Chairman’s Message – December 2016

Posted on Categories Member News

As the year winds to a close and our fantastic Spring Racing season wraps up for another year, it is naturally a good time to stop and reflect on the activities and achievements of the preceding months, and to cement plans for the year to come, particularly as they impact our most important audience, our members.

2016 has seen tremendous change, and with it, noteworthy growth across many aspects of our business, which I’ll outline below.

Spring Racing Carnival Review

Back in October I labelled our 2016 BMW Caulfield Cup Carnival “the most successful Caulfield Cup Carnival in a decade” and all subsequent reports, feedback and data have confirmed that assertion.

As we have come to expect, the racing was first class, and Jameka, Ciaron Maher’s Caulfield-trained mare, winning the BMW Caulfield Cup capped off this great carnival.

We saw attendance, at-home and online viewership up on last year, with social engagement across the carnival growing five times from last year, as well as increased total wagering turnover. Our new precincts around the course were fantastically received, particularly the Crown Young Members marquee and the David Jones Fashion Stable which saw 3 times the participation compared to last year.

Overall satisfaction from you, our members, was high across the board, particularly in relation to the quality of the field on racedays, presentation of the venue and atmosphere/ crowd numbers.  Where need for improvement has been noted, specifically in crowding levels in the members areas and Medallion Bar, the club has committed to addressing these issues over the coming months.

We have also recently taken the exciting step of foraying into the business of distributing our racing vision to international markets directly. This means, for the first time, we are collecting 100% of the associated revenue in an area we view as a significant opportunity.

Members’ Update

The Club’s membership base continues to enjoy year on year growth, seeing us with a 10% lead on memberships compared to same time last year. This growth can be put down to the fantastic efforts of the membership team and us striving to create more value and better experiences for our members, including:

  • The recent refurbishment to the concourse area in the Rupert Clarke Grandstand, with new carpet, furniture and lighting throughout
  • Pegasus Rewards being rolled out to Mornington and Ladbrokes Park with even more ways to redeem and use points
  • Exclusive behind the scenes member experiences available in conjunction with the recent launch of our new member rewards program – Pegasus Rewards
  • Exclusive, Member offers for our owned events including Splashland, Gourmet Cinema and The Peninsula Picnic
  • The upcoming development of the Hiskens Grandstand Bar as a new Members facility to open in 2017
  • The establishment of a members sub-committee with strong representation across all membership demographics to ensure a greater voice for all of our members at the club

As part of the new and improved member communications focus, we will also be holding two scheduled member forums next year, and have installed a new online member feedback form to ensure more direct, and transparent communication channels between us.

MRC Foundation

The MRC Foundation has achieved some big wins over the past year, including facilitating our first intake of students into the Female Track Rider Scholarship at Melbourne Polytechnic.

We have also begun planning for the external facilities upgrade at Mornington, thanks to the hefty $150,000 donation to support Riding for the Disabled Mornington, which is a result of a $50,000 equal commitments from the Committee of Management for the Mornington Racecourse, the MRC Foundation, and Racing Victoria.

We have an exciting upcoming calendar of activities relating to the MRC Foundation, with the marquee Blue Diamond Gala Ball fast approaching in February 2017.

Gontran Cherrier

Gontran Cherrier, our French bakery, launched in Collingwood mid-year and I’d encourage you to sample some of its fantastic French products at the MRC Members discounted rate. We are focused on growing the business through wholesaling many items as well as looking at future stores. Members will see more of Gontran Cherrier products throughout all our racecourses, pub venues and events in 2017

Glasshouse refurbishment


Renovations have finished at Caulfield’s Glasshouse which I think we can all agree has made a big difference to the aesthetic and atmosphere of the venue.

The site now boasts contemporary state-of-the-art facilities, with a stylish new family bistro, a modern wine and tapas bar, multi-purpose function space, sports bar, alfresco style dining area and interactive kids zone.

The Glasshouse team look forward to welcoming you soon.

Looking ahead to 2017

With a calendar stacked with racing and non-racing events well into next autumn, we have had little time to rest on our Spring Carnival laurels.

Summer sees our second biggest season of quality racing, with 24 dates across our three racecourses, including hallmark dates Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Australia Day Races. The Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes, set for February 25, has enjoyed a record number of acceptances, with 686 horses currently in contention and the kids favourite, Family Day, is back bigger and better on February 13.

Upcoming Non Racing Events


As members you always receive exclusive offers for our owned events. With four major events coming up over the coming months, we encourage you all to take advantage of these offers, with our regards.

Many of you will have heard about our new summer family event, Splashland, popping up at Mornington and Caulfield in December and January. An inflatable waterslide park for kids, Splashland is part of our ongoing effort to expand upon our family and kids offering and will be a fantastic event for parents and kids alike. Ticket sales are doing well, and when the warmer weather finally does decide to hit, we are looking forward to some sellout days!

March and April will see the return of two of our most popular non-racing events Gourmet Cinema and The Peninsula Picnic. Outside of racing, these events allow us to showcase our other finest assets, our wonderful venues, and our outstanding expertise in food and beverage. Tickets are currently on sale for The Peninsula Picnic, scheduled for April 1 (on a Saturday for the first time), with the Gourmet Cinema season and tickets to be launched later in January.

The MRC Foundation is ramping up for their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Blue Diamond Gala on February 23. The Gala is always a very special event on our calendar, a chance for us to celebrate our achievements and charity partners, and shine a light on this important part of the business. If you have not already RSVPd to this event, I highly recommend that you do so, it really will be one of our best events of the year.

As you can see, the MRC will be in full swing across the festive season, with some exciting projects in the pipeline and some outstanding activities for our members. We encourage all of members to take part in as many of our upcoming events and offers as possible, and as always, welcome all and any feedback on your experiences either via our new online feedback form, or directly to myself or any of the Committee.

