The rain on the Friday night and Satruday morning was enough to send us into that Soft6 range to start the day. The biggest factor will be whether we get rain throughout the day and at this stage you can't say with any confidence what that will be. If it continues to rain we will see the track get into that heavy range. There doesn't seem to b sufficient rain for that, but it is something to monitor.
Winds are expected to pick up later in the afternoon, which will help the track dry, given it isn't still raining. The West South-Westerly that is predicted is a slight tail wind, but more of a cross-wind down the side straight. In the races 1400m and longer they will get a tail wind before they hit the side straight. Again in the home-straight it will be a cross-wind / head-wind. I don't think it will really impact the runners that much. If anything in the chute races, those getting to the outside will be advantaged and in the 1400m and over races being off-midfield and a backmarker probably isn't ideal.
Rail back in the true position after being at the 10m spot for Blue Sapphire day. The track was a Good3 so don't expect too much ware and tear out-wide. The rail was off on Caulfield Guineas day and I can see that being the case again as ground doesn't improve in a week, and the rain will have that even more chopped out after the opening races. If you want a good reference have a look at Guineas day as I'm confident it plays similarly. If the rain does come during the day, the track will chop out and they will continually get wider throughout the day.
Forward of midfield will be the place to be and inside runs won't be any sort of advantage. If races have enough pace in them, runners from the rear will get their opportunity. It will be a fair day at Caulfield, nothing too surprising, pattern wise.
RACE 2 - QMS MEDIA PLATE (1400m)
YES BABY YES should come across and lead from the wide barrier. NO RESTRICTION will box-seat with ANITRA the outside. INCREDULOUS DREAM will attempt to make them work to get there and likely sits in the one-one, whilst YOSEMITE uses gate-1 to hold a midfield spot. UNIQUELY probably sits outside of YOSEMITE or just behind. From gate-8 think RAINBIEL will go back with MISS CONDUCT. SCREAM DREAM has no early speed and will be be last with JOEY'S GIFT who has drawn the second widest gate.
Given the race fitness YES BABY YES has and dropping back from the 1600m to the 1400m, confident they will run along here. Especially since she's coming from out wide, she will have to work to get there as well. Confident in at least an even tempo, possibly faster than even.
Given the tempo INCREDULOUS DREAM gets the absolute dream run in the one-one position. NO RESTRICTION box-seats and maps super also. UNIQUELY and YOSEMITE also get the favours as they are close enough. RAINBIEL gets a little back but can find the outside and is a neutral runner.
MISS CONDUCT will be buried on the inside and would had to be riding her if she got there. SCREAM DREAM and JOEY'S GIFT can win if good enough but will need a heap of luck. YES BABY YES and ANITRA neither disadvantaged or advantaged.
The rain overnight has put me in the corner of YOSEMITE slightly who has her one win on a heavy track and is better performed on softer ground. With many being slight unknowns over the wet ground, she is a safe option. I have to respect the pair coming out of the Kyneton BM64 in RAINBIEL and SCREAM DREAM. RAINBIEL sat on the pace that day and kicked clear at the bend. That day SCREAM DREAM gave up a massive start and was catching her, however RAINBIEL was being eased down. The map this time won't have them too far apart and up to 1400m tips the scales slightly in SCREAM DREAM's favour this time around. SCREAM DREAM also has the runs on the board on a slightly wetter track. Not sure I can confidently split any of these though.
Best suggestion would be to leave this race but if you love a bet, YOSEMITE and SCREAM DREAM are great value. RAINBIEL could absolutely waltz in, looks very good but want a better price personally.
RACE 4 - NEDS CAULFIELD CLASSIC (2000m)
Tricky race to map, a lot of horses who haven't shown any recent intent seem to pop up and show it. Obvious go forward horse is MR ROGER with a good draw, and I'd say John Allen will show some intent on LET'S KARAKA DEEL. CELESTIAL SOL sits on pace and box-seats from gate-1 followed by the only other on-pace pair in the race TRODAIRE and TOKEN SPIRIT. The rest have no real early speed, however there could be intent shown. CETSHWAYO probably outside of TOUR OF DUTY with HIT THE SHOT there about's. ALBARADO one i can see pressing forward, but not sure, think he settles outside EL SANTO with REDWOOD SHADOW and THE PRES being the likely two backmarkers from their respective wide barriers.
