Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Yellowglen Plate (1400m)

1st Sea Spray – Damian Lane 2nd Azkadellia – Michelle Payne 3rd Shacarde – Michael Walker

Sea Spray and Tender were a shade slow but Sea Spray quickly improved to midfield. Devon Princess darted across to lead from an outside alley and Kansas Sunflower moved to second. They kicked away from Shacarde and Bella Capri. Berimbau was next around Sea Spray. Azkadellia jumped okay but was taken back to a clear last. As the field bunched a little and started to fan nearing the turn Azkadellia was taken out where there was a pocket while there was a gaping run towards the inside and behind the eventual winner. Kansas Sunflower challenged Devon Princess on the turn and Shacarde came across their heels to run on. Sea Spray ran up behind the leaders and took an inside run at the 200m. Berimbau loomed up but didn’t go on and Akzadellia was climbing over their backs. Sea Spray hit the lead soon after and it wasn’t until the 100m when Akzadellia finally found a gap and she sprinted very hard to go down narrowly. Shacarde battled on well to grab third from a game Kansas Sunflower while the rest of the field were well beaten. Berimbau was particularly ordinary given the run she had.

Follow: Azkadellia should have romped in.

Race 2: Crown Lager Stakes (1400m)

1st Stratum Star – Brad Rawiller 2nd Manhattan Avenue – Craig Newitt 3rd Careless – James McDonald

Staviva was slow by about a length. After a battle for the early lead Thief Of Hearts crossed to the fence ahead of Liberation andTudor. Klammer found a nice spot in fourth and Careless was next inside Petrology and White Hunter three wide. Thief Of Hearts had a pretty easy lead and beat off Liberation, Klammer loomed up early in the straight but they were picked up quickly by Stratum Star who swooped on them. Careless couldn’t sprint with him but tried hard. Down the outside came Manhattan Avenue and Staviva from the back. Liberation dropped out, he pulled up with some mucous but is becoming costly. Stratum Star was all out inside the 100m but had a big enough break to again defeat Manhattan Avenue. Careless had every chance but fought on for third just ahead of Staviva. There was a gap to the rest and it wasn’t a bad run by Ronn’s Moss, who was up sharply in class, hitting the line late. Be a little forgiving of Armadawho was checked out of it early on, though he was a bit plain in the last 100m. Damage was probably done early.

Follow: remember Staviva next preparation.

Race 3: Ethereal Stakes (2000m)

1st Set Square – Nick Hall 2nd Maastricht – Dwayne Dunn 3rd Imperial Lass – Luke Nolen

Maastricht was away well from the outside alley and was restrained looking for cover, finding a good spot in midfield. Five of them wanted to lead with Lady Macan, Tears Of Joy, Veuvelicious, Imperial Lass and Set Square just easing out of it. Veuvelicious eventually found the top. Lady Macan sat up second around Tears Of Joy. Imperial Lass had the one-one and was being tracked by Maastricht around Set Square. Savage Coup settled next. Imperial Lass was the first to move and Lady Macan was immediately under pressure. There was plenty of room for Tears Of Joy to come around Veuvelicious and Maastricht was looming up around them. Set Square stayed on the fence and hit the lead at the same time as Maastricht at the 200m as they swept past Imperial Lass. Hipster Girl was running on without threatening down the outside. Set Square was much stronger in the last 100m or so than Maastricht and drew clear. Maastricht lacks a turn of foot when it counts. Imperial Lass did a good job to run third and they had a handy margin on the rest headed by Hipster Girl.

Follow: Set Square was coming off a maiden win and was too good for these.

Race 4: Caulfield Classic (2000m)

1st Fontein Ruby – Mark Zahra 2nd Crafty – Craig Williams 3rd Firehouse Rock – Nick Hall

Somewhat surprisingly Merion headed to the front and wanted to go a bit hard early on. Fontein Ruby slid across from the outside to be on the pace. War Point was handy. Hawking improved to fourth, one off the fence, ahead of Light Up Manhattan and Magicool.Firehouse Rock settled midfield around Home Run Hero. Kumaon wasn’t great out of the gates and was well back with Crafty. Merion really didn’t look happy in front and Fontein Ruby kept him honest. Hawking eased three wide to run on before the turn and Firehouse Rock tracked him up while Crafty followed him in the three wide line. Magicool and Light Up Manhattan were cramped for room as they bunched up and War Point came off second best in some tightening early in the straight. Firehouse Rock sprinted quickly to hit the lead from Fontein Ruby inside the 300m with Crafty chasing a couple of lengths away. Merion found nothing and Magicool picked up and battled on well. Back in the field Bachman found some room after being shuffled out and hit the line nicely. Fontein Ruby fought back and got the better of Firehouse Rock and held off Crafty for a gusty win. Light Up Manhattan also fought well to regain fourth from Magicool andBachman a nice run. Of the others Kumaon did nothing.