On behalf of the Committee, Executive team and staff of the Melbourne Racing Club, we would like to wish all of our members are very Merry and Safe Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Mike Symons
Melbourne Racing Club

Sandown Sound Out – Sandown Spring Carnival Race Day Preview

Posted on Categories Member News

Get a load of our massive preview from the Sandown Sound Out by Tim Guille

Preview by @timbguille

Nestled deep in the south-eastern suburbs, Sandown may not have the profile of its three Metropolitan ‘cousins’, but its feature day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival is a classic. With all ‘black type’ races on a ten race card, including five Group races, it is a day that rivals many of Melbourne’s feature race days. Not many people would know that racing actually began here in 1888, on a privately owned track, known as Oakleigh Park Racecourse. The track was closed in 1931 and reopened as it is today in 1965. Let’s take a look at a cracking day of racing.

R1 Thoroughbred Club Merson Cooper Stakes (Listed 2YO 1000m) We kick the day off with a great race for the 2YOs. Of those that have started, SA visitor Mikuni was strong on debut (2nd) and looks hard to beat, Artic Angel wasn’t far off a strong field on debut and Explicitly comes out of a fast 2YO race back in October and has trialled ok since then (2nd). Of the newbies, Herrera, Vinland and My Mother Says all looked strong winning their respective trials and Fully Maxed was just on the heels of Explicitly in that trial so has some form reference. For the rest, best to watch betting! Sandown Sound Out Says: Mikuni 1st/Artic Angel 2nd/My Mother Says 3rd

R2 Yarramalong Racing Club Stakes (Group 3 1500m) Small field yet a strong race. Royal Rapture was in stunning form early in Spring before trying his luck at Group 1 level and was certainly not disgraced. Hard not to like him back in this grade. Ex-Hong Kong runner Redkirk Warrior showed real promise in his first Aussie start, just missing late over 1200m. Up to 1500m and in this grade will suit. Soveriegn Nation does jump in grade, but was good behind a smart gallope and is well weighted/drawn here. Stratum Star is a proven Group 1 performer that cant be discounted in this grade and Slightly Sweet has drawn a tricky gate, but is a much better horse than her form suggests. Sandown Sound Out Says: Royal Rapture 1st/ Redkirk Warrior 2nd/ Sovereign Nation 3rd.

R3 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (Listed 3200m) One of the few 3200m black type races in Australia with a good field. Really hard to go past Qewy. He was strong winning the Geelong Cup (form race of the Spring!) before his gallant 4th placing in the Melbourne Cup. De Little Engine comes back in grade here after a couple of solid performances in Group class over the Melbourne Cup carnival. He was really good late behind Jameka in the Caulfield Cup so 3200m looks ideal now. Murphy’s Delight has a great record over this trip and hit the line well over 2800m last start suggesting he is ready. Bring Something is having his first go over this trip, but definitely showed he wanted further in a solid run over 2400m last start so could bob up at odds. Four Carat is likely to be an improver over 3200m and All I Survey comes out of that hot Geelong Cup so might be a player at odds. Sandown Sound Out Says: Qewy 1st/De Little Engine 2nd/ Murphy’s Delight 3rd.

R4 OTI Racing Doveton Stakes (Listed 1000m) Good little sprint race with a host of chances. O’Malley was super impressive in winning last start so is the top pick. Vezalay’s last start 15th wont jump off the page at you, but it was up the Flemington straight (only 4L off) which didn’t suit her. Based on her run prior, she is right in this. Jungle Edge will be the likely leader here and wasn’t far off O’Malley last start so is amongst the chances. Brockhoff is a likely improver 2nd up and down in weight, while Husson Eagle has an impressive record 1st up and has trialled ok. Sandown Sound Out Says: O’Malley 1st/Vezalay 2nd/ Jungle Edge 3rd

R5 City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (Listed 3YOF 1400m) Strong race for the 3YO girls here with lots of chances. Prompt Resposne looks hard to beat. She has been really good her last two starts (both 2nd) in this grade, beaten on the line both times. Petition is still a maiden, but was super behind an in-form mare last start (who has won again since) so is hard to ignore. Hear The Chant got a little lost up the Flemington straight last start after a sound win at Caufield in Group 3 level prior. Up to 1400m should suit her. Want To Rock jumps sharply in grade after her last start win, but the horse she beat nearly won a Listed race next start so the form has held up. Moonlites Choice faces a huge jump in grade, but how can you ignore an undefeated Darren Weir filly? Sandown Sound Out Says: Prompt Response 1st/ Petition 2nd/Hear The Chant 3rd

R6 William Hill Sandown Guineas (Group 2 1600m 3YO)

Fast Facts:

  • First held at Caulfield in 1959 for 3YO fillies and always Group 2
  • Moved to Sandown and 3YO unrestricted class in 1968

History Says:

  • Winner winner – 11 out of last 17 winners won their last start
  • Only five fillies have won out of last 30
  • Only eight of last 30 winners started over $10 (10 winners were favourite)
  • If history is right, winner is Ruthven

Jennifer Lynn has been impressive winning her last three, including a dominnat Listed grade win last start over 1400m. 1600m will really suit her.  It’s hard not to be impressed by Ruthven’s career to date with 2 strong wins. He is jumping in grade, but looks promising. Benz appeared to peak a little late over 1400m, but was forced to go forward from a wide draw. If he gets a quieter ride here he could be a key player. Morton’s Fork was really good to the line over 1600m in a strong Group 3 last start, and whilst up in grade, the smaller field and nice draw will help his chances. Fomo has a big ask in this grade, but the natural leader could give a great sight and cause the upset. Sandown Sound Out Says: Jennifer Lynn 1st/Ruthven 2nd/Morton’s Fork 3rd

R7 Quayclean Zipping Classic (Group 2 2400m WFA)

Fast Facts:

