Who is Running the Show? And the Caulfield Guineas Preview

Greetings All,

 

Finally after all the needle and sooking Eddie gets his way with the draconian restrictions put on the Swans in the annual horse trading.  There are a few issues with this ruling aside from the fact it appeases Eddie.  Whilst many disagree with the COLA the process to remove it was put in place for it to be phased out over a period of time, Sydney would have been planning for that already.  To add conditions that do not allow them to trade with same freedom as the rest of the competition is not unfair and further compromises the competition.  It is also inappropriate to make the ruling half way through the trade period where they will now have to redress their strategy.  The reality is that they are being punished for being a successful interstate club, watch out Port Adelaide.  Meanwhile there is no effort to halt the Hawk rollercoaster as they continue to “get their man”, not that there should be.  Changes and adjustments to trading conditions need to be made clear well prior to the start of the trading period.

 

Then there is the “process” and in particular “free” agency.  The Blues have sooked up about on the lack of compensation for the loss of Jarrad Waite – at the time I thought little of it till Sydney were gifted a second round pick for a player of the same vintage.  Melbourne could not have cared less who took James Frawley once they worked out he was going to get them Pick 3, then we saw Essendon and Port Adelaide looking to get a guaranteed draft position by tampering with Ryder’s contract and have him be a “free” agent.  It is time that free agency is exactly that and there is no compensation for the loss of the player except for salary cap relief.

 

And the length of the whole thing, surely a week is enough!  After four days a whopping two trades have been completed and one of them was for a player that would have been ditched anyway!  There will be plenty to come but the process could easily be compressed.

 

But enough of the off season it is on to the Spring Season which started with a magnificent meeting at Headquarters.  This week the caravan rolls on to the Heath for the first of the classics that will be contested over the next month.  Along with the stallion-making Caulfield Guineas there are three other Group One events on a terrific program plus the Spring Champion Stakes from Randwick.

 

Caulfield

 

Thoroughbred Club Stakes (G3, 1200m, 3yo Fillies SWP)

A few well-credentialed fillies line up for this scamper and none more so than Earthquake (1), however there are doubts as to whether she has come up as well in the spring and carrying 59kg might be a challenge.  Tawteen (5) has a good record and looks well weighted, London Lolly (3) for Team Hawkes should be fitter for two runs and Ygritte (6) has been a consistent performer in good company.  Also wary of Aimee (2) who brings great form from Queensland but not sure about who she has been beating and of the deadly Price/Newitt combination on More Radiant (8) .

Selections Race 2 – 5-1-3-6

 

Schillaci Stakes (G2, 1000m, WFA)

A small but hot field of sprinters line up for the tribute race to one of the best sprinters we have seen in the mighty grey Schillaci!  Three year olds are developing a very good record in WFA events and the undefeated Rubick (7) might have the weight relief here to run them off their feet.  He will have to contend with the 2013 Golden Slipper winner in Overreach (4) who returns to the track after 18 months, I expect Gai will have her wound up for a race like this.  Gregers (6) will need to be chased down and Not Listenin’tome (3) has a great fresh record.  Any of the other three would not shock either.

Selections Race 4 – 7-6-4-3

 

Herbert Power Stakes (G2, 2400m, Qty)

We have three unseen internationals appearing here along with a mixed line up of local stayers.  Base on his record the form of Protectionist (1) from Germany reads very well, with Craig Williams on board it makes him more appealing but is carrying a large impost.  Then G Boss has been the master of staying races and is on board Sign Off (10) for DK Weir, he is well weighted and if he on-song could be up to this.  Lord Van Percy (4) could kick a goal for Simon O’Donnell’s OTI and Gai’s import Bonfire (3) could set the field alight!

Selections Race 5 – 10-1-3-4

 

Caulfield Stakes (G1, 2000m, WFA)

A number of the Cox Plate aspirants line up for the Caulfield Stakes and it is a cracking field in this year’s renewal.  Dissident’s (10) effort in the Rupert Clarke was outstanding, the distance is a question but if he can get the trip he can win.  Sacred Falls (1) looks well placed as are most of CJ Waller’s team, but has yet to score over the distance and yet to win in Melbourne.  Fawkner (3) is drawn well and very capable, Foreteller (5) has a great record here but is not so well drawn and Crackerjack King (7) went via the cape in The Underwood and held on well for third but could bowl them over here.  The chances don’t stop there.

Selections Race 6 – 10-1-3-11

 

Toorak Handicap (G1, 1600m, HCP)

The time-honoured Toorak has another international for us to contend with in the appropriately monickered Guest of Honour (1).  He has the right draw, the right pilot and has a great chance; as does Bull Point (6) who was terrific behind Trust in a Gust (4) in the Rupert Clarke who was brilliant but has more weight to contend with as a result.  Arabian Gold (7) would have almost been top pick if not for the draw and will forgive Atlante (5) for his last start.

Selections Race 7 – 6-1-5-7

 

Thousand Guineas (G1, 1600, 3yo Fillies SW)

It’s hard to go past a winner of her last three starts and Afleet Esprit (3) is a winner, but there a plenty in this that might be looking to peak here.  Lumosty (6) gets another crack at her after just missing at Flemington as does Amicus (5) who missed at the Heath.  They both have great hopes, however the South Australian Go Indy Go (2) was sizzling at the end of that race at Caulfield closing hard for third,  She has done what no other in this race has and won over the journey – which also happened to be at Group 1 level.  Bring me the Maid (1), Traveston Girl (7) and Tahni Dancer (8) have claims and watch out for AJ Cummings with the lightly raced High Above (10).

Selections Race 8 – 2-6-3-5

 

Caulfield Guineas (G1, 1600m. 3yo SW)

This year’s edition is an all-male cast and a great story with Ken Keys’ “Horse of a Lifetime” in Rich Enuff (3) to be sent out as a short-priced and crowd favourite.  After watching his last three start wins it will take a beauty to beat him.  The rest of the field is pretty well credentialed but I doubt any of his recently defeated rivals can match him.  Almalad (2) won the Stutt impressively at the Valley and amazingly his trainer Gai Waterhouse is pumping his chances.  Team Snowden know how to win juvenile classics and Shooting to Win (4) is coming off an great win in Sydney, Chivalry (6) will be suited back to Caulfield and Looks Like the Cat (7) has chased the favourite home in his last two.

Selections Race 9 – 3-4-7-2

 

Quaddie

Three G1 races makes the Quaddie a tough proposition.  But with a strong favourite in the Guineas we will split into 2 quaddies – one tithe Rich Enuff one out and the other getting him beaten but a bit narrower in the other legs.

 

Q1 – Go Kenny!

1-3-4-5-6-7/1-2-3-5-6-7/2/1-2 (72 Combinations, $15 Investment, 21% of dividend)

 

Q2 – No Kenny

1-5-6-7/2-3-6/2-4-6-7/1-2 (96 Combinations, $15 Investment, 16% of dividend)

 

Randwick

Spring Champion Stakes (G1, 2000m, 3yo SW)

For some this is the Grand Final for others a stepping stone to the Derby or Oaks at Flemington.  Sweynesse (1) is undefeated and looks to be on the Derby trail for the Sheikh.  A win here would further enhance the prospects for Godolphin’s first VRC Derby winner, a race that has been as elusive to them as the Melbourne Cup!  He will have to get past the filly First Seal (8) who was outstanding in the Flight and has been well fancied here.  Panzer Division (3) has some impressive scalps and putting Hampton Court (4) ahead of the rest.

Selections Race 6 – 1-8-3-4

 

Wishing all a great weekend,

Cheers, Sal

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

*