FOUR Group 1's in store at Caulfield this Saturday where the $1 million Caulfield Guineas takes centre stage for the three-year-olds.
The girls do battle in the Schweppes Thousand Guineas for a half-million dollars and Australia's top milers face off in the Group 1 Tookrak Handicap.
A key lead-up to the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup is the $400,000 Caulfield Stakes where the likes of Fawkner, Pornichet and current Cox Plate favourite Kermadec will all line up.
A great day of racing and Sportsbet.com.au have two great offers available.
Place a fixed odds win or each way bet on the first four races and if your runner finished 2nd, 3rd or 4th, Sportsbet will refund your bet up to $100.
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Race 1 – Inglis Debutante Stakes (1000m)
John Moloney lines up Flying Jess with his son Patrick Moloney in the saddle. The Hinchinbrook filly won a recent trial and even though it has drawn wide in barrier 10, the punters haven't been put off. The two-year-old opened at $3.50 and has since dropped to $3.30. It gets a weight advantage of 55kg, so expect it to roll forward and try find a position near the lead.
Thar should be respected given the stable it comes out of. The Exceed And Excel colt comes out of the Godolphin stables and they should always be respected on debut. It finished second in a trial, but O'Shea rarely pushes his horses in trials and the gun jockey Hugh Bowman has been engaged to ride. Barrier three suits and it has come in for specking in the market. It opened at $4.40 and currently stands as a $4 chance.
Pearl Congenial has been the best backed runner at an each way price. The Robert Smerdon debutante opened at $8.50 and has since been smashed into $5.50. It has had two trials for a win and a placing, and the addition of Craig Williams in the saddle caught punters attention. If the money keeps coming it might pay to add it to your selections, but we're expecting that price to drift back out a touch.
Best bet: Thar to win ($4) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 2 – Mitsubishi Electric Schillaci Stakes (1100m)
The Tony McEvoy-trained Shiraz couldn't maintain its picket fence formline was start, but the third behind Rebel Dane is to be respected. The six-year-old had previously strung four straight wins together and took its overall record to 10 wins from 16 starts. Some rain about would help its chances, but it's a runner chance against this quality field. $5 available after opening at $6.50.
Lankan Rupee is the star sprinter of the field and punters will be including it in most of their multi-bets. The Mick Price-trained champion opened at $1.30, came into $1.28, but has since drifted back out to its opening price. The 11-time winner has plenty of experience at Caulfield and although it failed to fire when ninth in the Group 1 T.J Smith, it should open its account with a classy victory here.
Alpha Miss has been off the scene since September last year, but it has prepared with a trial and it has attracted some attention from punters. The Robert Smerdon-trained mare failed to win a race last preparation, but it did finish second behind Winx in the Group 2 Furious Stakes at Randwick. This race might be beyond its reach, but respect the $8 available with bookmakers.
Race 3 – Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m)
Secret Agenda is a promising three-year-old filly which is coming off a last start group placing. The Mick Price-trained runner beat the talented Spieth two back at Sandown, but its best win came on debut at Moonee Valley where it defeated recent winner Haybah by 3.5 lengths. Drawing barrier 11 won't suit its running style, but the $4 available looks like good value.
Last start winner Harlem River has been the best backed runner of the field. The Gai Waterhouse-trained sprinter opened at $4 and has since been backed into $3.60 on the back of a last start win at the Gold Coast. The well-bred daughter of Fastnet Rock was twice placed at listed level to kick off its career and its one-length win last start looked special. It also won both trials to prepare for this so treat with respect.
Serenade has been knocking on the door of a major win and this level of racing is within its reach. The Michael Moroney-trained filly finished seventh in the Group 1 Golden Slipper where it ran on strongly and it hasn't been too far away in three runs since. Glen Boss rides at 55kg which brings it right into contention. It opened at $11, dropped to $8.50, but has since drifted to $10.
Race 4 – Perri Cutten Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m)
The Bowler looks a good each way bet after two runs this campaign. The Robert Smerdon-trained gelding finished sixth in both runs and it ran on well behind Fell Swoop over an unsuited distance last time out at Caulfield. The worry is that it has placed only once in six attempts on this track, but it ended last campaign with a Group 3 win and it should start improving again. $4 is available with most bookmakers.
Tristram's Sun flew home for fourth last time out at Caulfield and it usually runs well second up. The seven-year-old hasn't won for awhile now, but Craig Williams rides at 54kg and the extra distance to 1400 metres will suit perfectly. It ran at odds of $101 last start, but only $6 is available here after opening at $6.50.
Good Value is just that after winning on this track last start. The ageing nine-year-old puts in its best efforts at Caulfield, having won and placed twice from five starts. It was too good for a similar field last time out and it has finished out of the money only once in 11 attempts at this distance. It has drifted out to $7.50 after opening at $7, which represents good value.
Best bet: The Bowler to win ($4) at Bet365.com
Race 5 – Best Bets Herbert Power Stakes (2400m)
Amralah was well backed to win the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes last Sunday and it has been met with support again here. The Robert Hickmott-trained horse has had four runs in Australia now for one win – coming at Morphettville by three lengths, and it looks a natural improver over more distance. It has won and placed over 2400 metres and this will be a good guide to its Caulfield Cup chances later this month. Currently $3.20 with bookmakers.
Bohemian Lily has been well backed after finishing off well behind Amelie's Star last start. The Gai Waterhouse-trained mare has needed all three runs to prepare this preparation and drawing the inside barrier with a light weight has significantly increase its chances of winning. This distance is ideal and after opening at $5, it has now firmed into clear second favouritism at $4.20.
The career of Ethiopia was all but over a few runs back, but after finishing third last time out, the confidence in the Pat Carey camp is high. The seven-year-old is a dead-set stayer, having won only once from 22 starts, but its best runs have come at this distance and it could cause the upset. Ideally, the son of Helenus would race over 6400 metres, but it has obviously shown a lack of jumping talent so it sticks to the flat. It will get back in the run and try work home. $26 available.
Race 6 – Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m)
Fawkner has been superb in two runs this campaign, winning the Group 1 Makybe Diva and finishing second behind Mourinho last start in the Group 1 Underwood. The eight-year-old hasn't finished worse than second in four starts at Caulfield and it looks well placed against this opposition. There is some concern about being worn down after two testing runs, but stick with it at an each way price of $4.50.
Kermadec is the current 2015 Cox Plate favourite after winning the Group 1 George Main and the extra distance here should suit. Whether or not trainer Chris Waller wants the four-year-old to be peaking for this run is the big concern, but it has been well backed in the market and many punters will have multi-bets running through it. There is currently $2.90 available, but that's slightly too short for our liking. Look for a price around $3.40 on the day.
Criterion comes back to Australia after three international runs. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained horse finished third in the QEII Cup in Hong Kong before embarking on a two-start attack in England. It failed to show its best form, but it didn't get the best of luck and it has class on its side. Michael Walker picks up the gun ride and after opening at $10, it has firmed in well to $7.
Race 7 – Group 1 David Jones Toorak Handicap (1600m)
Punters of Stratum Star are getting great value after winning the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes two weeks ago. The Darren Weir-trained horse has been on the drift in the betting since the market opened earlier this week. It opened at $6.50 and has since pushed out to $7.50. That's great value considering it is well placed after winning last start and having had three runs this campaign will only help its cause. Good winning chance.
Current favourite is Disposition, which finished second behind Stratum Star last start. The Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained gelding has adapted well to life in Melbourne after spending most of its career in Perth. It defeated a handy field two back when winning the Listed Tontonan Stakes at Flemington and it should be tough to beat third up here. It is well weighted at 55kg and the in-form Dwayne Dunn takes the ride. Currently stands at $4.80 in the betting.
Lucky Hussler has come for plenty of support and many punters are expecting an improved effort in this. The Darren Weir-trained runner was desperately unlucky when finishing sixth in the Rupert Clarke and it has a group 1 to its name already. That experience will count against a field without that group 1 experience and the punters have latched onto that idea. It opened at $6 and has been backed into $5. Good value chance in this.
Best bet: Lucky Hussler to win ($5) at Bet365.com
Race 8 – Group 1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m)
The Peter Moody-trained Pasadena Girl was disappointing on face value last start, but it managed to run home well for fifth. The three-year-old by Savabeel looked very impressive last season when winning the Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick and that might have taken a bit out of it. Third-up here and the fitness should be in good order. Hugh Bowman takes over the riding duties and it has firmed into favouritism at $4. Very talented runner and a good winning chance.
Miss Gunpowder hasn't done much wrong in its five-start career to date. The underrated Phillip Stokes-trained filly has won four from five, including a one-length win at Group 2 level last start against a very similar field. It has drawn awkwardly in barrier 11 which is a concern, but expect it to head forward and be tough to run down. It has come in for late support after opening at $6.50 and it now sits at $5.50 on the third line of betting.
Stay With Me has been hovering around favouritism all week, but has since drifted out to $4.80. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained filly looks a natural stayer and the increase to the mile should suit it perfectly. Its run for sixth last start was disappointing, but that came after two impressive wins which included a 1.5-length win over current favourite Pasadena Girl. It should be respected on that effort alone.
Race 9 – Group 1 Beck Caulfield Guineas (1600m)
Odyssey Moon will attract the punters that like a flutter on the big odds. The Rodney Northam-trained colt is currently paying $67 and whilst it might be outclassed in this, those odds are great value. The three-year-old colt by Snitzel was last seen running on very strongly in the Guineas Prelude and that's usually a good form guide for this. Only four runs back it was second favourite for the Group 1 Champagne Stakes so consider at the long odds here.
Press Statement is the horse to beat after winning impressively last start. The Chris Waller-trained colt was way too good when winning by three lengths, but there is much more depth to this field. There are plenty of concerns for punters to worry about and favourite punters will be hoping class can see it over the line. It is having its first start at Caulfield and it has drawn barrier 11. Those are big negatives, but the betting suggests punters are fazed. Its price of $2.25 hasn't moved all week.
Mick Price believes he has Ready For Victory ready to fire after an average run in the Guineas Prelude last start. The talented colt has plenty of ability and it really could have had the Group 1 Golden Slipper to its name. It ran off in the straight and punters have been on its back ever since. It hasn't won since its debut run, but the 1600 metres will suit and the $8 represents good each way value.
Race 10 – Cape Grim Beef Steaks (1200m)
Politeness is an enigmatic runner, but it paid off punters last time out. The Robert Smerdon-trained mare finished off with a big run last start to win the Group 3 How Now Stakes and it has a fair record second up. This track is ideal and it is a three-time winner at this distance. We're not thrilled with the $3 available, but it is one of the best horses in the race so respect.
In Style is a classy New Zealand-trained runner which will likely need the run, but it owns plenty of ability. The six-year-old was good enough to win New Zealand's feature sprint – the Group 1 Railway Stakes at Ellerslie, and the form out of that race has been good since. There is $10 available currently which is a fair price considering it's first up.
Forget Wawail went around last time out at Caulfield. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained mare was running sweetly, but it received absolutely no luck in the straight. Jockey Michael Walker had to ease up the entire straight, but it looked to have plenty in store and this horse was touted as a Dubai hope at one stage. The draw suits as it will go forward and it should prove very tough to run down. $5 is a good price to end the day with.
Best bet: Wawail to win ($5) at CrownBet.com.au