The Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes is one of the major highlights for two-year-olds this year and it carries a massive purse of $1.5 million.
16 of the fastest young sprinters in Australia will run over 1200 metres at Caulfield this Saturday and we sorted through the runners to find the three best winning chances. Not only do we have the Blue Diamond covered, we have previewed every race on the card which also features the Oakleigh Plate, Futurity Stakes and the Peter Young.
It's a cracking nine-race card and Sportsbet.com.au are still offering their protest payout promotion which came in handy last Saturday at Flemington for punters of Palentino. We are also providing our quaddie selections for a chance at a big pay day.
Race 1 – Mornington BMW Cup Prelude (2000m)
Robert Hickmott lines up Irish import and Melbourne Cup hopeful Assign. The Montjeu gelding won two races at Curragh before coming to Australia where it won at its third start at Sandown. It is bred to improve over more distance and it carried 62kg to victory last start, it drops right down to 54kg for this. That makes it a strong winning chance at $3.50.
Tashbeeh has been consistent this campaign, having won three starts and finished second at its most recent start on this track. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained horse has beaten the likes of Radical and Second Bullet this preparation and Craig Williams is a good rider to have in the saddle over this distance. It won its only start over 2000m and punters can get a good each way price at $5.
Koroibete is an out-of-form gelding which has surprisingly been positively backed here. It has run three consecutive sixths and its form prior was anything to be desired. It opened in the betting at $8.50 and has dropped to $7.50, but we would want double figures before suggesting a win bet.
Race 2 – Ladbrokes Zeditave 3YO Stakes (1200m)
Santa Ana Lane is a promising type which didn't fire last start in the Gothic Stakes. The Freedman-trained gelding won its first two starts by easy margins and it ran as the $2.50 favourite in the Gothic. It might have faced a tough field too soon in its career so we're prepared to forgive that run and go on the prior form. This is a tricky field to resume against so consider at $6 for the win and $2.25 for the place.
Mogador enjoyed a fruitful campaign before spelling which followed a fifth in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington. That run came against the likes of Japonisme and that form will stack up nicely for this grade. It is a three-year-old colt with plenty of ability and if there's a strong pace up in front, look for Mogador to finish over the top of them. Currently $3.90 in the market.
Bassett is another fresh up runner which is unbeaten in two fresh up starts. The Peter Moody-trained gelding finished third behind Mahuta in the Carbine Club and Mahuta has continued to win since that start, so the form has been franked. Both of Bassett's wins have come on this track and it looks like another strong winning contender. Chance in this at 44.60.
Tip: Mogador to win ($3.90) at Bet365.com.au
Race 3 – Polytrack Armanasco Stakes (1400m)
Pasadena Girl is the current favourite at $4.50 after finished fourth in the Group 1 Crown Oaks last November. The Peter Moody-trained filly hasn't won in its last five starts, but it is a three-time winner and its class should be respected. This will be easier than taking on the likes of Stay With Me and Jameka, so consider for the win against an easier field.
Egypt produced its career best performance last week in the Vanity where it ran Don't Doubt Mamma to within a length. The Mark Kavanagh-trained filly was coming off a 1.25-length win at Sandown and it out-performed that immensely at Flemington last time out. Whether or not it can reproduce that effort is a tough question, but punters have latched onto the $6 available after it opened at $7.
Let Her Rip comes over from New Zealand with a handy record that features a win where it defeated Xtravagant. The three-year-old filly came over to Flemington last April and ran fifth in the Anzac Day Stakes behind My Poppette and even though that form hasn't stacked up, it is unbeaten in two starts fresh up and jockey Opie Bosson knows what it takes to win in Australia. Outside chance at $9.
Race 4 – Caulfield Autumn Classic (1800m)
Tally has looked the goods this campaign with back-to-back victories. The John O'Shea-trained colt won easily at Kyneton first up and again at Moonee Valley last start. Arguably its best run was a fifth in the Mooney Valley Vase behind Jameka and a repeat performance would take it close in this. Craig Williams takes the ride and it drops to a nice weight for this. Opened at $4.80 and is currently quoted at $5.
Mahuta has the star power of this field and it deserves to be the odds-on favourite. The Darren Weir-trained colt has now rattled off five consecutive wins with two coming on this track and its only the rise in distance which should concern punters. It got a little tired at the end of the 1400m last start and it now rises up to 1800m. That generally means the pace up front is slower, however, so expect Mahuta to control the tempo and run another top race. I got out to $2 in the betting, but now resides at $1.90.
Stablemate Powderworks has come in for support despite having suspect form. The Weir-trained filly has won two from five, but was fourth in a rating 64-graded race last time out. It got out to $17 and has since come in for support to $13 on the back of solid betting. That could be because Damien Oliver has taken the ride so keep an eye on any more positive market movement.
Race 5 – Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes (1800m)
Fenway put in an eye-catching performance in behind Suavito in the Group 1 C.F Orr Stakes a fortnight ago and punters should forget about what happened. The Lee and Shannon Hope-trained mare had no luck in the running and it should have finished much closer than ninth. Punters haven't missed that run and they have it on the second line of betting at $6.50.
