Herald Sun form analyst Gilbert Gardiner runs the rule over Saturday’s meeting at Caulfield. Plus, the TAB’s Nicole Thomas’ best plays for the big races.
DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR (Race 2, No.1)
YULONG STORM (Race 3, No.3)
1, 2, 6/6, 10/2, 3, 4, 6/1
$100 flexi for 416.66 per cent
2, 3, 4/1/1/1, 3, 8/2, 3, 5, 8/5, 7
$100 flexi for 138.88 per cent
Race 6: 1
Race 7: 1, 3, 8
Race 8: 2, 3, 5, 8
Race 9: 5, 7
$100 flexi for 416.66 per cent
RACE 1 (12:25PM): 2YO HANDICAP (1200M)
HUNNAM (4) gets his chance after running into two very smart two year-old fillies. Went back and never a factor at The Valley first-up then chased steadily at Caulfield last Saturday. Team Hawkes seldom back up their horses so quickly unless they have come through the run superbly and Jye McNeil sticks. CHEERFUL LEGEND (2) was very good when fourth in the Group 2 Sires Produce at Flemington. HE’S EXCEPTIONAL (3) contested the same race as Hunnam at The Valley when an outclassed six-length second behind Crystal Bound. WEGOTTEM TODAY SON showed a lot of grit to win a Werribee maiden recently and goes straight to the city. One for the exotics, along with LUCKY DECISION.
SUGGESTED BET: CHEERFUL LEGEND win
RACE 2 (1PM): OPEN HANDICAP (1200M)
DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR the best credentialed sprinter in the race by some margin. If he brings his A-game he wins. Was good first-up at The Valley running into third behind Ancestry and Riddle Me That and has won second-up previously. Getting a bit long in the tooth now as an eight-year-old but the Tony and Calvin McEvoy stable do have a knack keeping their evergreen gallopers ticking over nicely. SIMPLY OPTIMISTIC (6) goes best on top of the ground so keep an eye on conditions. NATIVE SOLDIER (2) would be half the price if not for a 119-week absence. Been to Caulfield seven times for three wins and two thirds.
SUGGESTED BET: DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR win
Dollar for Dollar has the best credentials in race 2. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
RACE 3 (1.35PM) BM78 HANDICAP (1100M)
Lottery race. Picking a lucky number between one and 13 could be the best and easiest way home. SUPERIUM (1) has won twice first-up previously and from a good draw should be right in the finish for Team Hawkes and Jye McNeil as long as it doesn’t get too wet. ALBURQ (6) always fancied and typically runs well without necessarily winning (21: 1-6-5). SAPPHIRE CROWN (8) drawn out and despite last-start failure at Mornington has the form to win again. Market respects WILMOT PASS (10) and justifiably so, but the 1100m around Caulfield seems a tricky proposition. YULONG STORM (3) one of the better $18 shots going around. Versatile sprinter unbeaten in two starts third-up.
SUGGESTED BET: YULONG STORM each-way
RACE 4 (2.10PM): FILLIES AND MARES BM84 (1100M)
CORDILLA (6) failed as favourite at The Valley but forget the mare went around as the track would have been a Heavy 15 by the last on All-Star Mile day. Big drop in weight and winner second-up previously. Drawn out but with even luck should be finishing strongly. GARVOC (9) the main danger. Runner-up at Mornington behind Incredulous Dream, who was OK last Saturday at Caulfield. Third horse that day, Florescent Star, won at Sale on Wednesday. SWITCHED (4) comes down from Sydney so must be respected, along with Godolphin mare LESAGE (3). SHE’S A THIEF (2) can be hard to catch but has a strong record at Caulfield (9: 2-1-1).
SUGGESTED BET: CORDILLA win
RACE 5 (2.50PM): SUPER VOBIS 3YO HANDICAP (1400M)
ANNAVISTO (1) was far too good winning at Bendigo last start and meets a similar field again. Mark Zahra gets the ride, with Jamie Kah in Sydney for The Championships, and from barrier two should again be prominent in the run. If she settles, she wins. SOUTH PARADE (2), shooting for four wins on the trot, could be problematic for the favourite should he get to the front and bowl along. MOZZIE MONSTER (6) was the eye-catcher at Bendigo behind Annavisto, closing sharply from back in the field. Third-up and ready to win. ELIDI (10) gets her chance in Saturday grade with no weight on her back. Drawn ideally and record (5: 1-3-0) suggests should be around the mark. CUMBERBATCH (4) and PALACE WHISPER (9) best of the rest along with the unbeaten FIVE STAR DECANTER (8).
SUGGESTED BET: ANNAVISTO win
Liqueuro is coming off a big win at Bendigo. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
RACE 6 (3.35PM) GALLILEE SERIES FINAL (2400M)
LIQUEURO (1) has three wins from four attempts and clearly the one to beat again. Took over in the straight at Bendigo last start over 2200m and kicked away strongly to post an easy three-length win. Perfect draw and jockey Jye McNeil sticks. Wins on wet and dry tracks so looks to be as close to bomb proof as three year-old stayers get. Stablemate REUBER (2) struck interference when seventh behind Liqueuro last start and summarily tossed the rider shortly after the winning post. Could be a nice quinella or exacta hope. THROUGH IRISH EYES (6) the only other runner given a serious chance of winning after posting an impressive victory at Sale last start over 2200m. Extra distance and sting out of the ground looks ideal.
