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.