  • First held in 1888 at Williamstown Racecourse, known as Williamstown Cup
  • Mostly known as Sandown Classic – always Group 2
  • Name changed in 2011 to honour four time winner (07 – 10)

History Says:

  • Seen you before? – nine of last 10 winners came out of Melbourne Cup or Queen Elizabeth Stakes
  • Out of form – only four of last 10 winners placed last start
  • Boys rule – only 2 mares have won in the last 30 years
  • Be favourerd – last 15 winners paid under $10
  • If history is right, winner is Who Shot Thebarman

Who Shot Thebarman won this race last year and comes into this after a similar performance in the Melbourne Cup to last year.  Almoonqith was really good to the line late in the big Cups and will certainly appreciate the drop in grade. Assign won well at Caulfield over 2400m but then peaked on his run in the Cup. Back to 2400m will suit. Big Orange all but won the 2015 Melbourne Cup before heading back home and having a really strong European summer that netted a number of Group level staying wins. He never fired in this year’s Cup, but he is very talented and shouldn’t be irgnored. Secret Number’s 2015 Melbourne cameo produced a super 2nd in a hot 2600m race before he headed back home to the UK. The lightly raced runner only had one run into the 2016 Melbourne Cup and he really looked flat finishing back in the field. He is sure to be an improver 2nd up. Beautiful Romance had a fairly good European summner before coming out here to try her luck in the Melbourne Cup, where she arguably had one of the best runs in the race behind the place getters. She does come back to 2400m, but she is a classy mare with a huge chance. So Si Bon has a big ask but will relish the 2400m. Sandown Sound Out Says: Who Shot Thebarman 1st/Almoonqith 2nd/Big Orange 3rd.

R8 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (Group 3 WFA 1300m) Hot little mid-distance range Group 3 race. Illustrious Lad certainly looks the stand out. The in-form sprinter beat a strong Group 2 field over 1200m last start. Does rise in weight but is in great form. Faatinah is a natural leader that will be setting the pace and only just missed in a similar field last start over 1200m. Yet to race over this trip, but is talented. Lucky Hussler and Under The Lourve are proven Group 1 performers that should be repsected in this grade, while Famous Seamus has a great record over this trip and comes into this on the back of a strong Listed grade win. Burning Front is sure to improve 2nd up and Durendal has been there abouts all Spring in higher grades so will appreciate the drop to Group 3. Sandown Sound Out Says: Illustrious Lad 1st/Faatinah 2nd/Durendal 3rd

R9 Eclipse Stakes (Group 3 1800m) Big field full with a host of runners coming out of the same race. Tucanchoo was 2nd in that race and, 3rd up now, is sure to have reached full fitness and will be hard to beat. Alaskan Rose was ultra impressive late in a hot Group 2 mares race over 2000m last start. She is unbeaten on this track and looks well placed. Cool Chap jumped up to this trip for the first time last start and was just beaten on the line late. Stays at 1800m which is interesting, but the leader will be in this for a long way. Plot The Course was shuffled right back in that Tucanchoo race, but did hit the line well. With a better draw here he is right in this. High Church is sure to improve 2nd up and Desert Jueney was 3rd behind Tucanchoo and could be your value runner. Sandown Sound Out Says: Tucanchoo 1st/Alaskan Rose 2nd/Cool Chap 3rd

R10 Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (Group 3 Mares 1500m) The last of a big day of racing. Extensible just cant seem to run a bad race of late and comes into this after a solid 3rd over 1600m in this grade. The same could be said for Silent Sedition. She is in great form and just missed late (3rd) in a strong Group 3 last start. Metaphorical hasn’t been far off in some good races over similar trips this Spring and certainly is right in this. Shillelagh was great over 1400m in this grade last start and will be really suited by 1500m. A few last start winners jump right in grade but shouldn’t be discounted based on how well they won their last race. This includes Weather The Storm, Mossbeat, Miles of Krishan and Vital Importance. Good luck in a tough race! Sandown Sound Out Says: Extensible 1st/Silent Sedition 2nd/ Metaphorial 3rd/Shillelagh 4th.

Caulfield Callouts – BMW Caulfield Cup Day Preview

Posted on Categories Member News

The big question remains though, can the Caulfield Call Out continue the good from Guineas Day? Let’s take a look at the big races on Caulfield Cup day and hopefully find you a winner.

By Tim Guille @timbguille

What a week it has been. We saw the Sydney raiders take out our two 3YO classics, the mighty mare Winx take out the Caulfield Stakes and He’s Our Rokki blew them away in the Toorak Hcp. This Saturday the curtain comes down on the 2016 Caulfield Cup Carnival with the showpiece event, the $3million BMW Caulfield Cup. The big question remains though, can the Caulfield Call Out continue the good from Guineas Day? Let’s take a look at the big races on Caulfield Cup day and hopefully find you a winner.

R1 – Plate (1400m, 3YOF) Caulfield Call Out Says: Sylspheed 1st, Skylight Glow 2nd, Tris 3rd

R2 – Polytrack Gothic Stakes (Listed, 1400m, 3YO C & G) Caulfield Call Out Says: Inside Agent 1st, Acatour 2nd, Morton Fork 3rd

R3 – Crown Lager Alinghi Stakes (Listed, 1100m, 3yo+ F & M) Caulfield Call Out Says: Estaminet 1st, Miss Promiscuity 2nd, Almighty Girl 3rd

R4 – New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (Group 3, 2000m, 3YOF) Caulfield Call Out Says: Sebring Dream 1st, Bella Sorellastra 2nd, Moqueen 3rd

R5 – Ladbrokes Classic (Group 3, 2000m, 3YO)

Fast Facts: Registered as the Norman Robinson and many use it as a Spring feature lead up race. It was first run on Wednesday in 1979 and is one of the richest 3YO races in the country.