SUGGESTED BET: LIQUEURO win
RACE 7 (4.15PM) OPEN HANDICAP (2400M)
LORD BELVEDERE (1) has tended to save his best for Flemington in the past but gets the distance and conditions to suit here at Caulfield. Forget he went around in the Mornington Cup as the slowly-run race made it impossible for anything other than the leader to win. Champion trainer Chris Waller has four in the race and that usually suggests two or more will be in the finish. MOHICAN HEIGHTS (8) won nicely at Mornington last start and can go on with the job now. THE LORD MAYOR (3) is always around the mark and likes to get his toe in the ground, along with DABIYR (4) and YONKERS (7).
SUGGESTED BET: THE LORD MAYOR each-way
Independent Road has finished in the top three in his past five starts. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
RACE 8 (4.50PM): BM84 HANDICAP (2000M)
GRAND PROMENADE (2) only just got mowed down first-up at Mornington when overrun by Mohican Heights. Yet to win second-up but has had success at Caulfield previously. INDEPENDENT ROAD (5) has two wins and four minor placings from his past seven starts. Should be thereabouts again, one would expect. WYCLIF (8) will appreciate the extra distance and has won third-up before in Europe. VEGAS KNIGHT (7) showed a glimpse of his best last start running second behind Independent Road. Bolted in this track and trip last October so must be respected. MIYAKE (6) drawn out but could sneak a place as usually goes best second-up from a break.
SUGGESTED BET: INDEPENDENT ROAD win
RACE 9 (5.25PM) OPEN HANDICAP (1600M)
PLATOON (5) the one to beat on recent form over the mile. Charged late for second behind the smart Ironclad in the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo and two starts back worked home strongly to finish third in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue at Flemington. Stable has hopes of a spring fling with the WA visitor so should be winning this. HI STRANGER (9) mixing form lately but on best could run into the top three. PLEIN CIEL airborne second-up usually (7: 4-1-0) so must be considered despite also being prone to inconsistent performances. ALL TOO HUIYING will give them something to chase from the wide draw.
SUGGESTED BET: PLATOON win
Nicole’s Mailbag: Mug on course for rich Mile double
TAB presenter Nicole Thomas previews the main feature races for day one of The Championships and gives her suggested bets.
BEST BET: Anamoe (Randwick, R6 No.1)
VALUE BET: Duais (Randwick, R4 No.5)
LAY OF THE WEEK: Art Cadeau (Randwick, R3 No.3)
AUSTRALIAN DERBY (GROUP 1, 2400M)
Randwick, R7, 3.15pm
The form out of the Rosehill Guineas is dominating the Derby market with Sky Lab and Montefilia both catching the eye.
Montefilia is the clear favourite and has been backed from $4.00 into $3.50 with Sky Lab remaining rock-solid at $5.
Lion’s Roar ($9.50) didn’t get the clearest of paths in the straight following his victory in the Randwick Guineas the start prior. A drier track on Saturday won’t harm his chances.
Khoekhoe has been backed from $13 to $10 and stuck on well after racing outside the leader on a fast tempo last start.
Of the horses on the seven-day back-up, Favreau battled-on well after copping a bump approaching the 300m mark in the Tulloch Stakes, but has drifted to $14.
THE TIP: LION’S ROAR each-way
Bivouac can return to form in the T.J. Smith Stakes. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
T.J. SMITH STAKES (GROUP 1, 1200M)
Randwick, R8, 3.55pm
Bivouac ($6-$5) didn’t have the cushiest of runs last start over-racing and covering ground, but still finished a close fourth. He should be back to his best here third-up after a quiet trial and offers some each-way value.
Five-time Group 1 winner Nature Strip is the danger and won this race last year. He is currently favourite at $3.80 and shortened in from $4.50 after drawing favourably.
Eduardo ($4.60-$4.80) is on the second line of betting and should make the running alongside Nature Strip. He’s aiming for a hat-trick and a second Group 1 win.
The only other runners under double figures are Haut Brion Her and Masked Crusader, both priced at $8.50.
THE TIP: BIVOUAC each-way
All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo will be aiming to add the Doncaster Mile to his CV. Picture: Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
DONCASTER MILE (GROUP 1, 1000M)
Randwick, R9, 4.35pm
TAB made All-Star Mile winner Mugatoo ($4.50-$4.00) the outright favourite straight after the barrier draw.
It was an impressive victory in the All-Star Mile and that was also off the back of a four-week let-up.
There has been some support at double figures for Funstar ($17-$19-$16) to bounce back from the George Ryder Stakes where she was hampered at the 200m mark.
Cascadian ($17) also put in an eye-catching performance in the George Ryder, drops 6kg and looks well overdue for a Group 1 win.
Mo’unga ($7.00-$7.50) is second favourite behind Mugatoo and only carries 49.5kg.
However, getting back from the wide draw and dropping back to 1600m doesn’t appear to be in his favour.
THE TIP: MUGATOO win
Originally published asCaulfield tips: Punters can count on Dollar
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