Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback’s return to Caulfield in the Gold Sprint is the highlight of the nine-race card. The rail will be at 9m for the entire circuit with the track rated a Good 3 and no rain forecast.
Sly Romance could not have been more impressive than when the four-year-old outstayed his rivals to post a 3 ¾ length win over 3400m at Mornington on April 2. Nicholas Hall replaces apprentice Michael Dee with the result he will carry 3kg more on 55.5kg. Should handle the extra weight.
Dane Hussler is a dye-in-the-wool stayer who will again prove a force. The Husson four-year-old bounced back into the winner’s stall in style with a 1 ¾ length win over 3600m at Oakbank on March 26. Top Victorian jockey Damian Lane takes the reins here and she only rises a kilo to 55.5kg for her South Australian win.
Deliberate was well beaten by Sly Romance over 3600m at their last encounter at Mornington on April 2. The gelding does meet his rival on better weight terms here on 56.5kg with top jockey Craig Newitt the new rider. Trainer Jane Baker gave the five-year-old a trial over 2400m at Ballarat on April 8 so he will be fit.
Celtic Prince was specked firming from $5.50 into $4.80 before circling the field to finish a distance fourth to Sly Romance over 3400m at Mornington on April 2. The in-form Luke Nolen replaces Steven King on the six-year-old, who rates as a place chance.
SELECTIONS: No5 Sly Romance, No4 Dane Hussler, No3 Deliberate, No2 Celtic Prince. VALUE RUNNER: No7 Prospector.
R2 12.55pm Vale Phil Sly Handicap 1200m
If Not Now When is unbeaten at his two provincial starts and he looks to be suited by the extra distance here. The two-year-old beat most of these at his debut when a drifter in betting ($8 to $15) over 1000m at Bendigo last month before winning as a $1.80 favourite over 1000m at Cranbourne on April 1.
Dissolute hails from the all-powerful Godolphin stable. He drops in class here on his debut when a solid fourth to the talented Fremnch Fern over 1200m at Canterbury on a Soft 5 on January 9. Before that the son of New Approach won a trial over 836m in dashing fashion. Can overcome wide alley.
Ariaz was most impressive at her debut when a two length winner over 1000m against her own sex at Sandown on March 29. She carried 57kg that day and drops a kilo here with Ran Maloney keeping the ride. She should welcome the extra 200m
Tris was having her fourth starts and second run this preparation when she posted a dominate 4 ¾ length win in a 1100m maiden at Echuca on April 1. She defied a betting drift from $1.80 to $2.30 that day and she is raised in class here, but bears each-way claims in an open field.
SELECTIONS: No2 If Not Now When, No5 Dissolute, No13 Ariaz, No12 Tris. VALUE RUNNER: No12 Tris.
R3 1.30pm Gold Distaff Handicap 1400m
Scarlet Billows drops significantly in class here on her last start when she gave a good effort under weight-for-age to finish just under 3 lengths behind dual Group 1 winner Flamberge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24. She carries equal topweight on 59kg here but faces her own sex.
French Emotion can repay her backers who had their fingers burnt as a $2.35 favourite when second to She’s Miss Devine in a mares’ 1300m handicap at Sandown last Saturday. She does rise 1.5kg to 57kg here, but better ridden she can make amends.
Written was a smart winner at Caulfield and Bendigo against her own sex over the longer sprints, before she was stepped up to 1590m in the Wangaratta Cup, where she botched the start but ran home well to finish fifth at $3.70 on March 27. She drops back to racing against her own sex here.
Andrioli was a notable drifter from $4.20 to $7 first up when running seventh of eight over 1200m at Mornington on April 2. She always takes a run to find her best form and has an imposing second-up record of 2 starts for a win and a third.
SELECTIONS: No2 Scarlet Billows, No8 French Emotion, No3 Written, No10 Andrioli. VALUE RUNNER: No10 Andrioli.
R4 2.10pm VOBIS Mile 1600m
Red Bomber looks well suited under the set-weight conditions here. The David Hayes and Tom Dabernig four-year-old carried 57kg on a 54kg minimum when he ran 11th to Black Heart Bart in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap 1400m at Caulfield on March 26. He won the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue Stakes (1400m) at his previous start at Flemington. Looking for the mile.
Entre Nous gets the talents of the in-form jockey Luke Nolen for his clash here. The five-year-old has been excelling with two wins and a third from his past three starts this preparation and the last start Wangaratta Cup (1590m) winner has drawn perfectly to be prominent in gate two.
Sabkhat comes down to Caulfield after racing first-up over 1400m at Rosehill, where he ran third on March 26. The five-year-old is a son of Reset so he will appreciate the extra 200m here and he will strip fitter. He will appreciate meeting his opposition on equal weight terms here.
Zebinz chased solidly enough in the home stretch to land seventh place to Black Heart Bart in the Group 3 Victoria Handicap here on March 26. Black Heart Bart is one of the maind fancies for the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick today. His last win was over 1600m at Flemington in November and he is now fit.
SELECTIONS: No1 Red Bomber, No3 Entre Nous, No4 Sabkhat, No2 Zebrinz. VALUE RUNNER: No11 Iron Spider.