History Tells Us:

  • Form rules – the last seven winners finished in the top three in their last start
  • Be favoured – only six of the last 30 winners paid $10 or more
  • The last five winners were Victorian
  • Only three fillies have won this race since it began, yet two of those were in 2014 and 2015
  • Odd stat – the numbers 7 and 9 haven’t won for 30 years
  • If History is right – winner is Rocketeer

Overview: NZer Highlad won his first two starts there well and stepped up in grade and distance in his first Aussie start. He tried to lead from pillar to post and just faded late, but you would have to think he could improve with a quieter run. Wine Bush won with authority over 1800m last start (Rocketeer 2nd/Highlad 3rd) and is primed for this distance range. Have absolutely loved the way Rocketeer has hit the line in his last few starts, including an eye catching run over 1800m last start. 2000m will be ideal. Inference was really strong to the line on a tight track last start, so is a likely improver over further ground on this bigger track. Positive Carry might show some improvement here, while Throssell was a little off last start, but showed some promise prior to that, so if he is fighting fit here again isn’t without a hope.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Highlad 1st, Rocketeer 2nd, Wine Bush 3rd

R6 – Priceline Pharmacy  Coongy Cup (Group 3, 2000m, HCP) Caulfield Call Out Says: De Little Engine 1st, Bring Something 2nd, It’s Somewhat 3rd

R7 – Schweppes Tristarc Stakes (Group 2, 1400m, 4yo+, Mares)

Fast Facts: It was first run in 1987 and elevated to Group 2 in 2005.

History Tells Us:

  • Follow the money – five out of the last eight winners were favourite
  • Sydney may actually be better – four of he last five winners were Sydney trained/Sydney jockeys
  • Odd stat – the numbers 6 and 7 haven’t won for over 30 years
  • Odd stat – nice of the last 11 winners had two word names
  • If history is right – winners is First Seal

Overview: Tycoon Tara is having a sensational Spring. She led and put them away last start over this trip in a strong Group 2. Interesting to note that the 2nd horse in that race has won a race since. First Seal is a smart mare who will certainly be competitive here. She was pretty good ‘first up’ in NSW behind Tycoon Tara (5th) and is sure to be fitter over a trip she loves. Danish Twist comes back to her own sex after a good ‘first up’ run against the boys in NSW. Another runner that is sure to be a big player. Telopea’s form doesn’t jump out off the page, but she has been running in some really strong races and is sure to be far more competitive in this field. French Emotion has been fairly good this Spring and never seems to run poorly, while Jessy Belle is up to these on her day.

Looking For Value? Denmagic comes down from Sydney and is out of some pretty hot Group races up there. She could bob up at odds in this field.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Tycoon Tara 1st, First Seal 2nd, Danish Twist 3rd

R8 – BMW Caulfield Cup (Group 1, 2400m, HCP)

Fast Facts: It was first run on Saturday April 5, 1879 and moved to Spring in 1881. Interestingly, a lot of people associate Bart Cummings as the ‘cups king’ referring to another great cup. But Bart actually also won an incredible seven Caulfield Cups.

History Tells Us:

  • Value galore – Seven of the last eight winners started over $10
  • Got your passport? Three of the last four winners were overseas horses
  • Be out of form? Not one of the last seven winners has finished 1st or 2nd in their last start
  • A weighty issue – only two horses in the last 30 years have won carrying more than 57kgs
  • 1 is done – No horse has won from barrier 1 in over 30 years
  • Only six mares have won this race in the last 30 years
  • Odd stat – The numbers 4, 10 and 11 haven’t won for over 30 years
  • If history is right – The winner is Scottish

Overview: Let’s start with the Australian contingent. It’s pretty hard not to see why Jameka is favourite. Her win her two starts ago here in the Naturalism was outstanding and then she backed up with a strong 2nd behind superstar Hartnell. She has won over this trip before, gets right down in the weights and she will be primed for this. Real Love is having his fourth start this campaign and is another runner that in form.. He won well over 2000m last start (a bit left in the tank!) and has a great 2400m record over this distance.

NSW runner, Tally, comes out of that Jameka/Hartnell race. He found himself unusually leading in that and he peaked late. He gets a wide barrier here which makes it interesting but he could improve. Jameka’s stable mate Set Square knows how to win Group 1s over this distance so has the runs on the board. She showed real promise early on in the Spring but has been a bit flat in her last couple. Can she bounce back?

Now for the overseas runners. Scottish has been in great form in England and comes out of some strong Group level staying races. He beat 2015 Caulfield Cup runner up Trip To Paris in July over 2000m, which gives you a good indication of how talented he is. He is certainly a big player. German trainer Andreas Wholer has tasted big success in Australia already (Protectionist) and brings over the smart Articus for our big one.  The lightly raced 5YO has been running well at Group level in Germany, including only finishing 2L off the winner in a Group 1 last start. He is a little bit of the unknown ‘first up,’ but has to be respected.

Exospheric, now with Aussie trainer Lee Freedman, has been highly competitive in a number of English Group races. He wasn’t far off some of the quality stayers over there, including only 2L off Highland Reel last start, who was 3rd behind Winx in last year’s Cox Plate. You should never overlook star British trainer Aiden O’Brien’s runners and he brings over Sir Isaac Newton for this. His form hasn’t been great, but how can you overlook an O’Brien runner? Vengeur Masque has had a few starts in Australia now but let’s put into the overseas runners bucket. The lightly raced 5YO showed some real staying talent in Ireland, including a fairly good run over 2900m in the Group 1 Irish St Ledger. Since coming here, he has been good, including a strong over 2500m last start behind a strong field. Not the worst here. Rounding out the overseas runner is NZer Fanatic. She won the Group 1 NZ Oaks over 2400m and, third up here, gets a chance back at a distance that clearly is to her liking.

