The C.F. Orr marks the start of the Autumn Carnival. We finally have Group One racing again and the field that has been assembled is amazing. 18 stars of the track are coming together at Caulfield with 13 of those Group One winners. As punters we are in for a treat in a race that could shape up to be one of the best of the Carnival. Let’s get into it then and see if we can find a winner in this bunch.
Recent history shows most winners from this race come from barriers 7 and inside and I expect that trend to stay true again with the likes of Rebel Dance, Suavito and Mourinho being most advantaged at the barrier draw. This years edition sees a huge field so below I have my market and then and then my thoughts on each runner.
Fawkner: Fawkner has to be one of my favourite horses, he’s just so honest you always know your going to get his best. Has won a Caulfield Cup, came oh so close in a Cox Plate and 4th in a Melbourne Cup. He didn’t finish of his spring prep the way he usually races but I’m going to forgive him for now. He was ridden way to up on the pace in the Caulfield Stakes and that would have underdone him for the Cox Plate. He resumed last prep with a tough win over the mile in the Maybe Diva a race which the winners have not gone on to win another race in that same prep for around a decade or more. Back to 1400m could prove a query since he hasn’t raced in that distance for a while but she should sit close enough to get a good crack at them. I would’ve preferred him draw a little closer than 12 but he has great tactical speed and now that he get’s normal rider Nick Hall back that should also help him out. Oppose him at your own risk
Happy Trails: He doesn’t have the best the best first up record and the 1400m will be too short for him. Now being an 8yo I don’t think he has to many races left to run and they definitely won’t have him wound up for this. Looking for bigger fish to fry.
Boban: Is such a marvel, so glad to see Waller get this horse back to his best. A great turn of foot when ridden properly, due to Glynn Schofield being suspended Douglas Whyte from Hong Kong gets the ride. He is a star of Hong Kong racing but Boban always races better with Glynn on board so will be getting a penalty there with my market. In the Spring raced first up in the WFA Memsie over the 1400m at Caulfield same as Saturday and won beating horses he will meet again here. I would have preferred if he had drawn just a few barriers closer but it shouldn’t be to big an issue with his racing style. This is his bread and butter so he should go very close again.
Lucky Hussler: Won the Magic Millions Cup in January, no horse has ever won there and won this race. Not that there would be to many trying it. I’m not overly confident of his ability to win a Group 1 at 1400m. I know he won the G1 William Reid but that was at Moonee Vally against a field not as strong as this. Did draw a good barrier which is a positive. Definetly in with ha chance but I will probably be looking at a few other directions first.
Rebel Dane: Has struggled with respiratory issues in the past and since Gary Porteilli treated them he is back to his old winning form. Has had one run at Caulfield before for a G1 win in the Sir Rupert Clarke. He comes here second up off a strong run in the Australia Stakes, I tipped him there but didn’t handle the valley as well as I would of thought and comes here much better suited. He became unbalanced at the top of the straight but still ran the 2nd best last 600m and about 3rd best last 400m. Barrier 4 is perfect for him I think he will take a lot of beating here and should just about be one of the favourites.
Mourinho: Ran a great 3rd in last years edition behind Dissident. The 8yo seems to be getting better with age picking up G1 and G2 wins last prep. First up in the Australia Stakes he missed the jump but managed to work home very well after that, recording very fast late sectionals. Has drawn barrier 7 and will put himself right behind the pace if he jumps correctly. He trialled well alst week before this easily accounting for Griante who ran a great race at Caulfield last Saturday will be one of the top picks.
Turn Me Loose: Came here form New Zealand last prep to record 3 wins from 4 starts culminating in the G1 Emirates. A tough horse who likes to go to the front and dictate from there. However from 3 goes hasn’t been able to win 1st up and I have a feeling he will be better 2nd up at the mile rather than here. Barrier 10 wont be of the greatest concern as he has the speed to get across. He did trial very well in NZ before coming here and while I wouldn’t let him go by at double figure odds can’t have him as favourite.
Hucklebuck: Resumed off a pretty length spell and ran well in the Australia Stakes. Barrier 18 at the Caulfield 1400m start though that’s a lot of trouble and I just can’t seeing him win this from that draw.
Trust In A Gust: Another horse that resumed very well in the Australia Stakes also has to contend with a bad barrier. Loves the 1400m at Caulfield but the wide draw just might prove his undoing.
Stratum Star: Same as Trust In A Gust
Messene: Don’t think he is a weight for age horse. He has drawn a good barrier which will help his cause he will be able to sit close. At his best might be able to challenge for a place but I don’t think he will be.
Entirely Platinum: Last two first up runs have been in last years edition of this race and the G1 Memsie in the spring. Both times he has run second by small margins at $14. He is always undervalued in the market. it would’ve been better had he drew a slightly better barrier but like Turn Me Loose I think he will get across easy enough. This will be the race he is set for and anything over that $14 mark is definitely overs.
Bow Creek: This is a serious racehorse but I think the 1400m will be a touch to short. I expect him to be flashing home after getting back a little. Has the tendency to miss the kick which is going to be a serious issue here over the 1400m. Probably be better off backing him next start getting to the mile.
Red Bomber: Never seems to show his best first up. Last Autumn put three wins in a row on the board. His best probably isnt quick enough to go with these group one stars. At weight for age I can’t see him running the sectionals required to run over Turn Me Loose and Entirely Platinum up front.
Awesome Rock: Not good enough.
Rising Romance: Last time first up was in the Memsie in the spring, was strong to the line there but 1st up at the 1400m from barrier 16 might be strong to the line but I don’t think she will be getting over them here.
Suavito: Last time she was 1st up beat Dissident in the G1 Futurity at Caulfield. That’s Dissidents bread and butter, same track and distance here Suavito will be going close again. Coming off a long spell is a worry I would rather see a few trials but there is none so going to have to take on trust that the horse is fit and raring to go. If she is healthy and fit I think should be favourite. Off the long spell I’ll have her right near the top of the market but probably not on top. Should still be able to get overs though.
Fenway: Another one who will find the 1400m a touch to short.