Almanac Racing – Caulfield’s best day

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Guineas Day always delivers. Some years it is the Caulfield Guineas itself; sometimes it is the Stakes or the Schillachi or the Toorak. Now they’ve added the (rightly) oft-maligned Thousand Guineas to the gala programme and jagged a ripper.

Yep. You can bank on a beauty on this, possibly my favourite, day of Spring.

Trying to rank the races is like listing favourite Beatles tracks!

I’m excited this year by the Toorak Handicap (MR7, 1600m, G1), so superior nowadays to the Epsom debacle Randwick presented last week (though their winner’s a star!). Maybe it is the dearth of WFA guns about that makes a H’cp appealing to punters. Lucky Hussler (1) was a fair dinkum moral beaten in the Rupert Clarke so he goes in. Disposition ran impossible sectionals early so is a big forgive (unders?). If they go hard again I’m going to have another fling at Abidewithme, which will balance up and flash home ($15). And, if I rate her, I guess I’d better include stablemate Hi World, back from good WFA company and with K.McEvoy sticking.

The Caulfield Stakes (MR6, 2000m, WFA, G1) is probably my next pick. As is so often the case in this race, the field size is small. One byproduct of this is dawdling pace, that scourge of our middle distance muddlers (and one reason why The Cleaner is a blessing when he’s in). Often there’s a real shortie in this feature, but it looks more open this year. Contributer will again be the baffling option. You can’t possibly back him until he shows something. Ditto Happy Trails, which has been thereabouts but might be, like many of us, feeling the pinch of an extra year. Kermadec’s been irresistible and Fawkner bombproof (though this is an epic campaign by his standards). Murray Baker (love a Kiwi called Murray – reminds me of the Conchords) is unusually bullish about Mongolian Khan. Gai will be her usual bullish (or near anagram) about Pornichet. Entirely Platinum, with perhaps an easy lead, has to be a sneaky hope. Rounding out the 8 runners, that leaves only Criterion, runner up in 2014 and with most recent form around the Arc winner. Fascinating race.

Remarkably it is the Thousand Guineas (MR8, 1600m, 3yoF, SW, G1) that might be next on my ratings – incredible as this has been a farcical G1 for a while but there’s a good batch of fillies about at the moment. Personally, I reckon that pundits will look for all sorts of improvement in the “closers”, but that Miss Gunpowder can get over from a tricky gate a win again. There’ll be plenty of “unlucky” “good Oaks trials” amongst the rest.

Press Statement has undoubtedly the form and credentials to win the Guineas (MR9, 1600m, 3yo, SW, G1) but there’s that old nagging conundrum of a shortie, from a bad gate and 1st up around the Caulfield turns. It doesn’t appear to be a vintage edition so I’d be happy to take the 10/1 E/W Dal Cielo and dare the rest to run him down.

Lankan Rupee’s return in the Schillaci (MR2, 1100m, WFA, G2) makes it the other “must watch”, though the fav cramps betting at $1.30. Shiraz, a trifle disappointing in The Shorts, looks the logical Quinella. Alpha Miss is the other interesting runner, with G1 form, a new stable (Smerdon) and maybe preferring the firmer ground.

As is the RVL’s wont, more is better, so these are just some of the 10 races to be contested on what promises to be a beautiful and memorable day down at The Heath. The unfortunate 6.15 finish means that punters (and drinkers) will need to practise (as Peter From Peterborough so regularly advised Tony) “discipline” …if they hope to escape with wallet (and dignity) intact.

I’m working in the old Main Betting Ring, nowadays an Owners/Trainers retreat each day of Caulfield, escaping for the 10 races at Cranbourne for their Cup Day on Sunday and, of course, happy to monitor bets and banter via this site throughout.

Good luck!