Of the rest of the Aussies, Preferment and Our Ivanhowe will love this distance now, Pemberley comes in with a ridiculously light weight, Sacred Master hit the line well behind Sir John Harkwood last start so will have no issue getting the trip and Tarzino is another runner with a Group 1 win over this distance in his bag of tricks. Throw in Big Memory, Go Dreaming, De Little Engine and Almoonqith and you have a cracking 2016 Caulfield Cup line up!  

Looking for Value? Sir John Harkwood comes into this after winning a Group 1 over 2400m. How can you knock that? He might have slipped under the radar here and has some attractive odds.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Jameka 1st, Real Love 2nd, Scottish 3rd

R9 – Dilmah Single Origin Teas Caulfield Sprint (Group 2, 1000m, HCP)

Fast Facts: This was first run in 1983 and elevated to Group 2 in 1999. It began as an 1100m race but was changed to 1000m in 2014. Amazingly there has been a dead heat in this race in the last two years.

History Says:

  • Well rested – five of last eight winners were ‘first up’
  • In the money – a favourite hasn’t won since 2012
  • One for the boys? Only four of the last 20 winners were female
  • Odd stat – The number 2 hasn’t won in over 30 years
  • If history is right – winner is Lankan Rupee

Overview: First off is last start Caulfield winner Hellbent He does jump up in grade here but was dominant when winning his last 2 and has loads of talent.  Wild Rain is one of the few mares here, but is right in this after her strong Group 1 3rd last start in a hot race. Crowd favourite and sprinting superstar, Lankan Rupee, returns to the track here after a long injury lay off. Let’s hope he bounces back. Our Boy Malachi amazingly has only ever missed the top three in four of his 25 starts and certainly isn’t without a hope.  Redzel lead and won well here two starts ago before finding the pace a little hot up at Group 1 level last start. Back a little in grade at a track he loves has him right in this. Of some of the others, Take Pride is talented on her day, while Faatinah is the likely leader who will take some catching.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Hellbent 1st, Wild Rain 2nd, Take Pride 3rd

R10 – Ladbrokes Moonga Stakes (Group 3, 1400m, 4yo+) Caulfield Call Out Says: Takedown 1st, Mabeel 2nd, Fast ‘N’ Rocking 3rd

Caulfield Callouts – Guineas Day Preview

Posted on Categories Member News

Spring is upon us and the first of the big Spring classics, the Caulfield Guineas, is here.

By Tim Guille @timbguille

The footy scarves and big Winter coats have been put away. Spring is upon us and the first of the big Spring classics, the Caulfield Guineas, is here. Saturday kicks off the start of a mouth watering Caulfield Cup Carnival week where we get to see Group 1 racing at its best. Best of all, this Saturday we get to see arguably Australia’s best horse in the flesh, Winx, hoon around Caulfield. Let’s take a look at the big races and hopefully find you a winner.

R2 – Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (Group 2, 2400m, Quality)

Fast Facts: First held in 1898. Named after a former Chairman who was instrumental in shaping Victorian racing. A Group 2 since 1981 and 2400m since 1920.

History Tells Us:

  • Weight a minute – Only two horses have won carrying more than 56.5kgs in last 30 years
  • Only four mares have won in last 30 years
  • Odd Stat – five of the last seven winners had single word names and last four winners wore predominantly blue
  • The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Assign

Overview: Assign stuck on pretty well behind a star last start here over 2400m and didn’t seem to tire. He will probably take a lot of benefit out of that run and improve here. Group 1 winner, Howard Be Thy Name is shaping up to be a really impressive staying type while. Big Memory won this race in 2014, so knows how it is done. Pemberley jumps right up in grade but is in great form and Prince Of Penzance is on another Melbourne Cup campaign and has to be considered over this staying trip.

Looking for Value? Master Zephyr was really strong to the line last start over 2050m and has won over this trip before. He could sneak into the placings based on his best form.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Assign 1st, Bon Amrum 2nd, Royal Rapture 3rd.

R6 – Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (Group 1 2000m WFA)

Fast Facts: First run in 1886 and always a Group 1. Winner’s list includes many stars such as Naturalism, Northerly, Rough Habit, Might and Power, So You Think and Fawkner.

History Tells Us:

  • Step up in distance – only two of last 30 winners had their last starts at 2000m or more
  • Know your turf – 9 of last 15 winners had one of their last three starts here
  • Only one mare has won the race in 30 years
  • Odd stat – The number ‘6’ has won six of the last 11 races
  • The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – He Or She

Overview: We get to sit back and watch super star, Winx, in action here. She is looking to make it 12 straight wins here by winning her ninth Group 1. The star has just toyed with her rivals over the last year or so and will do so again here. Black Heart Bart loves Caulfield winning his three starts here, the last two being Group 1. He is a really good horse and who knows, may cause the boil over. He Or She is off the back of a really strong Group 1 2nd over 1800m here last start in that Bart race.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Winx to win. Easily.

R7 – Schweppes Thousand Guineas (Group 1 1600m 3YOF)

Fast Facts: First run in 1946 and always Group 1. It was previously held on the Wednesday of Caulfield Cup week (1988 – 2013) and on Caulfield Cup day (1946 – 1988).

History Tells Us:

  • Familiarity – 16 of last 17 winners are out of Thousand Guineas Prelude, Manifold or Flight Stakes (Sydney)
  • In form – no winners in the last 30 years have finished outside of the top six in their last start
  • Odd stat – the number nine hasn’t won for over 30 years
  • The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’Global Glamour

Overview: Foxplay comes into this after two stunning Group 2 wins, deserves to be favourite and looks hard to beat. Harlow Gold shoots right up in grade, but did win strongly here last start over 1600m, so deserves here chance. Global Glamour led the whole way to win a key form race last start, the Flight Stakes. No doubt Gai Waterhouse will be cheering her home. WA runner, Whispering Brook remained undefeated until she came to Victoria where she is yet to taste success. The front-runner could be an improver and will be the one they have to chase. Hard not to like Missrock’s Group 2 run here last start, she really hit the line strongly late and looks well suited to 1600m. La Luna Rossa was another runner out of that Missrock race and was also eye catching late and is right in this. Legless Veuve was the winner of that Group 2 and is sure to have many an omen bet placed on her. 1600m might be the query but her form is hard to knock.

