Runners to watch: Caulfield, February 11th

Race 1: bigscreencompany Handicap (1800m)

De Little Engine (2nd): not noted as a first-up performer, he looks in for a very good preparation. Settled last and a fair way off the lead, working home along the inside before stretching out nicely late. Genuine staying type at his best around 2400m.

Note – Second Bullet usually runs well fresh but he posted a career best first-up performance here, sat midfield on the fence and pinched ground to hit the lead full of running 300m out and ran clear to beat De Little Engine with the leader Our Bottino battling on well for third. Favourite Hipparchus disappointed, he raced outside the winner but was never a factor.

Race 2: Autumn Stakes (1400m)

Note – an all the way win for Oak Door, who atoned for a luckless defeat at Flemington a couple of weeks earlier. He controlled the tempo and showed fight when the runs came. Top weight Attention stuck on well after sitting outside the winner, just nosing Knowable out of second. Ruthven is worth another look, he was first-up and was a bit one paced so may be looking for more ground.

Race 3: Blue Diamond Fillies Prelude (1100m)

Roomooz (4th): hit the line in great style, whether she’s a Diamond hope is debatable but she’ll win races…perhaps a VRC Sires’. Conceded a bit of ground to get outside the eventual winner but was outsprinted before doing strong late work.

Note – Catchy remained unbeaten with a tough and narrow win over Limestone who was held up for about 100m early in the straight. Not a lot between them and if you owned Limestone you’d be paying up for the Diamond. Arctic Angel had her chance in front and held on for third.

Race 4: Blue Diamond C&G Prelude (1100m)

Pariah (2nd): raced himself into serious Blue Diamond contention despite being beaten. Settled in the second half and had to shove into the clear before the turn, took a few strides to balance up (which was when the winner sprinted) then launched late. Should eat up 1200m.

Note – Property proved a true professional, sitting three wide with cover and showing a sharp turn of foot to run down Wait For No One, who gave them plenty to catch, then just held Pariah. Big effort from Azazel who was three wide on the pace throughout while Marsupial looked like he’d be in the finish tracking into the race to the turn but found nothing.

Race 5: Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m)

Oregon’s Day (2nd): eye-catching effort fresh. After settling well back she made a long run and took plenty of ground off the winner who had a perfect run. Lightly raced and she can be a force in similar races.

Jennifer Lynn (5th): should have finished a lot closer. Enjoyed a good run in the first half then stopped in her tracks early in the straight, losing any chance. Picked herself up and hit the line. Ready to win now.

Note – Fuhryk justified her short price with a strong win after enjoying a favourable run throughout. She held Oregon’s Day while a game effort from Savannah Amore who loomed three wide on the turn and battled on to hold a place.

Race 6: Rubiton Stakes (1100m)

I Am A Star (2nd): encouraging return from a filly who found her mark around a mile in the spring. She sat behind the lead and while presented with an inside run to finish off she did more than enough at the short trip to suggest she’s going to be competitive in anything this campaign.

Note – Super Cash caused an upset sitting outside the lead and dashing away with no regard for the reputations of a few behind her. She’s a smart mare and it’ll be interesting to see what she produces from here. I Am A Star, as mentioned, a solid return and Chautauqua ran home into third. An even run at best from the ‘world’s best sprinter’ who has either lost a couple of lengths or is looking for more ground this time in. Jury’s out.

Race 7: Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m)

Jameka (4th): outstanding return from the Caulfield Cup winner, she always runs well fresh and hit the line from last to narrowly miss a place. Shaping up well for races like the Australian Cup.

Note – Caulfield specialist Black Heart Bart added another G1 to his name in a race that panned out perfectly and proved that so called ‘bad alleys’ can be good ones as he landed three wide with cover and was able to roll into the race unimpeded. Far too strong for a much improved Turn Me Loose, who can be expected to hold his form now, and Ecuador ran out of his skin getting up for third after being under pressure before the turn. Malaguerra had every chance outside the leader, perhaps he’s a fresh 1200m sprinter.

Race 8: Carlyon Cup (1600m)

Humidor (2nd): another slashing performance at a trip short of his best. He settled last and burst out of the pack from the 300m, just running out of ground to catch his stablemate. Expect him to be hard to beat in the Peter Young next start.

Note – Burning Front rolled to the lead and was able to steal a couple of cheap fractions before slipping away around the turn and establishing a race winning lead. He just held Humidor with Tally producing a promising first-up effort for third just ahead of Master Reset (handy run out of his grade) and Real Love.

Race 9: Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200m)

Silent Sedition (2nd): another consistent effort by this mare who was first-up and while beaten favourite she likely would have won had she held a slightly more forward spot after jumping well.

Note – Prussian Vixen led all the way and easily held most of the field aside from the fast-finishing Silent Sedition who wins in another bound or two. Ameristralia heads to stud in USA now after running third while Written Era proved she’s up to this grade with a solid effort just behind the placings.