The “babies” take centre-stage for Saturday’s Caulfield meeting with the running of the Blue Diamond Previews for fillies and also for the colts and geldings. This series of two-year-old races are important lead-up events for the coveted Group One Blue Diamond Stakes, to be run on Feb. 24. Oohood looks the testing material in the Fillies’ division but the wily Peter & Paul Snowden team from Sydney have snuck down a serious contender by boom sire I Am Invincible, in Pure Elation. Run Naan, Long Leaf and Ollivander are all unbeaten going into the Colts division but the Gelagotis team from Moe might have a “smokey” in the unraced Fandral – also by I Am Invincible.
The rail will be out 6-metres for the entire circuit. The Weather Bureau is predicting only a 5% chance of rain so the track is expected to hold up as a Good3 racing surface.
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: R6 – 7. DIAPASON
Next Best Bet: R5 – 5. NOTIO
Best Roughie: R1 – 4. SAYED
No4 SAYED (BEST ROUGHIE) Sterling first-up effort when he sat outside the leader and over-raced early before battling on for 3 length third Jacquinot Bay, The Chairman 1700m Flemington Hcp Jan 13. Previous form included a close second to Auvray 2400m Randwick BM89 under 61kg Aug. 19. The first-up run will have cleaned out his wind for a strong showing over the extra distance here. D. Oliver goes on.
No7 THE CHAIRMAN Made up more ground than anything in the race when second-up 2.75 length second to Jacquinot Bay 1700m Flemington two weeks back. Shaded Sayed on the post and meets him on same weight terms here. Placed behind Stampede 2000m Doomben Chairman’s Hcp Soft7 May 13 and to Kaiser Franz 200m Eagle Farm Premier’s Cup May 27 before spell. Rates highly.
No8 GOLDEN MANE Improved by three solid runs this campaign and bound to make his presence felt again. Held up in straight before spearing through to beat Shoreham, Second Bullet 2000m Flemington 54kg Jan. 1 then chased hard with 51kg when third Pretty Punk same trip two weeks back. Meets Pretty Punk 2kg worse but is on the way up.
No11 NIGHT’S WATCH Had good country cups form before overhauling Guizot 1800m Sandown Hillside BM90 Heavy9 with 52.5kg then never got clear under 54kg when 1.5 length fourth Aeratus 2000m Werribee Cup as odds-on favourite Dec. 10. Chance to make amends here.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 GOLDEN MANE
No3 OLLIVANDER Did a lot wrong by missing the start and laying in on straightening before powering over the top of Anthemoessa and Fake 1100m Super Vobis Plt with 57kg this track Dec. 16. Has had a six-week let-up and will be vastly improved with race experience. Down 2kg for winning and will be finishing hard.
No2 LONG LEAF Showed plenty of gritty determination to haul in the leaders at his first two starts and will take tossing again. Beat La Pimme de Pin 1000m Morphettville with 56.5kg Oct. 28 then held off the fast-finishing Oohood 1000m Listed Merson Cooper Stks Sandown Soft5 with 57kg Nov. 18. Big, stylish colt who will have furnished further during a 10-week break. Only needs moderate improvement to win this.
No7 FANDRAL Unraced I Am Invincible colt who is a half-brother to Vostok whose four wins included his first three starts at Sandown (twice) and Kilmore. Should be even more forward, given his sire’s credentials and should get a nice trail into the race from barrier 5 for Ben Melham.
No1 RUN NAAN Has finished stoutly to win his only two starts and should be further improved coming off an 11-week break. Got cover near the rear of the field then trucked into it nicely to overhaul Encryption in a photo 1000m Flemington G3 Maribyrnong Plate with 57kg Nov. 11. One of the main chances.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 FANDRAL
No4 OOHOOD Promising I Am Invincible filly who put the writing on the wall when she blew the start and charged home for a photo-finish second to Long Leaf 1000m Listed Merson Cooper Stks Sandown Soft5 Nov. 18 with 55kg. Should be vastly improved with race experience and the extra benefit of a 10-week break between runs will deliver a better and stronger filly in this campaign. Hard to toss.
