Criterion – World Class Star. Dominated the Autumn Carnival then went to Hong Kong and ran 3rd in a group one before running admirably over in England. Comes here fresh without a lead up run. Ran 2nd in this race last year and is reportedly working well so has to be a top chance. $10 is definitely overs.
Fawkner – Would have to be just about my favourite horse, always honest rarely missing a place. Has won a Caulfield Cup, narrowly denied in a cox plate and a great run at his first crack at the Melbourne Cup. Fawkner won this race last year and will be in with a great chance again this year.
Happy Trails – Wasn’t tested at all last start seeing no room to move. Happy Trails is a tough horse but Caulfield doesn’t suit him at all, he’s more a Flemington get back and make a big run down the long wide straight which he isn’t going to get here.
Contributer – Hasn’t been the star he was in the Autumn, the valley did not suit a horse like the Contributer. He isn’t really a wind up kind of horse, he gets back but he uses his superior turn of foot to get home. One horse who keeps popping up is The Cleaner and the pace of the race is probably hurting him. No cleaner here will help, so depending how much pace comes into the race from Entirely Platinum, he could be in with a chance. I can’t see him getting over Fawkner and Criterion though. 9 starts for 7 wins and 2 thirds over the 2000m is some formidable stats.
Pornichet – Had a few good wins over the 2000m in the Autumn but i don’t he will step up here, not good enough for Kermadec over the mile won’t get him here over the 2000m.
Entirely Platinum – Another horse I can’t see with a chance in winning this, will go to the lead but won’t be able to hold off these stars.
Kermadec – This horse has huge upside, dominate win in the George Main if he handles the step up to 2000m at WFA in with a good chance. How much of a chance though? I’m not willing to take $2.80 to find out. I won’t be on Kermadec at $2.80 when Fawkner is $4.40. I would wait right up to race time and hope he drifts out to around $4-5 before I’ll be stepping in.
Mongolian Khan – Was slow into stride in the Underwood and did a little work to push up midfield. Out to the 2000m will help as he is a promising young stayer. In the Underwood he sat behind Fawkner in the run but didn’t possess the same turn of foot to go with him in the straight, probably needs a little bit more distance to beat one of these horses.
Pornichet and Entirely Platinum will go to the lead with Fawkner one out one back and Mongolian Khan on the rail. Then Criterion and Kermadec or Contributer with him. The pace will be solid with the two leaders going at it but besides that it won’t be too hectic. I see this race coming down to Fawkner and Criterion just like last year. If Criterion is ready to go in his first run back in Australia I think he will be winning. Kermadec to run a gallant third. Criterion and Fawkner both have the tactical speed and turn of foot to sit close enough to the speed and still put them away at the end. Caulfield has been playing well for horses leading or close to the lead and this should give them the advantage.