Race reviews: Caulfield, September 2nd
Race 9 – HARDHAM. He had absolutely no luck here resuming and was held-up for a lot of the straight before running through the line nicely. He is looking for further, maybe third-up out past the mile.
Race 1: Sheen Group Plate 1400m
JUDY IN DISGUISE (2nd) was well backed on race-day, although still a maiden she found the lead quite comfortably and seemed to run them along spreading the field out. Time will tell later in the day but the back markers struggled to make up ground out wide, she fought really hard to get run down in the last 50m. There is a win in store for her very soon, maybe backing up at around The Valley next week would suit?
Notes: The other two placegetters, WATCHMESPIN (1st), last on the rails and HARD FAITH (3rd) was third on the rails in the run, were both well ridden with the winner pushing clear at the top of the straight. She ran on well and looks set to be able to get the mile and further.
Race 2: Chandler McLeod Plate 1400m
Notes: Simply a better ride on the winner OREGON’S DAY (1st) or a victim of circumstance on the runner-up SWAMPLAND (2nd). They are clearly the two to follow out of the race, the second horse was badly held-up early in the straight when the winner was coming wide, she then had to switch around heels, lost momentum and made good ground the last furlong. The winner was good and holding her late. After slowing up mid-race the majority of the field were over-racing, doubt that there was a lot of excuses for the beaten brigade.
Race 3: HockingStuart Plate 1200m
What a peach of a ride on MR SNEAKY (1st) giving Mark Zahra a race-to-race double. He had trialed well in a recent jump-out and settled mid-field or worse on the rail, travelled beautifully saving ground approaching the straight before getting off the rail at the furlong. Bolted to the front and was eased down late, looks to be in for another good prep.
Notes: THEANSWERMYFRIEND (2nd) was easy in betting all week, opened around the 6/4 mark and there was better than $5 available at jump time. The draw may have told in the end, he jumped well sat outside the leader and dashed to the front at the top of the straight. He will win again this campaign, just found a horse that was too good on the day.
Race 4: H.D.F McNeil Stakes 1200m
MURAAHIB (3rd) with the blinkers on here for the first time today looks to be in for a good campaign. The pace was solid and he sat back last on the inside, was held-up for most of the straight when the winner was sweeping wide, finally out at the 100 and flashed late. Will win this campaign no doubt, a solid return with absolutely no luck.
Notes: Take nothing away from the winner MERCHANT NAVY (1st) who remains undefeated but the race was certainly set up for him. He probably will improve as he heads towards the Golden Rose, was a tradesman like performance from a real racehorse. BOOKER (2nd) did well to stick on after sitting wide and chasing the leader KOBAYASHI (6th) who simply went too hard.
Race 5: Ladbrokes Cockram Stakes 1200m
Notes: With only 3.25L covering the first 11 across the line here, probably the biggest talking point was the flop of FUHRYK (7th). She didn’t have a lot go right and was crowded for room a lot of the race, but she failed to hit the gaps late when they presented. She looked to race a little flat, the money was certainly there for her though, she was backed as if there was no settling, starting well in the red. Would be prepared to risk her until she shows that she has come back as well as what she went out! MISS COVER GIRL (11th) looks the one that can really improve in the race, she was stuck four and five wide the duration, expect the master to improve her many lengths off that first-up run for him.
Race 6: MyPunter.com.au The Heath 1100m
VOODOO LAD (1st) came into this with an outstanding record both fresh, at the trip and here at the track. D K Weir once again had him ready to fire, he sat back in the field, circled them and sprinted too sharply early in the straight. He looked all out on the line but was simply too quick for them when needed.
Notes: SHEIDEL (4th) was the boom horse that failed to fire after a charmed run in behind the speed. She had trialed well and looked to have no excuses after getting off the leaders heels at the top of the straight, hit the lead but weakened badly the last 100. May have needed the blow? SO SI BON (2nd) was last early and made good ground in the straight, looks in for a good prep, was tried right out to the mile and a half last campaign.
Race 7: New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes 1400m
Notes: Pretty much went to plan? VEGA MAGIC (1st) is a star, backed up his brilliant fresh win with a lead-all-the-way performance here. He has now won 12/17 races in his career, looked vulnerable as they cornered but found another gear and it was never in doubt. What else did we learn? BLACK HEART BART (2nd) is honest but no star, JON SNOW (6th) made a good return and looks to be good to go for longer and HEY DOC (4th) had every chance when in behind the leader. Just didn’t quicken when asked.
Race 8: Dream Thoroughbreds Heatherlie Stakes 1700m.
Notes: Not sure how much longer HELL OR HIGHWATER (1st) will be in work for but she is flying. She once again sat up on the speed after working early, they seemed to run along and she simply piled the pressure on from the 600, dashed 3 clear at the 300 and stuck on well hard up against the fence. HARLEM (5th) had no luck in the straight, gout out near the 100m and really ran through the line well. He will be looking for a lot longer, may be worth a sneaky couple of dollars at the triple-figure odds in the big dance at HQ on the first Tuesday in November?
Race 9: Comcater Handicap 1400m
Notes: The two favoured runners came down to fight it out over the last furlong, CHOCOLATE HOLIC (2nd) was wide throughout and did a good effort to get so close to GRANDE RUSSO (1st) who was perfectly ridden. The hard luck story may have been HARDHAM (7th) he was resuming here and had absolutely no luck on the straight back along the inside. He is looking for further and looks set for a nice Spring.