4 Group One races! What a time to be alive.
Caulfield Guineas Day is Christmas for punters, four Group 1 races, two Group twos and two at Group 3 level.
The program is stacked with talent and there is no shortage of stories here, Russian Camelot is gunning for back-to-back Group ones and is expected to dominate in the Caulfield stakes.
Meanwhile the Caulfield Guineas and Thousand Guineas are star studded, arguably the best fields we’ve seen in these races for some time.
Here’s our preview!
RACE 1- 1000M- DEBUTANT STAKES
12- FAKE LOVE- Has had had to jump-outs and looked good in those, hasn’t been worked too hard in those but looked a likely type.
10- BEACH LAP- Jumped against and beat Naples on 25/9, did that with incredible ease. Looks a smart runner and can figure here.
7- RED ROCKETSHIP- Has won both jump-outs and has shown a great turn of foot in those, foal of a 4-time 1100m winner.
5- EXTREME WARRIOR- Performed well in jump-outs, would need to see a bit of improvement. Will watch at this stage but has talent..
Suggested Bet: No bet
RACE 2- 1200M- THOROUGHBRED CLUB STAKES- GROUP 3
3- SWATS THAT- Excellent win in last run, has returned in great order and will be peaking here. Form from first up run has been franked twice by the winner. Looks very very hard to beat.
4-MUNTASEERA- Great win upon resumption last start, ran some serious times that day but the two behind him haven’t made the form look like much. But the times are still impressive. Will be fitter here.
2- BELLA NIPOTINA- Last run maybe didn’t suit, had to run a sharp 1000m against the older horses. If you’re willing to forgive that there’s some talent there. Needs a win soon though.
1-LETZBEGLAM- Battled on from the front last start to hold on to fourth, the quinella from that race has franked the form with both going onto win. Will strip fitter for the run and will improve.
Suggested Bet: Swats That- win
RACE 3- 1400M- BIG SCREEN CO. WEEKEND HUSSLER
6- WINDSTORM- Has built and built this prep and now seems primed, win last start here was impressive when swooping the field and expect the same. Found the right part of the track and cruised. Hard to beat.
7- PHAISTOS- Resuming here, extremely trustworthy runner who gives his all. Ran well fresh last campaign which was followed by a great campaign. Can figure here.
3- TRAVIMYFRIEND- Had to carry 60kg last time and was in trouble a long way out, run before that was terrific. Looks a chance here and looks overs in the market. If you liked him last start I won’t convince you off him.
4- CUBA- Will lead and probably do so with ease, Jamie Kah on board is always a plus at the moment. Pattern will be key for his chances but he will give them something to chase.
Suggested Bet: Windstorm- win
RACE 4- 1200M- KENO NORTHWOOD PLUME STAKES- GROUP 3
4- FELICIA- Was commanding in victory last start, trailed into that race beautifully and cruised past them. If she gets a similar run here she will take some catching and prove hard to beat.
7- LYRE- This is D-day for Lyre, 18 months between wins. Always finds trouble and tends to find her gap too late, runs well but can we trust her? Clipped heels last start which all but ruled her out from the start. One more chance.
1- XILONG- Quality mare, run behind Funstar and Probabeel last prep and they are class gallopers. Solid first up record and did win trial convincingly leading into this. Has the class to figure in this.
2- EXHILERATES- Fresh here, has won first-up before. That win was here and was super, her bet is good enough and usually runs well. Each-way chance?
Suggested Bet: Felicia- win/ Lyre- save
RACE 5- 1100M- SCHILLACI STAKES- GROUP 2
9- ALFA ORO- Unbelievable record, was arrogant in victory when fresh at Mooney Valley over the 955m. Weight for age is the query but class is there. Carried 60.5kg last start so may enjoy the drop here.
10- DIAMOND EFFORT- Perfect campaign last time around, was all class here fresh when beating Lyre but had some luck. Tough on in Group 1 last time out and will be peaking here.
5- WILLIAM THOMAS- Hit the line well last start from the back, loves it at Caulfield and is a big improver when running second-up. Is well overs in the market and is a genuine winning chance. Will improve from last run I believe he is suited here.
1- HEY DOC- Hard to go past the old boy, resumed well when battling hard in the Group 1 Moir fresh. Barrier did’t help him one bit there but he will find this easier and will strip fitter. Don’t count him out.
