Caulfield, Race 4, Variety Victoria Plate (89) 2000m
The key form race is from Caulfield 27/06/2012 run over 2000metres on a slow 6 in which Storm Burst won by a decisive 1.8 lengths, with Epingle running a further nose away in 3rd place.
Expect the track on Saturday to be a slow 7 or a heavy 8, and both Storm Burst and Epingle have excellent heavy track stats to back up their slow track credentials. Epingle has a very significant jockey change with Luke Nolen going on board, and with a 3kg drop in weight represents great each way value at the current $6.50 (TAB Sportsbet). By the same token Storm Burst is now in very good form and drops 2.5kg in weight so also represents value at around $5. SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Storm Burst has been scratched from today's race but has also accepted for race 7 at Sandown tomorrow for which she is $1.75 on TAB Sportsbet.
Caulfield, Race 5, Programmed Property Serv.Hcp 1100m
A tough race with the top 5 chances appearing to be Miss Bindi, Show Up, Johannapine, Serene Star and Light Express. Although Miss Bindi has to shoulder 58kg this represents only 1.5kg over the limit. She has good track, distance and wet track stats and with Ben Melham on top is a real winning chance in this race. Her inside barrier (3) may or may not prove to be an advantage. Johannapine and Serene Star compteted against each other at Kilmore on 4/07/2012 with Serene Star taking the honours by a half length. Johannapine appeared to have every chance at Kilmore after a disappointing display at her previous run at Flemington; she has a very significant 4.5kg weight turnaround on Serene Star. This may be enough to turn the tables on Serene Star (who now has the services of Luke Nolen) but she does not represent value around the current price of $4-40. Show Up was a very impressive first-up winner last preparation at Sandown Hillside, and resumes again in this race. She is well weighted for this race, and despite barrier 13, has the services of Craig Newitt to steer a clear passage. The early money for Show Up ($5.50 into $5) indicates that she is primed for a big first-up performance. Light Express was scratched from Melbourne and Sydney on the same day recently due to wet tracks so it will be very interesting to see if she goes around this Saturday. Her two wins in Adelaide this preparation on a good 3 and a dead 4 were dynamic, and if she can repeat those performances here on the affected ground she is a major player. UPDATE: Light Express is an early scratching from this race, but has also accepted for race 6 at Morphetville Parks.
Caulfield Race 6, Sir John Monash Stakes 1100m
A host of chances with many different form lines for this first weight for age race leading into the Spring. The two horses that have met with the most support thus far in early betting, Second Effort and Le Societe, appear to have plenty going for them. Second Effort’s wet track credentials speak for themselves; 7 starts on slow and heavy tracks for 7 wins. With the engagement of Glen Boss this Clinton McDonald trained gelding looks very well suited here despite not having been successful at this level previously. Second Effort has already shortened from $11 into $8.50, and if primed for a big first-up performance, this represents great each way value. Le Societe is also unbeaten from 3 slow and heavy track performances. Although the class of her opposition in her first-up win was questionable, the manner in which she won suggests she is very capable of performing at this level. From barrier 3 with Luke Nolen on board it is not difficult to see why this Peter Moody trained filly has already been backed from $6.50 into $5. Others in the race definitely worth considering include Zamorar, Platelet and Rue Maple. Probably the most interesting runner of the day is the ex- West Australian filly Night War, now in the powerful Mick Price stable. A winner of 5 of her 9 starts but has to yet race on such affected ground. UPDATE: Night War is an early scratching from this race.