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Comments

  1. Cowshedend says:

    Crio, do you reckon Murray has staff meetings in the morning? Germaine?….present…Brett?….present

  2. Cowshedend says:

    Videos over the last few days have told some very hard luck stories for a heap of these Saturday, trouble is being selective.
    Early on Invincible Heart in the 3rd was as green as they get last start, pulled and reefed for nearly the entire trip and still won, very impressive.
    Tristram’s Sun in R4 was massive last start, was finishing better than anything and will get my money saturday.
    Alaskan Rose in the Thousand Guineas is well worth a nibble at big odds, got buffered and blocked for numerous runs last start.
    Nearly made me cry re-living Wawail’s last start, any luck whatsoever and it would have won.
    In spite of the shorty in the Guineas, will have a little play Sovereign Nation

  3. Agree Crio, looks a ripping card, and looking forward to attending.

    Like Noble Protector in the Toorak. She seems to be a forgotten horse, after her first up flop. Couple of top wins in fast time in the Autumn, then a Group 1 placing against the mares on unsuitable wet ground. Ground will be prefect for her, and will roll forward from 6.

    Fawkner is the bombproof selection in the Caulfield Stakes. Willing to risk Kermadec on firm ground, first go at 2000, and will need to come from near last.

    Had a few early pre-post bets & doubles with Bassett in the Caul Guineas, so will be cheering him on! Should get a lovely run in transit.

  4. sneak in to the Owners/Trainers space and come and say g’day – I’ll be on the Wayne Elliott stand.

  5. I think I’ll let the first 4 go through to the keeper at Caulfield although could be tempted on Richies Vibe if the odds get silly but concerned about a strong 1400.
    Amralah is too god in the 5th with Sertorious a quinella hope.
    I think the “real” Contributor will be ready for them tomorrow, he was pretty good last time out where everything struggled from the back. Query Kermadec on a firm track at 2000.
    Toorak is a lottery but Disposition will get the gun run, if the pace is really on, Abidewithme was a great run last start and will get home well but the $12 doesn’t look great value.
    Sticking with Jameka in the 1000 Guineas, looks EW to nothing.
    I’ll also risk Press Statement from the wide gate and will probably back either Last Bullet or Tulsa.
    Will back Wawail in the last if desperate to “get out”.

    In Adel I like Pepper the Pin in the 6th and Mubakkir in the last.

  6. Like Jock, I won’t be getting involved early….in the Toorak I didn’t think Hi World had done much wrong this prep, gets in well here and can’t see too many wanting to hold him out so should cross easily enough. $16 looks great value. Both favs going to be hard to toss but both have been well found.
    Caul Stks and Kermedec appears as though he’ll run the trip easily enough, if he does he wins, not sure I want to take $3 to find out though? If there’s one that’s knocking on the door it’s Mongolian Khan!!
    In the Thousand, Sagaronne given no hope the other day and athough was disappointing will give a better sight ridden more patiently.
    The Guineas and I have no idea where Press Statement’s going to have to race here but there will be no favours (unless he zooms across to sit outside Dal Cielo. Track will be key here, if they’re running Tulsa, Taarzino and Last Bullet will all be charging, if not look out for Lizard Island getting a cosy little run behind them at $31.

  7. Higgo,

    Couldn’t crack the “Captcha’ initially to get in here, so no hope me tipping anyone a winner. Having said that, I have been looking for something at odds in the Guineas and you may have unearthed one in Lizard Island. Good form prior to a “kill” at Pakenham, and he is from a great old NZ family that includes Shankill Lass, B Shinn goes alright too.

  8. Elvis, Latest cobalt case-Elegantly Wasted.
    Just noticed the INXS name, anything to confess?

  9. I’m very keen to have some bets this weekend. Might lay the fav in the Spring Championship and look for some uncharacteristic results at Caulfield.
    Cranbourne’s got 2 excellent races on Sunday though they split the Frankston finery by fixturing the Cranbourne Cup on Bathurst 500 Day!

  10. giving At First Sight a chance in the Herbie Power.
    I’ve already done the Wawail/Rising Romance certainty beaten pathway this Spring so looking for a change of luck.

  11. Jock,

    Innocent your honour. Great name though, would have grabbed it if it had,been available. Got another one though. Baby Don’t Cry. Trials Monday week, and I can assure you, she goes alright. Just between you and me though. Don’t tell anyone.

