Crio’s Racing: Caviar on Orr Stakes Day

Without the hype this would still be a really good race meeting at Caulfield on Saturday with so many horses plotting paths in to Autumn.

But there’s heaps of hype for a change and, rightly, it is all about Black Caviar and free admission at The Heath for the big C.F.Orr Stakes Day. There is going to be a massive crowd and an unprecedented opportunity to showcase our sport/industry….don’t stuff it up administrators! So far they are making all the right noises. Transport is easy, with trains stopping at the course’s porch, but they’ve gotta get catering and comfort right – don’t obsess with gimmicks and cheer squads. The product itself is excellent if presented properly.

Black Caviar’s  “minute” (MR6, 3.50pm) should be straightforward. The step up to 1400m should not be a problem for the mare, especially as her opponents are mostly stayers “having a run” and hence the pace should be gentle. There’s been a push for Caulfield Cup winner and last start victor Southern Speed but, realistically, that’s for second and “distance” third. Of the rest, much interest will surround Efficient’s return as well as that of WA gun Playing God. For those wanting to punt, the $1.35 the place Southern Speed looks  a bird.

Black Caviar will rightly dominate the news from the day but the “support” races are excellent. The Blue Diamond puzzle has been complex and I expect some of the big players to show their hand in the Colts & Geldings (R2) and the Fillies’ (R3) Preludes.

Snowden’s Rusambo (4) is the interesting colt whereas there looks more depth amongst the girls. There’s been an early throw for Mick Price’s Samaready (7) with a host of others seen as contenders. Watch the replays.

Those committed to a Quaddy are looking at a Treble this week and probably get unders on the Cav in the first leg.

The second leg is the Rubiton Stakes and another shortie looks the goods. Despite pretty strong opposition, Karuta Queen (R7, No11) is another banker.

In The Kevin Hayes Stakes (MR8) I’d be staying skinny with 1,2,6,7 and then loading up in the last leg for what might be a fairly modest divvy…try to include 1,2,3,7,10.

It’s betting practice and irrelevant. For once the day is bigger than that. We’ll still be chasing nudges and winks, starting with Friday Night’s Valley meeting, but the overriding hope is for a cracking day for the hordes who will head to Caulfield, giving us a fleeting experience of how it must have been in the halcyon days of Bernborough and the like. Get there if you can.

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