Fawkner is a quality runner which loves Caulfield. The 11-time winner has won twice at Caulfield and it was another which didn't get much luck in behind Suavito last start. It's unbeaten in four starts on rain-affected ground, but it probably won't get track conditions to suit. The eight-year-old might be past its best, but don't leave it out at $8.
Bow Creek is an imported runner which ran second in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on debut in Australia and things haven't gone its way since. It was found lame in the Group 1 Emirates at Flemington and it was blocked for a run in the straight last time out. It's a Godolphin runner with plenty of ability and should be respected at $3.80 after getting out to $4.
Tip: Fenway to place ($2.40) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 6 – Futurity Stakes (1400m)
Suavito was a stylish winner in the C.F Orr and it usually backs up one run with another. The Nigel Blackiston-trained mare is twice a winner second up and it hasn't finished worse than third in seven runs at Caulfield. The five-year-old has won four of its last five races and the only failure came in the Doncaster where it wasn't far away from Kermadec. It's a strong winning chance at $6.00.
Turn Me Loose is a group 1-winning New Zealand horse which won the Emirates Stakes last campaign. It did well fresh up in the C.F. Orr where it dwelt at the start before finding the lead, but the damage was done early on and it couldn't muster enough energy at the end. It has won twice second up and with that run under its belt, it will be tough to beat here. It's the current favourite at $3.30 and should run accordingly.
Hucklebuck has won eight from 16 for trainer Phillip Stokes who will be wanting something to celebrate after being kicked in the ribs this week. The five-year-old gelding produced a big finish to run third last start and it looks about ready to show its best once again. It hasn't won since taking out the 2014 Emirates Stakes, but it has had only three starts since then after being injured so consider in this at $5.00.
Tip: Turn Me Loose to win ($3.30) at WilliamHill.com.au
Quaddie selections: Suavito, Turn Me Loose, Hucklebuck, Scissor Kick
Race 7 – Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m)
Flying Artie's odds took a hit after the Mick Price-trained colt drew barrier 17 this week, but it was likely going to drop back regardless. The two-year-old was an outstanding winner in the Blue Diamond Prelude and jockey Damien Oliver chose to ride Flying Artie over stablemate Extreme Choice. Swoopers love the Blue Diamond and with a bit of luck, the $4.60 will look good halfway down the straight.
Extreme Choice is an unbeaten colt which drew barrier 13, but it will likely head forward and try lead the field. The Not A Single Doubt colt was a two-length winner on debut and it destroyed a classy field by 4.5 lengths at Caulfield last start. There are questions as to whether it can see out the 1200m distance, but it looks strong at the line and it makes its own luck in front. Strong chance at $2.80.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Concealer has drawn much better in barrier six and it produced a huge run for second behind Samara Dancer last start. The Nicconi filly was slow out of the barriers before it was forced wide on the turn, but still ran on nicely for second. It will get a nice run in this and each way punters are getting $6 which is about fair. Include in quaddie selections.
Race 8 – Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m)
The Quarterback looms as a good each way chance at big odds after producing a solid finish at Flemington last start. The Robbie Griffiths-trained gelding was a winner at its start prior and it rarely runs a bad race at Caulfield. It has drawn wide in barrier 12, but it drops down from 60kg to 52.5kg for this, making it a big threat at $15.
Keen Array has come in for support after opening at $4.80. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained gelding has come into $4.60 and it has won fresh up in the past. The talented three-year-old finished second in the Coolmore Stud Stakes behind Japonisme and it should only get better with time. Down in the weights at 50kg makes it a very dangerous prospect.
Heatherly has won three on the bounce and it trounced the likes of Politeness by 5.5 lengths last time out. The Lonhro filly is twice a winner at this distance and although it might not have form around the top sprinters in Australia, it is another that gets its chance down in the weights. Drawing barrier two will help as it likes to hug the rail and punters have been keen to support it at $5.00.
Tip: Keen Array to win ($4.60) at CrownBet.com.au
Quaddie selections: The Quarterback, Keen Array, Heatherly, Bounding
Race 9 – Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes (1400m)
Azkadellia is a highly-touted mare which sprinted strongly to finish second behind race-rival Tuscan Sling last start. The former Kiwi runner, now with Ciaron Maher, has been unlucky in its last three runs and it's due for a major win in Australia. It stays at a good weight and it should get back from the draw and flash home late once again. Punters have climbed into the $2.35 available.
Tuscan Sling was a good winner against a similar field last start and even though it's rising up in distance, it appears to have the ability to see it out. The Darren Weir-trained mare has now won six from 11 with four placings and it has won twice at Caulfield. It has the ability to sit handy to the pace and sprint over the top of them, so consider at a nice price of $4.60.
Wawail should never be discounted and bookmakers are offering $8.50 for the mare. The Hayes/Dabernig-trained four-year-old couldn't find the lead last start and that was its undoing. It needs to find the front to show its best and if it can, it looks a great quaddie inclusion.
Tip: Azkadellia to win ($2.35) at Bet365.com.au
Quaddie selections: Azkadellia, Tuscan Sling, Wawail