Race 1 - 12:10pm
The majority of this field have not been seen publically and that makes this a very tricky race to analyse. There has been no early money lead and, at this stage, this is a race that I am more than happy to stay out of from a betting standpoint.
Race 2 - 12:45pm
Comicas is one of the most interesting horses set to run at Caulfield this afternoon. All of his recent runs have been on the dirt in Dubai and he has struggled for consistency, but on his best form he has an enormous class edge over this field. He has run well on the turf in the past and you can never underestimate a Charlie Appleby-trained horse when it comes to Australia.
2 Units Comicas
Race 3 - 1:20pm
Sunlight returned to a semblance of her best form to score a narrow win in the Quezette Stakes and she recorded a dominant barrier trial win between starts. She still has the scope to improve on that performance and she does have the early speed to take up a forward position from the wide barrier draw. I think she should prove too classy for her rivals in this contest.
3 Units Sunlight
Race 4 - 1:55pm
Winter Bride has recorded three wins on the trot and she was very impressive in the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes at Caulfield last start. She maps to get another nice run in transit and she goes into this race as a deserving favourite.
I still think that the value in the race is Booker. Her first-up run in the Testa Rossa Stakes wasn’t as bad as it looked on paper. She hit the front at the top of the straight and she ran out of conditioning late. She will take benefit from that run and she has the early speed to take up a forward position from the wide barrier draw.
1 Unit Booker
Race 5 - 2:30pm
Snitty Kitty finished a gallant fourth behind Viddora in the Moir Stakes first-up and she didn’t have any luck in running. She has generally produced her best form at Caulfield and her run in the Oakleigh Plate over this track and distance was excellent. Mark Zahra should be able to take her straight to the front from the inside barrier and she will give her rivals something to catch.
2 Units Snitty Kitty
Race 6 - 3:10pm
This is a very strong edition of the Thousand Guineas and it is a fascinating betting race. Smart Melody has done nothing wrong during her racing career to date and she will go into this contest as a clear favourite. She proved too good for her rivals in the Thousand Guineas Prelude, but she did tire late and there is a genuine concern over her ability to run out a strong mile. Because of that, I am happy to bet around her at the short price.
El Dorado Dreaming and Thrillster chased her home in the Thousand Guineas Prelude and I am happy to back them both. El Dorado Dreaming will take strong benefit from her first-up run in the Thousand Guineas Prelude and the step-up to a mile is ideal. She maps to get a lovely run in transit with Damian Lane in the saddle.
Thrillster has been excellent throughout her Spring campaign and she is another that looks set to relish the step-up in trip. She didn’t have a great deal of luck in the Thousand Guineas Prelude and she was still able to find the line strongly.
1.5 Units El Dorado Dreaming
1.5 Units Thrillster
Race 7 - 3:45pm
Jungle Cat started his Australian racing career with an excellent win in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and he is great value to take out the Toorak Handicap. He has now recorded four wins on the trot, the past two at Group 1 level, and he is clearly a high-level performer. This is the first time that he has been out to a mile and that is obviously a question mark, but the way that he savaged the line suggests that the trip will not be an issue. The barrier draw is perfect and the $10 currently available is an enormous price.
1 Unit Jungle Cat
Race 8 - 4:35pm
The Ladbrokes Stakes could end up being the best race of the entire Spring Racing Carnival. Chris Waller her a strong hand with the duo of D’argento and Unforgotten, but I think that the international contender Benbatl is the horse to beat. Benbatl beat a star-studded field to win the Dubai Turf in dominant fashion in March and he proved that won was no fluke with a stellar win in the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis in Germany. 2000 metres is his pet distance and his fresh form is outstanding. Pat Cosgrave is somewhat of an unknown hoop in Australia, but he has an excellent hoop that has had success right around the world. Benbatl will get the run of the race from the inside barrier and the $6 currently on offer does appeal.
1.5 Units Benbatl
Race 9 - 5:15pm
The Autumn Sun will start the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas as a dominant favourite and he does look like the good thing of the day at Caulfield. Nobody missed the outstanding performance of The Autumn Sun in the Golden Rose Stakes and the scary thing for his rivals is that he should prove even better over 1600 metres. James McDonald will have the option to settle him closer to the speed in the early stages of this contest and he simply has a turn-of-foot that can’t be matched by any other horse in this field. He will be extremely tough to beat.
For mine, the only horse that has the upside to upstage The Autumn Sun is Native Solider. His two wins at Caulfield, in the McNeil Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas Prelude, have both been outstanding and Ben Allen is sure to take him straight to the front. He will give The Autumn Sun something to catch.
6 Units The Autumn Sun
1 Unit Native Solider
Race 10 - 5:50pm
The large number of internationals make this a very interesting edition of the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes. Big Duke has had no luck whatsoever so far this campaign and we still don’t really know how well he is actually going. He never got a shot at them in The Metropolitan, but there was definitely some stable confidence there and that was the first time that he has missed the placings at 2400 metres.
The pick of the internationals could be A Prince Of Arran. It has been a while between wins, but he has form around some serious horses and he chased home Melbourne Cup contender Withold at Newcastle last start. He has travelled with success in the past and grinding international stayers have run well in this race in the past.
1.5 Units Big Duke
1 Unit A Prince Of Arran