Follow: the first two are genuine Oaks hopes, Bachman did his Derby hopes no harm.

Race 5: Moonga Stakes (1400m)

1st Lucky Hussler – Glen Boss 2nd Under The Louvre – Nick Hall 3rd Generalife – Kerrin McEvoy

Limes bounded out and went straight to the lead. Stablemate Generalife was eased back to second last from the outside alley and had only Smokin’ Joey behind him. Flamberge sat up on the speed with River Lad three wide. The Japanese horse Raizan settled fourth and Final Crescendo took the box seat. Manawanui and Ryker were the next pair and Leebaz found himself three back on the fence.Lucky Hussler had a trail behind Ryker. Generalife peeled out to run on a fair way out and Under The Louvre just got shuffled back a little coming to the turn. Limes kicked away around the turn and had Flamberge and River Lad struggling. Leebaz ran up behind them and was checked out of it. Lucky Hussler sprinted very fast to grab Limes at the 200m. There was some bumping a couple of lengths behind him with Ryker coming off second best as Manawanui and Under The Louvre started to run on. Generalife kept his run going and Smokin’ Joey was warming up out wide. Lucky Hussler put the race away though and he broke through for a deserved win. Under The Louvre had to settle for second this time and Generalife did a very good job to run third. Manawanui wasn’t disgraced either and Smokin’ Joey will be better for his run second-up. Leebaz was excellent, he might have run eighth but you want to be on him next time around. And, don’t laugh, Admire Inazuma might have run last but it wouldn’t surprise if he jumped out of the ground next time. He was following Leebaz and when that horse was checked he went looking for a run to the outside and was flattened when Ryker struck trouble and was eased down. Big forgive run.

Follow: Generalife, Leebaz, Admire Inazuma

Race 6: Tristarc Stakes (1400m)

1st Sweet Idea – Tommy Berry 2nd Girl Guide – Dwayne Dunn 3rd Catkins – Hugh Bowman

Sweet Idea showed her usual early speed and took up the running from Catkins and Girl Guide up handy. Enquare was caught three wide so pushed on and wound up second. Diamond Drille found a good spot next. Politeness was a bit closer in midfield aroundChiquada while May’s Dream settled further back than expected from a good gate. Sweet Idea relaxed well in front as Enquare raced at her quarters. Catkins had the perfect drop on them in third. Diamond Drille hugged the rails ahead of Girl Guide while Politeness was the first to make a move easing three wide before the turn. Sweet Idea had Enquare under pressure on the bend and slipped away from her. Catkins was also put out of her comfort zone as she tried to chase and Girl Guide was looming as a threat as she went straight past Catkins at the 200m. Sweet Idea never really looked in danger of being run down and she had about a half length to spare from the super honest Girl Guide. Catkins had every possible chance in third while May’s Dream hit the line hard to just miss a place. She’s close to a win. Politeness was only fair but a very nice run from Girl In Flight who poked through late after being held up early in the straight. Diamond Drille will improve on her first-up run.

Follow: May’s Dream at a mile, Girl In Flight.

Race 7: David Jones Cup (2000m)

1st Contributor – James McDonald 2nd Noble Protector – Craig Williams 3rd Signoff – Glen Boss

Noble Protector was a bit scratchy out of the gates but gathered speed and worked to the lead early. Commanding Time jumped well and Jacquinot Bay went forward and eventually rolled to the front. Contributor was also a little tardy out but he improved to be not far off the speed while Honorius found himself three wide. Pinstripe Lane was in the clear next around Signoff. Jacquinot Bay rolled a few lengths clear midrace. Noble Protector settled well in second while Commanding Time worked into the box seat. Soon after the leader slackened the tempo and the field bunched right up and Vilanova seemed to be squeezed up and dropped back. Noble Protector and Honorius put the pressure on Jacquinot Bay at the 400m and Pinstripe Lane moved up four deep. Contributor stalked them while Signoff was being a little cramped for room between him and Commanding Time. Noble Protector momentarily hit the front but Contributor dashed past her at the 200m and held about a length margin to the line. The runner-up was very game and did have a harder run. Signoff got up for third, an even effort back in distance, ahead of Honorius and Jacquinot Bay.

