Racing is back at Caulfield for the first time in 2018. Unfortunately the hot weather saw the meeting transferred from Saturday to Sunday where the day is anticipated to be far milder with a top temperature of 38C forecast for Saturday.
A major heat-wave is sweeping most of the east coast of Australia and meeting from South Australia through to New South Wales have been affected. Racing was last here on Boxing Day where the false rail was shifted to the six metre position. Today the rail is back on the inside.
Hopefully the cool change comes and the day is pleasant for all with a full card of nine action-packed races. The track is rated perfectly as a Good 4.
No5 ADDISON (BEST BET) has been cutting a dashing figure to string together three wins from her only four starts. Rebounded from an unplaced run in style with a brilliant win over Winkleman over 1600m here against her own sex on Boxing Day. She is back again here and she drops 1.5kg to 57kg and keeps top jockey Regan Bayliss. Looks set to post another good win from barrier nine.
No4 HEAVENLY DESCENT was plunged but went down narrowly last start at Moonee Valley against her own sex.
No2 ROYAL APPLAUSE has been in outstanding form chasing a fourth straight win today.
No6 BONUS D’ORO has endured a long campaign but continues to be most reliable and would consider.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 ROYAL APPLAUSE
No5 ANDREA MANTEGNA looks overdue for a win with four placings from past five starts. Latest the stallion ran a solid second over 1800m here on December 26. He gets top stable jockey John Allen to ride and carries the same weight on 59kg today. Serious player.
No3 PORTION CONTROL struck some smart types and ran well to finish fourth over 1700m here on December 16. Is resuming from a three-week break and jumps 3kg to 60kg for the downgrade in class here. Mark Zahra is to ride again and has a nice alley in gate six.
No9 FONTEIN LAD has been thereabouts and looms with claims on his last-start fourth as a $4.60 favourite over 2000m at Pakenham on December 9. Gets regular rider Nikita Beriman to ride on 56.5kg, which is a half-kilo less than he carried last time. Nice alley in gate two will assist.
No8 ANGELUCCI won two at Gawler before coming to Caulfield and repeating the dose with a brilliant win over 1700m here on December 16. Adelaide trainer Lloyd Kennewell has booked apprentice Chris Caserta and his 3kg claim reduces his weight down to the limit on 54kg. Good chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 ANGELUCCI
No6 MAGNESIUM ROSE has run two great races at Moonee Valley. Latest she fought hard for the length of the straight to run third over 1200m on December 15 against her own age and sex. She was backed into a $4.40 favourite that time. Drops 1.5kg to 58.5kg today and is again racing against her own age and sex.
No5 LUCKY CAT was flying home when nailed Cinq Dames by a whisker over 1100m maiden for fillies at Bendigo on December 17. Gets Melbourne’s top jockey Damian Lane to guide and is from top trainer Darren Weir’s stable. Has drawn ideally in five to repeat.
No2 AEECEE TONG DE was a brilliant maiden winner over 1100m at Canterbury two starts ago. The Waterhouse-Bott-trained filly was imposing at her Victorian debut when running a close second over 1200m against her own age and sex at Moonee Valley on December 23. Strong chance.
No4 TELEPLAY made a grand debut to claw to a narrow win over 1100m at Kilmore in November before finishing a fighting third in a three-way photo over 1200m at Moonee Valley on December 23. She has again drawn on the inside in gate three and has the in-form Michael Dee.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 TELEPLAY
No13 KEEN (NEXT BEST BET) was super impressive at debut when the son of Teofilo blasted his rivals with a jet propelled run streaking away by 4.25 lengths over 1400m maiden at Cranbourne on December 22. Hails from a very astute stable and will wear a lugging bit for the first time today. The in-form Stephen Baster rides and carries 58kg again and has the perfect alley in gate four to repeat.
No5 LA VOLT was plunged in betting and narrowly missed pulling it off at Moonee Valley.
No2 ECLAIR CALLING has been an imposing winner at Gawler at his past two starts and only has raced three times.
*SCRATCHED* No9 BELLARIA ran well but was a beaten favourite at Werribee last start. Won at Kyneton prior start.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 ECLAIR CALLING
No7 INVISIBLE GIRL has been a model of consistency and looms as a strong chance in an open race. She ran a great second over 1000m at Morphettville on December 16 to earn her stripes. Group 1 combination of trainer Lloyd Kennewell and Joe Bowditch combine with this mare today.
No1 TYKIATO was given a three-week respite after running a gutsy second over 1100m here against her own sex on December 16. She is back and gets Damien Oliver as her new partner and has a superior draw in gate seven compared to 10 last time. She looks solid each-way value here.
No10 IF NOT NOW WHEN was racing second-up when finishing 10th over 1000m at Sandown against her own age and sex on December 30. She is on the quick back up today but she drops 2kg to the limit on 54kg and gets the talented Beau Mertens to guide here from gate nine.
