Doveton Stakes preview – Caulfield January 7th

Doveton Stakes preview

By guest reviewer Todd Burmester Race 5 at Caulfield on Saturday does look a tricky affair. It also looks one of the better quality races of the day. The main reason I say it looks tricky is because some of those that appear the main chances could be best described as enigmas! I mainly speak of Stirling Grove. This horse on its day would beat this field I have no doubt. Will Saturday be its day? It’s hard to be sure. Even though Caulfield is a track where it has a good record, 1200m is not a distance that it has a good record, although it has won once over the distance from 5 attempts. Cat’s Pyjamas is the next “enigma” but perhaps to a lesser degree. In all honesty I only really say that due to its first up run this campaign. It went poorly but made amends for that second up with a decent win. Caulfield and 1200m is its go with 4 wins from 5 at Caulfield, and 3 wins from 5 at 1200m. I am not sure if enigma or gunna is the word to describe the next one. I speak of Cascabel who has tantalisingly run on strongly into second at its last three starts, raising the hopes of its supporters each time only to end up the bridesmaid. It’s a winner at the distance and at the track. Second Effort is another with some chance. It had some promising Winter form and went ok first up suggesting there will be some improvement to see this time out. In the end however, I am sticking with the theory that I spoke of last week which is to go with the class horse that has conditions to suit and that is First Command. He has the highest average prizemoney in the race, but for that reason, is asked to carry no less than 5kg more than his rivals.  He heads into this race first up and has a 50% strike rate at his 6 runs first up. He has found some support in early betting indicating to me he is on song. I think he is the safest way to go. Perhaps a “saver” on Stirling Grove wouldn’t go astray (the other class in the race on its day).