Punters get some good value here in what looks to be a most competitive nine-race card at Caulfield. The track is rated a Soft 6 and the rail will be at seven metres. There is a chance of showers, so that could spoil the party a little.
Race 6: 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 14
Race 7: 1, 6, 7, 8, 11
Race 8: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10,
Race 9: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15
Tenappy Ladies came in for good support with his fluctuations at $4, $5.50 into $4.40 before beating Artie Dee Two in a close finish over 1200m at his debut at Moonee Valley on June 18. Victoria’s top jockey Dwayne Dunn is the new rider and he only rises a kilo to 58kg here in a small field of nine runners.
Gimlet was a notable drifter from $1.90 to a $2.60 favourite, but she fought hard to eyeball the winner Dissolute in the Elvstroem Classic (1200m) at Swan Hill at her last start on June 10. The Dream Ahead filly has not missed a placing at her four starts and hails from Victoria’s top stable of Darren Weir. She goes up 2kg on her last start to 58kg.
Sprung Dancing stormed home to post a smart win against older horses over 1000m at Geelong on June 17. The daughter of Freeze had a feather weight on 52.5kg that day and will rise 3kg to 55.5kg here but has the services of ace Victorian jockey Craig Williams to offset her weight increase.
Dunamite was given a strong hit-out when she was fully wound up to win over 1000m in a gate trial at Pakenham on June 23. The daughter of Duporth hails out of the yard of in-form trainer Ciaron Maher and will have the services of Group 1 jockey Nicholas Hall. She was a $22,000 Gold Coast yearling so is a cheapie but may be a goodie.
SELECTIONS: No2 TENAPPY LADIES, No1 Gimlet, No7 Sprung Dancing, No 8 Dunamite.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 Wazzenme.
R2 12.15pm Kevin Dunne Plate 2000m
Longeron may have got a little tired late on but he did enough to beat Alcohol over 2040m at Moonee Valley on June 18. Top rider Dwayne Dunn again gets the job here and will offset his 2kg rise in weight to 57.5kg to keep the wood on Alcohol again. That was his first step in distance this prep and he will be fitter.
Alcohol is expected to again fight out the major placing with Longeron here after their battle over 2040m at the Valley on June 18. Another good battle looms with Craig Williams sticking to this gelding, but don’t expect any luxury odds ($8) like last time as he is warm in the betting as a $4.20 second favourite.
Black Stardom is rock solid having won twice and been placed over distances at his past three starts. He had no answer to the winner Schockemohle over 2040m at Moonee Valley last start on June 18, but he did not stop trying. He has proven to be reliable and is worth novelty thought here. Bookies have kept him safe at $13.
Self Sense had a wide alley (9) when fighting all of the way to the line to go down narrowly to Minnie Downs over 1600m at Sawn Hill last start on June 12. He drops a kilo to 55kg here and again has the services of Ryan Maloney for his rise in class. Last time bookies offered $9 but not here, starting at $4.80 in early betting.
SELECTIONS: No3 LONGERON, No4 Alcohol, No9 Black Stardom, No6 Self Sense
VALUE RUNNER: No9 Black Stardom
R3 12.50pm Crown Ale Handicap 1700m
Royal Rapture backs up here after posting a fighting win over Leveraction over 1600m at Flemington last Saturday. The six-year-old carried 57kg last week and was firm in the betting at $4.20. He goes up to 58.5kg with the 1.5kg claim of apprentice Jordan Childs and again rates in a deep betting race.
Pin Your Hopes showed plenty of courage under a good ride from Ben Thompson to win over 1600m at Flemington last Saturday. Punters backed the gelding from $10 into $8 when carrying 57.5kg to do the job. He drops to 55kg here with Thompson’s 3kg claim but don’t expect any meaty odds at $3.90 in early betting.
Sherzoso gets a plum start off the rails here so he shouldn’t have to work hard. He gave a good effort to finish in a three-way climax when third to Vassal and Olympic Academy over 1800m at Rosehill on June 18. Dwayne Dunn takes the reins at his return to Melbourne and he carries 56.5kg, only a half kilo more than last start.