No10 PURE ELATION Another highly-rated filly by I Am Invincible who has been most impressive in recent trials and has been brought south by the formidable Snowden stable from Randwick. Her dam, Members Joy, finished second in this race in 2012 so there’s every chance this filly – by the ‘winningest’ sire in Australia - could go one better here. The Snowden team doesn’t come south for a holiday. So keep watch.
No11 TATIARA Unraced Snitzel filly from the Robbie Lang stable who is perfectly drawn on debut. She is out of the Galileo mare Gallant Tess whose six wins included the Group 2 Chelmsford Stks, Fernhill Hcp and Group 2 STC Breeders Classic. Watch betting.
No3 LADY HORSEOWNER Showed plenty of ticker on debut to narrowly defeat Al Naifa 1000m Moonee Valley Soft 5 with 57kg Dec. 8. Will be better for the run and will also appreciate carrying 2kg less for winning.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 TATIARA
No3 SMART COUPE Has produced two wins and two thirds from only four starts and should figure in the finish again. Won successive starts 1100m Wangaratta 2YO Maiden June 22 and 1200m Sandown Lakeside 2YO fillies Soft6 with 55kg July 5 then returned for third Sam’s Image 1000m Moonee Valley Open 3YO Oct 27 and solid 3 length third in Group 3 Red Roses Stks behind Jordo Flemington Nov. 9. Will appreciate the drop in grade and weight and also fitted for this by recent impressive trial at Werribee.
No2 HOLY SEAL Unlucky to run into Nature Strip when beaten 5.5 length Sandown Hillside 3YO BM70 Jan. 10. Produced wins at Sandown, Mornington and Ballarat from previous four outings and has a chance to bounce back against her own sex here, where she drops 2.5kg.
No1 MAGNESIUM ROSE Racing in great heart with two wins and two placings from only four starts. Fought back determinedly when 1.25 length second Twitchy Frank 1200m 3YO Fillies BM64 Moonee Valley Dec. 15 then proved too good for Teleplay 3YO Fillies BM70 over this trip Jan. 7. Will carry 2kg less for winning and has to be one of the main chances.
No4 LADY MAGNUS Meets Magnesium Rose 1kg better here for 2.45 length fifth to that filly over this trip on Jan. 7. Won her two previous starts over 1000m Terang Dec. 4 and 1100m Werribee Dec. 24 and she could easily bounce back to winning form here.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 SMART COUPE
No5 NOTIO (NEXT BEST BET) Solid first-up effort when he worked home strongly for 2.2 length third Sohool, Runson with 59kg 1300m Sandown Hillside BM70 Good3 Jan. 10. Previous form hard to fault with a second to Up ‘n’ Rolling 1550m Canterbury BM71 Aug 16 and win over Fortensky same trip with 56kg Aug. 30 before a let-up. Extra distance and the benefit of fitness will be in his favour even though he meets Runson on 2kg worse terms here.
No3 EPIC MOMENT Three runs in this campaign have been first-rate and he will be in the finish. Led and battled on strongly for 1.8 length sixth Sheriff John Stone 1200m BM70 here Jan. 7. Has the benefit of Chris Caserta’s 2kg claim.
No7 BELLARIA Has won three of last five races at Werribee, Kyneton and Echuca and will be hitting peak fitness for this.
No4 TOP OF THE RANGE Spelled after strong fourth Group 2 Queensland Guineas 1600m Doomben June 10. Down in class and has won first-up previously.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 TOP OF THE RANGE
No7 DIAPASON (BEST BEST) Jumped awkwardly when 4 length seventh Noire 1400m Warwick Farm F&M BM85 Good3 Dec. 23 then worked home strongly for 3.35 length fourth Sharing similar grade 1400m Soft5 Flemington Jan. 13. Best form on firm going, including high-class second Dulverton 1600m Flemington July 22. Meets Sharing 2.5kg better and Jester Halo on same terms but strips fitter for recent racing.
No5 JESTER HALO Form hard to fault with two wins and three placings last five outings. One of the chances.
No4 SHARING Started $13 chance in beating Jester Halo 1400m Soft5 Flemington two weeks back. Consistent and will figure prominently again.
No1 MAMZELLE TESS Races well here and peaking now after two runs from spell. Strong winner over 1100m here Jan. 7. Extra distance suits.
