Runners to watch: Caulfield, January 6th

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

Blackbookers:

Race 7 – EPIC MOMENT. Hassled by a 100/1 chance in the lead in a solid tempo, not beaten far after the swoopers got there late.

Race 8- TROGIR. Huge run after sitting three-wide without cover. Showed a great turn of foot before getting run down late.

Race 1: Maree Madden-Melder Handicap Fillies and Mares BM78 1800m.

Notes: Although the pace wasn’t hot up front, I loved the way that ROYAL APPLAUSE (unplaced) stuck on after sitting outside the leader. She didn’t settle at all during the run, pulling her head off throughout and after looming alongside the leader/winner, she only faltered late. SHENANDOAH (1st) was the leader and won, got away with some cheap sectionals and relaxed well and just held on. ADDISON (3rd) was last into the straight, came wide and made great ground late out wide. The bunched finish leaves a question mark over whether we can respect this race going forward, time will tell.

Race 2: Annette Daymon Handicap BM78 2000m.

O’LONERA (1st) was caught three wide without cover in the early stages before strolling forward to get outside the leader. He levelled up at the top of the straight and quickly put the leader away. They looked to be coming from everywhere, he held on by a nose.

Notes: ANGELUCCI (2nd) was beaten a nose after having a soft run in behind the leader. He hit a flat spot approaching the straight but his last 200m was really good and he missed by the smallest possible margin. PORTION CONTROL (3rd) worked home well from near last early in the straight. Everything seemed to have their chance. SNITZELWOOD (unplaced) led and was the first beaten in a race where the horse that sat outside him won.

Race 3: Sam Smegman Handicap 3YO Fillies BM70 1100m.

Notes: MAGNESIUM ROSE (1st) slotted into the box seat for Williams but she didn’t settle well. She eased around the leaders at the top of the straight, dashed to the lead at the furlong and held on for a nice win. TELEPLAY (2nd) was a tad unlucky, she was well back on the rails approaching the turn, held-up towards the inner before getting out late and flashing. ULTRA SMART (3rd) was a tad unlucky being held-up behind the tiring leader and ran through the line well. LUCKY CAT (unplaced) was slowly away and never featured from last.

Race 4: Sandra Cheevers Handicap BM64 1400m.

Notes: KEEN (1st) had the perfect run behind the leaders before the jock bullocked into the clear at the top of the lane, dashed to the front and to be fair should have won a little easier. MAHAMEDEIS (2nd) also had a good run but had to come wide into the straight, gave the winner a few lengths before charging late and missing by the barest possible margin. ÉCLAIR CALLING (3rd) had the same run as the winner but was forced wide when unable to hold its position when the winner shoved out approaching the straight. LA VOLT (unplaced) had every chance, was under pressure turning but ground it out ok.

Race 5: Alice Mosley Handicap Fillies and Mares BM84 1100m.

MAMZELLE TESS (1st) jumped well but from the wide gate the jock elected to ease back at the start, she was second last three-wide with cover but only about 4 lengths off the lead. She got 4 and 5 wide at the top of the straight and hit a real flat spot before rocketing late in a beaut finish where they were all across the track.

Notes: IF NOT NOW WHEN (2nd) tracked the winner throughout and was last into the straight, got the widest and also took forever to wind-up but was flashing late. TYKIATO (3rd) was wide throughout but did have cover, INVISBLE GIRL (4th) hit the lead in the straight but was swamped in the last 50m.

Race 6: Matthew Davies Handicap BM84 1600m.

Notes: The race was marred by a horrific fall in the straight in which ORIENT LINE (DNF) seemed to get squeezed when travelling well behind a wall of horses, Beau Mertens was thrown from the horse and subsequently trampled by a following horse. Hopefully he came through it ok… WIDGEE TURF (1st) was heavily supported and looked the best on the card, he won but by a small margin after a perfect ride. He got a split between the leaders at the top of the straight, bolted clear before a late charge by the Weir runner ROYAL ACE (2nd) who was last on the turn. He was finishing a lot better than anything else and would have got there in another stride. PLOT THE COURSE (3rd) may have been the horse to cause the problems with the fallen horse after laying in badly early in the straight.

Race 7: Geraldine Camilleri Handicap BM70 1200m.

EPIC MOMENT (unplaced) set a cracking pace after getting attacked all the way by one that was near the bottom of the market, he shook off that challenge at the top of the straight but was brave in defeat, only tiring late and the jock sat up when beat. Stick with him

Notes: SHERIFF JOHN STONE (1st) had the cold sit on them before peeling three-wide, solid effort but got all the favours. CRYSTAL SPIRIT (2nd) was well back throughout, took forever to get going in the straight but really jumped out of the ground late. MANOLO BLAHNIQ (3rd) was ok out late running on fairly. DON’T BLUSH BABY (unplaced) had every chance after looming at the top of the lane, disappointing although not beaten far.

Race 8: Alex Burrows Handicap BM78 1400m.

TROGIR (2nd) had to sit three-wide the trip without cover, he dashed to the front approaching the straight, got three lengths clearly early in the lane before tiring late, understandably. Huge run in defeat, had he gained any cover and not had to go so early, I have no doubt he would have won.

Notes: THE AVENGER (2nd) had the perfect sit on him, got left a little flat footed early in the straight but the last furlong he was strong. Was entitled to win the run he had. KING’S COMMAND (unplaced) made good ground from last, still a mile back at the furlong, he ran through the line better than any.

Race 9: Jodie Taylor Handicap BM84 1100m.

MURPHY’S REWARD (2nd) was a last start winner at big odds, that looked the good form reference here and he ran a huge race again. HE was forced to sit three-wide without cover on the speed, ranged up to the winner at the furlong pole but was fading late. He was brave in defeat after having to do all the work.

Notes: NASDEX (1st) came through the same form-line and also had to do it tough here, sat outside the leader before looking under pressure from the runner-up who ranged alongside, before pulling away late and being the strongest through the line. HANDSOME THIEF (3rd) was flashing late after getting well back, over-raced on the rail near to last before getting clear running room through a small gap at the furlong. He really finished hard and would have been right in the finish.