  12. I shall respect the plaintiff’s wishes.
    Good Luck with it.
    I thought you had the names monopolised.

  13. whilst on names…Wine Tales – in the Spring Championship tmrw – had a relative named Quaff trial this morning at Warwick Farm.

  14. Crio,

    Whilst I appreciated Higgo’s roughie Lizard Island in the Guineas and will be trying it each way, further study points me to Dal Cielo as a good thing. Trainer, Performance and, after a look,, pedigree.Ticks all the boxes. Ever heard that expression before?

  15. Get on board!

  16. Elvis
    Not often I’m agreed with, nice to know someone else agrees on Lizard Island being a knockout, may go again then at the big odds.

    After thought….I’ve only had a brief look at the last but Tahni Dancer seems huge odds at $34. Anyone else find any merit in her?

  17. Kermadec’s Sydney win was crazily good I thought. Three wide hunting up. Then easing, but still three wide. Was entitled to be gawn at the 200, but found a gear! And won impressively. Royal Dissent finished strongly there and last Sunday.

    A few of us had a dabble at Happy Trails in the Turnbull while having a quiet one a the Williamstown Croquet Club. The phone showed no result. The video later that night showed a horse which was forced to shuffle along mid-pack over the last 600. No gap appeared. Caulfield?

    They’re my two.

    Snoopy and Bassett the obvious quinella in the Guineas.

  18. I was on Happy Trails again. Sacked it now so get on !
    In attendance John?

  19. Unfortunately not Crio. And at the desk as well, chipping away.

  20. Caulfield Race 1. Mug Punter’s Literary Tip: 8. Literate $1 each way

  21. Expect a big run Mongolian Khan so get on now for Caulfield Cup. Noble protector the one for me in the Toorak. Hi World the main danger. Alaskan Rose looks overs in 1000 Guineas and happy to try Sovereign Nation and Last Bullet each way in Caulfield Guineas.
    In Brisbane, Each way hopes to Pantalettes R2, Collar R4, Voltaire Lumiere R6 and Siegfried R7.

  22. Caulfield Race 2. Mug Punter’s Literary Tip: 2. Shiraz (the best writing muse). In a $10 quinella with Lankan Rupee.

    Progress -$2

  23. cowshedend says:

    Lankan Rupee flat as a tack, but how cocky was the ride?

  24. 1.4 out to 1.6
    Unlayable here

  25. cowshedend says:

    Good go invincible heart

  26. Caulfield Race 3: 2. Serenade (it worked on The Handicapper). $2 each way.

    Progress -$12

  27. Caulfield Race 4: Mug Punter’s Literary Tip. Quinella 3 The Bowler 5 Richie’s Vibe

    Progress -$16

  28. Tony Robb says:

    Guineas day again looking like a punter’s nightmare. Plenty of value in rubbish Sydney races

  29. Peter Flynn says:

    First bets since Royal Ascot

    Fawkner

    Stratum Star/Disposition

    Press Statement/Dal Cielo

  30. Caulfield Race 5: Mug Punter’s Literary Tips 9. Bohemian Lily (of course) $10 win

    Progress -$20

  31. cowshedend says:

    Can’t let albonetti go round at that price without an interest

  32. cowshedend says:

    Gutsy ride Bowman,very impressive Amralah

  33. Caulfield Race 6: Mug Punter’s Literary Tips 2. Fawkner (close enough). $10 win

    Progress: -$30

  34. cowshedend says:

    Opie Bosson had a chance to roll off the fence early, then has to go round the entire field and just goes down, he was always the child prodigy Bosson but too bloody clever by half!

  35. Caulfield Race 7: Mug Punter’s Literary Special: Race 7. No 6 Puccini $1 x $4

    Lack of Progress: -$40

  36. Caulfield Race 8: Mug Punter’s Literary Special No 6 Badawiya $10 win

    Lack of Progress: -$45

  37. Peter Flynn says:

    Williams and Williams! Not for the first time.

    The gettable Toorak Tri got.

  38. Caulfield Race 9: Mug Punter’s Literary Special: Quinella 9 Bassett and 14 Snoopy $4

    Lack of Progress: – $55

  39. cowshedend says:

    D.Hayes, fair day at the office!

