Runners to watch: Caulfield, February 10th

Luke Krahe race reviews, notes and blackbookers from Saturday's Melbourne metro meeting at Caulfield.

Blackbookers: Race 2 – OOHOOD.

Race 1: The Big Screen Company Handicap 1800m.

Notes: GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (3rd) made a nice return to racing, was really doing his best work late after getting to the outside and running on hard form a mile back. DOWNHEARTED (2nd) jumped well, worked to the lead before taking a sit. He then had to chase a strong speed mid-race, took over at the top of the straight and was only run down late by KHUTULUN (1st) who had a soft run mid-field on the fence. He was beautifully ridden, angled three-wide at the top of the straight and did the job late after taking a while to wind-up. PLOT THE COURSE (unplaced) had a soft run on the rails, failed to pick up in the straight and was very disappointing after a soft run.

Race 2: Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude 2YO Fillies 1100m.

It wasn’t hard to notice the enormous run of OOHOOD (2nd) here. She played up and reared in the barriers, threw the jock and was taken out and vetted. She was passed fit, missed the kick by a length or so and settled last on the inside. She improved to the turn, pushed out very wide and ran on very well. She was clearly doing best on the line, she has a stack of ability.

Notes: SEABROOK (unplaced) looked the unlucky runner after running up behind the leaders in the straight, Oliver had nowhere to go and was sitting up for the majority of the last furlong. ENBIHAAR (1st) remained undefeated after a great ride from Baster, she was good but still not sure if she has the talent of a couple of others behind her here. LAKE DISTRICT GIRL (3rd) will win her share of races, she showed a stack of speed and ran them along, did well to hang on for third.

Race 3: Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude 2YO Colts and Geldings 1100m.

Huge run by PLAGUE STONE (2nd), in a race where he started from Gate 4, he was four-wide the journey without cover and still had the audacity to be closing late, although he was all out on the line. He looks to have come back well and probably should have won.

Notes: Take nothing away from the winner WRITTEN BY (1st) who also had to do his share of work up on the speed three-wide without cover and after hitting the lead he never looked threatened. These two are certainly the two to follow out of the race. HIGH RATIO (unplaced) had his chance after racing inside the winner but found nothing in the run home. SEBERATE (unplaced) and RUN NAAN (unplaced) were the noticeable ones running-on nicely from well back. They were really no chance how far back they were, they will be winning soon, maybe over a little further.

Race 4: Ladbrokes TS Carlyon Cup 1600m.

Notes: What a nice return to racing for GAILO CHOP (1st). After initially leading, he took a sit before sitting outside the leader mid-race. He levelled up at the top of the straight, strode to the front and was clearly doing best through the line. Looks like a big Autumn in store for him. HARLEM (2nd) was also honest in defeat resuming but appeared to have every chance. No excuses for any of the beaten brigade, the best horse certainly won.

Race 5: Kevin Hayes Stakes 3YO Fillies 1200m.

Notes: BOOKER (1st) made it a win resuming in a race where a lot of the top fillies were doing so. She controlled the race in front, was actually off the rails for the majority before kicking hard early in the straight and was never in danger. LEATHER’N’LACE (2nd) was super from the back, came the widest after being last and gave the winner about 5 lengths at the top of the straight. She ran on hard but never looked a winning chance in reality. SEE ME EXCEED (3rd) had every chance after sitting behind the winner but didn’t accelerate like her early in the straight. SHOALS (unplaced) was heavily backed late, she didn’t appear to appreciate being caught between runners when the tempo was only fair. She was tightened early in the straight, well beaten, she is obviously better than that and am willing to forgive that run, she also appeared in the stewards report with a  problem (mucus). TULIP (unplaced) was ok off the track, just didn’t quicken when the winner did.

Race 6: Schweppes Rubiton Stakes 1100m.

Notes: SUPER CASH (1st) had the extraordinary record when resuming, this mare was the winner of this race last year and reproduced the same result after a gem of a ride. She looked a little caught up back on the inside and at the 300 there were a stack of chances, but once she got out off the rail she sprinted sharply to the line the last 100 and made it another first-up win. Not sure if you can follow her going forward as she has only ever won one other race when not resuming. FLAMBERGE (2nd) controlled the race in front, was honest again after there looked a stack of challengers in the straight. MERCHANT NAVY (3rd) was four-wide near last early, eased to be 3 wide with cover but last. He tracked into nicely, got widest in the straight and after hitting a flat spot at the top of the straight, he ran on well late. Nice return. HELLBENT (unplaced) and RICH CHARM (unplaced) were both flying late from a mile back in a slowly run race.

Race 7: Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes 3YO 1400m.

Notes: With the scratchings, PREVAILING WINDS (unplaced) was able to fire across from the side gate, ran them along a merry dance but after kicking at the top of the straight, got very tired over the last furlong and actually did well to hang on for fourth. HOLY SNOW (1st) was impressive from dead last, even though the hot tempo probably suited, the way he made up the 6-8 length margin was super. He hit the lead by the 100 and was eased down late, tremendous late finishing speed. MR SO AND SO (2nd) was held-up badly at the top of the straight and had to wait for the winner to go by before switching around his heels and ran on very hard. Most unlucky. VILLERMONT (unplaced) was heavily backed in the last 5 minutes of betting, but it didn’t look as though L Nolen took too many of the right options after settling well back. He is better than that but may have got found out with the rise in class.

Race 8: Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes WFA 1400m.

Notes: HARTNELL (1st) made a super return to the racetrack with a typical grinding win of his. He doesn’t have that brilliant burst of speed nowadays but you know he will keep grinding away. He was three-wide with cover when they finally settled and got the perfect cart into on the back of the favourite, and in the straight he just did his thing. TOSEN STARDOM (unplaced) was four and five wide at times early, finally worked to get three-wide without cover before looming early in the straight, but that early work was always going to take its toll. SINGLE GAZE (2nd) was unlucky not to have won the race, Kathy elected to ride for luck and she was all over the back of them in the straight, finally got the rails run at the 100m and flashed through to narrowly miss. If that run presented 50m earlier, the mare wins it. BRAVE SMASH (3rd) flew home out wide to grab 3rd, also a nice run second-up showing just how he needs to be ridden. There were a few that didn’t really get a crack at them in the straight, the time was only average as well.

Race 9: Bellmaine Stakes Mares 1200m

Notes: The big roughie of the day salutes and with no surprise its in the last, another lottery of a race containing the girls. SILENT SEDITION (unplaced) was the well fancied favourite, settled back on the inside, was held-up early in the straight but didn’t do much the last 100 and doubt that she would have won anyway. An interesting return to the racetrack. PRUSSIAN VIXEN (1st) was huge odds, led early, took a sit, came off the rails on the turn, levelled up and was too good for them. Doesn’t say much for those that were beaten? FLIPPANT (2nd) had every chance following the winner, PETITION (3rd) was the best of the back markers running on hard from a mile back, FRAGONARD (unplaced) was also good over the last furlong running through the line well.