Follow: Contributor and Noble Protector were having their first Australian starts and were too good.

Race 8: Caulfield Sprint (1100m)

1st (dh) Bel Sprinter – Ben Melham Miracles Of Life – Hugh Bowman 3rd Shamal Wind – Nick Hall

Even line out though Bel Sprinter might have been bumped by Big Money as he dropped back to second last. I’m All The Talk andThermal Current jumped fast from out wide and crossed over though Miracles Of Life held the fence and kept them working. Pago Rockwas just off the speed from Facile Tigre. Shamal Wind was a little closer this time three wide with cover around Big Money andUnpretentious. I’m All The Talk was first under pressure as Miracles Of Life railed through on the turn to hit the lead. Thermal Current still travelled okay outside them. Pago Rock couldn’t do any better behind them. Shamal Wind started to unwind down the outside at the 300m with Big Money inside her, while closer to the rail Bel Sprinter had weaved through and was warming up a couple of lengths behind Miracles Of Life. He made up the ground quickly and got across her heels passing the 100m, with Shamal Wind and Big Money closing out wider. Miracles Of Life looked to be holding on but Bel Sprinter had one final dive on the line and the judge couldn’t split them. Shamal Wind got very close in third while Big Money was certainly acceptable running a close fourth. Thermal Current wasn’t disgraced while it was a super first-up run from Driefontein, who raced four wide most of the way but hit the line.

Follow: Bel Sprinter (could be back to his best), Big Money, Driefontein.

Race 9: Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m)

1st Admire Rakti – Zac Purton 2nd Rising Romance – James McDonald 3rd Lucia Valentina – Kerrin McEvoy

Not a bad line out for a big field. Rising Romance made a beeline for the fence and when she got there was taken hold of. Brambles andWho Shot Thebarman took over from her soon after and Sea Moon was also sent forward and he found the lead heading into the back straight. Junoob was caught three wide around Lidari and Seismos. Stipulate was handy ahead of Green Moon. Hawkspur was three wide in midfield, Moriarty and Renew in that bunch. Admire Rakti had a three wide trail outside Big Memory and Unchain My Heart.Lucia Valentina had to go right back to last and improved past Araldo and The Offer. Once they’d sorted things out Sea Moon loped along in front, Brambles didn’t settle and Hawkspur kept his run going up to second. Junoob had a torrid run. Around the 800m they started to get off the fence and Rising Romance was able to get up inside everything and she hit the lead well before the turn. As you’d expect they bunched up significantly with Brambles still there, Hawkspur and Who Shot Thebarman were battling, Moriarty tried to run on around them while Junoob was bumped out of the way by Lidari. Admire Rakti followed Moriarty and Lucia Valentina was outside him and she copped a bump on the turn as Admire Rakti came around Moriarty. Rising Romance went for home at the 300m and looked the winner as Brambles was only boxing on and not making ground on her. Hawkspur was still there and Araldo had worked his way through the field to be closing in. Out wide Admire Rakti let down with a powerful sprint and amazingly reeled in Rising Romance to score. Lucia Valentina was brave and she hit the line well for third ahead of Brambles and Araldo. Lidari and Junoob were close up and not a bad run from Big Memory while The Offer was only fair again

Follow: from a Melbourne Cup point of view, Admire Rakti and Lucia Valentina are the only ones you could want.

