Runners to watch: Caulfield, February 9th 2019

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

Blackbookers: Race 6 – BROOKLYN HUSTLE

Race 1: Open Handicap 1800m.

Notes: SILENTZ (unplaced) and LAURE ME IN (unplaced) were the two that most people wanted in the betting, both appearing to have every possible chance. The speed was good, with LAURE ME IN (unplaced) third last one off the fence and SILENTZ (unplaced) followed him in the run, last. LAURE ME IN (unplaced) was the first to make the move three-wide but neither of them attacked the line and didn’t run on well enough. YOGI (1st) was first-up off a Melbourne Cup campaign where he didn’t get a run but went to Sandown to win there Cup a week later, now with the Maher stable, he sat back last as is the way with him, came with the two favourites and after being held-up slightly, Williams got him between runners and he finished way too good. Too classy and he may be in for a big prep, he does fly fresh though. COOL CHAP (2nd) had every chance, MAGNAPAL (3rd) was ok up on the speed but also had its chance. The two favourites were most definitely the flops of the race, the winner had the same run and gave them a pounding.

Race 2: Kevin Hayes Stakes 3YO Fillies 1200m.

Notes: Favourite backers were back on track after the second, CRACK THE CODE (1st) had the perfect run in behind the leaders and when the split appeared in the straight it was an easy watch for the backers of the 5/4 favourite., with Oliver riding hands and heels through the line for a soft win. NEWS GIRL (1st) led and had every chance, APERITIF (3rd) had every chance after racing outside the winner. She was under pressure when they quickened but responded well and was ok through the line. TROPEZINA (unplaced) was outside the leader and stuck on fairly, ZUOBO (unplaced) was well in the market as second pick, she settled last after being slow out and never got into the race. She did make some ground late but was never a factor, she also pulled up lame so forgive her that run on what was a race dominated by those on the speed.

Race 3: Bellmaine Stakes Mares 1200m.

Notes: It looked an open betting affair and with less than 2 lengths between first and sixth, it panned out that way on the track also. PRUSSIAN VIXEN (unplaced) was the outsider of the field, led and was the first beaten. FUHRYK (2nd) sat outside her and went straight by at the top of the straight, she did well to stick on and was only grabbed in the last 50m. PRINCESS OF QUEENS (1st) had the blows and was unwanted in the betting throughout the day, she had the perfect run in transit in the box seat and although she didn’t show a great turn-of-foot, she kept grinding away and got up late. I AM A STAR (3rd) got a pass mark resuming, she had the back of the winner and had every chance, she kept coming late. SPANISH REEF (unplaced) was never on the track and wasn’t far away whilst JUST HIFALUTIN (unplaced) may have been the run of the race. She was left a little flat-footed at the top of the straight and was shuffled out to last, she picked up late and ran out room over the last 50m when she was really getting down to her work. TELEPLAY (unplaced) had every chance after a good ride but didn’t run on well enough.

Race 4: Rubiton Stakes 1100m.

If the Weir saga had not happened and NATURE STRIP (1st) missed a run last week, surely we would not have seen him go around at $1.70 (best tote, there was more offered throughout betting) against this field? He is a superstar with raw speed, 1100m around Caulfield looked a perfect fit and had it not been for the off-course dramas, we would have surely been taking Winx-like odds? But for those that stuck solid were happy with the prices that were bet, he missed the kick a little before mustering underneath JUNGLE EDGE (2nd) to lead and when Lane pressed the button at the top of the straight, he gapped them, as you would expect. The stable change looks to have not affected him, he is flying. Does he back up next week?

Notes: JUNGLE EDGE (2nd) was brave but in a different class, VOODOO LAD (3rd) only got going late but that was expected. No use talking about the rest of the field to be fair, did I mention that NATURE STRIP (1st) was $1.70!!

Race 5: Blue Diamond Prelude 2YO Colts and Geldings 1100m.

I AM IMMORTAL (1st) was fairly away but showed great speed o lead easily. He over-raced through the middle stages, gave a good kick and held-on well after doing all the work. He has great speed and will take some running down here in the big one in a couple of weeks. He remains undefeated after two starts, hard to see anything leading him in the Blue Diamond.

