Racing: Preview for Caulfield, Rosehill and Echuca on 19 September

Chris Riordan writes:

The Underwood Stakes meeting at Caulfield on Saturday is a cracker but it will, as usual, struggle for profile on AFL prelims weekend. Although no match is scheduled for the afternoon, it is really not until Turnbull Stakes Day in another fortnight that the spotlight switches to the gallops. That, however, doesn’t diminish from the quality of racing and importance of the formlines on show this week.

At The Heath we have the colts and fillies in their respective Guineas preludes, the Group 1 Rupert Clarke and the very good Group 3s, the 1200 metres How Now (Absolut Glam, Champagne Harmony, Neroli etc) and the Naturalism over 2000 metres (Pacino, Speed Gifted, Light Vision … Cups handicappers) as support for the Group 1 Underwood.

At Rosehill there is also a fantastic meeting, featuring the Hill Stakes and the Shannon Stakes but with other races of significant merit and interest, especially the Starlight, Gloaming and Tea Rose Stakes.

As I sit here on Thursday afternoon Melbourne is drenched, causing that endless dilemma of pre-supposing the track condition. Caulfield has raced   fairly recently but it must be rain-impacted. I’m working on a DEAD/SLOW and watching for patterns to develop (such as my propensity to prepare excuses two days in advance!).

The correct advice is to go and have a look at the wonderful horses and make some decisions for the rest of the spring. Given that won’t happen, here are some initial tips and observations to help dissect the form.

Race 2: I was keen on Silent Sophia last week so am obliged to back up. Not as confident.

Race 3: Keen to try Dane Keeper here at odds. It has Group capability.

Races 4 and 5: Preludes are for watching. I have no idea in the Colts’ but I’ll be looking further in to Clocked’s claims in the Fillies’. Phelan Ready will swim if it keeps raining while the favorite, Trusting, although massively impressive and worthy, has that Sydney stigma that hangs over Caulfield debuts. Manhattan Rain has me edgy. I want to see him before he gets my money. Excellent race.

I’m ignoring the Group 1 Rupert Clarke (Race 6) for the time being, but can’t wait for the Underwood (Race 7).

Can make a case for many but I am a huge Heart of Dreams fan and I believe it can win this.

Love so many of them in Race 8. Big fan of Neroli and think it will win a very good race. Ab Glam is a beauty and I’d be happy to own many of these. Leaning towards Champagne Harmony at the moment but able to be swayed.

Keen on Majestical in the “get out” (Race 9).


Race 3: Dane Keeper.

Race 9: Majestical.

Mark “Makybe” Freeman writes:

Brilliant meeting at the Heath as the old Show Day meeting always is, punters, as we go up another notch in quality spring racing.

The Underwood Stakes features all the top local Cups and Cox Plate contenders bar El Segundo, and shapes as a ripper race. Funny distance, 1800 metres – everyone always expects the run-on staying horses to get over the top of them, but often it can be run softer than a mile race and the leaders can get away with cheap sectionals and give backmarkers no hope. Rubiscent winning at $41 two years ago is a good example of this.

The Rupert Clark /Invitation Stakes/Marlboro Cup/Show Day Cup/VicHealth Cup/Eat Well Live Well Cup/Dubai Racing Club Cup (phew), as it has variously been known as in recent years, will be extremely competitive and will, as always, be won the horse that sits one out and four or five back in the running.

There’s also the Guineas preludes with the colts’ division featuring gun Sydneysider Trusting coming south to take on Knacker favourite Starspangledbanner, and the program rounds out with the How Now Stakes for the mares and the Naturalism Stakes, the big chance for fringe players to get a ballot free run into the Caulfield Cup.

Your correspondent has been at the school play tonight, punters, so hasn’t had much of a chance to inspect, but we won’t dog on blowing your cash Daff.

We reckon O’Lonhro will win again in Sydney ($2.75 on Thurs evening) … but stuff that, we’re in front, so we’re going for some value.

All American may well be the one that slots into the abovementioned spot from the six marble in the race of many names. His two runs in have good and he’s ready for the step up to 1400m.

Melbourne, Race 6, No. 17 All American $25 EW (Currently $21 most outlets).

And our big early go for the Caulfield Cup was Hissing Sid, starting at $100, and he pretty much has to win on Saturday to get into the Cup. So on Saturday if we go down, you go down Daff.

Melbourne, Race 9, No. 8 Hissing Sid $25 EW (Currently $12 most outlets)

It’s likely to come up dead on Saturday morning, so the track should play well, but beware if predicted thunderstorms arrive – as I’ve mentioned before, a slippery track is the worst to bet on (horses that handle the wet don’t necessarily handle slippery tracks).

And if you’re having a bet at Echuca on Saturday, that great racing scribe G.U. Lester has one going around in the last, and he mentioned it in passing last weekend – Race 8, No. 7, Condidorios Bridge.

Good luck, punters.


  1. This is one of the best race cards we’ve seen in Melbourne for years. Anyone wanting to see the best horses around without the “rent-a-crowd” that turns up in a month, should get along for a ripper meeting.
    Crio, I don’t think there is further rain forecast so reckon the track will be dead at worst. If it’s wet get on NEROLI (race 8)- big chance on the dry also but cert if wet.
    Just to demonstrate the depth of the Underwood, there are 3 horse listed at $101 in the early markets. One won the VRC Derby, one an AJC Derby and the other an AJC Adrian Knox Stakes.

    Saw a top horse win during the week on debut at Newcastle – HONEST TRUTH. Remember that name, wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn up in Melbourne later in the Spring.

  2. What about the time that youngster ran at Sandown yesterday? Kav got them flying (or something!)

  3. Whan a stable is in form like that, stick with them!!!

  4. Just realised Estee is in the Rupert Clarke. Prefer over 1600 but still backing + in quaddie.

  5. I dunno how you blokes can even think about the nags two hours before the Doggies Date with Destiny.

  6. Destiny is destiny – not much we can do about it by definition.

  7. Best for today.
    IRISH LIGHTS (Race 4) all up into TRUSTING (Race 5).

    Give COCHINERO a good chance at odds in Race 3
    PHELAN READY a danger at odds in Race 5
    The real PREDATORY PRICER to stand up today in the Underwood (Race 7)
    RAPID SENSATION each way at big odds Race 8
    Suppose the favourite (Speed Gifted) wins the last but very short odds and awkward draw. Prefer each way RED LORD.

  8. Budge.
    I think I need to compliment your shorties with some at odds. Tootsdie wins the 8th and Shakethe ground wins the last at Rosehill. The Guineas has historically thrown up some nameless ones in the past, so I am going to throw up Nicastro, TRossa ex imported mare trained by your mate. If the Sydney horses are on the weak (see overrated) side he is a sneaky chance at about $60.
    Will be trying St Kiara (you know the family) and Set for Fame in the fillies division

    Good Punting

  9. “Historically in the past” Sorry about that.

  10. We were pretty stiff with the all-up. Irish Lights wins like a good thing and Trusting was a certainty beaten.
    Hope you all got out on RED LORD in the last.

  11. No. I sank it all straight out on Majestical which probably got out too early. Lost all the Heart of Dreams profits.

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