CAULFIELD: NATURALISM STAKES - 23rd Sept 2017
Track: GOOD(3) - Weather: WINDY - Rail: OUT 9M
Betting Portfolio ($50):
In case you are just tuning in now, so far this spring has been nothing short of a total disaster. We havenít even got warm enough with the tips or the Betting Portfolio to have a valid excuse! There has been an awful lot of smart money, and well backed favourites, and we are struggling to strike our normal double figure winners.

Fine, warm weather heading into the weekend in Melbourne, and this track is going to come up very, very firm with lots of wind predicted. Again, it is hard to predict what effect that is going to have, but so far this spring most meetings have tended towards on pacers, except for on windy days. With a firm track and the rail well out, barriers are going to be very important, and suspect you will want to be well drawn and sitting just off the speed with cover to win today. Think we might get some messy races, so try to avoid drop back horses drawn inside.

The main race is wide open, with lots of stayers stepping up to a suitable distance and likely to improve so there are plenty of winning chances. There is plenty of talent at the bottom of the weights here and would suggest in an even field you go with something with a fitness edge. We are keen on the 12-HARLOW GOLD at odds, whose two runs in have been good and should be fitter and has the benefit of the 2000M run over many of her rivals here. The 8-AMELIEíS STAR has been one we were going to follow this spring and is ready to win now with the 3 runs in and predictably had no luck at all last start at Flemington dropping back from an inside barrier. The improving 15-SAMOVARE the other main chance, with value runners the 7-BOOM TIME on speed on a firm track, and 13-VENGEUR MASQUE who ran well 1st up and needs the extra distance.

We are left with just the Naturalism Stakes for this meeting, with the previous feature meeting split into two weeks many years ago, and all the good races are on next week. With a lesser class of horse going around think we will see the results mixing it up a lot more than in previous weeks.

BEST WIN: Race 1: 5-BLONDIE $7 WIN
Quite of few of these arenít in the best of form and are out to the 1400M for the 1st time. This one is fitter for the 2 runs in, and led and fought on well last start at MV against a smart one. 1400M is the question mark, but first race of the day, barrier 1, on a firm track, should jump to a clear lead here, without too much pressure up front, and might be hard to run down. Back straight out at around $5.50

BEST EACH WAY: Race 5: 6-REVOLVING DOOR $3 WIN
QUINELLA: Race 5: 6-REVOLVING DOOR#1,4 x $4 = 200%
This race gives us nightmares just thinking about it. We have had solid bets this spring on 2-SO SI BON, 3-DUKE OF BRUNSWICK and 6-REVOLVING DOOR and they have all flopped, but one of them will probably bounce back to form today and sting us. The 6-REVOLVING DOOR looks the one to beat today as he will go forward in a race with very little pressure up front, but he has managed to get himself beaten over the 1400M a few times now. So prefer to back him in quinellas with the 1-HE OR SHE, who was good first up on an unsuitable wet track and will love the firm track today, and the 4-HERE TO THERE who is racing well and has less convictions than some of these others.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 6: 1-KEEN ARRAY $5 EW
Was hopelessly over rated early on in career and obviously hasnít lived up to that hype, but still goes OK. Fitter for the 3 runs in, didnít handle the heavy bog 1st up, and last two starts at MV has both been similar, running on well out wide on tracks that were favouring on pacers. Unbeaten this track and distance in 3 starts. Inside barrier, but think he can settle more forward today with good cover (listen out for riding tactics changes). The super spruiked 3-BRAVE SMASH is obviously the one to beat, but happy to take him on today as think the odds are ridiculous at $1.80. This one meets him a tidy 2.5kgs better off from last start 1.8L defeat and prefer to be on him each way at around $8 than back a poor value favourite.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 7: 12-HARLOW GOLD $4 EW
One we were keen to follow this spring who didnít have the best of luck a few times last campaign, and ran really well in the Australian Guineas. Despite the way the career stats look think she is better on firm ground. Fitter for the 2 runs in, both of which have been promising and today is the day we really get to see if she measures up to this class. Like that she has had the 2000M run this time in, and many of her rivals are up in distance, Drop back, strong finisher suits drawn wide and keen to have something each way at around $17 in a very open race.

BEST ROUGH: Race 3: 19-SKULDUGGERY (emerg) $2.50 EW
Very big open field here and you would want to look for some value. With a few scratchings already it looks like the emergencies will get a start. This one is drawn wide, but is a drop back, strong finish horse so not too worried . Fitter for the 4 runs in, last two runs have been on wet tracks and dry track form is much better. Distance stats are good and has won at Caulfield before and think he looks a nice chance at odds here of around $34 and probably even longer come race time.

BEST ROUGH: Race 9: 8-SEBRING DREAM $2.50 EW
QUINELLA: Race 9: 7,8,9 boxed x $3 = 100%
One who had a huge spruik on her in her 3YO season and continually started in the market, but only ever ran on for well beaten placings. We avoided her like the plague as a 3YO, but keen to back her today in what looks like a very suitable race. 1st up here over 1400M, but won 1st up last time in, she is well drawn, and think she is better over these shorter trips. Have something each way at around $20 and value in a box quinella in the last here with the likely leader the 7-MERRIEST and the consistent 9-PRINCESS OF QUEENS.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 2: 2-CLIFFíS EDGE at around $4.40
Open race with lots of 3YO stepping out to the 1600M for the first time. This one is currently 2nd favourite, but thought he was a little disappointing last start and only beat a field of 4 in Adelaide before that (even though the place getters ran well last week). Likely leader here, and there isnít much speed, but suspect something stronger at the 1600M will run over the top late. Happy to risk.

TURF DELI WONDER BET : Here we try and turn $5 into a deposit for a house on The Block.
RUNNING DOUBLE: Races 7,8: 9,12 / 4,7,8,10,14 x $5 = 50%
Races 7 and 8 are wide open so there will be plenty of value in the running double. There are two at nice odds we like in the Naturalism, the 12-HARLOW GOLD and 9-AMELIEíS STAR and if they get up we can go wide in the mares race and hope for a result. Plenty of value about the top pick 8-MISS GUNPOWDER who goes well fresh and is drawn to sit on speed, the main dangers 7-MISSROCK, 4-LEGLESS VEUVE and throw in two roughies for a big dividend, the 14-DEJA BLUE who is better than her form looks and the 10-I AM ZELADY.

The Tips:

Race 1: 5-BLONDIE, 6-SANADAAT, 9-LEATHERíNíLACE
Race 2: 6-SUNQUEST, 1-ESHTIRAAK, 8-EVIL CRY
Race 3: 19-SKULDUGGERY (emerg), 12-LYCURGUS, 8-GOODWILL, 11-SIN TO WIN
Race 4: 6-SUPERHARD, 4-I DID IT AGAIN, 13-FROM THE CLOUDS
Race 5: 6-REVOLVING DOOR, 1-HE OR SHE, 4-HERE TO THERE.
Race 6: 1-KEEN ARRAY, 5-MALIBU STYLE, 7-WELL SPRUNG
Race 7: 12-HARLOW GOLD, 9-AMELIEíS STAR, 15-SAMOVARE
Race 8: 8-MISS GUNPOWDER, 7-MISSROCK, 4-LEGLESS VEUVE
Race 9: 7-MERRIEST, 8-SEBRING DREAM, 9-PRINCESS OF QUEENS