Given the lack of real pace influencers, my feel on this race is they go reasonably slow. Probably the slower side of even seems fair enough. Horses from worse than midfield are going to have to be very good to win this.
Given that I don't see an abundance of pace in this, any horse in the first 5 i see as the map horses. LET'S KARAKA DEEL being outside leader probably has the best spot of them all. TRODAIRE gets to trail him into the race and he is also a good horse on the map. MR ROGER and CELESTIAL SOL also from a map perspective are advantaged.
Any horse on the inside getting back will be at a disadvantage in this; TOUR OF DUTY, EL SANTO and THE PRES. Being on them will be low percentage plays. REDWOOD SHADOW and ALBARADO are similar, however are get back horse and they should get the opportunity to peel wide and run on. CETSHWAYO and HIT THE SHOT being a pair or two closer are neutral runners.
The main bet in this race for me is LET'S KARAKA DEEL. Was luckless last start and with any room in the last 300m definitely goes close to winning if afforded any room. Is a son of Dundeel so he is now getting out to a distance which suits and the cut in the ground from the rain definitely doesn't disadvantage him. Has huge upside and I have to be with him, despite the fact he's short enough. The saver play is REDWOOD SHADOW who doesn't bring the traditional form lines into this. On debut he ran the best closing splits of the race behind a handy galloper in CAMBOURNE and that is top class 3yo form which can translate well here. He also will thrive on getting to 2000m as in his last start he only started getting through his gears late in a sit and sprint. I suspect if there's any pace on in this he will be the one flying from the back, just whether he can get there. That flying run will bring him into Victoria Derby contention, which would make him my no.1 seed for. Outside of that, have to respect Derby preview winner CETSHWAYO who is a talented type and maps to get a great run. ALBARADO is another who put in a brave performance out wide on a day where no one made ground at Flemington and is another one with a chance. THE PRES had no luck last start and was one that can improve. I will say though that he got the run on the day which looked really quick, covered up on the inside and darting for runs. I think the run looked better than it was, so happy to be against him.
Main bet on LET'S KARAKA DEEL and a saver on REDWOOD SHADOW is the play I like and should find a profit for us early at Caulfield.
RACE 5 - LEXUS ETHEREAL STAKES (2000m)
Like the Caulfield classic, very tricky to map. PENSATO and CHICA FUERTA look the likely leaders. MRS MURPHY from the wide gate I suspect will be put into the race - may slot in, to lead, or just behind leaders. SALTO ANGEL gets to the one-one position. NORHTERN BLISS from the inside draw settles next and then BLAZING LACE may slot in or be cast 3-wid. SUCCEED INDEED and STAR OF EDEN come next, whilst STARELLE will be in a tricky spot midfield and may need luck to slot in. Could end up 3-wide or last. Might be a bit of pace on early so can't see SILHOUETTE or SWINDON LASS holding a forward spot. Nor can i see any intent being shown by the last five runners - CAFE RIZU, ART GLASS, SHILAJIT, SELFLESS and YATTON.
There will be the usual sort of early pace whilst runners jostle for position. But overall can't see them going too quickly here - possibly just below an even tempo. Generally we don't see tough run races for horses leading up to Derby or Oaks tilts just so that they can peak for their Grand Finals. Forward of midfield will be the place to be.
I think the map horses here are SALTO ANGEL and SUCCEED INDEED. Both won't be too close to what I can see being some early pace until they slacken. Nor will they be too far back. They won't be cast wide and will have cover from any unlikely wind hazards. It won't be a disadvantage to be leading or on-pace either.
Horses on the inside; NORTHERN BLISS, STAR OF EDEN, SILHOUETTE, SHILAJIT and YATTON will be trapped and I'm giving them none. The 3-wide line also looks cast so i can't have any of them. ART GLASS and SELFLESS probably get too far back.
