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NOTE: Numbers in brackets are the official handicap ratings for each horse. Track rated Good (4) at time of writing.
Good luck if you’re having a go in the first! I thought 8. SPATSIZI (59) didn’t go a yard in the heavy ground at his debut at Ballarat and that run should be forgot as we’re playing on a much better surface. I loved his jump outs prior to that debut and it’s interesting that Glen Boss has stuck with him. Expecting a big improvement. 2. JALAN JALAN (66) was an upset winner at her only start back in May on a soft track but it was a good effort. She’s been kept ticking over with a trial and a jump out since and the latter was a very easy gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday. Gets every chance. 1.GREEN CARD (63) bolted in first-up at Bendigo and the form has been strengthened a little with the runner-up scoring easily in a maiden earlier this week. If he can run up to that performance he’s hard to beat. Just about all of the first starters have been seen in jump outs and most have shown something. Of them 16. THE COOL JEWEL (NR) may be the best of them. She won a trial at Flemington last Friday in good fashion.
4. FINE APPROACH (80) is a better than average Adelaide mare and her performance to run third at Morphettville a few weeks back was excellent after she blew the start badly. She made her run on the inside which was seen as inferior on the day as well. If Ollie can get her out of gate one with them then she’ll be in the finish. 6. PILLY’S WISH (74) also gave away an impossible start second-up at the Valley but did run on well to finish second behind Wild Rain who was up on the pace. I know she has won at 1309m but that was a maiden and I do wonder about her at a strong 1200m. That said, she’s the danger. 11. BELARUSKI (64) was going along okay without winning then slipped across to SA for an all the way win in a mares race. Sure this is harder but she’ll be up on the pace and could well give a sight at each-way odds. 10. FIRST PRINT (65) doesn’t win out of turn these days but there was plenty to like about her late closing fourth at Flemington in midweek company almost a month ago. Needs the breaks to go her way but in the mix if they do.
Not a strong race and not overly keen. 1. RADICAL (68) was a long priced winner at Moonee Valley two runs back then ran a very nice race, without a lot of luck, last week. He did run ninth but only a couple of lengths from the winner. That looked a smart field and there is much less depth in this. Hard to beat. 5. PIRAN (66) was disappointing last start and really didn’t give a yelp after having a perfect run in transit. Prepared to forgive her for that after her very impressive second-up win. Has the ability to be in the finish. 2. HEAVY (66) ran on nicely for fifth in the same race as Piran at Flemington and perhaps could have finished a little closer. Dictated to a bit here by the wide alley again so he’ll get back and be hitting the line again. 11. SKYFIRE (60) was a 100/1 chance when he finished just ahead of Heavy last time in quite a nice performance. He needs to reproduce that kind of effort but is an each-way hope and certainly won’t be triple figure odds.
Another wide open one and because of that I see no reason why 14. MICK’S HUSTLER (68) won’t be somewhere around the money here. He has only won two race but one thing he does do is hit the line strongly each time he goes around. He did that without all the luck when narrowly beaten at Flemington three weeks ago. Will need his share of luck again but a good each-way chance. 3. RICH JACK (79) is in his usual consistent form and there’s nothing wrong with the form coming out of his close second at Flemington on June 10. He’ll be up there in the firing line and can take running down. 1. MORANT (80) ran Rich Jack to a long neck when he resumed and his two runs since have been solid. Hasn’t won for over a year but I can see him running on down the outside late. One of the chances. 11. SPENCER STREET (72) loomed up to win at Moonee Valley two runs back then last time at the same track he simply found himself too far back as the on pacers kept going. Has a show. 2. RED CORNER (80) beat Rich Jack last start so has to be considered at 4. HANDSOME TYCOON(76) is going to need a gun ride to repeat his last start win.
I really like 1. DUKE OF BRUNSWICK (74) as a horse and while his Sale win third-up was on the narrow side it was still a strong win. There looks to me to be a genuine tempo on paper in this event and that’ll help offset the outside gate. If those off the pace are getting a fair go he’ll be running on very hard. 7. MIHANY (67) is the one drawn to get the gun run from gate four, if not lead, and he did show plenty of fight in his close third in a blanket finish at Flemington. Last week’s winner Clemo was behind him as was Mick’s Hustler who I like in the previous race. Good chance. 3. RAPOSO (72) overcame a slow start in his impressive Moonee Valley win two weeks ago and he won’t want to be doing that again in this field. However, he did almost deny Duke Of Brunswick the start before and has to be included in the chances. 4. DUANEO (69) wasn’t disgraced behind subsequent city winner Dodging Bullets before recording his second Adelaide win on June 20. He certainly goes well over there. That Dodging Bullets form should hold up and he’s a definite chance. 2. ACTUARIAL(73) and 8. VOLCANIC ASH (66) are also genuine hopes.
