Punters rejoice, the long cold winter wait is over!
The sun is peeking out and Group 1 racing returns this Saturday with the $500,000 Memsie Stakes headlining an attractive card at Caulfield.
There’s nothing like building a nice punting bank and establishing an early lead over the bookies to set yourself up for a great Spring Carnival. Our Melbourne guru Trevor Lawson has been busy with the form this week, and has already walked the Caulfield track once to survey the conditions and help find a winner or two.
The forecast looks good too, with the sun set to shine on Saturday and only a couple of millimetres of scattered rain here and there in the lead-up – but as usual, expect a conservative track rating leaving scope for a possible upgrade later in the day.
The trainers’ column for the feature is dominated by two familiar names. The unstoppable force that is DK Weir prepares four runners – Price of Penzance, Black Heart Bart, Mahuta and Palentino – whilst David Hayes and Tom Dabernig have He or She, Tashbeeh and Rising Romance pulling for them.
Expect Ollie to have Lord of the Sky out front and be joined by Charmed Harmony and Mahuta, who should get the box seat. There’s a few questions on the likely leaders however – Lord of the Sky might want a slightly shorter trip, whilst the recent form of Charmed Harmony and Mahuta isn’t their best.
The early favourite Black Heart Bart won’t be far away and, all things being equal, should get the run of the race. Combine that with his stunning form since joining the Weir juggernaut – five starts for two wins and three seconds (all by a nose) – and it’s easy to understand the short price. He looks very hard to go past.
The rest should settle further back and find it pretty hard to overcome that. There’s a swag of first-up runners for whom connections will have bigger races in mind in the coming months – they’re headed by Melbourne Cup champion Price of Penzance and Alpine Eagle, who won’t know himself under a stack of gear changes. He or She, Tarzino, Tavago, Tally, Rising Romance and Sofia Rosa are the other first-uppers for whom immediate success is probably a little too much to ask. But if you are looking for some each-way value, Rising Romance maps well and should enjoy a relatively comfortable journey.
Our Melbourne package give you access to assessed prices, speed map comments and betting strategy from Trevor Lawson, a professional punter with a highly successful record on Victorian racing over the past 15 years.