Suggested Bet- Alfa Oro- win/ William Thomas- save
RACE 6- 2000M- GROUP 1 CAULFIELD STAKES- GROUP 1
6- RUSSIAN CAMELOT- What can we say? Has been unreal since returning, stable has set him for fortnightly runs to prime him for the Cox Plate. Won with arrogance and all the class last start and will look to do the same here. He’s only a 3 year-old!
2- HUMIDOR- The old boy could be back, Chris Waller has him firing on all cylinders on the way to another Cox Plate run? Ran a faster last 200m that Russian Camelot last start.
5- ARCADIA QUEEN- Has been short of the luck needed to score this campaign, raced against pattern last start. Not without hope here but would need to improve sharply for mine.
4- HARBOUR VIEWS- Found the worst part of the track when fresh and battled on but was beaten by the track, worked hard again last start but not a threat. Has plenty of class but these may be too good for him.
Suggested Bet: Russian Camelot/ Humidor- Quinella
RACE 7- 1600M- GROUP 1 THOUSAND GUINEAS- GROUP 1
3- INSTANT CELEBRITY- Class runner, has’t been beaten in 4 runs and looks a star. Has been up for a while now but run in the prelude proved she can go again. Has run some serious times and beat a lot of these last time.
1- HUNGRY HEART- Beaten last start when looming to win, looked primed for it and was heavily favoured in the market. Run before that showed the need for 1600m but when the whips were cracking she folded. Now comes here off a quick back up and sees Caulfield for the first time. Too many knocks for me at the price.
2- THERMOSPHERE- Showed great heart to win last start after taking the long way home. Had every right to run of of steam but she fought hard. If she finds an easier run she can challenge these.
8- NIGHT RAID- Had run of the race when winning two starts back and that win was franked, beating home the Moloney Stakes quinella. Will look to lead and can control the tempo which may cause issues for a few behind.
Suggested Bet: Instant Celebrity- win
RACE 8- 1600M- GROUP 1 CAULFIELD GUINEAS- GROUP 1
1- TAGALOA- Maps really well for this, looks likely to get the prime run and will get every chance. Has been strong this campaign and has been set for this one. Was tough in Group 1 when swamped late but fought hard. Has the class.
3- OLE KIRK- Brilliant win in Group 1 last start over Rothfire who pulled up lame afterwards, wasn’t set for this which is a query but is a class runner. Map proves a worry here especially if he gets stuck on the rail out the back.
9- MO’UNGA- Sydney form key here, they form from over there has proven much stronger than here. Looks primed for the mile and has been untouchable so far. Hard to knock him but will meet toughest opposition here, this is his grand final.
6- CROSSHAVEN- Has dictated terms in his last two but times have still been impressive, hasn’t run over the mile but has shown no signs that will be an issue either. Watch the betting?
Suggested bet: Tagaloa- win
RACE 9- 1600M- LEXUS HANDICAP- GROUP 1
13- JUNIPAL- Has returned in superb fashion, won 2 from 2. Was a class above when resuming at Mooney Valley against the pattern in a race which has been franked heavily. Then was dominant in Caulfield when fanning out to middle of the track.
15- BUFFALO RIVER- Was good when resuming here, swamped late by Windstorm who had a fitness edge. Well be fitter here and will take some catching from the lead. Never missed the money second up!
4- I AM SUPERMAN- Has been gifted two beautiful runs this campaign and has scored both times, latest win was franked when Riodini subsequently ran third in the Epsom. Looks the over here.
2- CASCADIAN- Returned in good order in first two runs back, looked primed when in running at Group 1 level third up but found less then no luck there. Forgive that.
Suggested Bet- Junipal- win
RACE 10- 2400M- HERBERT POWER STAKES- GROUP 2
3- ODEROFTHEGARTER- Has built into this prep beautifully, won with the gun ride last start and showed his class. Looks a notch above these and looks ready to strike again before heading to Caulfield Cup.
7- IN GOOD HEALTH- Has been superb this preparation, win over Sircconi two runs back was huge. Ran behind top pick here last start when temp was against. Can figure.
6- MAHAMEDEIS- Last two haven’t been his races, was thrown in the deep end at Mooney Valley when pattern was against and was exposed over the mile. Then had to battle in midfield latest and did so well. Best is good enough.
1- THE CHOSEN ONE- Won with all honours fresh before falling short at Group 1 level at weight for age. Third up here and will be primed to strike.