Racing returns to Caulfield today on a nine-race card where the winners do not stand out. The fields appear to be quite competitive on paper, with plenty depth in talent in the three-year-old race ((Race 7).
The return of former Western Australian mare Cool Passion in the ninth race will be eagerly anticipated after her great spring campaign in Melbourne.
Trainer Tony McEvoy is sure to have the polish on the six-year-old who has built a formidable record of nine wins and seven placings at her 20 starts. The daughter of Not A Single Doubt gets top jockey Regan Bayliss to guide her from gate seven on the comeback to a campaign at more feature race glory in the autumn with Adelaide’s premier campaign due to kick off later this month.
Handsome Thief (Race 8) makes great appeal with apprentice Ethan brown’s 2kg claim reducing his handicap to a more comfortable 57.5kg – after he carried 57kg to a brilliant win over 1200m here on March 31.
The weather is forecast to be fine so the track rating should remain as a Good 3. The false rail will be moved out to nine metres.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 1,2 – 6,17 – 1, 12 - 1
Wide Play: 1,2,4,7 – 6,10,17 – 1,12 – 1,6,8
Best Bet: R9 – 1. Cool Passion
Best Roughie: R5 – 12. Maheera
No1 Heart Conquered Scored an excellent win over 1000m at Morphettville when backed into a $3.20 favourite three weeks ago. The Hawkes’ trained colt goes up 2kg to 59kg for the win and gets Melbourne rider Patrick Maloney replacing Adelaide hoop Todd Pannell. Good chance.
No2 Virtual Insanity drops sharply in class on last start 11th in the group 3 Pago Pago (1200m) at Rosehill on March 17. The son of Sebring showed good pace to run third down the straight 1000m at Flemington at his debut on March 3. Looms as the big danger.
No10 Sizzleme drops 1.5kg to the limit on 54.5kg on his last start 11th over 1000m in the Gold Rush (1100m) at Bendigo on April 7. Suffered bad interference and would draw a line through the start and go on prior effort when a good fifth here over 1100m on December 16 at debut.
No7 Star Fall hails from one of the State’s top juvenile yards and showed pace when finishing a close second over 800m in a trial at Cranbourne on March 19. Has had plenty of time to improve further and with Ciaron Maher back training after an enforced holiday from the stewards would keep tabs on.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 Star Fall
No7 Amortentia was given a three-week freshen up since scored a brilliant 1400m against her own sex over 1400m at Sandown on March 21. That was the four-year-old mare’s second win at her past three starts. Ben Allen replaces Luke Currie and she only goes up a half kilo to 56.5kg. Strong claims.
SCRATCHED - No6 Cosmic Lights was given a soft trial when finishing sixth over 1000m at Morphettville on March 22. He gets top jockey Regan Bayliss to steer from barrier four and has the excellent record of three wins at five starts when fresh. Looks reasonably weighted on 57kg here.
No8 Simply Invincible has netted two wins from past four starts. Battled on well enough to run ninth over 1400m at Flemington on March 10. Has a good alley in barrier one and with Ben Thompson to ride on 56.5kg. Should box seat and from there will gets his chance.
No10 Dinner Lake comes here with a brilliant win over 1300m at Sandown on April 2. Had to dig deep to clinch a narrow win last start when backed from $9 into $7. Gets a big drop in weight from last start of 4.5kg to 55kg here. The Group 1-winning Jordan Childs retains the mount.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 Dinner Lake
No1 Palazzo Vecchio has been racing in a high grade without much luck and gets her chance for an overdue win. She was held up at a critical stage before finishing fifth in the Group 3 Alexandra (1600m) at Moonee Valley on March 23. She was the hot $2.80 favourite that night. Strong showing expected.
SCRATCHED - No11 Sheezdashing lost her balance when climbing the heels of a forward runner, before balancing up and finishing strongly to run fourth in the Mornington Guineas (1600m) on March 24. That was her first test this campaign and she did run well at stakes level last spring in Melbourne.
No2 SAVACOOL capped her last campaign with a strong win at Randwick on New Year’s Day. She resumed from a spell with a strong second against her own sex over 1400m at Rosehill on April 2. She has a good second-up record and hails from a top Sydney stable. Would pay to respect at her first Melbourne run.
No3 Truly Discreet She showed plenty of courage to chase hard all the way down the straight and finish third in the Bendigo Guineas last Saturday. Gets in with a nice weight with the aid of Fred Kersley's 2kg claim carrying 54kg. Must rate.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Savacool
No12 Top Of The Range hails from the in-form stable of Mike Moroney and scored an outstanding 2.5 length win over 1600m here three starts ago. Suffered a bad check as was about to unleash finish when a $2.80 favourite and eighth over 1800m here on March 31. Give another chance.
No1 Magic Consul gets some weight relief with the 3kg claim of apprentice Tahlia Hope down to 57kg. Ran hard when narrowly beaten in a tight finish over 1800m here on March 31. The eight-year-old carried 57kg that day and from barrier one should get a soft run in transit.