Yulong Baby gave a great sight first up to work home strong to snatch fourth place over 1400m at Sandown on June 15. The four-year-old mare has Michael Dee riding again and with his 1.5kg claim will drop from 58kg to 52.5kg here. There won’t be any meat on her odds this time though at $6.50 in early betting.
SELECTIONS: No1 ROYAL RAPTURE, No4 Pin Your Hopes, No5 Sherzoso, No8 Yulong Baby
VALUE RUNNER: No6 Temps Voleur
R4 1.28pm Grand Hotel Handicap 1400m
Jerilderie Letter is aptly named, being a son of Bushranger. The Tasmanian galloper crosses the Bass Strait with a big reputation with four wins and a second from his past five starts at home. Victorian apprentice Jake Bayliss has been booked and his 2kg claim will reduce his impost to 58kg. He has opened at good odds of $12.
Stormcraft has found a new lease of life since joining the yard of top trainer Darren Weir to win over 1000m and 1200m at his past two provincial starts. He is chasing a hat-trick and Weir’s leading jockey Brad Rawiller keeps the reins on the gelding, who drops 2.5kg to 56kg on his last win at Pakenham on June 22.
Divine Mr Artie eased out to $5 before firming into $4.20 when chasing hard but found the winner too good on the day over 1600m at Sandown on June 4. Ben Thompson replaces Dylan Dunn. His 3kg claim will reduce his weight to 53kg, which is 3.5kg less than he carried last time. He looks better suited too at this trip.
Makatiti has been racing most consistently. He won over 1400m at Sandown three starts ago and last start gave a strong effort when narrowly beaten by Rising Stock over 1400m at Sandown on June 15. Craig Williams replaces Nicholas Hall and he drops 2kg to the limit on 54kg. Makes good appeal.
SELECTIONS: No1 JERILDERIE LETTER, No2 Stormcraft, No3 Divine Mr Artie, No8 Makatiti
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Jerilderie Letter.
R5 2.05pm Cove Handicap 1200m
Magicus faces a full field here but the four-year-old gelding is racing in top fettle. The son of Statue Of Liberty has won three of his four starts and is resuming here after a last start win over 1200m at Moonee Valley on March 14. He is the early favourite at $4.20 in a wide betting medium and has the services of top jockey Craig Williams.
Camdus looms as a danger in an open betting race. The four-year-old is out of the top stable of Darren Weir and has the good record of three wins from six starts. He also has a one for one win ratio first-up. He is drawn in 13, which is a setback but is in the experienced hands of top hoop Brad Rawiller. He is each-way odds at $7.50.
Caprese had no luck in running and fought on stoutly when finishing fourth to Bradman over 1400m at Flemington on June 11. He carried 55.5kg that day with the claim of apprentice Brooke Sweeney, whose claim will see him carry 55.5kg here. He has proven to be a most reliable galloper and bears thought here.
Kievann does not have a good record here but his recent form warrants some thought at his return to this track. Latest he finished third to Voodoo Lad over 1200m at Moonee Valley on June 18. With apprentice Beau Mertens to take the ride, he has his 63kg impost offset down to 60kg, where most runners have around 57kg to 56kg.
SELECTIONS: No10 MAGICUS, No12 Camdus, No6 Caprese, No1 Kievann.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 Igattino.
R6 2.45pm Ladbrokes Handicap 1400m
Duke Of Brunswick chased hard but was no match for the winner Voodoo Lad, who was perfectly ridden by Chris Parnham to win over 1200m at Moonee Valley on June 18. He was a $3.10 equal favourite that day and bookmakers have him safe at $3.10 early favourite for this race. Dwayne Dunn keeps the ride on the four-year-old, who rises 3.5kg to 57.5kg here on his last start.
Ulmann is sure to get strong support after being transferred from Peter Moody to the yard of Darren Weir. Weir has a great record at reviving gallopers from other stables and the bookmakers have him safe at $5.50. His first-up record is not crash hot but he has been placed behind subsequent Group 1 winners.
