Racing returns to Caulfield for the Boxing Day meeting. Looks a most competitive affair with some deep races and not too many stand outs. Punters will have to work to collect a cheque.
Racing will be perfect with a Good 3 predicted and the rail will be at the six-metre position.
We last raced at Caulfield on December 16, but there was a substantial break before that so the track is fresh. The weather should be fine and warm.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 5,13 – 2,4 – 2,4 – 7,11
Wide Play: 5,12,13 – 1,2,4,5 – 1,2,4,5 – 5,7,11
BEST BET: R5 – 13. BELLA MARTINI
Next Best Bet: R6 – 2. PAYROLL
Best Roughie: R8 – 5. DANE THUNDER
No5 HUNAMOSA ran a great second to Parallel World over 1600m at Pakenham on December 9. With the experienced apprentice Chris Caserta to ride gets the benefit of his 3kg claim reducing his weight to 53kg and he has a fabulous draw in gate six. Expect strong support at $4 in early betting.
No4 HOT RUBY kept on chipping away right to the line and was a fair effort when finishing sixth over 1600m on the synthetic at Pakenham on December 3. Likes this track with a win and a third at five starts and is suited from barrier two and gets the ace rider Craig Williams as his pilot. Plenty to like.
No6 NETHERFIELD has been flying this campaign with a second and a win at two starts this far. Latest burst through for a strong win over1600m at Werribee on December 10. That was a great effort and gets a massive 5kg weight drop to 55kg today so looks to be most competitive.
No2 ANDREA MANTEGNA is rock hard solid and will be right in the mix. Latest gave another fighting effort to sixth over 1500m at Bendigo on December 17. Had no luck when trapped four and five deep for most of the trip. Gets a superior draw in gate three today and has talented rider John Allen to ride again.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 HOT RUBY
No3 MY PSYCHIARTRIST has plenty of speed and gets the draw to suit in gate five. Ran a great second over 2420m here last start on December 16. Has Damien Oliver replacing a 1.5kg claiming apprentice and will carry 56.5kg. The five-year-old mare likes the dry and she gets that here.
No5 CASTA is a most sturdy customer and looks to be right in the mix here on his last-start second over 2000m at Pakenham on December 9. Carried 55kg and was backed into a $4.60 favourite that time. Dwayne Dunn replaces Luke Currie today, but he carries the same weight. Good chance.
No4 SERENADE THE STARS will sport a tongue-tie which is a crucial gear change after his shock last of 12 over 2420m here on December 16. Suggest he swallowed his tongue as he was heavily backed into a $4.40 favourite so the stable was confident of success. Craig Williams rides.
No8 MY NIKITA had a few excuses when losing ground early and finish well enough to run a solid third over 2040m at Moonee Valley on December 15. With experienced apprentice Zac Spain’s 2kg she gets in this with no weight on a mere 52kg. That is 3kg less than she carried at the Valley. Each-way chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 SERENADE THE STARS
No5 RISING HOPE scored a brilliant win over 1600m at Bendigo on December 17. The five-year-old mare carried 58.5kg when she was backed into a $5.50 favourite. She will carry 57.5kg today with the aid of apprentice Ethan Brown’s 2kg claim. She is against her own sex and at her favourite distance.
No12 SO SPLENDID was a smart winner at Warwick Farm five starts ago. Latest she ran a solid eighth over 1600m at Moonee Valley on December 15. She gets a change of rider with Damien Oliver taking the reins and will carry 58kg, which is 1.5kg more because of the lower grade here. Keep safe.
No13 WINKELMANN ran a great third over 1600m at Moonee Valley on December 15 for top jockey Damian Lane. She gets new rider Stephen Baster to guide today and she is at her favourite distance. She was backed into a $4.40 favourite last time and won’t be too flashy at the odds here. Respect.
No8 ADDISON might have run tenth but she was only 2 lengths from the winner over 1300m at Bendigo on December 6. That was her first start for 31 weeks and would expect her to strip much sharper for this contest. She had won at her only two other starts and has top rider Regan Bayliss to guide.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 ADDISON
No1 CAO CAO has been gelded since he was last in work. The son of top sire Fastnet Rock won at Moonee Valley last campaign over 1000m. He gets experienced 3kg claiming apprentice Chris Caserta to reduce his weight down to 57.5kg first up today. Has been placed twice at three starts fresh.
