Caulfield presented a brilliant racing surface despite rain in the lead-up to the last meeting and a similar outcome is anticipated this Saturday. Good drying conditions on Friday should ensure at least a Good 4 racing surface. And with the rail going back to the True inside position, we should have a very quick surface for the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 2 – 3,8 – 1,2,7 – 5,11,16
Wide Play: 2,5,7,8, – 2,3,4,6,8 – 1,2,7,10,12 – 1,2,5,11,15,16
BEST BET: R2– 1. CHARLEVOIX
Next Best Bet: R1 – 1. ROCKET COMMANDER
Best Roughie: R8 – 2. KEEN ARRAY
No1 ROCKET COMMANDER (NEXT BEST BET) She is the only Group winner in the race, having beaten Hieroglyphics and Zestful in the G3 Wenona Girl Stakes 1200m Heavy10 at Randwick five runs back March 4. Subsequent form has been solid without winning in tougher company and she gets in nicely with Jake Bayliss’ 2kg claim here. Has switched to the powerful Hayes-Dabernig stable and is relishing being trained off the farm. Equally at home on wet or dry tracks and will be nice and fresh for this.
No3 SULLIVAN BAY Model of consistency who hasn’t finished further back than fourth in last 10 starts, including recent win over Grey Street this trip July 1. Meets Forgeress 1.5kg better for half-length second this trip two weeks back.
No2 FORGERESS Hard to beat on game win over Sullivan Bay this trip two weeks ago. Will be further improved.
No6 DIVINE CHILLS Has two wins and a second from last three runs and has been freshened since beating Little Indian 1200m Sandown Lakeside July 5. This is tougher but has claims will Craig Williams on board.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 ROCKET COMMANDER
No1 CHARLEVOIX (BEST BET) Has won two of last four starts and gets a few gear changes to help him on his way here with Williams back in the saddle and looks weighted to win. Williams rode when comfortable 1.5-length winner over Hursley and Bullish Stock 2520m Flemington June 24 Good4 then chased gamely without threatening when 3.5-length third Super Haze 2600m Patterson Final Flemington Good3 July 8.
No11 STREET SPUN Has been working home nicely at the end of her races since winning 2000m Mornington BM64 June 12. Crying out for this trip and will be finishing strongly.
No8 KIWIA Racing well with two wins and two placings last four runs up to 2000m. Will be strongly fancied again but untried this trip.
No9 DANDRE Struck trouble when close fifth Windbern 2000m here two weeks back and shows staying promise.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 STREET SPUN
No2 FULLY MAXED Could not have been more impressive first-up when he powered away to easily beat Bowerman 1000m Sandown Hillside Soft5 July 19. Will strip fitter for the run and gives the impression he will relish the extra distance of this.
No1 NISTAAN Bound to be improved from his game first-up third to Lone Eagle 1200m Good4 here July 1. Covered a bit of ground rounding the turn and should get a better run from barrier 1 here. Hard to beat.
No11 SHAMPORT Raced erratically first start when game 1.4-length third Onehundred Percent 1109m Echuca 2Yr Soft6 july 10. Will have derived plenty of benefit from that experience and Williams goes on here over a more suitable distance. Bound to be hitting the line hard.
No3 MULK Runner-up at Pakenham 1400m Synthetic and Sandown Lakeside 140mm Soft5 before leading all the way to trounce Oracabessa 1400m Sandown Hillside Soft5 June 14. Has been freshened for a tilt at stronger company here but has to be respected.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 FULLY MAXED
No10 WIND FORCE Two wins and four placings from last six start suggest he will continue his good form here and will take beating. Fought back strongly to defeat Aurelius Hero 1200m Ballarat BM78 Soft6 June 15 then looked home but pipped on the post by Leodoro 1200m here July 1. Freshened for the drop in distance here and is going to prove hard to run down.