SUCCEED INDEED is such a good bet to me. Slots in midfield, and if afforded gaps should quicken and be too good. I'm surprised to see STARELLE ahead of her in the market. They have ben sparring partners this spring and in two of their meetings this prep SUCCEED INDEED has shown a far superior turn of foot to STARELLE. Given she will be closer in the run and likely not cast 3-wide I'm convinced the market has this wrong. Furthermore, if SUCCEED INDEED got any sort of room last when she needed it she probably wins. She found trouble and had to get going again and that showed a lot, particularly for a staying 3yo. She's the only one out of the Manifold I like. Out of the Oaks Trial, PENSATO is probably the one to kick up for. She makes her own luck up on-speed and will be awfully hard to run down if she cops no pressure.
Outside of those not sure there's much to mention - personally think SUCCEED INDEED is just an easy bet.
RACE 6 - CARLTON DRAUHT ALINGHI STAKES (1100m)
Easiest map of the day from my perspective. SHE'S A THIEF and FROM WITHIN lead. Next come the two fancied runners, FITUESE and CALIFORNIA ZIMBOL. HUMMA HUMMA and SCORE don't have early speed so doubt they will try and hold the two favourites out - they come next. PROPHET'S THUMB is the same and DES MOINES will have to go back from a wider barrier. PINYIN will be ridden as she likes, so last and will be searching for luck at every angle.
FROM WITHIN and SHE'S A THIEF have to go quick, to try and take a few of the others out of the race - both are run and grind horses and can maintain their high-speeds. Think a fast tempo will be most likely and most horses will get their chance, if good enough.
Don't see it as a disadvantage to be leading here so they're neutral runners. CALIFORNIA ZIMBOL and FITUESE are probably the map horses though as they likely are the on-speed pair. HUMMA HUMMA also gets a good map just off the speed.
SCORE from the inside, as well as PROPHET'S THUMB, don't get the best runs and will need gaps to appear at the right time. That's just due to their racing patterns. Same can be said for PINYIN.
With the rain that has come down, and may continue to come down, I'm happy to bet around the two favourites. Both clearly best horses in race but on the softer going I think that they're a big risk and am happy to tip against them. FROM WITHIN to me looks to have come back absolutely flying. Her win first-up against FRONT PAGE was massive and was a peak performance for her. Mares in form keep going well and therefore am happy to follow her in this. She should be able to set a decent tempo with SHE'S A THIEF and that suits her more than it does the others in this race. The other one I can kick up for is PINYIN who finally saluted last start. Now she's found the winning post she can easily go on with it. Main concern, as per usual is the map and whether she's close enough to use her devastating turn of foot to run down the field. She's in this up to her eye-balls now the rain has come though.
Won't be betting but happy to take on the favourites - looking at FROM WITHIN and PINYIN.
RACE 10 - SCHWEPPES TRISTARC STAKES (1400m)
Really strange race to my eye. FELICIA is the only real leader and from out wide THE CLOSER will have to press forward and probably sits to her outside. PERFECT JEWEL and RICH HIPS come next with their good draws. MADAM ROUGE likely settles just behind PERFECT JEWEL and will trail her all the way into the race. BENETOITE from the inside has no early speed and will end up back and SHE SHAO FLY probably goes back as her barrier will force her too. INTO THE ABYSS has next to no gate speed and will be back the inside and i can't see them going forward on PRETTY BRAZEN who probably ends up last the outside.
FELICIA'S winning recipe is go slow and kick. She will have no pressure here so it's safe to say they will not be running along here. Likely below an even tempo. Small field so I would give most chances, however more forward would be ideal due to likely lack of pace.
No speed in this so the leaders get a treat out front, which maps beautifully for FELICIA and THE CLOSER. However, that speed allows PERFECT JEWEL to settle closer and from the one-one she has to be the map horse. MADAM ROUGE maps beautifully also and if RICH HIPS can get gaps she is in a great spot too.
The last four in a small field and a slowly run race will have to be super good to get close here. SHE SHAO FLY, BENITOITE, PRETTY BRAZEN and INTO THE ABYSS will struggle from where I think they get to.
Now the rain has come, it makes Perfect Jewel a great bet and takes a few of these out of it. MADAM ROUGE and PRETTY BRAZEN who would be the main dangers on a drier track, but don't go great on wetter surfaces so I'm happy to risk them. SHE SHAO FLY, got a great run on the inside when a lot of these met at Flemington and was heavily blessed that day to be in the finish. Wet ground and settling back she won't be good enough to run past PERFECT JEWEL here. THE CLOSER, RICH HIPS and INTO THE ABYSS just lack class. The main danger has to be FELICIA, but it's whether she runs out a proper 1400m. I'm not sure she can do it to the extent of beating PERFECT JEWEL who should settling right behind the pace. She's good, don't get me wrong, but she's going to have to lift her level significantly here i think.
