Caulfield review compiled by Rick Williams Race 1. 2000M RSL Handicap 

HORSE       Rider RSL Handicap
ROWLAND       JACKIE BERIMAN      1st      $7
BUDAI(GER)       STEVEN ARNOLD      2nd      $41
OURFOREIGNMINISTER       STEVEN KING      3rd      $6.50
 .

Racing on a Heavy 9 and with the rail out 3m. Moulin Bleu wasn’t the best away but still took up his customary role in front. But he was gone at the 200m as the swoopers made their runs. Rowland hadn’t won for a long time but got a gun ride from Jackie Berriman and huge weight relief (enhanced by Berriman’s claim) on the runner-up Budai. That was Budai’s first wet track since coming to Australia and he ran very well. Ourforeignminister held on OK for 3rd.

Worth noting: The pair running last on settling (and still only 4th and 6th at the 200m) were the first two home.

Race 2. 1400M 2012 Legacy Badge Appeal Handicap

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
THY(NZ)       BEN MELHAM      1st      $9
CHATEAU MARGAUX       VLAD DURIC      2nd      $7.50
TOTAL ATTRACTION       LUKE NOLEN      3rd      $3.70F
 .

The track was downgraded to a Heavy 10 before this race. Nikolic took up the running on the outsider Circle The Globe and set a steady pace. The favourite Total Attraction sat just off her. Thy had Group 1 form but was the least fancied of Moody’s three runners. Stayers resuming at 1400m can run really well and she certainly did that. Chateau Margaux was solid and along with Thy is nominated for the big Cups but likely to be better suited to lesser staying handicaps. Total Attraction needs a drier track to show her best. Interesting that her jockey Luke Nolen copped a severe reprimand from the stewards for not riding her out at least hands and heels to the winning post. Rememba Howe was first-up off OK NZ form and while only running 5th she raced wide without cover and stuck on OK.

Worth noting: Peter Moody has achieved almost everything in racing and now he can add a Saturday metropolitan trifecta to that list.

Race 3. 1100M 39th Australian Infantry Battalion Vain Stakes

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
PSYCHIC MICK       CHRIS SYMONS      1st       $4.60
PLANET VOYAGE       LUKE NOLEN      2nd       $3.20F
FREE OF DOUBT       STEVEN KING      3rd       $7
 .

Psychic Mick was unbeaten in three starts at Morphettville and began well here to sit just outside the leader Cheyenne Warrior. Psychic Mick pinched a break on them at the turn and won easily albeit not in great time. Planet Voyage was a forgive run considering he was slowly away, got shuffled back, over-raced until the middle stages and the winner was off and gone before he could get going. The Travelling Man was well in the market but began poorly and was never a winning chance.

Worth noting: Everyone has a theory on selecting yearlings but buying one without looking at a sales catalogue and based purely on the lot number like the owners of Psychic Mick did is a new one on me.

Race 4. 1100M Lister Quezette Stakes

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
ELITE ELLE       DAMIEN OLIVER      1st       $4
AGUEDA       VLAD DURIC      2nd       $13
EPHEMERA       LUKE NOLEN      3rd       $12
 .

Samaready was the hot favourite despite the fact that she had never raced on anything worse than dead and many 2 year-olds just don’t go on with it. She was under pressure a long way out and was never a realistic winning chance. Elite Elle has done nothing wrong in four starts and won fairly comfortably here, clearly relishing the wet track. Agueda layed in at times in the straight but stayed on really well for 2nd, with daylight 3rd. She had trialled nicely for this, has run well in some big races and looks set for an excellent Spring campaign.

Worth noting: Vasil wasn’t going overboard on the worthiness of Heavy 10 form going forward for anything other than Heavy tracks and nor should you.

Race 5. 1200M 70th Anniversary of the Kokoda Campaign Regal Roller Stakes

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
FREERETURN       BEN MELHAM      1st       $2.90F
LAUNAY       VLAD DURIC      2nd       $3.10
INSTINCTION       CRAIG NEWITT      3rd        $4.80
 .

