Caulfield Guineas Day: Gai is to blame!

Another great Guineas day – but not everything went to plan!

Buffering showed why he is “the best of the rest” with a very soft win. Unfortunately there is not a lot of depth in the sprinting ranks at the moment so we have Buffering, Bel Sprinter, Golden Archer and the like being the mainstays. These would never be a hope against Black Caviar, Hay List, Miss Andretti, etc. There is surely one to stand up and take the mantle but in the meantime, good on Buffering and his connections. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

Next up was the Caulfield Stakes. Hardly a vintage edition of this Gr1 weight-for-age event with Ocean Park sent out a very short favourite at around $1.50 on the back of beating Voila Ici by half a length in the Underwood!? Given a soft run by G Boss he held on to win from a brave Alcopop and Sincero who gave the favourite a bit of a fright for a while. i would have wanted a more conclusive victory to jump on the Ocean Park Cox Plate bandwaggon at the time but subsequent events threw that race and market into turmoil.

Then we get to the crowd pulling races, the Toorak Handicap where More Joyous was attempting to set a weight carrying record for a mare and the Caulfield Guineas where the unbeaten Pierro was attempting to join the elite group of Storm Queen, Vain, Manikato and Luskin Star as the only horses to win both the Golden Slipper and Caulfield Guineas (and Pierro would be the only one to do so undefeated) . So how would you ride a mare with 60kgs in a Group1 with also an eye on a Cox Plate start in 2 weeks time? And how do you ride a $1.20 unbeaten colt in a stallion making Gr1? Well certainly not how Nash did on either account! Let’s start with the proposition that he slaughtered them both. Hard to know if More Joyous could have won given a softer run but certainly she was made to carry her weight by being posted 4 wide en route to finally sitting outside of the leader after about 500m. The leader, Steps In Time, then slowed the pace until just before the turn before kicking to make the mare have to wind up again. She never looked like winning and was a sitting shot for the lighter weighted (and more patiently ridden) backmarkers. As for Pierro, he slightly dwelt at the start but was immediately hunted up by Rawiller again out 4 wide before taking a position just off the leader, Ashokan. When it inevitably put up the white flag just after turning for home, Nash went for it instead of nursing the favourite he dashed to the front daring the rest to run him down which is exactly what the patiently ridden All Too Hard did.

Ok so I admit I did not back either More Joyous or Pierro (nor the winners of either event), so i think I am unbiased in my view. Furthermore, I have yet to hear what was said or written about Nash’s rides as yet. I read an interesting article recently where Gai was spruiking her jockeys and stressing how she needed to train Nash to ride her horses more aggressively rather than letting them settle as was his usual style. Gai wins an amazing numebr of races in Sydney by having her horses either leading and dictating the pace, or right on the pace and she makes no bones about how she expects her horses to be ridden. This is why Rawiller hunted them both up rather than settling them back in the field which would have been theri “natural” position based on theri draw and how they began. I can’t guarantee that it would have made a difference to the result though I suspect that Pierro would win the race 9 times out of 10. My point is that I expect Nash Rawiller to be the scapegoat in the press but will be interested whether Gai or he defends his rides and what the defence wil be. The Guineas finish was another great one, almost reminiscent of the titanic Redoute’s Choice / Testa Rossa battle.

The unwanted import wins the Herbert Power with a leg in the air and Serene Star the last, God bless her!

How did you go? What did you think of Rawiller’s rides and who are the horses to follow?


  1. This is what I wrote about ALL TOO HARD on Sept 20 (prior to his last start):

    “Its probably “all or nothing” for ALL TOO HARD this week in relation to Cox Plate.
    If he wins in Sydney on Saturday he will be promoted to favourite for the Cox Plate. If not, may look to focus on other targets. I think he wins.”

    I was a run too early. Of course I didn’t get on him today – no bet in the Guineas for probably first time in 30+ years

  2. Warning – never do horses win the Cox Plate as an afterthought. The Cole Diesel rule. How many of the 3yo Colts have had this target?
    Off to Cranbourne now.

  3. Agreed Crio, though SYT probably was after the Caulfield Guineas originally but pressed on with success in the Plate.
    Of the current 3YO colts, Gai’s are aimed at everything anyway and I’m sure the Hawkes team have had Cox Plate on the agenda for All Too Hard subject to him finding form.

