ONE of the best cards of racing we’ve seen all year has been served up at Caulfield this Saturday, with four Group 1s, big fields and quality horseflesh awaiting us at The Heath.
Our best bet comes up early in the day as we try and build our bank for the top quality back end of the meeting.
Track: Good 4
Weather: Mostly sunny, 24°C
SEE IT BURN
Magic Millions and multiple stakes-winning filly SUNLIGHT (R3#1, $2.70) looks primed to make it a seventh career win from ten starts when she lines up in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes. She’s drawn ‘up and off’ for the 1200m dash, perfect for these Caulfield chute races. She’ll have the option of leading or taking the gun sit and possesses a superior sprint to her rivals. Monday’s sizzling trial at Cranbourne topped her off nicely. She’s our best of the day and if she wins, we’ll be strutting like this bloke:
ONE FOR STEVIE
There’s a musical theme developing in this week’s selections – although we take a big leap sideways here towards the soft rock of Stevie Nicks, one of this writer’s favourites. LEATHER’N’LACE (R4#14, $6.50/$2.40) is the top pick (congratulations if you’re still following) in the Group 3 for the mares. She tackles Caulfield 1200m for the third time in three starts this prep. On both occasions she’s been held up when building into the race, last time out being arguably the best horse through the line in a close up fifth. Lets hope the wider draw assists her here, because she’s a huge chance in this field.
We spruiked EL DORADO DREAMING (R6#1, $7.00/$2.50) a fortnight ago and saw plenty to like for this Saturday’s Group 1 Thousand Guineas assignment. She jumped well first up but in a muddling affair she was shuffled back as Smart Melody got away with soft sectionals in front. It then took her some time to balance up and accelerate at her first go at Caulfield. Our pick and Thrillster took plenty of ground off the winner late, who is a $3.00 favourite for this but with a serious distance query over her head. Not so for El Dorado, who has proven herself at the mile in the top grade.
FIVE FROM FIVE
— Racing.com (@Racing) September 30, 2018
CRACK THE WHIP
Once again the Group 1 Toorak looks to be a hotly contested affair, with plenty of speed from wide gates set to ensure a hot tempo. That should suit the flying mare SHILLELAGH (R7#4, $5.50) perfectly. She looks to have gone to a new level this prep, coming from well back to take many lengths ground off the trifecta horses late in the track-record Epsom. She typically peaks third up and is only weighted 1.5kgs above the minimum. This looks a perfect opportunity for her to record her second Group 1 mile victory.
ICYMI | The top weight of the Epsom wins the Epsom.
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) September 30, 2018
We trusted it in the Toorak and we’ll trust it in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes too – the Sydney form, particularly from the Epsom, looks the main guide here. Of course we are referring to D’argento and UNFORGOTTEN (R8#12, $4.80) specifically. The two four-year-olds in the field also broke the Randwick track record that day but we’re siding with the latter here. She took considerable ground off her stablemate in the final furlong there and gets to her best trip now.
Leonardo Da Hinchi rockets home to win the Group 2 Stutt Stakes.
— Racing.com (@Racing) September 28, 2018
THE BIG ONE
The main race of the day is the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and unsurprisingly Golden Rose winner The Autumn Sun is favourite, although taking tomato sauce odds in a high pressure race can’t be recommended. One of the main challengers appears to be LEONARDO DA HINCHI (R9#4, $8.50/$2.45) who has put together an excellent preparation for Darren Weir. He twice chased home the talented Brutal before a deceptively dominant G2 Stutt Stakes win when only seeing daylight late. He was the winner the whole way there. He has natural speed and can get a big head start on the likes of the favourite and Flight Stakes winner Oohood here.