No2 DANUKI Won three on end last campaign and not disgraced three subsequent runs. Led and fought on gamely for half-length third Crystal Dreamer 1200m here Jan. 7 then fading 3.85-length ninth Glenrowan Prince this trip Feb. 4. Goes well first-up and commands respect.
No1 OBERLAND Won six of 15 starts in Brisbane before joining Darren’s Weir’s stable. Won 1200m BM85 Sunshine Coast Jan. 28 Good4 then hampered when 2.5-length fourth Fiery Heights Doomben 1200m BM85 Feb. 11. Has won three from five first-up runs and rates highly with Ben Allen’s 1.5kg claim.
No11 WRITTEN ERA Hadn’t missed a place in nine starts before tackling Group company when fifth Prussian Vixen 1200m here Feb. 11 and 4.8-length last Silent Sedition 1400m Mannerism Stks here Feb. 25. Promising type who will find this an easier assignment first-up.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 OBERLAND
No11 SUMMER GLEN Held up until final 200m when 1.75-length third Spanish Reef 1600m Flemington Good4 July 8 then just nabbed by Another Bullseye 1600m Sandown Hillside Fillies BM64 Soft5 July 19. Racing well and meets Spanish Reef 2.5kg better here. Extra distance will suit.
No4 SPANISH REEF Her three runs this campaign has been bottlers and she looms as the main threat again. Beat the subsequent Sandown/Flemington winner Lovani 1600m Sandown Hillside Fillies BM70 Soft5 June 28 then lifted to beat Ruby Sea, Summer Glen 1600m Flemington Rivette Final Good4 July 8. Gets 3kg off her back for Brandon Stockdale but still meets Summer Glen worse off.
No5 WINDBERN Rewarded for her consistency with a last-stride win over Snipfit Good3 this trip July 15. Led when 3.6-length fourth Kiwia same trip against the boys previous run July 1. Williams will try to get her to settle off the pace from barrier 2 here. Right at her peak now and should go on with the good work.
No15 SEATTLE PARK Promising type who ran second First Approach 1400m Wangaratta 3Yr Maiden June 6 and beat More Bubbles 1540m Geelong Maiden Good4 June 23 before almost falling at 150m when 1.95-length seventh Windbern over this trip two weeks back. On the improve and only needs luck in running to play a prominent role.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 SUMMER GLEN
No2 O’RACHAEL Tackled Group company in NZ before joining the Waller stable and producing two very promising performances. Not suited by Heavy8 track first-up when 4.8-length seventh Memes 1200m Randwick June 24 then hit the long strongly when 2.5-length fourth Moonlites Choice over this trip Good3 two weeks ago. Should be at her peak for this and drawn to give them a beating.
No5 IF NOT NOW WHEN Placed at three of last five and rates a chance again. Ran on well despite hanging-in when 2.15-length seventh Unique Lovely 1100m here July 1 then peaked on run final 100m when 2.1-length third Moonlites Choice this trip Good3 two weeks ago.
SCRATCHED No7 PERFECT STATUE Scratched from Sandown Wednesday to run here so she must have shown the stable something. Ran home powerfully to win successive starts 1100m and 1000m Geelong Synthetic June-July then gave away too much start when 1.2-length third Mordacious 1000m Geelong Synthetic BM64 July 18. Has ability and looks a nice lightweight chance with Jack Martin’s 3kg claim.
No8 MANDEE Improved by recent racing and at her top for this. Ran home well for 1.25-length second Strategic Spin 1200m Pakenham Synthetic BM64 with 58kg June 25 then half-length second Toorak Playboy same trip 58kg July 9.Will give a good sight again with in-form Damian Lane in the saddle.
VALUE RUNNER: N07 PERFECT STATUE
No3 REVOLVING DOOR Was trapped deep, working throughout, and still reached the lead inside 200m when sitting shot for Nikitas over this trip Good3 with 55kg two weeks ago. Scored first-up 1200m Moonee Valley and pipped on post by My Paisann with 58kg this trip July 1 previous starts. Should get into the box seat from barrier 2 here and deserves a change of fortune. The one to beat.