  4. Thanks Budge you have answered my question re the beaten Waterhouse runners I posted on Crios racing last night.
    See you at the Cox Plate

  5. Any other thoughts on the day’s racing, Oges?

  6. Having decided to forgo Bowls till after Xmas due to a few “bucket list trips” I was able to sit and watch the races yesterday uninterrupted
    In the last 2 races with big fields horses that didnt get a clear run in the straight will be watched (Aerobatics – R9 and maybe Exceptionally -R8 coming from a long way back)
    Thought I had Pierro as a Cox Plate certainty but now unsure – will have to wait to see what the experts on Crios Racing think but Gai always struggles in Melbourne
    For me it was not a big betting day but the “Management” cleaned up on Stirling Grove for a place and Alcopop e/w as we ofetn see it working at the Goolwa Beach
    But a nice change from being on the greens on Summer saturdays

  7. Yes Crio, off to Cranbourne today. I’ve been following Bagman, across the border, where he’s ran well. My $$ are on him today, as long as he answers 3 big questions, being: Can he win from a wide barrier, can he step up to the longer distance, then finally can he break his maiden status in Victoria. Let’s hope he ticks all 3 boxes. Happy with my small investment @ Albury on Saturday, Stacey Lee, winning first up, though not paying much. She’d been placed in town a few times, as a 4 year old she might now add a few metropolitan wins to these placings, and in the same race, Regular Aussie, also first up, finished in slashing style for 3rd. One more start, then off to Berrigan on November 3 to defend the home town cup he won last year. Maryanne and i’ll be there cheering him on.


  8. John Harms says

    Did the Lander and Rogers tent and my punting partner (Mark Sullivan) was on fire. He is a seriously good analyst.

    I backed Institution in the first – but the tent hadn’t started so first spruik was the Stokes horse which looked the winner in the second – fighting run from the fave.

    He found Cavalry Rose in the third and had taken $10 during the week.

    Then Golden Archer. His book was 9/2 the field, knocking Buffering, but suggesting it was put in multiples.

    Ocean Park.

    He backed Solzy.

    He let the Guineas go.

    Then he got rolled in the Herbert Power.

    But fought back to win the last with Serene Star.

    I hope the tent won.

    I didn’t.

    He did. In fact PIerro may have cost him the Big Six. Now that is stiff. (Although he may have missed the French stayer??)

  9. Yes, Fire Thunderbolt was exceptional in the 2nd behind Snitzerland. There will be a race for him over the Spring.

  10. Big spruik for Vatuvei in Cranbourne Cup on soon. Currently $5.2 on Betfair.

  11. John Harms says

    Fire Thunderbolt looked big and strong and loomed as the winner at about the 250. Good fight from Snitzerland.

  12. David Downer says

    Nice one Budge.

    My wash-up…

    Firstly it was a terrific day out there. As was suggested on the racing review programs this morning, there was a good buzz around Caulfield yesterday.

    I spent some of the day, and a couple of hours post-race (and a late last beer with JTH) in this new-fandangled Owners pavillion – it takes up the entire old bookies area. It is a great set-up in there. No queueing for a drink. Plenty of totes, big screen. Couches, BBQ. Free feed after the last! Genuine racing people in there (a few blue-bloods mixed in with trainers and battlers alike). It’s a good escape from some of the madness that takes over the lawns on the big days where racing plays second fiddle. I do also give a nod to the MRC for keeping the joint open well after the last. Race clubs generally can’t wait to get rid of you after the last race.

    And as per the punt….

    Caulfield Stakes – I did try Midas Touch and the race played out as I had hoped, but he wasn’t good enough to kick on. Cox Plate landscape changed dramatically now obviously, has Ocean Park shown enough so far?

    Toorak – Put my hand up in saying I potted Solzy (I will spell it incorrectly if I attempt it properly). Backed Yosei who customarily ran on well for third. At least I did assert on the Doncaster weight turn around she should be beating M.Joyous! Er, pity there were two others in front.

    Guineas – Didn’t have any real intentions of backing All Too Hard, but with W.Hawkes’ very bullish morning interview still in mind, and ATH edging out to $14.50 on Betfair late, I couldn’t resist. So props to the MRC too for providing free wi-fi to get the bet on! Didn’t have him in the Pierro 1-out quad though, of course.

    Herbert Power – Wrong import! Corey Brown has admitted getting it wrong on Gatewood. Ran into brick walls all over the place. So he won’t qualify for the CC. Maybe Geelong or MV Cup, or Lexus for him now. Disappointing. Shahwardi claiming his first win in 3 years goes some way to explaining the superiority of the euro stayers to our mob. Not sure if he’ll have another run, trying their luck to fall into the Melb Cup.