Great Esteem is having his first start for new trainer Stuart Webb after being sent down from the Sydney yard of co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden. He trialled well to win over 1200m at Pakenham on June 23 and with the 2kg claim of apprentice Thomas Sadler will carry 56kg, 2kg above the limit.
Something To Share has been most consistent on provincial tracks with two wins and three placings from his past five starts. Trainer Darren Weir has ensured the eight-year-old is fit with three warm up trials where he has shown he still has the zest for racing with a win and two seconds. He is one of three Weir runners in this race.
SELECTIONS: No6 DUKE OF BRUNSWICK, No8 Ulmann, No5 Great esteem, No11 Something To Share
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Something To Share
R7 3.25pm Sheen Plate 1100m
Anatola is the early favourite at $3.60 in a wide betting medium. The three-year-old filly looks to have good claims against her own sex and age. She chased hard when running third in a close three-way finish over 1200m at Moonee Valley against fillies and mares at her last start on February 5. She has two wins and a third at three starts.
Lady Esprit was coming off a 162-day break when she fought hard before peaking inside the last 50m to finish fourth to the talented Rich Charm down the straight 1000m at Flemington on June 11. The filly is better suited here around a corner and against her own sex on 54.5kg she gets her chance to land the big prize.
Sky Dazzle gave a good effort first-up when she chased hard to run second over 1000m at Moonee Valley on June 18. That was against her own age and sex and she will again be on a light weight on the limit on 54kg. The gate draw in 13 is a setback but she has the good stats of a win and a third at four starts and can keep improving.
Miss Gidget bolted in her maiden over 1190m at Seymour last campaign before stepping up in class. At her last start she fought on well to run third down the straight 1000m at Flemington. It has been 203 days since she last raced but with in-form apprentice Ben Thompson’s claim she has a feather weight on 52kg.
SELECTIONS: No8 ANATOLA, No7 Lady Esprit, No11 Sky Dazzle, No6 Miss Gidget
VALUE RUNNER: No11 Sky Dazzle
R8 4.05pm Racing Photos Handicap 2000m
Hursley is having his second Melbourne start after campaigning in Sydney. The Chris Waller-trained three-year-old gave a strong effort when he was beaten 1 ½ lengths over 1600m at Flemington on June 25. He will be better suited here over 2000m in an open race.
Four By Four won two races in succession before his latest fourth over 2000m at Flemington on June 11. He carried 58.5kg that day and carried 58kg today. He is race fit and has a good barrier in three. One of the main fancies at $7.50 in early markets.
Plymouth Road was a runaway 3 ¼ length winner over 2000m at Mornington on June 13. He was backed into a $2.70 favourite that day. He jumped from gate 11 and is better drawn here in four with Daniel Stackhouse keeping the ride.
Fearless Raider is lightly raced having had three starts for a win, a second and a third. He chased hard when running second over 1500m on a heavy track at Ballarat on June 16. He has a difficult draw in 17, but appears to have a lot of upside.
SELECTIONS: No1 HURSLEY, No5 Four By Four, No4 Plymouth Road, No7 Fearless Raider
VALIUE TIP: No2 Albion Road
R9 4.40pm Schweppes Handicap 1200m
A Lotta Love was given a 1000m trial at Pakenham on June 23 for this race. She flooded home under no pressure to run second of five. She has not raced since finishing third over 1300m as a $3.80 favourite at Sandown on June 4. She is a most honest mare and rates highly in an open race.
Shades Of Bella has been freshened since her win over 1200m at Caulfield on May 14. The five-year-old mare has a new rider with Chris Parnham taking the reins and she has drawn perfectly in gate 3. Strongly fancied at $3.50.
Kansas Sunflower found the talented Telopea too good on the day but fought hard to finish second beaten ¾ of a length over 1300m at Bendigo on June 2. She was backed from $4.40 into $3.40 that day. She had Craig Williams on board here and is drawn to be prominent in gate 2.
Forgeress pulled away over the last 100m to score a smart win over 1300m on a heavy track at Sandown on June 4. With apprentice Jordan Child’s 1.5 claim she will carry 56.5kg and is reasonably drawn in gate 8. The five-year-old mare has proven to be a tough competitor and would respect.