The favourite Freereturn has been getting back in his recent races but found the front here at an OK tempo. Second favourite Launay was a half length back and had every chance to run him down but is probably better suited to 1400m. That and the race fitness of Freereturn was more than enough for him to score an all the way win. Instinction looked to come into the race OK but when the pressure went on he didn’t really get through the ground first up. Gets a pass mark for that effort and will be better suited on drier ground.

Worth noting: The win brought up a double for Ben Melham who is riding well.

Race 6. 1400M Back to Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
SECOND EFFORT        CHRIS SYMONS      1st       $9
ZAMORAR        DAMIEN OLIVER      2nd       $6
READY TO RIP       LUKE NOLEN      3rd       $3.80
 .

Not much more needs to be said other than Second Effort is a dead set mudlark. He made it 8 wins from 9 career starts on the Slow or Heavy and he had excuses for the only defeat since he lost a plate in the run. Zamorar is always around the mark but lacks the real acceleration of a Group winning horse and probably needs the paddock now. Luckygray had never raced on anything worse than a Dead track but was smashed late in betting. He could only manage 4th but shouldn’t be written off just yet. Ready To Rip has done well so far in Melbourne but will find the going much tougher as the better sprinters kick off their Spring. Heart Of Dreams was beaten quite a way and the ones behind him aren’t much good so he’s a wait and see at this stage.

Worth noting: A double for Chris Symons on his birthday and he is a jockey who adds a lot to the colour of racing.

Race 7. 1200M KS Environmental Cockram Stakes

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
LADY MELKSHAM       GLEN BOSS      1st       $3.50F
LE SOCIETE       LUKE NOLEN      2nd       $5
GLOWS       VLAD DURIC      3rd       $12
 .

The favourite Lady Melksham received really strong support in the betting ring coming off a Flemington straight run where she was a beaten favourite against the boys but had excuses. She raced a little fresh which meant she took up a much more prominent position than normal and this worked in her favour because on-pace runners dominated this race. Le Societe looked almost certain to win but couldn’t keep going and was later found to be lame. Glows always runs well.

Worth noting: This was a pretty strong field so hard to knock the winner.

Race 8. 1600M Winslow Constructors Plate

HORSE Rider RSL Handicap
STREETS AWAY(NZ)       GLEN BOSS      1st       $3.10
FORTY THIRTY       DAMIEN THORNTON      2nd       $2.60F
GALILEO GOLD(NZ)       CRAIG WILLIAMS      3rd       $4.20
 .

The short priced favourite Forty Thirty set a solid tempo and Streets Away had a beautiful run tucked in behind him. Boss got out at the right time and brought up a double to join Melham and Symons. Galileo Gold is honest and Craig Williams later advised stewards that he was never comfortable in the wet conditions. That makes it an OK run considering it was 15 lengths to 4th.

Worth noting: Heavy ain’t heavy. Remember that Heavy 10 form is quite different to Heavy 8’s and even 9’s so just be extra cautious when assessing this form in coming weeks.

———————————————————- Rosehill review by Todd Burmester Race 1 1st       Stout Hearted       Nathan Berry 2nd       Gazza Guru           Nash Rawiller 3rd       Kaypers                   Corey Brown

Stout Hearted was sent out a short priced favourite in the first, following its dominant win last start. After a few hundred metres a strong pace was set up by Madam Nash which was always going to set it up well for Stout Hearted to repeat the dose. They rolled along all the way to the home turn, where Madam Nash tried to kick, but didn’t have as much to offer as last start. Stout Hearted had been brought to the outside but still had some ground to make up. Once wound up, Stout Hearted claimed the lead at the 200m with the in form Kaypers and Brave The Way trying to come with it but to no avail. Gazza Guru came out with a late run and got within a length of the winner, but was never really going to get there.

Follow: The first 4 over the line can all win more races

Race 2 1st       Nocturnelle       Chad Schofield 2nd       Natch Catch       B Ward 3rd       Happy Hussy       Glyn Schofield

1400m for race 2, and it was a bit of a patchy start. General’s Sniper led More Than Royal, giving the favourite Nocturnelle a lovely run in third. In the straight, Nocturnelle took advantage of the good run it had, and the extra fitness it had developed from two good runs back from a spell. Natch Catch and Happy Hussy tried to come after her, but couldn’t get close, with General’s Sniper fighting on pretty well after leading.