No2 PREVAILING WINDS posted his second career win at seven starts over 1200m at Mornington on December 13. He was heavily backed into a $1.90 that day. He has an excellent draw in five and with Damian Lane and trainer Darren Weir combining will be a strong force at his return to this circuit.
No13 SEE ME EXCEED is a stablemate to Cao Cao and started her career on the highest note with a win at Bairnsdale over 1000m back in August. Has not been seen since but she was backed from $8 into $6.50 that time. She gets ace jockey Dwayne Dunn to ride from a wide gate in 13.
No4 ONEHUNDRED PERCENT has the winkers coming off and the blinkers going on. Has set a smart record of two wins and a third at three starts. Latest scored a 1.5 length win over 1200m at Werribee on December 10. Damien Oliver rides today and has a nice alley in gate six.
VALUE RUNNER: No13 SEE ME EXCEED
No13 BELLA MARTINI (BEST BET) looks hard to go past here racing against her own sex. She swept to an outstanding win over 1200m against fillies at Moonee Valley on December 8. Was at good odds that day at $4.20 and cleared out to win by 2.25 lengths. That was her second win in three starts. She gets top jockey Luke Currie to ride again and she drops 2.5kg down to 57kg. Has missed a place once in five starts,
No15 PONTE ROMA gets Craig Williams and drops 1.5kg to 57kg on her last start tenth at Moonee Valley.
*SCRATCHED* No5 SHARING was held up and had no luck in running at the Valley last start. Can go well here.
No1 OUR SEVIRA was specked at $41 into $31 last time at The Valley and got the chocolates well.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 PONTE ROMA
No2 PAYROLL (NEXT BEST BET) showed plenty of courage to score a narrow win in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m) at Sandown back on November 18. Damien Oliver is back on board and has been placed twice at three starts at this track. She has drawn perfectly in gate three and will be on the speed today. Looks one of the better bets on this card and is a proven performer at stakes level.
No1 MASTER OF ARTS ran third in the Adelaide Cup and is a proven performer in this class. Respect.
No4 MASTER RESET blew away the opposition at Pakenham last start at long odds and is a chance to repeat.
No7 COLDSTONE gets a nice weight drop of a kilo here and has been consistent over the metric mile.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 COLDSTONE
No2 THERMAL CURRENT has been knocking on the door and with Damian Lane joining Darren Weir here makes strong appeal. Is on the quick back up after running a good third over 1100m here on December 16. Drops a kilo to 57kg and looks ideally suited in this class.
No4 MERRIEST is resuming from a nine-week spell but always goes well fresh. She ran a solid sixth to Global Glamour in the Group 2 Tristarc (1400m) here on October 21 at her last start. She loves this track with a record of three wins from seven starts. Barrier 11 is a draw back as she will have to cross.
No5 OAK DOOR has the blinkers going back on for the start of her new campaign. Showed she was on tune for this with a smart win over 800m in a trial at Colac on December 18. The experienced Patrick Maloney rides for the astute Robert Smerdon and she is drawn perfectly in gate five.
No7 LUCKY LIBERTY was not pushed when running a steady second in an 800m trial at Colac on December 18. He has an excellent first-up record of a win and a third at three starts. Has drawn ideally in gate six and gets the talented Beau Mertens to steer. Has plenty to like.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 LUCKY LIBERTY
No11 BORD DE GAIN faces a wide open affair here. Ran a solid eighth over 1400m at Flemington when specked from $16 into $14 last start on November 9. Top jockey Damian Lane is the new rider today and the four-year-old loves this distance with a tally of two starts for a win and a third.
No7 WILDE GEM had to dig deep to score a narrow win over 1000m at Pakenham on November 16. He has a good first-up record of two starts for a win and has won at three of his five starts. There is plenty of upside and with Ethan Brown’s 2kg claim will drop to 59kg here. Gate 12 is a hindrance.
No14 TERINDAH was chasing hard to finish third over 1100m at Werribee on December 10. Expect him to be improved second-up and he has the record too with two starts for a win and a second. He gets the 3kg claim of Martin Aitken to drop his weight down to 56kg but the barrier hurts in 16.
No5 DANE THUNDER (BEST ROUGHIE) with Stephanie Thornton’s 3kg claim he gets in with a nice weight on 58kg. He is resuming from a 20-week spell, but has an excellent record fresh of four starts for a win and two seconds. He has the perfect draw to do no work in gate one and loves the dry tracks. Looms as value.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 DANE THUNDER