No8 WAYANKA Raced in worst part of the track when closing 1.9-length fifth Thaad 1600m Flemington with 55.5kg Good4 June 24 then jumped awkwardly and held up at top of straight when fast-finishing 2.25-length fourth Nikitas this trip with 54kg two weeks ago. Meets Nikitas 2.5kg better here and Revolving Door 3.5kg better. Weighted to win and has Williams back on board.
No2 NIKITAS Had a dream run in transit when he got the better of Revolving Door with 54.5kg this trip two weeks ago. Previous form hard to fault and he should go on with the job, especially meeting Revolving Door 1kg better on weights.
No4 HAY BALE Chance on the quick back-up from last week’s tenacious photo win over Tahi down the straight Flemington 1100m with 52.5kg. Goes up in weight and not proven this distance but the way he hit the line last Saturday suggests he will make his presence felt from barrier 5.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 WAYANKA
No2 KEEN ARRAY (BEST ROUGHIE) Having first start since racing in blinkers and close eighth in blanket-finish to Takedown’s 1200m WFA Winterbottom Stakes in Perth Nov. 26. Blinkers come off here and he boasts three wins from as many starts over this course and distance. Shaped pleasingly in a Flemington jump-out two weeks ago and should strip ready for a strong first-up showing.
No7 SUPIDO Bound to be improved by first-up win over Daytona Grey in the 1100m Monash Stakes here two weeks ago. Previous Group form included third to Black Hart Bart 1200m G1 Goodwood Hcp Morphettville and third English, Redzel 1000m Randwick Challenge Stks Heavy10 three runs back March 4. Classy customer on the way up and has to be respected again.
No1 LANKAN RUPEE Former top-flight sprinter returning from injury. Held up in straight when 1.7-length third Our Boy Malachi 1000m G2 Caulfield Sprint at first run for 12 months Oct. 2016 then injured suspensory when fourth Malaguerra 1200m G1 Flemington Darley Classic last November. Has been coming along nicely without being pressured in jump-outs so a strong first-up showing is expected. Discard him at your peril.
No12 ABILITY Is really starting to live up to his name in this campaign since being gelded. Has won three on end, including surging late to beat Husson Eagle 1100m Flemington straight 1100m June 26 and decisive victory over Duke Of Brunswick with 54kg Vic Sprint Series Final 1200m Flemington three weeks back. Disadvantaged under the set-weights here but is a horse on the way up and has to be included in the chances.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 KEEN ARRAY
No16 GALAXY RAIDER If he doesn’t win this, then he’s just a ‘cat’ and shouldn’t be backed again. He’s had so much bad luck in his races but shows tremendous ability and the shape and class of this race would suggest that this should be his “breakthrough”. Hopelessly pocketed until final 50m when surging late for 0.75-length second Spunlago 1400m Bendigo BM70 Soft5 with 59.5kg June 21 then flew home final 100m when 0.75-length second Dulverton 1600m Sandown Lakeside BM78 Soft5 with 55.5kg July 12. Dulverton made the form look good by winning in town last Saturday so here’s hoping.
No11 COSMIC LIGHTS Has three wins and five placings from 13 starts and bound to give a good account of himself again. Unlucky photo-finish third to Coldstone 1600m with 58kg here July 1 then travelled wide when on the quick back-up when game 1.6-length sixth Tshahitsi 1600m Flemington Winter Championship with 54kg Good3 July 8. Freshened since and Williams goes back on here.
No5 PORTION CONTROL Showed the benefit of blinkers last start when he defied all challengers in the run home to beat Show A Star over this trip with 54kg Good3 BM90 two weeks ago. Previous form most consistent and he will give another good account of himself here, despite the weight rise to 58kg.
No15 HARDERN Showed good staying potential in last campaign and returned with eye-catching 2.1-length fifth Orient Line 1400m BM78 with 57kg Good4 July 15. Fitter now and the extra distance is in his favour.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 HARDERN