No2 BRUGAL REWARD scored a strong win at Ballarat two starts ago in November. Last start she ran a close fourth to Creativity over 1100m here on December 16. She has been kept fresh for this challenge and has senior stable rider John Allen replacing a 3kg apprentice today.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 BRUGAL REWARD
No2 WIDGEE TURF has been in blistering form with two straight wins in the city. Latest he was plunged into a $2.25 favourite before powering to a 2.5 length win over Amadeus over 1500m at Moonee Valley on December 23. Does jump 2.5kg to 60kg today, but has been impressive.
No8 MILES OF KRISHAN ran a strong third to Royal Applause over 1600m against her own sex at Moonee Valley on December 23. The winkers are coming off and the one-eyed blinker is going on for this encounter. She gets No. 1 stable rider Regan Bayliss replacing a 3kg apprentice here.
No5 ROYAL ACE chased along steadily to finish fourth to Widgee Turf over 1500m at Moonee Valley on December 23. Stable jockey John Allen rides again and is well drawn in gate two and carries the same weight on 56.5kg today. Loves this distance and is worthy of thought.
No3 ORIENT LINE (BEST ROUGHIE) was steady in the betting at $13 when he strode away to a smart win over 1600m at Sandown on December 30. He won by .75 lengths that day and will carry a half-kilo less today on 59.5kg. The talented Beau Mertens rides and he is slightly better drawn in gate seven.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 ORIENT LINE
No10 CAO CAO has the blinkers going on for the first time so expect improvement on last-start sixth over 1100m here on December 26. He eased out to $16 before being backed into $12 and senior rider Mark Zahra replaces a 3kg apprentice today. He is weighted on 58kg – a half-kilo more.
No3 EPIC MOMENT showed tremendous dash from the front to post and all-the-way win over 1200m at Mornington on December 27. He raced away to win by 3.5 lengths and Michael Dee again rides. The handicapper has penalized him 2kg with his weight up to 60.5kg today.
No11 PREVAILING WINDS was very easy in the market before running home to finish a good second over 1100m here on December 26. He carried 59kg that day and he drops to 57.5kg here and ace jockey Damian Lane keeps the ride. Should continue his good vein of form.
No15 CRYSTAL SPIRIT has been super reliable finishing in the top four positions at past five starts. Latest ran a close fourth to Bel Sonic over 1200m at Moonee Valley on December 23. The three-year-old was backed into a $4 favourite that day and carries only 51kg with the 3kg claim of the apprentice.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 CAO CAO
No16 THE AVENGER hails from the top Sydney stable of Chris Waller and has won twice and been placed twice at his six starts. He ran a solid fourth over 1500m at Rosehill at his last start on December 9. Waller has booked leading Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver to guide at his Caulfield debut.
No2 KING’S COMMAND has not finished further back than fifth at past five starts, but has not won either. Latest he ran a close third in a tight finish over 1200m at Moonee Valley on December 23. Apprentice Liam Riordan’s 3kg claim reduces his impost to a more comfortable 57kg here.
No9 DATA POINT was very easy in the betting drifting from $7 to $12 into $10 before finishing 11th over 1200m at Moonee Valley on December 23. Had no luck in running that occasion when held up from the 250m to the 50m. So the gelding had plenty of excuses and look to a forward showing here.
No10 I BOOGI has won at two of the past three of his city starts. Latest he strode to a .8 length win over 1200m at Moonee Valley on December 1. He carried 59.5kg that time and drops to 58kg here with ace rider Damian Lane replacing Jordan Childs to help him negotiate gate 16.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 I BOOGI
*SCRATCHED* No7 KEN’S DREAM had no luck when trapped deep for most of the journey before finishing fifth to Murphy’s Reward over 1000m at Moonee Valley on December 23. Looks much better suited here where he has an excellent record of a win and a second at three attempts. Lots to like.
No3 NASDEX kicked off the campaign on a high with a 1000m win at Pakenham first-up from a long spell. Second-up he ran a close third to Murphy’s Reward in a ding-dong finish over 1000m at Moonee Valley on December 23. Goes very well at his third start from a spell too.
No6 REVOLVING DOOR is returning to the track from a 15-week spell. Last start ran 10th over 1400m here back in September. Prior start at this track ran a strong second to Nikitas over 1400m in July. Has a solid enough first-up record and with Mark Zahra and barrier one should keep in sound mind.
No12 HANDSOME THIEF won two on end last campaign before being spelled. Was second-up when swept away to a breezing 2.2 length win over 1250m at Morphettville back in September. Has an excellent record of four wins and two placings at seven starts and is from the top yard of Darren Weir.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 HANDSOME THIEF