Caulfield Preview: Saturday 20 April


Track: Good 4

Rail: True Entire

Weather: Fine

Third Saturday in a row at Caulfield but importantly, the rail moves back to the True position after being +13m last week. We’d assume a relatively fair pattern for all in this configuration. This is a good Easter Saturday meeting with two Group 3s the highlight.


Speed map/race shape: Two leaders engaged in the first but expect All Over Bossanova from the low draw to hold out My Biddy. Rewarding Laughter and Grey Shadow can settle handy.

Advantaged runners: ALL OVER BOSSANOVA has been sold and shipped south to Phillip Stokes. She’s a speedy mare who only knows one way, and was last seen making Easy Eddie work to win a Group 3 – he was subsequently Group 1 placed. With a cosy trip in front she should have a kick left on the turn, but will be in GREY SHADOW’s sights. The ex-Weir mare possesses pleasing fresh form and enjoys the Caulfield 1100m. Her main concern is finding cover from the outside barrier. MISS VIXEN finished over the top of MY BIDDY last time at Sandown against the bias and you’d expect her to be running on in similar fashion here.


Speed map/race shape: Big field for the 2000m event. Can see Mitrust and Wetakemanhattan pushing on from deep to take up the running with LA Belle Jude prominent as well. Sasko and Ryan’s Fender should get the run of the race.

Advantaged runners: There’s a few lightly-raced ones here on an upward curve. RYAN’S FENDER stands out among them as a four-year-old working through his grades. He was dominant at Moonee Valley over this trip and gets a similar run here. We await a replacement for Linda Meech (& wish her well) on GRINZIGER STAR. She produced a beautifully judged ride to lift the three-year-old to victory over Mr Quickie a fortnight ago and he’s ready for this trip now. WETAKEMANHATTAN is up and about, his chances depend on how comfortably he races at the pointy end. He recently beat DARK PEARL who then ran second to Mosh Music, he’s a fit stayer who will attack the line. This is a step up for DIVANATION but she’s lightly raced, very progressive and well bred for this trip.


Speed map/race shape: A few go-forward types in this, with Intueri, Pria Eclipse and Sunday Pray the most prominent early. Each of Angelucci, Handsome Return and Prometheus can also be handy in a solidly run mile.

Advantaged runners: INTUERI dragged the field up to a free-striding leader and was still too strong at this track/distance last start. He did that seven weeks fresh so can kick on here. ANGELUCCI settled handily there and just missed, he’ll do so again and gets a weight advantage. HANDSOME RETURN was a dominant winner in Adelaide on the same day and has shown a real liking for this distance range, he’ll also get an ideal tow into the straight. PROMETHEUS was 14 months between wins when sent to Flemington in search of dry ground and scoring well. These key on-pacers look to have the race between them.


Speed map/race shape: Another mile event, this one for the Fillies only. Expect a strong tempo courtesy of Kevikki and Nassayim, with half a dozen others keen to be prominent around them as well.

Advantaged runners: The key hope will look to run on from midfield or worse. MUSIC BAY scored a long-awaited second victory at Sandown a week-and-a-half ago. On a leader-dominated day she put them away from mid-pack without fuss. PRINCESS JENNI was controversially scratched in Sydney so is a month between runs. Her G3 Alexandra Stakes victory was all class though and she’ll make a similar run around the field. Then there’s SURE KNEE who may be a touch underrated, her first up win when wide without cover was full of merit. ZARGOS is ‘best of the rest’ after storming home to win second up.


Speed map/race shape: More Than Exceed and Morrissy look the fastest of this three-year-old bunch and can lead from the chute start. Expect a bit of pressure with most keen to be up there in the run.

Advantaged runners: A couple of these may be able to take advantage of the early tempo. One of those is POISED TO STRIKE who is fit and brings form via good Group 3 and Listed events. He was ‘best of the rest’ behind a runaway trifecta in the Darby Munro, third was a subsequent Group 2 winner and second has placed again in Stakes grade. HIGH RATIO ground over the top to win at this trip last start, while CRISTAL EYES pulled up with issues at her last run, she won her previous two at this distance. Query over MORE THAN EXCEED second up. His first up winning time wasn’t too flash and won’t get the same luxury here.


Speed map/race shape: Another fillies-only event, this one over the sprint trip. Irresistable Girl should look to ping to the front from wide, with Jentico, Maitri and Tropezina also prominent. The jockeys may be happy to sit in a three-wide line out of the chute.

Advantaged runners: THRILLSTER heads the ‘advantaged’ runners on class, not necessarily the run she’ll get in transit. Team Corstens will claim 3kg off her 61kg impost via Liam Riordan, but he’ll have a task slotting her into the three wide line from an outside stall. She can win if it goes to plan. A much nicer run is on offer for GOLDEN HALO off the inside draw and she’s had to fitness-building runs now. TOFANE gets barrier two and she’ll also be poised to pounce if not buried in the pack. TELL ME may get cover today, she let and was pipped by last outing at this track/distance. THINE IS THE POWER is never far away either.


Speed map/race shape: Just nine acceptors for the Victoria Handicap over 1400m. Sircconi looks the obvious leader off the inside along with Streets Of Avalon, giving Manolo Blahniq and Naantali the ideal trial. Doubt they overdo it in front here.

Advantaged runners: MANOLO BLAHNIQ was desperately unlucky last time out when held up trying to get clear running in the straight. He surged home when clear but NAANTALI had the jump on him. The Caulfield 1400m suits both to a tee. Manolo gets the weight swing, but is a chance of getting held up on the inside of Naantali. Slight leaning to the former. KEMONO trailed them both in last time – is he another one of these Japanese imports that can’t seem to win? STREETS OF AVALON just keeps racing, he wasn’t beaten far at this track in Open class last time and will sit up on the pace again. Look for FASTNET TEMPEST late.


Speed map/race shape: We may have a muddling tempo here if the likes of Magnapal and Octabello find the front with ease. Anticipate Ambitious, Odeon and Furrion will be close.

Advantaged runners: A few old mates doing the rounds in the Easter Cup. NIGHT’S WATCH plummets in grade. He didn’t handle the Heavy (and maybe the class?) in the Ranvet and wasn’t too bad in the Australian Cup prior. He’s a track and distance winner. PLEIN CIEL was outmuscled to the line when hooking right around them here last week. He’s up to 2000m for the first time in Australia but switches to the inside gate for a softer run. FURRION disappointed in the Bendigo Golden Mile but was hooked back from the wide gate. He can settle closer and get the jump on MANTASTIC who closed well for second there and is racing well. ALFARRIS is the interesting runner at his second Australian start and could have claims.


Speed map/race shape: The last on the card sees a trio eager to find the front in Dollar For Dollar, Princeton Spirit and Working from home. Strong tempo expected in the get out!

Advantaged runners: Little bit of Group 1 form here which is exciting. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR gives them all plenty of weight but is a known fresh sprinter and has gone down a whisker in a G1 at this venue. Of the on-pacers, he’s the one to be with. ADDICTIVE NATURE is also fresh and has only run once in 12 months when he nearly beat Brave Song. His prior fresh run was third to Trapeze Artist, so he can run. He’ll also follow the pace-setters and get a good shot at them. Despite winning five from 11 HAUNTED has never been one of Godolphin’s stars, that said he’s hard to dismiss from a similarly handy run. SPIRIT OF AQUADA is a strong closer but may get shuffled back on the inside, leaving fellow backmarkers SUPERHARD and CHAUFFEUR to potentially get a head start on him.

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