R5 2.45pm Gold Reef Stakes 1600m
Tarquin should continue Godolphin’s great run after the stable won four straight at Warwick Farm on Wednesday. The three-year-old has the support of stable-mate Unbreakable in this set-weight three-year-old feature. The Group 1 two-year-old place-getter showed his brilliance to win the Mornington Guineas (1500m) first-up on April 2.
Unbreakable had no luck when he ran sixth to stable-mate and opponent Tarquin in the Mornington Guineas (1500m) on April 2. He won first-up over 1400m at Pakenham last month and has been a model of consistency at his nine starts.
Bengal Cat caused something of an upset when she beat the favourite Silent Sedition at $10 over 1600m against her own sex at Sandown last Saturday. She romped home by 3 lengths last week with astute trainer John Sadler backing her up here.
Fife goes up sharply in class but worth place thought on her recent form. She won at Geelong over 1400m against her own sex last month before finishing third to Fellspur over 1600m at Ballarat on April 3. Race fit for her big challenge here.
The Quarterback was impressive when grabbing Black Heart Bart on the wire to win the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap down the straight six at Flemington on March 12. He came home with a wet sail after an awkward start to Flamberge in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 24. Suited here at set-weights.
Thermal Current steps up here off a good win in the Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on April 2. He rises 4.5kg in weight to 59kg under the set-weight conditions here but he is most consistent and is fresh having his third start this preparation here.
Miss Promiscuity won over 1100m against her own sex at Caulfield at her last start on March 26. The five-year-old drops a kilo here to 57kg and top jockey Craig Williams replaces apprentice Dylan Dunn. She faces a tricky gate (10) but has a good record at this track.
Almighty Girl is the only three-year-old filly in this race and she does meet her opposition well under the wet-weight conditions carrying 55kg. But the daughter of Beneteau jumped from 11 to win the Group 3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m) at her last start on February 26. Top jockey Glen Boss has stuck to her and she is a youngster on the rise having only race three times for two wins and a second.
SELECTIONS: No1 The Quarterback, No2 Thermal Current, No9 Miss Promiscuity, No12 Almighty Girl. VALUE RUNNER: No2 Thermal Current.
R7 4.05pm Gold Health 2000m
Bondeiger turned in an excellent trial for this race with a strong fourth to Velox over 2000m at Mornington on April 2. He is better suited here under the set-weight conditions from a good draw in five.
Adirondack won over 1800m at Sandown and Morphettville before finishing second in the Stony Creek Cup and fifth over 2400m at Caulfield at his last start on March 26. The five-year-old is better suited here back in distance and he has top jockey Ben Melham to guide.
London Fog has won two of his past three starts over the middle-distances. He was backed into a $2.60 favourite at his last two length win over 1950m at Morphettville on April 2. He jumps 5.5kg up in weight but meets moderate opposition.
Winter Palace is due for a change of luck with three sound placings from his past four starts. The latest the son of Ratski was held up but fought on well to run third to High Church over 2400m at Caulfield on March 26. He has a win and a third at three starts over this trip.
SELECTIONS: No1 Bondeiger, No5 Adirondack, No7 London Fog, No9 Winter Palace. VALUE RUNNER: No7 London Fog.
R8 4.45pm Anniversary Vase 1400m
Dan Zephyr won three on the trot earlier this year and was coming off a 28-day break when he ran a close third to Thermal Current in the Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on April 2. Again carries 55kg and expect a bold showing in an even field.
Precious Gem fought on strong when going down narrowly to Thermal Current in the Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on April 2. That was her first run for 98 days and she will strip fitter here. She can overcome wide alley (14).
Enquare’s two runs this campaign has been most promising with a fourth and a close third to She’s My Devine over 1300m at Sandown last Saturday. She showed fight despite being headed with senior jockey Damian Lane the new rider. The five-year-old drops 3kg to the limit on 54kg.
Inspector was held up but worked home strong out wide to finish fourth to Thermal Current in the Hareeba Stakes (1200m) at Mornington on April 2. That was his first start in 77 days and he will strip fitter.
SELECTIONS: No4 Dan Zephyr, No8 Precious Gem, No11 Enquare, No14 Inspector. VALUE RUNNER: No14 Inspector.
R9 5.20pm Off The Track Plate 1100m
Ruettiger won his last two starts last year before going for a spell. He is a lightly-raced four-year-old but has finished in the money seven times from 10 starts and he likes this track. He has won twice and finished third at his three first-up starts and is well drawn in seven.
I’m A Flying Star gets a start with the withdrawals of Squeaky Squirrel and Royal Spinner. She has proven a short-course specialist was was not too far adrift of Miss Promiscuity when sixth over 1100m here at her last start on March 26. She is again on the limit on 55.5kg.
Niminypiminy has been in good form over the sharper courses. She has the good fresh strike rate of a win and a second at three starts. The five-year-old has drawn perfectly in five and will be ridden by top jockey Damian Lane.
Toothless has an awkward barrier in 13 but his form over the short courses is sound. The four-year-old’s races have been spaced and his past two wins were over 1000m at Sandown and Ballarat. He won by four lengths carrying 60.5kg at Ballarat and drops to 58.5kg here.
SELECTIONS: No11 Ruettiger, No19 I’m A Flying Star, No15 Niminypinimy, No13 Toothless. VALUE RUNNER: No19 I’m A Flying Star.