3 minute read
As the Spring Racing Carnival comes to a close Caulfield will play host to a ten race program headlined by the running of the Group One Thousand Guineas for the three year old fillies.
For more racing and sports previews, visit the Ladbrokes Blog.
Traditionally having been run earlier in the carnival, the decision was made to hold the time honoured feature a week after Champions Day and they look have pulled the right rein, so to speak, as a quality field of fillies is set to line up in the $1.5m event.
The $1m Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes has also had been shifted and will be run straight on the back of the Thousand Guineas, making it the final Group One event of the Spring.
The rail will be in the true position and the track is currently rated a good 4.
Our Ladbrokes preview can be found below.
RACE 1 - 12:20PM: SHARP EIT HANDICAP (1800 METRES)
Ain'tnodeeldone is racing in career best form and comes here on the back of a Group Three victory in the JRA Cup.
After a solid first up effort over 1400m the son of Dundeel has put together three wins on the trot and looks well placed to continue building his picket fence.
There was plenty of merit in his most recent success. After settling second last in the small field he looped around them and fought bravely to the line to score by a nose.
He drops back to 1800m but has been given three weeks between outings and barrier three will see him settle closer in the run for the 2023 Melbourne Cup winning combination of Mark Zahra and Anthony and Sam Freedman.
RACE 2 - 12:50PM: MRC FOUNDATION HANDICAP BM84 (1400 METRES)
Robusto resumed with an encouraging effort over 1200m at Randwick last month.
The Churchill gelding was unlucky not have finished closer, after racing in restricted room for much of the straight, he picked up nicely over the final part.
He then stepped out over 1400m at Flemington and whilst he was afforded every chance, he just held his ground to the line.
Fitter for the two outings, he looks ready to peak third up.
He'll appreciate the slight drop in grade and James McDonald sticks with him.
RACE 3 - 1:25PM: BRAVO DAMIEN OLIVER BM80 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
Maracana hasn't been far away in three runs back, two of which, have been at stakes level.
She just tired late after racing on speed over the mile second up but hit the long strongly last time in the Group 3 Tesio Stakes after settling at the tail.
The daughter of Shamexpress will appreciate the drop back in grade and Danny O'Brien has engaged Celine Gaudrey to do the steering and take 2kgs off.
RACE 4 - 2:00PM: MANHARI METALS THOROUGHBRED CLUB STAKES 3YO FILLIES GROUP 3 (1200 METRES)
Saltaire has been terrific at her past two starts and the Star Turn filly certainly deserves her moment back in the winner's stall.
Under the guidance of Blake Shinn she charged home from the tail in the Crockett Stakes to just miss and last time in the Group Three Red Roses Stakes she went for home, hitting the front 150m out, only to be run down by one better on the day.
Back to 1200m will suit and whilst she has drawn wide, she'll be powering home late.
RACE 5 - 2:35PM: NEDS VILLAGE STAKES LISTED (1100 METRES)
Hypothetical has been the runner up in three of her four runs this campaign and it's fair to say she's deserving of a win.
Coming off a five week freshen up, the speedy Pride Of Dubai mare led and was only just collared on the line by Lempika in the Listed Alinghi Stakes.
She was then gallant in defeat down the Flemington straight at her most recent appearance in the Group Three Begonia Belle.
Boasting a great overall record, she's especially good over the 1100m and is assured to get every chance from the inside draw under Mick Dee.
RACE 6 - 3:10PM: CATANACH'S JEWELLERS BLUE SAPPHIRE 3YO SW GROUP 3 (1400 METRES)
Brave Mead has been racing well and I thought he would relish getting out to the mile last time in the Carbine Club Stakes.
Whilst he did perform well, he just looked to lack that zip that he has shown in the past.
The Maher /Eustace team have dropped him back to 1400m and applied the blinkers, which could prove to be a master stroke.
The Brave Smash colt certainly possesses the class and he has won at his only outing here, which was two starts back.
He does have the tricky draw to overcome but there aren't too many jockeys riding with the confidence of Mark Zahra and he'll reunite with him here.
RACE 7 - 3:45PM: SCHWEPPES THOUSAND GUINEAS GROUP 1 3YO FILLIES SW (1600 METRES)
A quality field of fillies will line up in this years edition of the Thousand Guineas and I'm sticking with Coeur Volante.
The NZ bred daughter of Proisir has won three of four and she could not have been more impressive when saluting in the Thousand Guineas Prelude last start.
Aided by a masterful ride she was able take up a position in the 'one-one' from the outside draw and was very strong to the line, posting a 1.25 length margin.
She steps out to the mile for the first time but the way she's been finishing off her races certainly suggests she'll have no problem running it out strongly.
Shinn stays onboard and she's drawn to get the right run from gate five.
RACE 8 - 4:25PM: NEDS SIR RUPERT CLARKE STAKES GROUP 1 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Vilana looks well placed to provide a fairy-tale finish for Damien Oliver on his final day of riding in Melbourne.
The Godolphin entire was never closer than four wide last start in the race named in Oliver's honour but despite the horror run, he stuck on gamely to finish just 1.1 lengths from the winner.
A winner of seven from seventeen and a multiple stakes victor, he has yet to salute at the elite level but hasn't had the best of luck when competing on the big stage.
He's set to get a cosy run from the inside draw under the guidance of the 'GOAT'.
RACE 9 - 5:05PM: METCAP FINANCE VICTORIAN COUNTRY CUPS (2000 METRES)
Brayden Star has been racing in super form and should find this a touch easier than what he's been contesting.
Prepared by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, he's been kept on the fresh side and resumed off a five week freshen up with a solid victory in the Benalla Cup.
Following that he contested the Herbert Power Stakes where he settled at the tail and covered a stack of ground into the straight.
He comes here off a terrific performance in the Bendigo Cup, which saw him hit the front only to be denied right on the post.
He's fit, he's performed well in all three runs at his trip and Damien Oliver, who has steered him to three of his five victories, goes back onboard.
RACE 10 - 5:40PM: NEDS HOW NOW STAKES GROUP 3 (1200 METRES)
She Dances is proving herself to be a 1200m specialist.
The Street Boss mare has now won six from seven over the trip and at her only defeat, she was beaten a neck by subsequent Group One winner Royal Merchant.
She comes here looking to make it three on the trot after dominant wins in the Northwood Plume Stakes and the Listed Chautauqua Stakes.
Linda Meech has built a great association with the mare, she rates her beautifully and with any luck from the wide gate, she'll be right there at the finish.