Notes: SHOTMAKER (2nd) was an outstanding debut, he sat off the track, most of it without cover, and kept finding the line to only be beaten 0.4 lengths. His first win is not far away. HAWKER HURRICANE (3rd) settled well back with cover three-wide, looked under pressure as they turned but really found the line well and looks suited getting up to the 6 furlongs. He may have been the run of the race and the horse to follow going forward. GROOT (unplaced) had an encouraging debut after sitting three-wide on the speed without cover and wasn’t beaten far, BRAZEN BRANDO (unplaced) was last at the 400m mark but ran on well late and may be looking for further.

Race 6: Blue Diamond Prelude 2YO Fillies 1100m.

Notes: The bubble has burst on CATCH ME (unplaced) well and truly, she jumped ok and mustered but wasn’t able to hold the lead, instead switching around the leaders heels and sitting parked. She was the first gone early in the straight and weakened badly, surely something amiss? VINICUNCA (2nd), as is the case with most of the Waterhouse/Bott yard, jumped well and took up the running, she led for about 1080m of the race and was brave in defeat, beating off the favourite early in the straight only to be nabbed late. LYRE (1st) was a 25/1 chance in the Blue Diamond prior to today’s win, she sat three-wide with cover before easing four-wide and arriving late. She was good but did have the perfect run and would get carried away following her going forward. ATHIRI (3rd) is the stablemate to the winner and although beaten by almost a length, her run was every bit as good. She had to make the run at the turn, was travelling well but was just found out late by the winner that had the easier run. BROOKLYN HUSTLE (unplaced) will be better for the run, she ran home ok from worse than mid-field after over-racing and may be one to follow.

Race 7: Autumn Stakes 3YO 1400m.

Notes: HAWKSHOT (1st) led easily, he set an even tempo, kicked at the top of the straight and ran good time to run away and bolt in. He would have traded at $1.01 in the run a long way from home, on face value the horses behind looked ordinary but it was just because of the dominance he showed. I saying that, the favourite SOCIAL SPIN (unplaced) was ordinary, had the perfect run in transit before easing three-wide and went nowhere, whilst others went past him. Will have to wait for the steward’s report for that one as it was too bad to be true. DEALMAKER (2nd) took a while to wind-up but was ok late although well beaten, RINGERDINGDING (3rd) raced more like a Waller horse and will benefit from that run. His last 50m was very good, he wants the mile.

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

Notes: KEMENTARI (2nd) was a heavily backed favourite off an impressive trial win first-up today, it looked to many like a positive jockey change with Schofield off and JMac on. MANUEL (1st) jumped well to lead, when he railed well into the straight, he was under pressure. He kept kicking all the way down the straight but the times would indicate that they had their chance over the last furlong to grab him. KEMENTARI (2nd) dead heated with LAND OF PLENTY (2nd) for the runner-up position, he settled well midfield before easing wide and running on well. No pot on the ride, he had every chance to run the leader down. LAND OF PLENTY (2nd) was the run of the race, he was mid-field three-wide without cover throughout basically, took a while to wind-up but kept coming all the way down he straight. He has lost nothing going to the Maher stable and looks to be a start of het Autumn. BRAVE SMASH (unplaced) loomed up to win but eventually missed running a place, he may have just run out of fitness late. BEST OF DAYS (unplaced) was a solid return to the racetrack and wasn’t beaten far. MATERIAL MAN (unplaced) was left a little flat footed when the runner-up went by at the top of the straight but he was doing his best work late then didn’t have much room. He will win soon.

Race 9: Carlyon Cup 1600m.

AVILIUS (1st) was resuming today off a Melbourne Cup run that I am sure the connections would rather forget. Started close to 2/1 today, was well back off a good tempo up front, was running on when he was blocked early in the straight, before McEvoy got him into the clear and he was way too strong late. All class and a fabulous return to the track.

Notes: SIKANDARABAD (2nd) had every chance and hit the lead early in the straight, but was overpowered late and no match over the last furlong. NIGHT’S WATCH (3rd) was last seen at Caulfield in the Cup, he ranged up to win here today but his condition may have just given way late. A nice return. ACE HIGH (unplaced) had every chance after having the cold sit on the leaders, HARLEM (unplaced) hit the line well to narrowly miss the placings at huge odds.