VALUE RUNNER: N01 MAMZELLE TESS
No4 CAO CAO Raced in the highest class throughout his two-year-old season and should break through soon now that he’s dropped down in grade. First-up sixth 3.3 length to Onehundredpercent 1100m BM70 under 57.5kg then over-raced and wide on turn when 1.3 length fifth Sheriff John Stone 1200m here Jan. 7. Ready to win over this extra distance.
No1 ONEHUNDRED PERCENT Form is hard to fault with wins at Caulfield, Werribee and Echuca from last five starts. Beat Prevailing Winds 1100m BM70 here with 58.5kg Dec. 26 then held up final 200m and just behind the placings when 4.65 length eighth Nature Strip Flemington 1100m Inglis Dash last Saturday. Chance on the back-up.
No5 MR MONEY BAGS Overcame a slow getaway to beat Crystal Spirit 1400m Flemington 3Yr BM70 two weeks ago. Won over 1400m Sandown Hillside two runs earlier and has to be considered over this trip again.
No3 BARBEQUE Wide on turn but did best on line to beat He’s A Given first-up 1350m Wyong BM73 Dec. 21 then over-raced mid-race but got home well for 1.5 length third Aqua Divina 1400m 3Yr BM76 Randwick Jan. 6. Will be running on at the finish.
No3 DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR Was having first run for eight weeks and peaked on run final 100m when game third Burning Front, Chamois Road 1400m Listed Chester Manifold Stks Flemington Soft5 two weeks ago. Won his previous four starts at Morphetville (twice), Flemington and Sandown. Improved by the last run and should be back to his best for this. Hard to beat.
No2 TSHAHITSI Had an imposing record in Tasmania before heading to Victoria to win three of last five starts, including victory over Amavatio and Sovereign Nation 1600m Flemington Winter Championship Final July 8. Handy throughout and held on strongly for solid first-up 2 length fourth Lord Of The Sky 1200m Group 3 Standish Hcp Flemington Jan. 1. Will have derived great benefit from that hit-out and the extra 200m in his favour.
No1 SEABURGE Has been racing against some of the best horses in the land so he will appreciate easier company here. Worked home gamely for 2.3 length fifth Tosen Stardom 1600m Group 1 Toorak Hcp here Oct. 14 then outclassed when seventh of eight behind Winx 2040m Group 1 Cox Plate Moonee Valley Oct. 28. Has to be respected first-up.
No7 CHAMOIS ROAD Model of consistency who is capable of upsetting the favourites here. Beaten 2.75 length when fighting third Lord of the Sky, Flippant 1200m Group 3 Standish Hcp Flemington Jan. 1 then chased tenaciously when length second Burning Front 1400m Listed Manifold Stks Soft5 there on two weeks back. Meets Dollar For Dollar 0.5kg worse for a head margin. Has to be considered.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 CHAMOIS ROAD
No6 WIDGEE TURF Has the makings of a Group horse and will likely stretch his winning record to four straight here. Stalked leaders before sprinting clear final 200m for easy 2.5 length win with 57.5kg over Amadeus 1500m Moonee Valley BM84 Good3 Dec. 23 then had to call on all his fighting qualities under 60kg to stave off Royal Ace 1600m BM84 this track Jan. 7. Drops 7kg with Talia Hope’s 3kg claim and this looks an ideal open company debut for him. The one to beat.
No4 MORTON’S FORK Won Group 2 3YO Sandown Guineas last season but has struggled to win since. Went wide on turn second-up when grinding neck second Nancy under 53kg 1400m Warwick Farm Hcp Dec. 23 then finished hard to get within half-length of Dreamforce with 54kg 1600m Randwick Mile Jan. 13. Goes up 3.5kg here and won’t necessarily find the company any easier. Craig Williams has the job of guiding him back to the winners’ stall.
No2 JACQUINOT BAY Grand old campaigner who strung together six placings from seven starts before being rewarded for his consistency when given his own way in front and never in danger in beating The Chairman and Sayed 1700m Flemington Jan. 13. Rises 3kg for that win but always has to be respected.
No10 SOHOOL Racing in great heart with wins over Runson 1300m Sandown Hillside BM70 with 56.5kg and Aurum Spirit 1600m Flemington BM70 with 59kg Jan. 20. Facing tougher company here but drops 6.5kg with Jordan Turner’s claim and must be included in novelty bets.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 SOHOOL