA and back to 1400M here and might drop back and get cluttered up in a big field so prefer to see.

10-OSIPENKO was an eye-catching run in the Caulfield Guineas last year when probably should have won and has been competitive in every run since at the top level, often dropping too far back and not having much luck. Excellent run 1st up when again dropped too far back from an outside barrier, so tactics are going to be the key here – drawn well today do they settle more handy? Surely has to settle first half of the field. He ticks the box of one that may be forward early in the spring and might spring the surprise. Listen for riding tactics but strong wining chance.

11-BANK MAUR is another strong finishing 3YO coming into his 4YO season. Definitely has the ability but sometimes doesn’t produce. Well drawn, but suspect he prefers a bigger track and solid tempo so let’s see him go around first-up here.

12-AMENABLE is another 3YO who hasn’t had the best luck in his career to date, but was a super confident win here 1st up when made a long wide run at them. Drawn wide and probably drops back here again and if he goes on with it he is capable of causing an upset here. Definitely think Caulfield 1400M dry track is his go, not quite sure he is up to this level, but maybe keep safe just in case.

13-PRINCESS GRACE is one to be very wary of here, import who really hasn’t done much wrong in three Australian starts. Last run was outstanding, inside going was off, burst clear along the inside and really took every inch of ground for a strong finishing horse out wide to run her down. Looks to get an excellent run here on-speed from an inside barrier and is the one who could burst through and pinch this race early in the straight whilst the back-markers run on too late. Might be more forward than many of these early spring. Strong winning chance.

14-ANNAVISTO looks the likely leader here and can over-race if left alone in front. Won 1st up over 1400M last time in leading all the way, but only had two runs since mid-last year. Market seems to like her, suspect she will find one better at this level, but always wary of on-speed horses in these early WFA races. Would prefer slightly better odds to be interested.

15-STEINEM needs a solid tempo and is better over further, though did win the Peter Young 1st up over 1800M in the Autumn – but they set a furious tempo up front that day. Think he gets outsprinted here at this level.

We want to be on the look-out for early spring types in this race and think the 13-PRINCESS GRACE ticks that box perfectly. She dropped most of the field last start in Sydney with a nice turn of foot in the worse going and a good horse had to work really hard to run her down. Should get the perfect run on-speed here from a good barrier, whilst the most established stars the 1-MR BRIGHTSIDE will get caught wide and the 2-I WISH I WIN drops well back from an inside barrier. They might be good enough to win anyway, but just on position in running she really has a lot to like about her today. Main danger is the 2-I WISH I WIN who really could be anything based on recent form and could over-come all the obstacles which would normally be an issue in this race. Wary of the 10-OSIPENKO who goes in for third with some luck in running for once. This looks a good race for a wide exotics with the two main chances to win, and roughies like the 8-BANDERSNATCH. 12-AMENABLE to place.

The Tips: