THE second day of the Caulfield Cup carnival features the $350,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes for three-year-olds where it's currently a three horse betting war.
The feature race this Wednesday pits Kinglike vs. Keen Array vs. Mogador and it has shaped up as a battle of the big stables. Peter Moody, Hayes/Daberbig and John O'Shea will go into battle for the day's top prize and punters can't seem to pick their favourite.
There are of course other entrants in the race, all with good chances, but this looks a match race in three and it should provide great midweek entertainment.
Eight races on the card so sign up to CrownBet.com.au for the best horse racing odds this Blue Sapphire Stakes day.
Race 1 – Movenpick 3YO R78 Handicap (1600m)
Mr Individual will likely kick the day off as favourite and it has a very good chance of winning. The Corstens'-trained colt finished sixth in the Group 3 Guineas Prelude and it finds a much easier affair here. It won on debut and hung badly behind Gold Symphony in the McNeil Stakes at Caulfield. It's not quite good enough to contest the high grades, but it should go well here at $2.30.
He's Our Rokki is a former New Zealander which won in its Australian debut by 2.5 lengths at Ballarat. It then contested the Group 2 Stutt Stakes where it finished sixth, 2.85 lengths behind the highly regarded Sovereign Nation. The in-form Damien Lane rides and the price of $3 looks like good value.
The Danny O'Brien-trained Savatone was a debut winner at Echuca before running two moderate races at Sandown and Ballarat since. The son of Savabeel might not have good form in its favour, but it does have the breeding and the jockey. Damien Oliver takes the ride and punters aren't letting it out of their sights. It is currently on the third line of betting at $6, but we'd have to see a significant market push to suggest in this.
Race 2 – Race-Tech Subzero Challenge R90 (1400m)
The John Price-trained Bawcatme defied a betting drift last start by winning narrowly at Sale. The seven-year-old doesn't have a high profile about it, but it has won eight from 34 and continues to keep each way punters happy. Its best wins have come on hard tracks and with Caulfield being dry as a bone, this race looks well within its reach. A very even field up against it, so the $5 looks about right.
Secret Toy Bizness has a ounce of quality about it and it has competed in much tougher races than this. It didn't get the best of luck last start on this track and although it has no form at Caulfield, this field is a touch weak. It usually runs best this time of the year and punters aren't letting it out of their sights. Bookmakers have it as equal favourite at $5 and we think it's a good winning chance.
Slate On Edge is a last start 1.5-length winner which has won nine career races. The Brett Thompson-trained grey has a good record in all-grey races and it won around this time last year by beating Secret Toy Bizness at Moonee Valley. It does like to mix its form, which is concerning seeing as it's coming off a win, but it should be respected at odds of $6 despite its big weight of 60kg.
Best bet: Secret Toy Bizness to win ($5) at Bet365.com
Race 3 – Montague Tree R84 (2000m)
Ungrateful Ellen is a horse knocking on the door of a win and it gets a great chance here. The Robert Smerdon-trained mare showed its class by running second in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks last season and it has since run on nicely in both runs back this preparation. The increase in distance is ideal, Craig Williams rides, and it is well favoured in the market at $3.30.
Firehouse Rock has been well supported in the market after opening at $4.40. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained gelding is now into $4.20 off the back of a strong $250,000 win at Caulfield last start. It has won twice and placed three times on this track which bodes well for punters and it didn't get all favours last start either. It knuckled down at the start and lost a lot of ground, so it looms as a strong winning chance in this.
High Church stays in the same grade as last start, where it finished third on this track behind Harveys True Heart. Trainer Robert Hickmott knows how to train a stayer and this imported runner will enjoy getting over longer distances this season. Damien Oliver rides at 55.5kg which makes it a winning hope at odds of $5.50.
Race 4 – Antler Luggage R84 Handicap (2400m)
Robert Hickmott partners up with Damien Oliver again with the imported Granddukeoftuscany. The five-year-old gelding has had two runs in Australia for a first-up sixth at Sandown, followed by a 2.75-length win at Morphettville. That was a rating 70 race and stepping up in grade will be much tougher, but it has been well backed in from $4 to $3.20 and the punters are extremely confident.
Ciaron Maher is in hot form and he lines up Haradafull here. The four-year-old has been up awhile this campaign, but it's coming off back-to-back wins and it produced a sustained run at Moonee Valley to score narrowly last time out. It has drawn the rail so it will get a soft run and it's running well enough to be considered here. It opened at $4 and has drifted slightly out to $4.20.
