Runners to watch – Caulfield, January 7th

Ray Hickson reviews Saturday's Caulfield's meeting and highlights some horses to follow.

Race 1: Peter Siggins Plate (1100m)

Property (2nd): appears to have plenty of upside on a nice debut. Kept busy on the pace with a horse on his outside, raced greenly in the straight and just blew out the last 100m.

Notes: Catchy kept her unbeaten record intact with a fairly soft win though everything did pan out in her favour, getting a cold trail behind the leaders and sprinting home too well. The runner-up was sound and Kedelston worked home late from a long way off them.

Race 2: Ike Hollingworth Handicap (1100m)

Strictly Legit (3rd): negatively ridden from the wide gate, cutting across the back to be last. On the winner’s back before the turn but was outsprinted before working home strongly again late. Only second start and is on the up.

Dance With Fonetin (6th): total forgive run, she was held up behind the leaders who tired from the turn and the race was gone by the time she was able to sneak along the fence.

Notes: Mystified rounded them up from the second half down the outside to down Amadeus, an improved run third-up from him and might be looking for 1200m now, and Strictly Legit hitting the line.

Race 3: Raymond Deagan Handicap (1200m)

Notes: Crystal Dreamer made it three straight this time in, sat outside the lead and controlled things and was able to run down Danuki, who fought on well, with Atlantic City grabbing second on the line from the leader.

Race 4: Margot McCluskey Handicap (1400m)

Notes: gutsy all the way win from Special Diva, after working a bit early she kicked away around the turn and held off the determined finishes of Alma’s Rossa and Giroux who had their chances to run the winner down.

Race 5: Ian Morrison Handicap (1700m)

Notes: Skulduggery left them all with no excuses. On the back up from Wednesday and gave them a start and a beating. Starting to hit his straps now for the new stable and may go on. Royal Applause racked up another second and On Wings grabbed third but was never a chance. Folk Tales didn’t settle in front and Balf’s Choice disappointed.

Race 6: Mary Lewis Handicap (1100m)

Ameristralia (3rd): sat three wide without cover around midfield and did a very good job to keep coming in the straight. She’ll improve with that first-up run.

Notes: an upset result with Prussian Vixen sitting outside the leader and getting a break in the last 200m. She had a bit to spare in holding Lyuba with Ameristralia closing off after that wide run.

Race 7: Summer Championship Heat 7 (1800m)

Cool Chap (2nd): settled back last and forced to make a long run when they’re sprinted. He made a good fist of it, though wanted to hang in,and he took plenty of ground off the winner to run second. Look out for him heading toward the Hobart and Launceston Cups, they are ideal for him.

Notes: Import Plein Ciel made it four from four in Australia with a solid win though he may well be coming to the end of this prep – or is getting close to his class level. Not as dominant this time but was too good for an eye-catching Cool Chap and Bondeiger racked up another placing. Rewarding Effort had his chance and probably has had enough this time in.

Race 8: Summer Championship Heat 8 (1600m)

Notes: something of a form reversal from Burning Front, who was plain at Sandown last time, and he chimed in on the turn and got the better of Hellova Street putting in another honest effort and a couple to the jumper Extra Zero running down an ordinary Chance To Dance.

Race 9: David McGee Handicap (1400m)

Hokkaido (3rd): took off around them from the 600m and was four deep on the turn before hitting the front at the 200m. Fought on gamely and was only beaten about three quarters. Honest type when in form and this was a strong first-up effort.

Notes: a rare win for Bradman who timed his run a bit better this time and was able to hold Shockaholic who had to wait for him to go before getting to the outside. May have been a bit unlucky. Hokkaido a nice first-up run in third. King’s Command is becoming costly, he failed without any real excuses.