With the AFL grand final being played between the Sydney Swans and the Bulldogs at the MCG, racing takes a back seat in Melbourne to the football.
There is a strong nine-race card but no Group racing at Caulfield, where rain is forecast and the track expected to deteriorate.
The rail is at 13m for the entire track.
QUADDIES Races: 6-7-8-9
SKINNY PLAY: 2,7,8,9 / 2,4,6 / 4,6,11 / 2,4,12,13
WIDE PLAY: 2,7,8,9,13 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,4,5,6,7,8,11 / 2,4,5,6,7,8,10,12
BEST BET: R7 No6 Motown Lil.
NEXT BEST BET: R8 No11 Shillelagh.
BEST ROUGHIE: R4 No1 Good Offa.
R1 12.00pm RIDGEVIEW PARK THOROUGHBRED STUD HANDICAP 1600m
HELL OR HIGHWATER broke through to post a tearaway four-length win over 1400m at Pakenham on September 15. Top jockey Damien Oliver keeps the ride and she drops a kilo to 58kg, but drawn wide in (11).
CHAMPAGNE READY was the $4.40 favourite when she ran second over 1200m at Moonee Valley on September 23. She strikes similar company here and rises only a half kilo to 57kg with Michael Walker the new jockey.
LILLY DAZZLER will fare stronger the wetter it becomes. She ran a solid fifth at Sale over 1511m at her last start on September 11. Apprentice Jordan Child’s 1.5kg claim will reduce her impost to 59kg, but must combat gate (13).
SELECTIONS: No6 HELL OR HIGHWATER, No9 Champagne Ready, No1 Lizzy Dazzler.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Lilly Dazzler
R2 12.35pm DREAM THOROUGHBREDS HANDICAP 1200m
VALDERRAMA will have the services of apprentice Jake Bayliss, with his claim reducing his impost to a comfortable 57kg. He dead-heated with Stringer Bell for first over 1200m first-up at Geelong for Damien Oliver on September 16 and set to repeat the dose here.
STRINGER BELL dead-heated with Valderrama at his first-up start at Geelong on September 16. He rises 1.5kg to 59kg here and must jump from gate (11). Stable jockey Brad Rawiller keeps the ride and would respect.
UN DE SCEAUX will carry 60kg here but he did enough first-up to suggest he is a danger after finishing sixth over 1210m at Sale on September 21. He was a drifter from $7.50 to $10 that day and will have senior rider Steven Arnold to ride here.
BUCKLER was second-up off a spell when he ran home late to finish seventh to Chase The Horizon over 1200m at Caulfield on September 17. Senior rider Chris Symons is now at the helm. Expect a forward showing.
SELECTIONS: No7 VALDERRAMA, No6 Stringer Bell, No4 Un De Sceaux, No8 Buckler.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 Buckler.
R3 1.10pm KURTS & BARN 4OTH BIRTHDAY PLATE 1200m
BLACK VANQUISH looms as a strong chance on his first-up run for 168 days when finishing fourth over 1200m at Caulfield on August 28. Apprentice Brooke Sweeney’s 3kg claim will reduce his impost to a comfortable 57.5kg and has drawn on the rail.
PRAVRO has been sparkling in the provincials and should bring that form to the city. With Ben Thompson’s 2kg claim he will carry 59.5kg and has a good draw in (6). He is looking for a hat-trick here and handles all track conditions.
JUST GOT LUCKY has heaps of upside having raced five times for two wins and a third. He ran third over 1400m at Warnambool at his last start on a heavy track on May 4. Apprentice Regan Bayliss’s 1.5kg claim reduces his impost to 56.5kg here first-up.
BUT IT’S TRUE has won two of his three starts and went out on a winning note at Sale over 1615m on April 19. Patrick Maloney replaces Jamie Mott but he does have his share of weight on 59kg and has drawn wide in (17).
SELECTIONS: No3 BLACK VANQUISH, No1 Pravro, No10 Just Got Lucky, No6 But It’s True.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 But It’s True.
R4 1.45pm MONTY SAMUEL PLATE 1000m
MISS VISTA is the hype horse with her baldy face and white socks. She has blue eyes, which is rare, but she also has a big motor and will be looking forward to resuming here after impressively winning at her only two starts. Ben Allen’s 2kg claim reduces her handicap to 55.5kg.
GOOD OFFA (BEST ROUGHIE) bounced back to beat Levitical over 1100m at Pakenham last start on September 11. Steven Arnold keeps the ride and he will carry 58kg, which is a fair weight over the dash. Expect a bold showing again.
CHEEKY BABE is having her first start for new trainer Darren Weir. Weir has excelled with hand-me-downs and would expect improvement on her first-up seventh over 1100m at Rosehill on July 30. Jordan Child’s 1.5kg claim reduces her impost to 55.5kg.
