Star mare Winx is shooting for 12 straight wins in the Caulfield Stakes where only Black Heart Bart and He Or She are brave enough to take her on. It will be fascinating to see how the tactics play out in a field of just three. Also on the menu at Caulfield is the Toorak Handicap, Caulfield Guineas and Thousand Guineas.
Niccolance (Randwick Race 2, No.1)
Niccolance won impressively first-up and shapes like he’ll go on with the job now. This three-year-old colt was sick of the sight of Capitalist as a youngster. He failed at Canterbury two back but it was on a wet track and we now know that he doesn’t go a yard on shifty tracks. With plenty of sunshine forecast before Saturday the Randwick track should be right up his alley and looking at the map, he gets his chance to control this race from the start. If you haven’t yet jumped on the Snowden bandwagon, it’s never too late.
Double Down: Hope Koby Jennings watches the replay of Blake Shinn’s ride on him last start. Straight to the front!
Signposted (Randwick Race 3, No.1)
Had the picket fence sequence broken last start but he was still impressive. Fabrizio carved out an incredible time over the Randwick mile which saw him jump one of the favourites in the Epsom. Signposted was four lengths off him but he had third covered comfortably. Like the three weeks between runs to give him time to get over such a touch run. He is a proven weight carrier and Blaike McDougall rides him so well.
Double Down: Should be high-balling out in front again. If he isn’t, there is something wrong.
In The Vangaurd (Caulfield Race 3, No.10)
Plenty of these come out of a messy Champagne Stakes at Moonee Valley and despite plenty of hard luck stories, there is definitely no dominant filly among them. In The Vanguard is a galloper The Wolf has always had plenty of time for and after impressing at the trials, she was dominant on debut before finding Scarlet Rain too slick. Her trials this time around have been brilliant suggesting she has gone to another level again.
Double Down: She has plenty of natural speed so want Walker to hold the fence. Box seat should be his if he wants it.
Chetwood (Caulfield Race 4, No.3)
The penny has finally dropped for this lump of a horse. He is a massive unit and has worked out how to harness his cruising speed this campaign which has resulted in three straight wins. In the latest he gave Le Romain a galloping lesson, who subsequently ran well in the Epsom. This will be the first time he has raced in Melbourne but he should get Sistine Demon on his inside to help guide him around Caulfield.
Double Down: Will roll across from the wide gate and get into his rhythm. Much depends on how hard Sistine Demon goes. Watch that horse closely.
High Mist (Randwick Race 7, No.4)
The saddle slipped on this colt in the Gloaming Stakes so be very forgiving about his seventh. His preparation prior to that pointed to him being one of the favourites in the Spring Champion. Chris Waller got the chocolates with Vanbrugh last year too. Yankee Rose is the firm favourite but she is yet to tick the 2000m box and High Mist has the extra run under his belt with this being his grand final. Double figure odds look generous.
Double Down: Drawn a middle gate, should settle just worse than midfield. In an ideal world, Ready Fire Aim runs along and makes it a true staying test.
2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4 / 3,4,8 / 12.
4,6,7,8 / 1,3,4,11 / 7,8,9 / 2,3,10.
Caulfield Guineas (Caulfield)
The Stan Fox has provided the past two winners of the Caulfield Guineas (Shooting To Win and Press Statement). It shapes as another year of Sydney domination with Impending, Divine Prophet and Good Standing likely to fight it out. Impending beat both of them fair and square in the Stan Fox and shapes as clear top pick. Couldn’t have responded any better to the blinkers going on. Don’t underestimate Good Standing. Bowman on and he’ll eat the mile.
Thousand Guineas (Caulfield)
Punters well and truly took care of the $5.50 for Global Glamour on Wednesday. She is now $4 and close to eclipsing Foxplay as the race favourite. The Wolf is in Global Glamour’s corner too. Foxplay has a 2-0 verdict over her this preparation but GG did herself no favours in missing the kick. She finally jumped clean in the Flight Stakes and couldn’t have been more impressive, running sharp time and holding off Yankee Rose who would be even money in this. Missrock best of the rest.
Schillaci Stakes (Caulfield)
Star Turn is right at the pointy end of a strong crop of three-year-old sprinters. We saw what Extreme Choice did to the older horses in the Moir Stakes and The Wolf expects Star Turn do do similar to this field. They are so well weighted over the spring and down on 53kg, he only has to repeat his Run To The Rose second to Astern to win this. Hucklebuck was very good first-up under a big weight and should improve plenty from that while you always have to respect Malaguerra.