SCRATCHED - No15 My Paisann has won and been placed third at two starts this track. Clawed to a narrow win last time here over 1400m last July. Last start was second-up when running a closing fifth over 1400m at Bendigo last Saturday. He is on the quick back up, but has no weight on 51kg with the 3kg claim.
No9 Tiamo Grace drops in class on last-start fourth over 1600m in the Sunline Stakes at Moonee Valley on March 23. She only goes up a half-kilo to 57.5kg and she gets top heavyweight rider Brad Rawiller to steer. From barrier five she should get favours.
VALUE RUNNER: No15 My Paisann
No2 Han Xin has an excellent record of two wins and two placings at six starts. Latest he ran home strongly to coast to a 4.75 length win over 2000m here on March 31. That was his first start at this track and he goes up 2kg to 57kg. Regan Bayliss replaces Damian Lane and strikes similar rivals to last start here.
No12 Maheera (BEST ROUGHIE) had been building up to a win with a series of placings before smashing rivals by 2.5 lengths in a 2200m maiden at Ballarat on April 3. He does have a wide alley to combat in 12 but he does drop 2kg to 54kg on the limit today. He is stakes placed over a similar trop and respect.
No1 Wolfendale is a stablemate to Maheera and he did run a great second in the Tasmanian Derby (2200m) in February two starts ago. Last start he ran a luckless 14th to Han Xin over 2000m here on March 31. With Brad Rawiller the new rider and down a kilo to 57kg comes into the frame here.
No3 Wolfe Tone has the visors replacing the blinkers for the first time. Last start ran an excellent second when narrowly beaten by Arkamun over 2000m at Pakenham on April 5. He is on a quick back up but he does drop 2kg to 56kg for this assignment.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 Maheera
No1 Spectroscope has been performing at the top level in Sydney and drops in grade today. Latest he ran a good ninth in the Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill on March 31. He had a chequered path down the home stretch and will be fully wound up for this encounter. Good chance.
No2 Berisha tended to over-race for the first half of the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) here on March 31. He was a smart winner over 1950m at his prior start at Yarra Valley on March 18 and with winning jockey Jamie Mott back in the saddle must be respected.
No7 Velox dug deep to post a .75 length win over 2000m at Mornington on March 24. He carried 54kg that day aided by the claim of Lachlan King. Senior rider Jye McNeil rides today on 54.4kg and he gets his chance to break the four duck eggs at this track.
No4 Golden Mane with former Perth apprentice Fred Kersley’s 2kg claim will carry no weight on 53.5kg today. Was a fighting Flemington winner over 2000m five starts ago and continues to be consistent without winning since. Rates as one of the better chances.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 Golden Mane
No17 Naantali faces some smart three-year-olds in a most competitive race. Was a brilliant maiden winner at Cranbourne before was raised in class to finish a good second over 1400m here back in October. Was put away and resumes here from a 25-week spell. Unblemished record fresh.
SCRATCHED - No3 Bravo Tango Miss his first placing from five starts when running eighth over 1200m in Group 3 Manfred (1200m) here on February 3. The colt had won impressively at Donald and Geelong prior to that and he races with the crossover noseband removed for the first time today.
No5 Regimen ran a solid second in the Listed Moomba Plate (1200m) at Flemington two starts ago on March 10. Last start she was backed into the $4.60 favourite when a luckless fourth over 1100m against her own age and sex here on March 31. With the 2kg claim of Ethan brown carries 54.5kg.
No6 William Thomas has won twice and been placed third at his sole other start. Comes into the race following an easy win over 1000m at Sandown on April 2. He carried 56.5kg that day and drops a half-kilo here. Luke Nolen replaces Damian Lane, who is in Sydney for the Championships.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 Regimen
SCRATCHED - No2 Handsome Thief (BEST BET) makes strong play here on his last-start win over 1200m here on March 31. He was plunged into a red hot $2.40 favourite and coasted to a 2.75 length victory with 57kg on his back. He jumps to 59.5kg today, but Ethan Brown’s 2kg claim reduces his carrying weight to 57.5kg. He is ideally drawn in gate one and has yet to miss a pacing at this track at four starts.
No15 I Boogi has a great record fresh of two wins and two seconds, but gate 15 hurts his claims.
No12 Brahmos chasing a hat-trick following smart wins at Mornington and Pakenham. Respect.
No1 Milwaukee kicked off campaign on a high at Flemington and ran a top second here last start.
VALUE RUNNER: No12 Brahmos
No1 Cool Passion (BEST BET) showed her class last campaign when she split Global Glamour and Shillelagh in the Group 2 Tristarc (1400m) here on October 21. The former Perth mare won the Group 3 Northwood Plume and ran second in the HKJC Stakes (1400m) at Flemington last spring. She has a rock solid first-up record and she looked good at a recent jump out. She gets top rider Regan Bayliss to partner against her own sex fresh.
No2 Lady Esprit did not have much luck last start and is fresh off a three-week break.
No15 Working From Home comes here off a brilliant win over 1200m at Moonee Valley on March 16.
No8 Typhoon Jolie was an outstanding 2-length winner over 1000m at Mornington last start on March 24. Has no weight on 52kg with the 2kg claim.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 Lady Esprit