Gingerboy represents value at $12 for trainer Darren Weir. The talented gelding may have scored a maiden hurdle win by six lengths, but it has competed in strong fields throughout its career and it should be respected in this grade. It finished only two lengths behind Our Voodoo Prince in August and that form would hold up against this opposition. Place chance at best, but the odds are attractive.
Best bet: Gingerboy to place ($3) at Bet365.com
Race 5 – Spicer Thoroughbreds R90 (1600m)
Real Time kicked off its campaign with a win at Caulfield and its two runs since have been full of merit. The Robert Smerdon-trained gelding has been backed in from $4.50 to $4.20 and it drops a massive 3kg from its most recent run. It has won four from seven on a good track and the rise in distance shouldn't pose too many problems. Likely to be around the mark.
He Or She has been on the drift ever since the markets opened earlier this week. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained gelding has been solid this preparation, but it has drifted from $3.20 to $3.80. That's a concerning drift and it could be due to it being back in distance. It last raced over 1700 metres and it ran on solidly, so dropping back to the mile might not be best for it. It did, however, win its only race over this distance so punters should focus on that positive. We'll take it at each way odds.
Darragh has been heavily supported down in the weights. The lightly-tried five-year-old is rising a full 20 grading points here which is a massive concern, but the drop in weights has swayed punters. It opened at $7.50 and has steadily dropped in price ever since. It has now settled at $5 and it could contest favouritism on the day. Each way chance.
Best bet: He Or She to win ($3.80) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 6 – Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m)
Peter Moody lines up Kinglike which is coming off a very strong 1.25-length win over race rival Raphael's Cat in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes. The three-year-old colt looks to have a big future and the form lines running through that win have all stacked up. It has drawn the inside barrier so a more forward position will help its chances and Glen Boss stays in the saddle. It opened at a value price of $4 and has been well backed into $3.30.
Mogador was a super impressive last start winner at Warwick Farm where jockey James McDonald produced a beautiful piece of riding. Craig Williams takes over the riding duties on a colt that looks to have a big future. It ran second behind Exosphere on debut before running fourth behind the same horse in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes a fortnight later. Could be their next big star at Godolphin and it has been well specked at $3.10.
Keen Array is the third of the best backed runners after a stylish 2.5-length win at Moonee Valley last time out. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained gelding won a maiden by seven lengths just four starts ago and it backed that up with an eight-length win at Pakenham. It didn't have much luck behind Bassett at Caulfield two back, but it returned to its winning ways last start. It should go forward and look for an uncontested lead. Big chance at $3.40.
Race 7 – Nine West Ladies Day Vase (1600m)
Iggimacool was well favoured last start at Caulfield, but it was a big disappointment when finishing 12th. The five-year-old mare won its previous start when beating He Or She so that Race 5 formline will be a good guide for this. It has placed at this course three times and this distance is ideal, so best to ignore its last start and stick with it. It opened at $6.50, drifted to $7 and has since come back into $6.50.
Kayjay's Joy has won six from 14, including back-to-back wins at Caulfield. The five-year-old mare by Snitzel is stepping up to the mile and even though the breeding doesn't suggest it will see it out, it should be respected after two strong victories. It opened at $5 and has drifted out to $5.50, but it remains a top winning chance based on form alone.
Holy Cow is an extremely enigmatic runner which pops up when you least expect it to. The Michael Kent-trained mare was found to be lame last time out, but if it gets some speed up front, it can flash home late down the outside. It gets in well on 55kg and the $31 available makes it a solid place chance.
Best bet: Kayjay's Joy to win ($5.50) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 8 – Italktravel Stakes (1200m)
The Hawkes'-trained Kaepernick was well backed last start at Moonee Valley and it scored the win for punters. The four-year-old has plenty of talent and its only poor run came in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis behind Churchill Dancer. This distance is ideal and Dwayne Dunn rides at a luxury weight of 54kg. Plenty of value in the price of $6 with bookmakers.
The Quarterback has been unsuited by running over short distances, but now it gets up to 1200 metres and it's our value tip of the day. The Robbie Griffiths-trained gelding flew home to finish sixth behind Sabatini last start and the extra distance here suits perfectly. Third up this campaign also suits and it drops in weight down to 54kg. Tough field, but the $9 available looks like great value.
Dothraki deserves respect and bookmakers are giving it in this. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained gelding opened at a crazy price of $8 and it has duly been backed into $5.50 since. The son of Mossman has won only five from 22, but it has a group win to its name and multiple close finishes behind some classy horses. This field is slightly easier, but it does have to carry 58.5kg which does make it tough. Good chance.