More than happy to side with PERFECT JEWEL here and think she's a great way to end the day.
OTHER RACE COMMENTS
RACE 1 - Many are confident on POWER SCHEME here and I'm not sure about him. He's just not a winner, non of this field is, but he's a money muncher. SUKOOT is racing really well at the moment and is the one who could really shake this race up. POLANSKI and SAHAR are the same. Best off saving your money on this race and wait to have a crack later in the card.
RACE 3 - OSAMU has Sydney form around some good horses and his figures are easily the best. However, to my eye he has just been at the benefit of being behind quality horses and he's just not much good. For that reason he is easily the 'Lay Of The Day' and I'm giving him none. JUST A TRIBUTE out of an interesting form race and was an eye-catcher and is a value runner a lot of found. Can't hurt to have some money on him. I would tread carefully as he is a get back horse with gate-1. ENDANGER has room for improvement and will appreciate a longer straight, gets that here and has a chance. ITZHOT was luckless at Moonee Valley last start and he gets the 1400m and a longer straight here. Damien Oliver rode him last start and now Craig Williams rides so there must be an opinion of him. Could be with any of those.
RACE 7 - If it wasn't already ALFA ORO's race, more cut in the ground just plays it more in his favour. His only dangers are FABERGINO on a bone-dry track and JUNGLE EDGE on a Heavy. Since I think neither will occur i think he's a clear best bet. Leads them up and wins.
RACE 8 - Toughest race on the card, completely dependant on the rain, if it comes later on the day. I am happy to lay BEST OF DAYS who got a dream run completely protected from the wind last start. Was absolutely flattered in the end as the first four in run finished as the last four. Three of the top four sought inside runs - can't have him. Hard to knock WINDSTORM who is a tad short but with the right run likely wins again. If it's a bone-dry track then MORVADA seems a great value bet. If wet the same can be said for FIFTY STARS. Another race I'm more than happy to stay out of.
RACE 9 - Rain, hail or shine, my girl VERRY ELLEEGANT has to be the horse to beat - she's flying. In the Turnbull she was 4 and 5-wide, facing the breeze, with more than 700m to go. She rattled down the outside, which not many did on the day, and won, which none did. To me that makes a 0.1/0.2 length win read more like a 3+ length win. If the rain comes, just makes the call easier. Plenty of good horses for this but Chris Waller and Grand Finals seem to go well more often than not.
BETTING STRATEGY & TOP PICKS
RACE 1 - SUKOOT (no bet)
RACE 2 - YOSEMITE (no bet)
RACE 3 - JUST A TRIBUTE & ITZ HOT (no bets)
RACE 4 - LET'S KARAKA DEAL (4 units W @ $4.40) - 2nd by 0.2L at $4.76 / $1.98 Betfair SP.
RACE 4 - REDWOOD SHADOW (2 units W @ $7.00) - 4th by 0.4L at $7.01 / $2.67 Betfair SP.
RACE 5 - SUCCEED INDEED (2 units W) - 6th by 3.75L at $5.30 / $1.99 Betfair SP.
RACE 6 - FROM WITHIN (no bet)
RACE 7 - ALFA ORO (5 units W @ $2.30) *BEST BET* - 4th by 1.65L at $2.12 / $1.23 Betfair SP.
RACE 8 - WINDSTORM with a saver on FIFTY STARS (no bets)
RACE 9 - VERRY ELLEEGANT (3 units W @ $5.00) - 1st by 0.2L at $4.85 / $2.48 Betfair SP.
RACE 10 - PERFECT JEWEL (4 units W @3.80) - 6th by 2.25L at $3.17 / $1.55 Betfair SP.
Total Unit Outlay = 20.00 units
Total Units Returned = 14.55 units
Unit Loss at Betfair SP = 5.45 units (overall unit profit with Randwick of 11.12 units)
Betting Strategy has a max bet of 5 units. 'W' = Win bet, 'P' = Place bet, 'E/W' = Each-Way bet.
Analysis by @Max_Wills_.