Runners to watch: Caulfield, February 25th

Race 1: Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m)

Second Bullet (6th): only beat one home but the way the race was run he had no hope. Hit the line when the race was all over and his second-up record suggested he might take a dip after an impressive fresh win. Expect him to bounce back from this.

Note – Boom Time enjoyed a nice run with cover and was able to be in a striking position on the turn, he finished over the top of leader Pilot D’Essai, who had every hope, while Goldstream got up on the inside to run third.

Race 2: Zeditave Stakes (1200m)

Violate (6th): settled well back in a seemingly fast run race, he responded to pressure to close in late and finish just off the placegetters first-up. Showed promise last time in and a likely improver when he gets to 1400m or so.

Note – Benz tracked the tearaway leaders all the way and he was able to reel them in for a strong win. He’s a bit under-rated. Hard Promise did all the work in front and held on bravely while Derryn ran into third. You can sack Peacock, he did nothing.

Race 3: Autumn Classic (1800m)

Note – Farson controlled the race outside the leader, looked momentarily under pressure when he took the lead but forged clear and was far too good for a moderate bunch. Cliff Hanger had his chance in second and Captain Rhett made a dash on the turn and stuck on for third.

Race 4: Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m)

Oregon’s Day (3rd): had a little more work to do than the first two home, making a long run from the back half she loomed as the likely winner 150m out but the harder run just told. Second-up here and ready to win one of these.

Note – the race turned into a three horse war over the last 300m with Savanna Amour taking advantage of having Ellicazoom’s back in running and just got the better late. Oregon’s Day a game third. On face value no excuses for Jennifer Lynn, she gave away a start as well but didn’t hit the line.

Race 5: Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m)

Tosen Stardom (2nd): game first-up effort from this high class Japanese galloper whose best form has been at 1800m and above. Enjoyed a nice run and looked the winner at the 100m before being nailed by his race fit stablemate. Patchy form in the wet but a force if he holds together this carnival.

Note – another Group 1 win at Caulfield for Black Heart Bart but it wasn’t as simple as his Orr Stakes win two weeks earlier. He knuckled down and arrived just in time to run down Tosen Stardom with Ecuador giving a big sight in the lead after jumping well. Attention’s effort to run fourth had merit against much more seasoned horses.

Race 6: Peter Young Stakes (1800m)

Jameka (4th): genuine excuses for the Caulfield Cup winner, she was caught three wide midfield early then worked forward up the hill before landing up outside the leader. Hit the front at the 200m but was a sitting shot and the early effort told. Far from disgraced.

Exospheric (6th): settled rearward and powered home down the outside to be right on the placegetters’ heels. Like to see what he does next time but an encouraging first-up run.

Note – Stratum Star was gifted the run of the race and with a bit of fitness on his side was able to sprint sharply and hold off stablemate Humidor, warming up late again, and The United States poking up on the inside after having the box seat run. Real Love also ran well again to be close up.

Race 7: Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m)

Note – the filly Catchy maintained her unbeaten record with a late burst as she ran down Pariah, who was game after sitting three deep on the speed throughout. They were clearly superior and got away from Formality who just held on for third ahead of Tulip. The winner is obviously smart, runner-up a big effort.

Race 8: Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m)

I Am A Star (7th): slashing performance to finish as close as she did. Jumped well then found herself back and wide. Last at the 300m but picked up a heap of ground. Love to see her at 1200-1400m where she can settle closer.

Note – an all the way win to Sheidel who controlled the pace and gave a good kick when asked and held off a brave Faatinah, who was always on the pace, and the three-year-old Extreme Choice rushing home late with HellbentFell Swoop was a shade disappointing, not the best out but he was under pressure a fair way out.

Race 9: Mannerism Stakes (1400m)

Note – another all the way win this time for Silent Sedition, who worked a bit to find the front and was softened up midrace. So her effort to kick away and then hold off Thames Court was strong. Miss Rose De Lago is normally a free runner but raced wide throughout and she battled on well to grab third just ahead of Abbey Maree who ran on well late.