  40. Peter Flynn says:

    2 Meatloaves in the Caulfield Stakes and 1000 Guineas trifectas.

  41. cowshedend says:

    Terrific ride Bowman, stacked them up then let it go, too good, my knockout ran 4th got sqeezed close to the post looking for help in the stewards room

  42. Peter Flynn says:

    The usual scenes.

    Three legs of the quaddie in the bag.

    2/3/4 in the get out.

  43. cowshedend says:

    Be amazed if you don’t get it PF, booting the 3 home as best for the day

  44. cowshedend says:

    Well done PF,

  45. Just home from the Heath and ready for a beer and a review. Very sweaty out there – some blokes from Burleigh Heads (with burly bods) were punting with us today and feeling the pinch of the humidity! Unsurprisingly, a massive electrical storm’s breaking out over me right now.
    The sweaty day can lead to some forgives, especially amongst the girls. Pasadena Girl mi9ght have had enough, mightn’t get to the Oaks distance this prep and might, in fact (on advice) be an autumn type.
    Poor old Paul Beshara had a frustrating day. As a swooper, Richie’s Vibe finally looked suited, but Dunn found so much trouble and it flashed home (as it does – it is a muncher). His other runner, Happy Trails, seemed to get out and peter out to get nutted by a very, very good ‘un. Criterion is now an experienced and hardy campaigner. Whatever beats him, as they say, wins the Cox Plate.
    Time to kick back.
    The sprint and the Cup are worth a look at Cranbourne tmrw.

  46. It looks a tough assignment John, but I suppose your literary punting has to dip the nib in to the ink one more time this weekend for the Almanac’s own Robbie Griffiths, who has It Is Written (by WRITTEN TYCOON from WINNING TEAM) in the Apache Cat Classic at Crannie.

  47. Peter Flynn says:

    How weird to have your 3 last leg live quaddie horses coming 1-2-3.

    Strange world.

    Cheers Cowshedend for your congrats.

    Crio, any talk of a Fawkner slaughter?

    Criterion good European form. Lengths superior.

    Thought it needed the run.

    Still probably right.

    Wet track and really look out.

    PF

  48. Can’t help you there Flynny. Worked a non-betting/ra ra ring so no goss.
    Hard to knock the main winners, which is good for racing. The G1 winners were each very well deserved.
    Stay With Me got to pretty good odds I reckon.
    As usual, Gai’s horses were unders and underperformed down here – Pornichet!

  49. Peter Flynn says:

    No knock from me Crio.

    A really good day of Australian racing.

    A few swoopers saluted.

    Boy has Mongolian Khan got a flashing light!

    PF

  50. yeah. I thought it would be one pair more forward at least, so fell in.
    “Lost no fans”, as non-punting analysts would say.

  51. All hail H Bowman! Big memory in the cup on Sunday

  52. No surprise Mogolian Khan now favourite for Caulfield Cup. Bad barrier, Rising Romance (and the Japs) the dangers.

  53. Peter Flynn says:

    Fair call Budge.

    Is Snow Sky going around?

  54. Just back from Cranbourne Cup Day – what a day on the bag. Did you know that Vicki from Little Britain has dozens of clones (many of which haven’t met her higher standards!)? And the last race being put back 40 mins was a bonus – not! They backed a Maher horse from $17 in to 5/2f and, when they eventually raced, it had a chequered run to finish 3rd to its stablemate (7/4 to 7/2); some reckon unluckily but I thought the winner pretty clearcut.Some shorties really flopped today, including a drifting Super One in the Apache Cat Classic (beaten by a brilliant General Jackson) and Petracca (evens to 6/4on) in the third. Some well tried winners however, including 20/1 in to 10/1 Captain James in R6 and Digitalism in the Cup.

  55. Flynny, racing.com reports that Olly galloped Snow Sky yesterday with positive reports.
    https://www.racing.com/news/2015-10-11/oliver-rapt-with-snow-sky

    Ante-post markets are usually the better guide…and I’m blocked from that access here today!

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