Almanac Racing: Sal’s Preview – Caulfield Guineas Preview: Step into Steparty? Yes or No


Greetings All


What a great day of racing awaits us on referendum day.  A terrific Caulfield Guineas program while Sydney hosts their biggest Neil Diamond singalong with The Everest meeting at Randwick.  As an aside why do we gravitate to Sweet Caroline, there are so many better choices in his catalogue.  Perhaps I am a Solitary Man on this?  Or too much Red, Red Wine.  Back to the track is the Guineas like the referendum just a two horse race between Steparty and Militarize?  With the same question The Everest with I Wish I Win and Think About It?


We had a great day of racing at Flemington last week with the highlight being the astounding win of Gold Trip in the Turnbull.  Plenty to be learnt from the rest of the card also, Riff Rocket put is one of the best derby trials we have seen for quite a while.  There will be plenty to learn this week also.




We open the day with a wide-open race, Kettle Hill (R1, #4) is yet to salute in Australia but has not finished further away than fifth, as good a chance as he had in this one.  Moody-Coleman have a new filly on the block in the secondTime of my Life (R2, #10) won its only start at Geelong, don’t think she would be running if there wasn’t an opinion of her.


Race 3 – Herbert Power Handicap (G2, 2400m, HCP)


The final ticket to the Caulfield Cup on offer here and Danny O’Brien’s import Carini (8) won well at Flemington and looks well placed here.  Brayden Star (7) comes off a win in the Benalla Cup with weight relief while Maher-Eustace have United Nations (9) who has been running well in lesser grade.  Rebel Racer (6) will lead them up and might have the fitness to hold on for a place.


Selections – 8-7-9-6


Reckon Seradess (R4, #6) can turn the tables on Cardigan Queen (R4, #9) in the Northwood Plume for the mares.


Race 5 – Schillaci Stakes (G2, 1100m, WFA)


A ripping edition of the Schillaci dominated in the betting by Uncommon James (2) and Asfoora (7), just favouring the former.  They will go like the clappers and if they over do it then reckon Ingratiating (1) could come over the top while not discounting Chain of Lightning (8) but needs to find her best again.


Selections – 2-7-1-8


The Weekend Hussler is an open affair, Lindsay Smith has taken control of Kaptain Kaos (R6, #4) the not-so smart money might have an each way stake.  Smarter money might be around Ayrton (R6, #1), Mick Price has lamented that he is not what they expected but this is his right distance and he has an outstanding first up record and is undefeated here.


Race 7 – Might and Power (G1, 2000m, WFA)


Alligator Blood (1) has had two cracks at the distance and yet to place, so I am with Gai’s other charge in Just Fine (6).  Some concern about the drop back in distance and weight increase yet to be defeated in Australia so happy to persist.  Nonconformist (3) has a great 3rd up record and goes well here and could cause an upset and Duais (9) was very good in the Underwood so this a natural progression, her best wins this.


Selections – 6-1-9-3


4th in an Epsom is very good form so going with Barbie’s Fox (R8, #4) coming back to mare’s grade.


Race 9 – Caulfield Guineas (G1, 1600m, 3YO SW)


A couple of standouts in the Guineas but both with a couple of questions.  Militarize (1) already has three group one wins on the board and is proven at the journey, the only question being his first run left-handed.  CJW has indicated he has done plenty of left-handed work but never under race conditions.  Steparty (4) is undefeated but steps out to the mile for the first time.  They have the best chances and favouring Militarize (1) here.  There are plenty more who could upset the apple cart.  If we give Veight (5) a mulligan for last start he is right in this, liked the win of Wolfy (10) at Flemington this is up a level but showed a great turn of foot to win.  Naturally wary of Maher-Eustace who have four in the field where reckon Scenitfy (8) is going as well as any while watching out for market support of any of their runners.


Selections – 1-4-5-10


Race 10 – Toorak Handicap (G1, 1600m, HCP)


Amelia’s Jewel (3) has beaten mares in her two starts in Melbourne, meets Pride of Jenni (10) at a 4½ kg disadvantage for a ¾ of length margin and will be running in open Group One company.  She has a great winning record which can’t be ignored but her price should at least have 3 in front of it.  Antino (6) also has a good winning profile but drawn the car park, would be an extraordinary effort to win.  So where do we go?  We saw in the Epsom the value of a lightweight and Here to Shock (14) is on the minimum, well-drawn and a good third up record.  The Inevitable (2) carries the top weight and hit the line hard in the Epsom a better run might see him get close.


Selections – 14-10-3-2




Could be a good day for the white shorts in Sydney where a number of Victorian based horses have good chances.  The first of those is Bella Nipotina (SR6, #13) didn’t get a run in the Everest and reckon she can get the consolation prize despite the wide draw.


Race 7 – The Everest (Not G1, really?, 1200m, WFA)


The interstate bickering stops this having Group One status and it is a couple of starts short this year with Giga Kick injured and Imperatriz choosing another path.  Nevertheless a great field headed by a couple of very good horses.  Does the inside draw really harm the chances of I Wish I Win (1) or does it just give us a better price?  Reckon it is a bit of both needs to get the breaks but has the ability to take them when they appear and has an electric turn of foot.  If the breaks don’t come then the GSOB mare In Secret (9) has a great chance, she doesn’t win everything she is in but she does win the Grand Finals – the Newmarket and the Coolmore.  Can’t leave out Think About It (3) who just keeps winning nor the stablemate Private Eye (2) might have the turn of foot to match the toppie.  We have had two 3yo win this race with the lightweight and reckon Cylinder (12) is going well enough to have chance of being the third.  Buenos Noches (6) and Hawaii Five Oh (7) also in the game.


Selections – 1-9-3-12


Benedetta (SR8, #12) gives the Vics another great opportunity in the Silver Eagle, with the Queenslander Yellow Brick (SR8, #5) also a good chance.


Race 9 – King Charles III Stakes (G1, 1600m, WFA)


Not sure in this day and age we need to have new races named for the King of England.  Appreciating that we have in the past and some of those races have history but there is no need for new ones in their honour and poignant that it is being run on this day.  Nevertheless if they called it The Albo and running for $5M then it is still a good race with winners to find, perhaps we will get to call it The Chuck.  This comes down to belief in Mr Brightside (2) and determining the right price for him.  Undefeated this preparation and 2 from 2 over this journey.  This is a deeper field than what he has beaten recently being the main challenge.   The imports raise the biggest questions, we have seen Light Infantry Man (5) run well here and last two starts was placed in international group one races, must be some chance.  Buckeroo (7) form does not appear as strong but gets Bowman and not here for a holiday.  GSOB hasGolden Mile (11) in here stuck on well in the Epsom and gets a better run here and Fangirl (14) keeps on running well and gets JMAC.  Hard to believe I have left out Think It Over (1) and Zaaki (2).  Bad name, Great race.


Selections – 2-5-11-14


Quaddie Time


A very tough quaddie at Caulfield with three G1 races involved.  Could easily trim down to the favourites and have them in a separate quaddie a worthy strategy, thinking we might get an upset in one so we will be a bit wider.


Leg 1 – 1, 6, 9


Leg 2 – 1, 3, 4, 10


Leg 3 – 1, 3, 5, 8, 10


Leg 4 – 1, 2, 10, 14, 15


Represents 300 combinations, a $30 investment returns 10% of the dividend.


The Hayes boys coming out their cage and will be doing just fine with Mr Brightside and Here to Shock!


Cheers, Sal


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