Caulfield review compiled by Rick Williams   Race 1.     1400M    BMW Handicap    TWILIGHTING                CRAIG WILLIAMS             1st      $6.50 LET’S BE HAPPY           CHAD SCHOFIELD          2nd     $5 SHOPAHOLIC(NZ)        ADAM MCCABE                 3rd      $3.10F

Racing on a Dead 4 to start the day. Craig Williams was very positive from barrier 10 on Twilighting and managed to get a great spot 3rd the fence behind Deliver The Dream. She enjoyed the drop back from Group 2 company last start where she was beaten 4 lengths. Let’s Be Happy had a lovely run but found the winner too good over the last 200m. You can lose a race in the early stages and Shopaholic got further back than most expected. She ran the fastest last 1200/1000/800/600/400/200 of the race.

Worth noting: Craig Williams gave them a riding lesson here.

Race 2.     1700M    Le Pine Funerals Handicap    HVASSTAN              GLEN BOSS                1st       $4.20 COSTA NOVA         CHRIS SYMONS        2nd      $21 BALUCH                   DWAYNE DUNN       3rd      $13

Sullen Art led with Committed, Costa Nova and the eventual winner Hvasstan all up there. Hvasstan had plenty of market support and found the favourites back in the run. Committed missed the kick, pushed forward, brushed Hvasstan at the turn and at just his 2nd race start he looked to be a total forgive run. We learnt post-race that he suffered a hairline stress fracture of the cannon bone and is out for 6 months. Costa Nova got 2nd which was a good effort coming out of maiden class. Baluch was 8th at the 200m but ran home strongly for 3rd. Road Trippin pressed forward mid-race and battled on OK.

Worth noting: They are aiming Hvasstan at the Derby and while I’m not much of a breeding buff it’s very hard to imagine a Fastnet Rock running a strong 2500m if there is a genuine tempo. That race is close to 50% longer than this one and the extra distance has to be a huge query. A horse like Rock Classic started pretty short in the 2010 AJC Derby but was beaten out of sight.

Race 3.     1000M    KS Environmental Plate    LANKAN RUPEE            CRAIG NEWITT          1st     $5.50 MAGNIER                         VLAD DURIC             2nd     $5.50 PLANET VOYAGE          LUKE NOLEN             3rd    $3.60F

Trainer Mick Price believes Lankan Rupee is a Group 1 horse and considering the ease with which he stepped up from a maiden to this effort that’s hard to argue against. Impressive win by a well bred horse who is going places. Newitt doesn’t have a great record at Caulfield but rode a smart race to ditch plan A which was to settle back and find cover. Instead he sat outside the leader and favourite Planet Voyage. That horse is well exposed, having his 9th career start whereas the first two were having their 2nd and 3rd starts. Magnier was OK but Lankan Rupee’s effort was dominant.

Worth noting: Lankan Rupee goes into the blackbook, but not sure if we’ll get a value price next time out.

Race 4.     1100M    Pin & Win for Starlight Children’s Foundation Handicap    DREAM FACE         JAKE DUFFY         1st     $4.60 KULGRINDA          LUKE NOLEN       2nd     $3.10F CANALI                    LUKE CURRIE      3rd     $12 The ex-NT horse Dream Face beat Kulgrinda out and home. She was aided by race fitness and a big pull in the weights, so despite Kulgrinda looming up in the straight, Dream Face was far too strong. Liked the ride of apprentice J Duffy who found the front, kicked on the corner and held them off. Kulgrinda will be better for the run. The other ex-NT’er Canali hadn’t shown much this campaign but ran OK for 3rd. First three in the run were the first three home so Anise’s effort was OK, although her lack of tactical speed means she often finds trouble in her races. Worth noting: Peter Moody got the quinella here on his home track. Race 5.     1400M    Dream Thoroughbreds Plate  VEEWAP                         DAMIEN OLIVER           1st     $7 TESTASCANA                RYAN PLUMB               2nd     $13 DUSTY STAR                 GLEN BOSS                   3rd     $5.50F

Oliver let Veewap find his feet and then produced him at the right time to finish hard for an authoritative win. Dusty Star’sVeewap performance to hold on for 3rd was good as he was used up early to find the front and then set a solid tempo. VeewapTestascana and Menados came from 10th, 7th and 9th on settling which adds further merit to Dusty Star’s run. Testascana looked the winner early in the straight but couldn’t hold off Veewap. Menados ran up a few dead ends in the straight and was unlucky.

Worth notingVeewap’s on-course flucs were $4.80 to $7.00 but it’s short sighted to consider him a big drifter. That’s because he’d been the medium of very heavy support during the week so bookies weren’t taking any chances early.