    Mares – Ahhh, praise be Serene Star! Good result for Budge too it seems. Gem of a ride from old mate C.Williams. On the turn she was last, on the fence, in a fanning field of 16. Angled her out beautifully without missing a beat. Should have taken her 1-out in the quad! Er, speaking of blue-bloods, in the owners pavillion A.Sansgter did turn around bemused as I heartily cheered this bonnie mare home.

    Starting to warm to Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup to pull off a “Viewed” of recent times. 58kgs, but too classy for the others? His formlines in the European summer are around the absolute very best over 2400m.


  13. Skip of Skipton says

    DD, I’m not sure what to make of the Caulfield Stakes? More questions than answers with that one. If Ocean Park is a $6 second fave for the Cox Plate, then I’m going to have a few bob on Alcopop at big odds in the Caufield Cup.

  14. John Harms says

    MY mate backed Solzy. I potted it. Concur with D Downer re owners bar. A good place to lick wounds.

  15. I liked Solzenitsyn but reckoned it was “unders” – thought it and Mufhasa would each be $7.
    Nearly got “big time” out with Koonoomoo (almost first up!) straight out in the last.
    I suggested to a bookie that the old ring would now be a goldmine for a stand – he said the owners there would be keener on a free sausage roll than a bet…I believe “sponge” was a term used!

  16. Glen – Why didn’t you come up and say g’day?!
    Opposite day at Cranbourne to yesterday, when we lost heavily on the first 3/4 and tried to get out.
    Today we got a good lead and leaked badly on the last 2.
    Great day. Hope you found a winner.

  17. I see now C Williams has jumped off Pierro for Green Moon in the Cox Plate. There won’t be enough light weight jockeys to ride if the 3 three year olds all accept for the race.

  18. Oasis Bloom alert for Wednesday!!

  19. Peter Flynn says

    Is Lisa Cropp still riding?

    Looking forward to another slaughter.

  20. Sorry – refer race 7 in link above for the correct race.

  21. I was just reflecting on Saturday’s races (as you do in aYr10 Chem class) and, before all the Olly drama overruns racing news, I just want to comment that not only was it one of the great Guineas finishes and a glorious day for Rob Heathcote, but I reckon we’ve overlooked the extraordinary performance of Snitzerland to win. she’s top notch.

  22. Gai has booked Corey Brown to ride Pierro & Craig Newitt to ride Proisir in the Cox Plate.

  23. Peter Flynn says

    Heathcote has the smile of a former Contiki bus driver.

  24. David Downer says

    Agree on Snitzerland, she’s a keeper. A couple of her wins this campaign she’s had to really pull it out when plenty would have wilted. She fights and keeps finding.

    The Oasis Bloom “secret” is well and truly out, best you can find for tomorrow is about $3!

    One of the more open Thousand Guineas tomorrow. Certainly no Atlantic Jewel’s trotting around unextended this year. Probably should do some form for it, might be some good value to unearth! The MRC are whipping up all manner of hype for their filly Members Joy. Will be Singo type scenes in there she gets up.

    Release of the Caulfield Cup field today confirms a ripper field. The strongest for years – maybe the best in my time following racing the last 20 or so years. Heavy international presence now obviously. Gatewood second emergency only – off to Geelong next week.

  25. DD,
    I ‘logged” a little Oasis alert article earlier but it is not on site yet!
    I’d been a big Dazzler fan for the 1000Guineas and was disappointed to see it as a non runner.
    Are you coming to Caulfield tomorrow?

  26. David Downer says

    No mate, in the office tomorrow. Spencer Street TAB will have to do me for the Guineas and the Bloom.

    Have gone through the Guineas tapes, Stella Lante not the worst at about $16. Not sure why she’s double the quote of Love For Ransom, they seem to be two peas in a pod thus far – LFR’s finishing late burst at MV over the top of her still front of mind I guess. They knocked each other out of contention on the bend at Caulfield last time, and came home together.

    I will be working around those two tomorrow – I think their formlines are the strongest thus far – hoping for plenty of pace on up front to bring them into it. Wary of the Sydney fillies, but willing to risk. Can’t fit ’em all in! A good little race.


  27. Oasis Bloom’s form certainly hold up. Last start she knocked over Spirit Song who came out and ran a great second in the Gr1 Toorak Hcp on Saturday.
    As DD pointed out, everyone seems to know about her now thus the short quote. One out in the quaddy!!

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