Race 10: Alinghi Stakes (1100m)

1st The Messina Nymph – Kerrin McEvoy 2nd Cradle Me – Tommy Berry 3rd Sino Eagle – Luke Nolen

It’s Poets Day jumped quickly towards the outside and took The Messina Nymph across to the fence and the lead. Anatina had the box seat inside Awasita. Cradle Me and Sino Eagle were midfield. It’s Poets Day was in trouble on the turn as she was put under pressure and The Messina Nymph cruised past her. Anatina couldn’t run on at all and was going backwards at the 200m. Awasita boxed on pretty well and Sino Eagle started to hit the line out wider. Cradle Me got a run closer to the inside. The Messina Nymph kept going and held a clear margin on the line. Cradle Me ran very well to grab second and Sino Eagle clung onto a place ahead of the fast finishing Vain Attraction and Awasita. Behind them Nicamore battled on and Miss Steele made some ground without ever looking a hope. The winner was too good and is a horse on the way up. Anatina was found to have some mucous post race which may explain her poor effort.

Follow: The Messina Nymph.

Specials from the meeting: Azkadellia, Leebaz, Girl In Flight, Noble Protector

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Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st                    Salerno                                  Jeff Lloyd 2nd                   Tempt Me Not                          Josh Parr 3rd                    Elle Snitz                              Brenton Avdulla

The first was for the two-year-olds and Artistic Beauty was slow to begin along the inside.  Tempt Me Not was sent out an odds on favourite and also wasn’t quick to begin and then worked its way through to midfield.  Salerno led on the fence with Swift Reply outside of it, which put Last Witness three wide and drifting back.  Elle Snitz was getting through along the fence into third as they came towards the turn.  Salerno was given its queue as they topped the rise and was kicking on and got away from them with 200m to run.  Tempt Me Not was having trouble finding clear running and was pulled off heals and switched wide on the track.  In the run to the line, despite Tempt Me Not winding up and coming with a quick run, Salerno was never in danger of being run down, and this was yet another case of the most professional and educated horse jumping, leading and winning.  Tempt Me Not will take a lot of improvement from the run.

Follow: Tempt Me Not

Race 2

1st                    Excess Knowledge                 Tim Clark 2nd                   Paederos                               Winona Costin 3rd                    Supreme Warrior                    Taylor Marshall

Black Revolver was slowest to begin an went back along with ReigningExcess Knowledge was out well but had company up front withPaederos and Supreme Warrior.  Supreme Warrior worked its way across from out wide to lead Paederos giving Excess Knowledge a lovely sit in third spot on the fence.  Lucky Chappy was caught wide for the trip.  Before the turn, Black Revolver was trying to come very wide from the rear with a run.  Supreme Warrior topped the rise in front with Paederos basically drawing level with it.  Excess Knowledge was looking to switch around them and Malice was also joining in.  Further back Amovatio had finally found clear running and was winding up.  In the run to the line, Excess Knowledge got the better of Paederos and claimed the win.  Supreme Warrior held third from the fast finishing and somewhat unlucky Amovatio. 

Follow: Amovatio

Race 3

1st                    Muscovado                           Winona Costin 2nd                   Kermadec                             Blake Shinn 3rd                    Candelara                              Jason Collett

Kermadec was slow to begin and went straight back to last, before Bracteate was restrained back to a clear last.  Muscovado rolled straight to the front as so many do from the Waterhouse stable.  Good Prince moved up to second giving Candelara a nice sit in third spot.  Road To Shangri La landed fourth in the run.  Mid race Muscavado was let slide and had a two to three length break over good prince.  The favourite Kermadec was still back second last and looked to be spotting them eight to ten lengths, so he was asked to move forward from the 600m mark onwards and got within about 4 lengths around the turn.  At the furlong pole, Muscovado was given a crack with the persuader and looked to have most of them beaten with Kermadec the only danger.  Kermadec did a good job to close in late and only just go under in a photo given that he took off on a wide 600m run and is clearly the one to follow out of this. 

Follow: Kermadec

Race 4

1st                    Kuro                                      Blake Shinn 2nd                   Time For War                         Brenton Avdulla 3rd                    Inkling                                  Josh Parr

The Brian Crowley Stakes was race 4 on the card and Kuro began well from a middle gate.  Delectation on the other hand went back to the rear soon after jumping.  There was a bit of pace early with This Is Australia crossing to lead from Time For War, which really set things up nicely for Kuro which settled fourth.  Mohave moved up to third but a little wide.  Around the turn there was a line of three up front with This Is Australia retaining the fence, Time For War outside of it and Mohave had moved up to join them.  It was obvious however that Kuro was stalking them and just wanting for the right moment to chime in.  That moment came just after they topped the rise when he was let stride to the leaders still under a hold.  Inkling was ridden along outside of it to try and mount its challenge.  At the 150m mark Kuro was ridden a long hands and heels to make a bird of it and that he did.  This was an impressive win from a horse that has now won five from seven.  Time For War held second with Inkling just peaking on its run inside the 100m mark.