Looking for Value? Leotie nearly took out a strong Group 3 here in August, flying late. She has since gone back in grade to win her last two starts convincingly and gets another go at the top level.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Foxplay 1st, Missrock 2nd, Global Glamour 3rd

R8 – Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m Group 1 3YO)

Fast Facts: First run on a Thursday in 1881 (Wheatear won) and always a Group 1 with set weights (56.5kgs).

History Tells Us:

  • Sydney raiders – four of last five winners were from NSW
  • In form – none of last 10 winners finished outside the top four last start
  • Is the Prelude a preview? Maybe not. Only seven of last 15 winners came via Guineas Prelude
  • A little value? – Only five of the last 15 winners were favourite (Ave. $8.75)
  • Odd stat – the number six hasn’t won for 30 years and the last four winners have had multi word names
  • The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Divine Prophet

Overview: NSW runner, Impending, shapes up as the one to beat. He beat a strong field which included a few of these in a 1500m Group 2 last start and looks well suited in this field over 1600m. Divine Prophet was 2nd behind him last start, just missing late. He boasts a Group 1 placing over 1600m in Autumn and looms as a big danger. Sacred Elixir probably caught a few people by surprise here first up, winning the Prelude strongly. He has won at Group 1 level over 1600m before so knows how it’s done and is right in this. Good Standing was 3rd in that Impending race and has been racing like he wants further, so he gets that now. Evacuation wasn’t flash behind Sacred Elixir here last start, but is talented so deserves another chance, while Hey Doc has strung three nice wins in a row and continues to impress as he jumps in grade. Saracino and Seaburge are amongst the chances too.  

Looking for Value? Looking for Value? Kaching has been really impressive to the line in his last two starts over this distance and is really well drawn here.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Impending 1st, Divine Prophet 2nd, Sacred Elixir 3rd.

R9 – IG Markets Toorak Hcp (Group 1 1600m HCP)

Fast Facts: First held in 1865 and always Group 1.

History Tells Us:

  • Be in form – not one winner of last 14 has finished outside of the top six last start
  • Look to Rupert – last 4 winners have come out of Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
  • 85% of last 30 winners were male
  • Be favoured – only one of last 12 winners started at over $10
  • Odd stat – numbers 8,9 and 10 haven’t won in over 30 years
  • The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Bon Amrum

Overview: Caulfield local Bon Amrum has been somewhat of a sensation this Spring and won the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke here last start, so is right in this. He’s Our Rokki comes into this after two strong wins here. He does jump in grade but is in super form. Ex-Japanese runner Tosen Stardom was eye catching late in his first Aussie run (4th) and is sure to be an improver. Multiple Group winner Counterattack is also out of the Rupert Clarke and is up to this field on his day, while Sydneysider, and grey, Moral Victory looked superb winning a Group 2 (1500m) last start.  Royal Rapture is remarkably looking to make it six wins in a row here and comes into this after a good win here. Awesome Rock won smartly two starts ago but peaked late on his last run here over 1800m, so might be better suited at 1600m. Miss Rose De Lago returns to the track she loves (won 4 of last 5 here) and has to be considered.

Looking for Value? The ultra consistent Thames Court is out of the strong Rupert Clarke where she only finished 1.3L behind Bon Amrum so certainly isn’t without a hope.

Caulfield Call Out Says: He’s Our Rokki 1st, Bon Amrum 2nd, Royal Rapture 3rd.

R10 – Mitsubishi Electric Schillachi Stakes (Group 2, 1100m, WFA, 3yo+)

Fast Facts: First run in 1970 as the Chirnside Stakes and the name changed in 2000 to honour champion sprinter. Black Caviar won in 2010/11.

History Tells Us:

  • Fresh is best – six of last seven winners were ‘first up’ after winter breaks
  • One for the girls – nine of last 14 winners were female
  • Follow the money – last 11 winners paid under $8
  • Odd stat – four of last nine winners were number 6
  • The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Ocean Embers

Overview: Star Turn is having a great Spring so far and really looks the stand out here. The 3YO won a strong Group 3 1st up before just missing behind a star in this grade. Canberra raider, Fell Swoop is ‘1st up’ here after  a pretty solid Autumn which included a close 2nd to quality sprinter Chautauqua. He races well fresh so is a big chance. Really loved the way Hucklebuck hit the line here 1st up with his big weight. He gets some weight relief here and has a fabulous ‘2nd up’ record. Malaguerra was somewhat of a sensation last Spring and backed it up with a solid Autumn this year. Under the guidance of a new trainer he will certainly be in the mix. Flamberge has never missed the top three ‘1st up’ and Turn Me Loose did win a Group 1 here in Autumn so has talent. Dothraki isn’t with out a chance and Japonsime is a Group performed runner that has been out of form somewhat but cant be dismissed that easily.

Looking for value? Ocean Embers absolutely love Caulfield and has won her last two starts here, including a Group 3, over similar distance range. She has had a little ‘freshen up’ and certainly looks like great value.

Caulfield Call Out Says: Star Turn 1st, Fell Swoop 2nd, Ocean Embers 3rd.

Don’t miss the MRC Members racing tour to Hong Kong!

Posted on Categories Member News

The sell-out MRC Members’ Tour to Hong Kong returns once again in 2016, providing members with privileged access to one of the most premium racing clubs in the world, Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The sell-out MRC Members’ Tour to Hong Kong returns once again in 2016, providing members with privileged access to one of the most premium racing clubs in the world, Hong Kong Jockey Club.