Race 6.     1400M    Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude  LADY OF HARRODS                STEVEN ARNOLD         1st       $10 COMMANDING JEWEL           DAMIEN OLIVER          2nd      $3.20F MOLTO BENE                             CRAIG WILLIAMS        3rd     $7.50

The track was upgraded to a Good 3 prior to this race. Ollie found the front on Commanding Jewel and got away with a fairly moderate pace. Lady Of Harrods took the sit here (after leading last start) and got up in the last bound. She has won half of her 6 starts and at odds of 8/1, 25/1 and 9/1. She now heads for the G2 Edward Manifold Stakes and G1 Thousand Guineas. Molto Bene was forced to race three-wide, wasn’t great around the corner but kept coming in the straight for a strong 3rd. She will be better suited by a bigger track like Flemington. Showmya Miss never settled and raced wide but actually got home OK in the circumstances.

Worth notingMolto Bene goes into the blackbook and Showmya Miss stays there.

Race 7.     1800M    Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes    OCEAN PARK(NZ)                     GLEN BOSS                  1st     $8 VOILA ICI(IRE)                           VLAD DURIC                  2nd     $31 DECEMBER DRAW(IRE)          MICHAEL RODD         3rd     $20

Slow pace (like many WFA races) with Mawingo allowing the import Voila Ici to take up the running. Glen Boss on Ocean Park went from zero to hero in the space of 100 metres. He unleashed a very good turn of foot and would have been very unlucky to lose. Trainer Gary Hennessy kept using the word ‘special’ after the race and Boss also gave the horse a big rap. While he can get a litle carried away like Gai, it does seem highly likely that Ocean Park will be a big player this spring. Manighar was disappointing but Nolen was still pretty positive after the race and put it down to him being second-up. Moody’s other runner Voila Ici exceeded expectations with a gallant on-pace performance. Nice to see December Draw run so well at his 2nd start back from a 12 month break. Southern Speed got going again late and Winchester ran well.

Worth noting: The slow early pace made it a sprint home and they were 25+ lengths off the course record.

Race 8.     2000M    D’Urban Naturalism Stakes    FOLDING GEAR(NZ)              BEN MELHAM                 1st     $7.50 MR O’CEIRIN(NZ)                   GLEN BOSS                     2nd     $5 EXCEPTIONALLY(NZ)           DEAN YENDALL             3rd     $13

Mr O’Ceirin found the front fairly comfortably. Folding Gear hadn’t had a lot of luck go his way so far this prep but he loves Caulfield and things worked out for him here. Stepping up from 1400m to 2000m 2nd up, Zurella was our lay of the day and was never a winning chance. She was mentioned in the stewards report as needing a vet check before racing again. It was a good on-pace effort for Mr O’Ceirin who always puts himself in the race.Exceptionally flew from 15th at the 200m to fill the minor placing. Shenzhou Steeds ran OK for 4th.

Worth noting: The win gains Folding Gear a Caulfield Cup start but the trainer is not yet certain that he’s up that class.

Race 9.     1200M    Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 2 Stakes  DETOURS                     GLEN BOSS                 1st      $8.50 CLASSY CHLOE           STEVEN KING             2nd     $8 MRS ONASSIS               MARK ZAHRA             3rd     $17

Glen Boss had ridden well all day and he gave the first-up specialist Detours a lovely ride to finish off the day with another win. She was going to kick off her campaign at Warwick Farm last week so it was a smart move by the Snowden stable to bring her down here and win a Group 3. Adelaide visitor Classy Chloe got 2nd and the early leader Mrs Onassis held on for 3rd. Soft Sand has an excellent kick but her get-back running style makes her a risky betting proposition. She always needs some luck and the lack of it here means many punters will want to be on her next time out.

Worth noting: Boss matched his effort of last week with another treble and he’ll be a regular in the winner’s stall over Spring.

———————————————————————- Randwick review from Todd Burmester Race 1  1st          It’s a Dundeel         James McDonald 2nd        Honorius                 Glyn Schofield 3rd        Lunar Rise               Hugh Bowman

!800m to start the day, and initially it looked like Lunar Rise would look for the front, but Strength had other ideas and clapped on a pretty good pace.  They strung out in this event, with Strength leading by 5 from King Of Olympia and Lunar Rise.  Strength was gone as they turned, and was claimed by King Of Olympia and Lunar Rise.  It’s a Dundeel was last in the run, but came to the outside in the straight and finished off very strongly to win.  The good pace assisted the winner, but it was impressive all the same.  Honorius also worked home well.  Lunar Rise went well given it was near the pace all the way.