RUN CHARLIE RUN was a $4.20 favourite when she cruised to a 1 ¾ length win over 1016m at Moe first up on September 6. With Jack Marks’ 3kg claim she will be on the limit on 54kg here and makes good appeal.
SELECTIONS: No3 MISS VISTA, No1 Good Offa, No6 Cheeky Babe, No7 Run Charlie Run.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 Good Offa.
R5 2.20pm DREAMTHOROUGHBREDS.COM.AU HANDICAP 1200m
NAJMAAT gets her chance here having her fourth start back from a spell. She ran a solid fourth over 1400m here at her last start when specked from $6.50 into $6 against her own age and sex on September 17. Regan Bayliss’s claim sees her carry 54kg.
JACQUI’S JOY capped her three-year-old campaign by running 14th to Abbey Marie in the Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville on May 7. She has a sound first-up record and has the blinkers removed for the start of her four-year-old career.
FOREIGN AFFAIR is a most honest mare who will get some relief on her big weight by Beau Merten’s 3kg claim reducing her impost to 59.5kg. She has a string of minor placings to her credit this campaign, but has a horror draw in (19).
MATERNAL worked home strongly to claim third place over 1200m at Moonee Valley on September 23. Ben Melham replaces Damien Oliver and if there is good speed up in front she will be flying home.
SELECTIONS: No13 NAJMAAT, No6 Jacqui’s Joy, No1 Foreign Affair, No16 Maternal.
VALUE RUNNER: No16 Maternal.
R6 3pm ARGYLE MAINTENANCE HANDICAP 1800m
THE THUG was having his third start back from a spell when he scored a smart win over 2100m at Sandown on September 7. He was backed from $6 into $4.60 and landed the plunge in good style. Chris Parnham is the new rider on 54.5kg.
NOZOMI is on the quick back up after running a steady seventh to the high flying Royal Rapture over 1700m here last Saturday. Apprentice Beau Merten’s 3kg claim reduces his impost to a reasonable 58kg and strikes milder opposition.
HOKKAIDO is now ready to bounce back into the winner’s circle. He ran hard last start when caught deep to finish fourth over 1410m at Sale on September 21. Regan Bayliss’s 1.5 claim reduces his weight to 53,5kg after carrying 58kg last start.
TEARS OF JOY has a superior second-up record and she will improve on her ninth over 1400m at Caulfield first up on September 17. Damien Oliver replacing Stephen Baster is a big riding change and she has no weight on 54.5kg.
SELECTIONS: No9 THE THUG, No2 Nozomi, No7 Hokkaido, No8 Tears Of Joy.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 Tears Of Joy.
R7 3.40pm BLUE STAR GROUP PLATE 1200m
MOTOWN LIL (BEST BET) is a highly promising filly, who finally broke through for an overdue win over 1000m at Mornington on September 8. The three-year-old was heavily backed into a $1.90 and won by a length on the line under no pressure. With the scratching of Leotie, her chances here improve significantly and leading rider Nicholas Hall will keep the mount.
SELECTIONS: No6 MOTOWN LIL, No4 Ariaz, No2 Gretna, No3 Sylpheed.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Ariaz.
R8 4.20pm LADBROKES UP FOR THE CHALLENGE HANDICAP 1440m
SHILLELAGH (NEXT BEST BET) had no luck whatsoever at her Australian debut when finishing fifth over 1200m here on September 17. She was forced to cover a lot of ground, held up and then still finished on strongly as a $5.50 chance. Damien Oliver stays on the New Zealand mare who drops 3kg to 54kg and looms as a big chance from gate (12).
SELECTIONS: No11 SHILLELAGH, No4 Miss Gunpowder, No1 Lucky Paddy, No6 Cool Chap.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 Cool Chap.
R9 5pm M & D DILLON CONSTRUCTIONS PLATE 1600m
BLACK SHEEP gets his chance to post a city win after his big win after drifting in the betting from $7.50 to $12 over 1600m at Echuca on September 20. With apprentice Ben Allen’s 3kg claim he will carry 58kg and looms as a strong chance.
AMBER CAVALIER should be ready to post a win after his strong third to Sly Romance over 1600m at Moonee Valley on September 23. Leading apprentice Ben Thompson is the new rider and his 2kg claim reduces his impost to 58kg.
TEMPERED should find this easier than last start when finishing third to Inference over 1400m at Pakenham on September 18. Andrew Mallyon is the new rider and looms as an each-way hope here.
TEN GOALS comes back to the city off a smart half-length win over 1600m at Pakenham on September 15. Stable jockey Michael Walker keeps the ride and he drops a kilo to 58.5kg and has a superior draw in gate (4) to his prior start.
SELECTIONS: No2 BLACK SHEEP, No5 Amber Cavalier, No12 Tempered, No13 Ten Goals.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 Ten Goals.