Follow: Nocturnelle will win again

Race 3 1st       Snitzerland       Corey Brown 2nd       Driefontein       Tommy Berry 3rd       All Too Hard       Dwayne Dunn

All Too Hard has plenty of hype over him due to his breeding and good record, but missed the start and ended up well back. Snitzerland got a comfortable lead, and was the one you wanted to be on a long way out. Snitzerland had the measure of Driefontein at about the 300m, and All Too Hard came to the outside to try and make ground. It was a clear win to Snitzerland, in a race that was run to suit. All Too Hard can still win more races, but you’d think will always run short. Driefontein was supported in betting but probably needed the run.

Follow: Driefontein

Race 4 1st       Mon Soleil             Corey Brown 2nd       Peal Of Bells         Nash Rawiller 3rd       Mashkoor             Dwayne Dunn

Calvo led here from Hendricus outside of it, and Manasota getting a good run on the fence. Mashkoor was one out one back but racing with its head in the air. One Way Ticket had a wide run on the speed. Cosmonaut was also wide but with cover. Hendricus hit the front on the turn, and I expected more from him in the run to the line, but perhaps wants a race with more pace where he can get back and run on. At the 200m, they were across the track, but Mon Soleil had found its way into the clear after an easy run back on the fence. The run of the race no doubt was Peal Of Bells, who will win soon. Mashkoor battled on pretty well after pulling.

Follow: Peal Of Bells

Race 5 1st       Sindarin          Kerrin McEvoy 2nd       Sables             Chris Reith 3rd       Hollywell       Kathy O’Hara

My Highlight took it up here from Fast And Sexy that worked around the outside to get outside the lead. Queen’s Elect and Mosso Arioso had good runs just in behind the speed. In the straight, Fast And Sexy was the first to go for home, but Sindarin, a horse I previously had sacked, was on the scene quickly and claimed the lead. The stablemate of Sindarin, b, came of its back and chased her home. Hollywell was a very good run to pick up late and claim third after not being in the clearest of running earlier in the straight. Shadow Minister ran its typical race but isn’t a winner for mine.

Follow: Hollywell

Race 6 1st       Mrs Onassis             Glyn Schofield 2nd       Sainthood             Blake Shinn 3rd       See The World       Chris Reith

The speedy Social Rank led them up as expected. Mrs Onassis was dragged along behind it, and there was a gap to La Remlap. Mrs Onassis was traveling pretty well at the 300m when she hit the front, and had the measure of Social Rank. It was then up to Sainthood, Skytrain and See The World to chase, but the advantage of being on the speed showed, with Mrs Onassis never really in any danger in the run to the line. The winner was the superior run of the race and will win more races.

Follow: Mrs Onassis has a good turn of foot

Race 7 1st       Kontiki Park       Nash Rawiller 2nd       Nextanix             Blake Shinn 3rd       Said Com             Hugh Bowman

New Day Rising took up the lead here. Said Com, up to 1400m today found itself second in the run, which was very different to being back last in its first up win. On the turn, Said Com was pushed along to come after Said Com, and under the whip and beaten soon after. Kontiki Park which had a good run in transit, came after New Day Rising and sprinted to the front. Nextanix ran on as it always does to claim second which left Said Com battling on for third. Don’t sack Said Com. It was second up, after sprinting well fresh, and race a bit dour today. It will win more races at 1600m and beyond.

Follow: Said Com over further

Race 8 1st       Velrosso                         Jason Collett 2nd       Net Worth                   Blake Shinn 3rd       Onecatstoomany       Sam Clipperton

A good start in the last, with a few of them disputing the early lead. Pentasia found the front from Onecatstoomany, and Al’s Magic Miss behind them. Velrosso was well backed in this race and found itself last in the run and still there coming to the home turn. In the straight, the effort of Velrosso overshadowed any other good runs. It came to the outside when they straightened, and rounded them up one by one. The very consistent Onecatstoomany ran another good race on the speed and just cannot be left out of multiples in whatever it runs in.

Follow: Onecatstoomany

Specials From The Meeting: Driefontein, Peal Of Bells, Hollywell