No time for idle distractions this week. It is C.F.Orr Stakes Day at Caulfield, always a terrific prelude to the higher profile autumn features and generally a time for some real good ‘uns to emerge.
The great drawcard, undoubtedly, is All Too Hard, the regally bred colt whose clockwise “teasers” tested punters’ dedication. Back in Melbourne for his last 2 runs, his true class emerged – an exhilarating lunge to deny Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas and then a heroic second to Ocean Park in the Cox Plate. Good form! He’s got a hoof on History if he comes back fit and well. The Orr is a tricky assignment first up. 10 time G1 winner, (King) Mufhasa will try to dictate from the front and ATH may need the hit out. Let’s hope the young star can shine and have a dazzling Carnival.
His subsequent programme (Australian Guineas/Australian Cup)matches several others’ who have chosen to resume via the Autumn Stakes (MR6, 1400m, G2), the first leg of the Quaddy – these include the VRC Derby winner, Fiveandahalfstars (1), and other classic colts Super Cool (2) and Hvasstan (3). Bookmakers presume they’ll need the run and are favouring 6 and 10 to fight out this Group 2.
As previously hinted, the simplest approach to the second leg (MR7, C.F.Orr Stakes, 1400m, G1) is to top and tail.
Unless you are committed to a weekly Quaddy, I’d sit it out this week, but some can’t be told.
Hence, MR8: 8 goes in. 11? 6. MR9: Put in Loveyamadly (10) as it is 2/1 so, if you are still alive, you can crush it on Betfair. Certainly not a punting proposition.
On a blacktype strewn card, early interest will focus on the intriguing build up to the 2013 Blue Diamond, with some Sydney form gracing The Heath and challenging pundits to decipher the various formlines which converge for the Preludes (MR3+4).
The fillies’ division will impact greatly on Feature prepost betting. Darley horses are flying and Metastatio has impressed as a likely kind in her two recent wins – yet she was not nominated for the Diamond with Peter Snowden insisting that Guelph is their elect. We’ll see when she steps out under the Caulfield spotlight (MR4, G3, 1100m, 2yo fillies). She will be a tight quote and will have to manage the tricky circuit, so best to “Watch”.
There is growing conviction that2013’s batch of Colts might be just off the pace this season, but their heat looks to have a bit of depth this week (MR3, G3, 1100m, 2yo C+G). Gai arrives in town once again full of hope, this time for her main aspirant, Marseilles Roulette (C.Williams up). The opposition is interesting. Tony Vasil produces The Bowler, another of those which has attracted early specking but has not been seen. We have already seen Moody’s Dissident surprise with a swooping win on his home track and rounding out the big stable representations is Kuroshio, displaying the prominent cerise with white sleeves. A fascinating race. There’s a suspicion that this mob will comprise the E/W value come 23 Feb.
Apologies to anyone concerned by the Melbourne-centric nature of my overview – Almanac racing certainly welcomes comments on all matters and from all states and continents.
I see, for example, that the Hobart Cup and the Naracoorte Cup are listed for Sunday – both great places for a day at the races and with form worth studying.
Back in Victoria it is Mornington Cup Day on Wednesday – a huge event on the Peninsula with some big prizemoney in the Inglis Classic for 2yo, the Hareeba (Listed) for the dashers and, of course, the Cup (Listed) for stayers. The weather forecast is bright so schedule an RDO.
Time to post this so I can get some serious study underway. All comments are welcomed. I’ll be at Money Valley Friday night and at Caulfield on Saturday if anyone is on course.