Runners to watch: Caulfield, May 12th

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




Race 1: Ladbrokes Back Yourself Plate 2YP 1100m.

ROCK HARD (1st) jumped well from out wide, had to sit outside the leader early before putting it to the inside horse approaching the turn. He remained undefeated after three starts, under pressure at the top of the straight where up a couple loomed into contention, but when he rolled back down to the rail he really knuckled down and was doing better than anything else late.

Notes: THAT SONG (2nd) was impressive on debut. He had to sit well back and wide, came even wider into the straight before making good late ground. He was clearly the best of the beaten brigade. CELESTIAL KING (3rd) had every chance when having the winner’s back throughout. TRUNFIO (unplaced) showed speed and led but was beaten at the top of the straight.

Race 2: Le Pine Funerals Handicap Mares 1100m.

Notes: The speed was on here, HEAR THE CHANT (2) had the perfect run in transit behind them before angling three-wide at the turn and ran on too well. She had to win the way the race was run. SULLIVAN BAY (unplaced) was the early leader, she went hard and kicked at the top of the lane before being headed late. SELENIA (2nd) had every chance after getting the back of the winner, as did RUN GYPSY RUN (3rd) who took inside runs and finished right on the heels of the winner. JOCASTA (unplaced) and DIVINE CHILLS (unplaced) were making good ground late.

Race 3: Tile Importer Handicap 1600m.

Notes: RIYADH (1st) was beautifully ridden to get up late. He was back 2nd last approaching the straight, saved ground before angling wide and running on hard. They did go a little keenly in the middle stages, JACQUINOT BAY (2nd) was good after taking a sit, didn’t have much room in the straight looking for rails runs, when it finally presented he was good through the line but just lost momentum at a vital stage. BEL BURGESS (3rd) over-raced and weakened considerably late, MY PAISANN (unplaced) looked to be running on but also didn’t see the trip out as good as the first two. KENJORWOOD (unplaced) was very disappointing after getting a soft run, loomed but did nothing in the run home.

Race 4: Rod Fenwick Handicap 3YO Fillies 1440m.

The winner of the day was PLATINUM ANGEL (1st), she sat near the rear three-wide without cover, improved on the turn before getting shoved four and five wide. She dashed to the front showing an exciting turn-of-foot before the jock sat up late when the race was over. She is one to follow.

Notes: HONEY ESPRIT (2nd) was the second favourite in the betting, she had every chance after a perfect run and soon after hitting the front at the top of the straight, she had no answers for the acceleration of the winner. She gapped the third placegetter but hard to see her turning the tables on the winner anytime soon. Not much to say about the rest of the beaten brigade, the winner is the one to follow.

Race 5: Heritage Finance Handicap BM78 1440m.

MAXIMUS (3rd) was clearly the run of the race, he had to sit three-wide without cover before the winner came out in front of him turning for home, he then came wider and was still coming in the straight before fading understandably over the last 50m.

Notes: JAWS OF STEEL (1st) was perfectly ridden in behind the solid early speed, he came out as the runs came approaching the straight and dashed to the front holding them off late. OVERSTEP (2nd) raced inside the winner in the run behind the leaders, saved ground and got the run but had every chance to run him down. CASTELO (unplaced) and SILVERO (unplaced) were closing late from back in the pack, the leaders went too hard, LORD TOPPER (unplaced) was clearly the best of them.

Race 6: The Sheen Panel Service Handicap 3YO 1200m.

EXCELTARA (1st) was last settling, urged along a fair way from home, the gelding responded to the jockeys urges and improved around the bend. He got to the middle of the track and really came on hard the last furlong when balanced.

Notes: BEL SONIC (2nd) had every chance, also running on well from the back but did have the jump on the winner. SUN QUAN (3rd) and WRITTEN CHOICE (unplaced) were both up on the speed and seemed to have their chances in an evenly run race.

Race 7: Darren Gauci Handicap BM84 1100m.

INN KEEPER (1st) was short in the betting, he jumped well from a wide gate but when he couldn’t cross, jockey Linda Meech didn’t let it worry her as she knew she was on the best gorse. He had to sit three-wide the trip on the speed without cover, after dashing to the front early in the straight was challenged but found plenty, Meech showing us why many regard her as one of the best on-speed jocks going around.

Notes: MURPHY’S REWARD (2nd) was brave in defeat, had the perfect sit on the favourite before looming at the top of the straight. They best third by panels and it’s not worth assessing the rest of the field, but he had every chance to win. A nice run all the same.

Race 8: Le Pine Funerals Handicap 3YO 2000m.

Notes: The two Weir runners were the talking point pre-race, LUCKY FOR ALL (1st) was heavily backed and FURRION (2nd), although starting favourite, was a drifter in the market with the satchel swingers. The ex-Kiwi LUCKY FOR ALL (1st) had the spot in front of its stablemate, showed a great turn-of-foot out wide to take the lead and although it still has plenty to learn, after running around in the straight the win was never in danger. FURRION (2nd) had every chance, and after looking for a run approaching the straight, he had every chance to run down the other Weir runner. Both appear to have a future in the middle-distance ranks. MAHAMEDEIS (3rd) was also good not far away from the runner-up, the rest were to far back to consider in this grade again.

Race 9: Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap BM84 2000m.

Notes: OUR PEAKY BLINDERS (1st) was as heavily supported as any runner here today, and the punters went home happy. It was forced to sit three-wide early, before getting cover mid-race worse than mmid-field. The pace was only muddling and Meech pulled it four-wide down the side. Looming at the turn, OUR PEAKY BLINDERS (1st) got to the middle of the track and put them away in a few strides. Dominant in the end. HURSLEY (3rd) got home well out wide from a mile back, SILENCE THE STARS (2nd) stuck on well but no match. A super win.