This seven day tour combines all that is great about Hong Kong – blockbuster racing, premium food and beverages and of course, the many tourist and sightseeing attractions.

Your trip includes:

  • 5 nights accommodation at 4½ star Mira Moon Hotel in Hong Kong with full daily English breakfast included
  • 1 nights accommodation at 5 star hotel and casino in Macau
  • Welcome drinks with a VIP seat on the Symphony of Lights cruise with a window table
  • Dinner at award winning Chinese restaurant Hutong whilst on the tour
  • Hong Kong city half day guided tour to see all the main sights
  • Full VIP hospitality for Longines International Jockey’s Championship at Happy Valley including dinner and drinks
  • Full VIP hospitality on Longines Hong Kong International Raceday at Sha Tin including lunch and drinks
  • Carbine Club luncheon at Grand Hyatt (Men) and shopping tour and lunch at Michelin Star restaurant (Ladies)
  • MRC tour pack, Hong Kong metro rail pass and the services of an experienced tour leader

Twin/Double Share Packages from $4495 per person
Talk to us about return flights. Economy and business class options with Cathay Pacific.

5000 PEGASUS REWARDS bonus points ($50 credit) loaded on to your MRC Membership Card when you book.

To book, simply contact italktravel on (03) 9807 7922 or email

2016 Hyland Colours Underwood Stakes Preview

Posted on Categories Member News

Let’s take a look at the feature races on a great card of racing this Saturday, which includes two exceptional Group 1s.

A racehorse is bred to run fast. It is a well-designed ‘machine’ made up of over 500kg of muscle, with a cruising speed of up to 60km/h. When Spring arrives in Melbourne, we get a chance to see the absolute best of these ‘machines’ in action in our very own backyard, Caulfield. With the sun starting to break away the Winter shackles and the fashions of the season slowly emerging, you can really feel the Spring Carnival in the air. Let’s take a look at the feature races on a great card of racing this Saturday, which includes two exceptional Group 1s.

R5 (1400m Group 2 3YO Fillies) – Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude

Fast Facts:

  • Began in 1983 and registered as Tranquil Star Stakes (after multiple Group 1 winning mare)
  • Elevated to Group 2 in 2013
  • Keep your eyes open – five of the last six Schweppes Thousand Guineas came out of this race

History Tells Us:

  • 70% of last 10 winners came via a Group/Listed race
  • Fitness is key – eight of last 10 winners were 2nd or 3rd ‘up’
  • Value galore – only two of last 10 favourites have won, average price $9.50
  • Odd stat – last eight winners have had the letter ‘S’ in their name
  • If history is right the winner is La Luna Rossa

Overview: It’s hard not to be impressed by WA runner Whispering Brook’s record. She has won five of her six runs, with her only Victorian run resulting in a 2nd (last start). Leotie has been somewhat of a sensation at Caulfield in her last two runs and is certainly a key player. Missrock continues her run of ‘good run/bad run’ and is due for a good one, so should be considered. Samara Dancer won a really strong race here in Autumn before an average Diamond. She returned with a nice run and is sure to be an improver ‘2nd up’. I Am A Star certainly looked that winning here in August, but couldn’t back up in Sydney. She has come back down the Hume and could be in the mix. La Luna Rossa is worth considering, particularly as it seems these NZ visitors are winning everything so far this Spring in Australia, and she has won a Group 1. Sweet Sherry was strong late in her last start in a similar field and has thrived since moving into her new stable. Sebring Dream is only lightly raced, but her stable has a big opinion of her. She caught the eye late last start and looks likely to improve over 1400m.

Caulfield Call Out Says – Leotie 1st Whispering Brook 2nd La Luna Rossa 3rd.

R6 (1400m Group 3 3YO Colts/Geldings) – Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude

Fast Facts:

  • First run in 1985 – upgraded to Group 3 in 2001
  • Another race that was previously held on ‘Show Day’ years ago
  • Follow the leader – four of last six winners placed in top three in BECK Caulfield Guineas

History Tells Us:

  • Be in form – last nine winners placed top four in their last stat
  • 75% of last 10 winners raced at Group level last start
  • Look for value – only two favourites have won last 10 races
  • Odd stats – eight of last 13 winners had one word names
  • If history is right the winner is Archives

Overview: It looks like we may lose another one of our Spring races to NZ, with star runner Saracino. His first Australian start produced a strong Group 2 win, and he looks like a big Spring player.  Archives had to settle for 2nd behind Saracino last start but will appreciate the 1400m. Throssell has shown ability in his last two runs, finishing in the placings behind some smart 3YOs and also seems suited to 1400m. If you ask Gai Waterhouse who will win, she will no doubt tell you her undefeated runner Evacuation, is a big hope, and she may be right. He is jumping up in grade but looks smart.  Sacred Elixir does have the task of winning this ‘1st up’ after his break, but does have a Group 1 victory in his bag of tricks, so has the class. Seaburge seems to have warmed up a little too late in both of his last two runs, but is a quality 3YO that is sure to improve again. Revolving Door, Yu Long Sheng Hui and Hardham have all shown some promise to date and might provide some good odds for the value hunters.

Caulfield Call Out Says – Saracino 1st Throsell 2nd Archives 3rd

Race 7 (1400m Group 1 HCP) – SPONSOR Sir Rupert Clarkes Stakes

Fast Facts:

  • Previously known as ‘Invitation Stakes’ and held on ‘Show Day’ until 1994
  • Name changed in 2005 to honour former MRC Chairman

History Tells Us:

  • 80% of last 10 winners were male and the last six winners were 4YO
  • Out wide – only one of last eight winners started from inside barrier five
  • Be in form – the last 14 winners finished in the top five last start
  • Odd stat – Craig Williams has won six of the last 11 races
  • If history is right the winner is Counterattack

Overview:  Voodoo Lad just can’t seem to put a foot wrong, winning his last two starts including one here. He is in super form. But there are challengers aplenty! Sydneysider Counterattack was superb late in his last start and is sure to be much fitter here and is right in the mix. Under The Louvre loves Caulfield (only missed top three once in 10 starts) and will be flashing home late (back him if that is the pattern of the day). Bon Aurum already knows how to win on this day (won Guineas Prelude last year) and lines up after a strong last start win. You can never be sure which Xtravagant turns up to the races these days, but if it’s the good one, watch out. Loved the last start of Tivaci and he could be a real player here. Thames Court will no doubt be one of the runners dictating the pace, Well Sprung really caught the eye late last start and Mr Individual gets right down in the weights here and could line some pockets with some value.