Races aren’t won on paper but it looks to me that 6. CHARMED HARMONY (88) is going to get an uncontested lead and if that’s the case he’s going to take plenty of running down. Gave a big sight behind Red Bomber two runs back at a mile, which was beyond him, then again stuck on well at the Valley last time. Should cruise across and is the one to beat. 8. EVERY FAITH (83) comes back from a mile after her narrow second-up win and the form from that race is good with third placed Coronation Shallan winning on Wednesday. If the distance isn’t too short she’ll be right in the finish. 7. OUR HAND OF FAITH (86) resumed with an even effort at the Valley but 1400m around Caulfield is much more his style. Usually better after a run as well and he’s entitled to improve, if he does he’ll be thereabouts. 4. ZUMA ROC (94) only had the one run last campaign for a win over a mile. His previous campaign commenced over 1400m here and he finished an eye-catching sixth so expect him to be running on and he can get into a place at least.
1. OUR HARMONY (74) put together two very impressive wins at Mornington before an excellent third at the Valley where she ran on well in a race where the tempo wasn’t strong. This is a fairly similar task, different track obviously, and she’s going to be finishing the race off well again. 4.LIRABIRD (68) held them all at bay at her city debut at Flemington only to be swamped in the latter stages by Faction. From gate one she’ll be right on the speed and 3kg less isn’t a bad result either. 5. SHAKESPEAREAN LASS (68) was the winner of the Moonee Valley race in question where she ran out the 1200m in good style after having the lead on her own. Expect this will be a bit different but being 100m less is in her favour. Can’t be left out. 11. TYKIATO (66) had an easy kill on the synthetic at Geelong when resuming and is an interesting runner here. Her only city start was a sound fourth behind Wild Rain back in January and that’s not bad form. Each-way. 13. REAL WARRIOR (64) is a horse I’d be throwing in the multiples, particularly if the pace goes on.
1. LORD OF THE SKY (106) really does pick himself here on the strength of Group 1 second placings at his last two starts. On the TJ Smith effort alone he’s entitled to beat these in a hand canter. He’s had that well publicised mishap on the way to Brisbane for the Stradbroke but that was a month ago and he has an imposing record at Caulfield. Won this race last year and wasn’t going as well. Clear top pick. 6. HEART OF A LION (90) is racing in career best form and attacks a race like this at the right time. Had the right run but it was a strong win at Morphettville two weeks ago and given a bit of speed engaged he’ll get a nice smother here. Definite chance. 9. ANGELS BEACH (99) didn’t like the soft track at Randwick second-up and she can be forgiven for that defeat. Even effort first-up after leading and if she produces her best she’s an each-way chance at weight-for-age. 2. RIZIZ(103) hasn’t raced since the Goodwood where he only beat one home but he’s much better than that. Placed in this race last year and is yet to beat Lord Of The Sky so can’t see him turning the tables. But he’s in the mix.
14. WORD OF MOUTH (79) was desperately unlucky at Randwick two starts back but atoned with a very dominant win at the Valley on June 20. Up in class but right down to 52kg and he’d only need to match either of his last two efforts to be very hard to beat in this even line up. 3. SELF SENSE(91) will be a big improver up to the 2000m after two runs back from a two month break. Found the line strongly late over the mile last week and backing up is a good sight. Can be up on the pace at this trip and commands respect. 2. HIOCTDANE (91) has never raced better and the timing is also right for him to have another shot in Melbourne. It’s not easy to win four races on end anywhere and he’s been showing plenty of fight when challenged. That’s a good sign and he can measure up. 1. BAGMAN (98) hasn’t won since August last year but significantly it was over the 2000m on this track with 60kg. Looked the winner at Rosehill last time but was swamped by his stablemate in the last few strides. Has to be considered a chance.