Follow: Lunar Rise

Race 2 1st          Ichihara                          Brenton Avdulla 2nd        Villa Splendido            Corey Brown 3rd         Agueda                            Peter Robl

Relaxed And Happy was sent out favourite and began best.  Raceway kicked up to take the lead from Ichiharajust outside of it.  Around the home turn, Ichihara had the measure of Raceway, and Relaxed And Happy looked in a lot of trouble.  It was a one act affair in the run to the line, with Ichihara clearing out to win, from Villa Splendido that ran on well.  Agueda went ok for third  but seems a non-winner, and Don’t Blink made some ground into fourth.  All credit to the winner.

Follow: Villa Splendido

Race 3 1st          Jacquinot Bay             Blake Shinn 2nd        Gangster’s Choice      James McDonald 3rd         Less Is More                Jay Ford

King Gladiator dwelt at the start and went back to last.  In somewhat of a surprise, Jacquinot Bay went to the front, with Gangster’s Choice racing outside of it.  It turned out that these two in front would fight the race out the whole way.  In the straight they had a great tussle with Jacquinot Bay getting a narrow decision.  It was a fairly good win, given he was able to adapt his racing pattern to lead today.  Less Is More and Reuben Percival both worked to the line well and will improve further.

Follow: Less Is More, Rueben Percival

Race 4 1st         Longport 2nd       Norzita 3rd        Jade Marauder

Longport led them up here, from Flying Snitzel.  Dear Demi was sent out a short priced favourite after a good victory last start, but supporters were always in pain today, with her going back to second last and not really looking to settle all that well.  In the straight, Norzita came out strongly after Longport, ran around a bit but managed to get over the line first.  Cassidy on Longport fired in a protest and got the decision.  Whether or not it should have been upheld, well, I really just don’t know about protests these days, but the fact is, there was a bump and the margin was narrow.  Jade Marauder ran well after a wide run, and Dear Demi just didn’t have things go its way.  Meidung was disappointing today.

Follow: Norzita, Jade Marauder

Race 5 1st          Steps In Time              Jim Cassidy 2nd        Said Com                       Corey Brown 3rd         Wild And Proud         Nash Rawiller

Last start I sacked Steps In Time, thinking she hadn’t come up this campaign.  Today she went straight to the front, and regained her previous form.  It was a case of ring-a-ding-ding, pumpers the King, making it a winning double.  He went fast enough in front to be left alone, but obviously slow enough to keep a kick in the tank.  Around the turn, most of her opposition had come off the bit and the leader was obviously the one to beat.  Early in the straight Torio’s Quest looked to run on out wide but its condition gave out, and then realistically, Said Comwas the only one to make ground.  Again, credit to the winner.

Follow: Steps In Time (now that she is back in winning form), Torio’s Quest will improve

Race 6 1st         Shoot Out                 Hugh Bowman 2nd       Rangirangdoo        Nash Rawiller 3rd        Secret Admirer     Corey Brown

All Too Hard is doing a good job of living up to its name lately, and I truly was surprised to see it so well supported in betting.  It came out last in this event, and never threatened.  I do not believe this horse is an open company group 1 contender at this stage.  Somepin Anypin led from Rangirangdoo, with Shoot Out getting a nice run behind them.  Shoot Out certainly has proven to be a group 1 horse, and it was a good victory here.  The benefit of recent trials obviously had him ready for the 1600m first up.  It was a lovely ride by Hugh Bowman, and they toughed out a good win over the old fellow, Rangirangdoo, with Secret Admirer working home fairly into third.

Follow: Secret Admirer, sack: All Too Hard

Race 7 1st          Lamasery                      Peter Robl 2nd        Mourayan                     Hugh Bowman 3rd         Lights Of Heaven        Josh Parr

Polish Knight and Stout Hearted were straight out the back here, and Lights Of Heaven went straight to the front.  Mourayan worked its way slowly around to second after Ginga Dude rolled past Lights Of Heaven.  They didn’t look to go fast in this, and there was not much change in the order midrace.  Lamasery had a very economical run and was brought to the outside in the straight and sprinted well to get the win.  The run of Mourayan was very good who kept fighting back all the way downe the straight.  Lights Of Heaven improved greatly today, but the first two do look to have the most upside.

Follow: Lamasery, Mourayan

Race 8 1st       Pampelonne       Hugh Bowman 2nd     Satin Shoes         Jim Cassidy 3rd      Appearance       Kerrin McEvoy

Pampelonne had a wide gate but came out very well to get a position right up on the speed.  Nobby Snip led them up to the turn, but Pampelonne was there to challenge quickly and went to the front.  It was left to Satin Shoes to be the only real challenger and she did make a race of it.  Pampelonne held on in the run to the line though, and is a horse with fair ability.  The talking point of this race will be Manawanui.  He  didn’t seem to put in at all and only beat a few home.  It would pay to watch the replay of this race as there were a number of horses making fair ground in the run to the line, such as Emotional Circus who I still have an opinion of.

Follow: Satin Shoes

Specials from the meeting: Less Is More, Norzita, Mourayan