Caulfield Call Out Says – Counterattack 1st Voodoo Lad 2nd Under The Louvre 3rd

Race 8 (1800m Group 1 WFA) – Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes

Fast Facts:

  • First held at Williamstown Racecourse in 1924 and moved to Caulfield in 1948
  • Held on ‘Show Day’ until 1994
  • Key Spring form race – many of the big Spring race winners emerge form this race

History Tells Us:

  • Value galore? Only 25% of last 30 winners were favourite
  • A mare hasn’t won since 1986
  • Pays to be well rested – eight of last ten won having their 2nd or 3rd start after ‘spells’
  • Odd stats – 55% of last 30 winners had a one word name and number 1 hasn’t won for 16 years
  • If history is right the winner is Tavago


Black Heart Bart looks likely to start favourite. He was beaten over 1600m last start, some suggesting he peaked on his run. Is 1800m going to suit him? Could we see Lucia Valentina defy history and become the first mare in over 30 years to win? Our Ivanhowe is 2nd up and was certainly an eye catcher late last start, as was He Or She in the same race. The connections of He or She would be excited by the extra distance here. Awesome Rock boasts a Group 1 1600m victory the last time he stepped onto the race track, while people’s favourite, The Cleaner, will be dictating the pace, and will be in it for a long way. You cant really discount multiple Group 1 winner Tarzino, while reigning Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance will be one to watch after a strong performance last start. Tavago looked a lost in his first run after Winter, but the Group 1 winner is classy, so expect him to bounce bac.

Caulfield Call Out Says – Lucia Valentina 1st Our Ivanhowe 2nd Black Heart Bart 3rd Prince of Penzance 4th

Other key races:

Race 2 italktravel Harry White Classic (2400m HCP Listed) – Previously named the RM Ansett Classic and run at Mornington or Sandown – the Listed level race is now named after a star jockey. This year a small field of quality line up. Black Tomahawk doesn’t know how to run a bad race. The Bandit has shown a lot of promise since debuting in Australia, Almandin will be well suited by the extra distance, as will cups campaigner, Signoff. Assign has won a Listed race here before and O’Lonera should be considered after his 2400m win here in August.

IG Trading Masterclass This Saturday

Posted on Categories Member News

Along with IG Trading, we’re also hosting a free masterclass in share trading.

Do you trade shares? Learn how to identify investment opportunities with IG – 2016’s best online trading platform*.

This short seminar will cover:

  • Trade ideas
  • Markets to watch
  • Global trend analysis

Race Day: Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes Day

Date: Saturday 24th September, 2016

Time: 11.15am arrival for 11.30am start (the information session will run for 30mins)

Location: Level 1, Mezzanine in the Rupert Clarke Grandstand (access via Members Lift Well)

Light refreshments and morning tea will be served.

*AFR Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards 2016. Issued by IG Markets Limited. AFSL 220440

Click here to register

Executive Committee Election 2016

Posted on Categories Member News

Please click through for the Candidate Statements, details on how to vote and submission deadlines.

For the results of the Annual General Meeting please click here.

The AGM of the Melbourne Racing Club which is to be held in the Committee Room, 3rd Floor, Rupert Clarke Grandstand, Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield on Thursday, 29 September 2016 at 6:00 pm will include confirmation of the Executive Committee.

The Club has received five (5) nominations for three (3) vacancies on Executive Committee and there is to be an election.

Mr Roger Donazzan, Mr Rod Fenwick and Ms Patricia Faulkner AO as existing Committee Members are seeking re-election. Mr Peter Brown and Mr Peter Selleck have also nominated.

Eligible members have been sent a postal pack on how to vote on 7 September 2016. Please note that in order to be eligible to vote you must be a Full Financial Member or Life Member as at 5:00 pm on 7 September 2016.

Please click here for the Candidate Statements, details on how to vote and submission deadlines.

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Posted on Categories Member News

Dear Members,

The Melbourne Racing Club wishes to advise of the upcoming Annual General Meeting.

The Annual General Meeting of members of the Victoria Amateur Turf Club (incorporating the Melbourne Racing Club) will be held in the Committee Room, 3rd Floor, Rupert Clarke Grandstand, Caulfield Racecourse, Station Street, Caulfield on Thursday, 29 September 2016 at 6pm.

The Business of the AGM will include:

  1. Confirmation of the minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting and the minutes of the 2016 Special General Meeting;
  2. To receive a report as to the general activities of the Club;
  3. To receive the Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2016;
  4. Confirmation of the Executive Committee;
  5. To appoint Auditors; and
  6. General Business.

The 2016 Annual Report will be made available to members in advance of the Annual General Meeting. It will be posted on the club website on the 20th of September 2016, with printed copies available upon request. Please contact or 1300 GO RACE (46 7223) to request a printed copy.

The 2016 Annual Report for Melbourne Racing Club can be viewed by clicking here.

Please note that any members wishing to nominate for Executive Committee must contact the Club to request the nomination forms. All nomination forms and associated materials must be returned to the Club by 5pm on 25 August 2016 in order to be eligible.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Membership Team on 1300 GO RACE (46 7223) or should you have any further queries.

Kind Regards,

Brodie Arnhold
Chief Executive Officer
Returning Officer