Follow: Kuro

Race 5

1st                    Deep Field                            Brenton Avdulla 2nd                   That’s A Good Idea                 Josh Parr 3rd                    Shamalia                               Glyn Schofield

Deep Field was sent out the equivelent of about four to one on and those odds looked pretty good after about 100m.  He did just what he had to do to lead, despite the fact Barbed wanted to try and be a bit annoying on the outside.  Kencella settled in third spot from That’s A Good Idea on the inside.  Around the turn, Deep Field had about a length break and looked to be in cruise control mode.  Up the rise, Brenton Avdulla was strangling deep field whilst the others were being pushed along.  Inside the last 200m, he pushed him along a bit and Deep Field showed that it has a lovely turn of foot, putting an easy three lengths on his rivals in the run to the line.  Some are making comparisons to Schillaci, as this one is raced in the same interests.  There is no doubt the horse is going to be competitive in the big league, but has a long way to go to match the deeds of Schillaci! As Wayne Hawkes mentioned, there is another one at home by the name of Chataqua that goes pretty well.  The coming weeks will be very interesting indeed.  Shamalia did well here chasing home for third and can win soon if placed well.

Follow: Shamalia

Race 6

1st                    Mulaqen                                Blake Shinn 2nd                   La Amistad                           Brenton Avdulla 3rd                    Disclaimer                            Jason Collett

As they went down to the post the first time in race six there was a line of three up with Mulaqen looking to push on and take the lead.  Out of the straight he did that, which brought Celtic Prince across also, meaning Disclaimer and Danchai got nice runs in behind the speed and then there was a break back to La Amistad.  Mid race, Mulaqen seemed to be doing it as he liked in front, and there was no change in the order.  Inside the 1000m mark the pace looked to start to wind up steadily and this meant that by the time they came to the turn, some back in the field were in a bit of strife.  Up the rise, Mulaqen had kicked and had all of his rivals off the bit.  From there on, they never looked like catching him.  La Amistad ground home into second with Disclaimer third.  All credit here to Blake Shinn for a nice front running ride on the winner.

Follow: None to follow

Race 7

1st                    Mahara                                  Blake Shinn 2nd                   All Cerise                             Glyn Schofield 3rd                    Rare Fragrance                     Winona Costin

Rare Fragrance was the one that was slow to begin here and went back to last.  Aussies Love Sport used an inside gate to go through and lead early in the piece.  Fine Bubbles moved up out wide to join it.  Somehow, Rare Fragrance after its slow get away managed to follow the leader through along the fence and land in the box seat third with Mahara outside of it getting a nice run.  Murder Of Crows that was well up the betting order got a mile back.  Around the turn and up the rise, Aussies Love Sport still had it but not for long as Fine Bubbles claimed it and Mahara in turn went to Fine Bubbles and looked to be going the better.  Mahara was asked for its effort inside the 200m mark and found a bit to hold off the run of All Cerise in the run to the line who never gave up chasing.  Rare Fragrance back along the fence held third spot.  Another winner for Blake Shinn and another ten out of ten ride.  He is in good form.

Follow: All Cerise

Race 8

1st                    Avoid Lightning                     Tim Clark 2nd                   Brook Road                           Brenton Avdulla 3rd                    Rose Of Choice                      Blake Shinn

A pretty good charge for the early lead, with Exceleine finding the front from My Sabeel outside of it, Sugar Rush back on the fence and Rose Of Choice who was out very wide.  Around the turn, Flight Academy came even wider with its run.  Avoid Lightning was back in behind them but looked to be traveling well enough and it was apparent after straightening that Tim Clark was going to take no chances waiting on a run and was hooking to the outside.  In the run to the line, Clark put his head down and rode hard, and got the best horse in the race over the line in front. Brook Road ran another good race here and was unlucky to run into one that’s just a little bit classier.  Rose Of Choice did very well to sprint clear and keep fighting on for third after being wide, and She’s Clean gets a pass mark for her effort to try and come with the winner and winding up fourth not beaten too far.

Follow: Brook Road, Rose Of Choice