The Spring Carnival proper is still a couple of months away but Group racing returns with the running of the WFA Sir John Monash Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield. At Rosehill the Listed Winter Stakes over 1400m is the highlight while at Eagle Farm the Listed Queensland Cup over 3200m is the feature attraction.
|Meeting||Rail Position||Track Ratings|
|(Thursday 5pm)||(Saturday 9am)|
|Caulfield||10 metres entire circuit||Soft-5||-|
Caulfield, Race 2 - ACJC Racing 101 Handicap (12;25)
Majestic Lass (2) has returned in good order and she has a strong chance in this open handicap for 3-Y-O fillies over 1200m; first-up Majestic Lass proved a class above moderate rivals in a Class 1 on the Geelong synthetic (1200m) carrying 58.5kg. Last preparation Majestic Lass ran well second-up when fifth to Magna Rossa in a 3-Y-O fillies BM-70 at Flemington (1200m) which she followed with a close second to Jacqui's Joy in a 3-Y-O fillies BM-70 at Caulfield (1400m). Majestic Lass raced well at her only start at Caulfield and against this class of filly, she will only carry 54.5kg and if she has every chance from barrier one she will be right in the finish. Fireworks (1) has only won one race but she has raced in much stronger company for most of her nine-start career; first-up Fireworks was beaten just under five lengths when sixth behind Spieth and Lord Von Costa in a 3-Y-O handicap at Flemington (1100m). Fireworks will be fitter with that run under her belt, she is better suited around a turn and this is a weaker race. There are a number of other chances in a competitive race.
Caulfield, Race 3 - Wilson Medic One Handicap (1:00)
O'Lonera (3) has raced well at his only two starts in this distance range and he is a winning chance in this open handicap for 3-Y-O over 2000m; at his first two starts from a spell O'Lonera did nothing but he improved sharply third-up when a strong third behind Hursley in a 3-Y-O handicap at Caulfield (2000m) at 50/1. It is doubtful that this run was a fluke as last preparation O'Lonera had solid form which included a strong second to Flying Light in a 3-Y-O handicap at Moonee Valley (2040m). All of O'Lonera's runs last preparation were on good tracks so a firming track is in his favour; O'Lonera has drawn awkwardly but he should be at peak fitness now and he meets Hursley 3.5kg better. Fearless Raider (2) has raced well in each of his four career runs; after easily winning a 3-Y-O maiden at Ballarat (1400m) Fearless Raider has finished a strong second to Moss 'n' Dale in a 3-Y-O BM-70 at Ballarat (1500m) and a slightly unlucky fourth behind Hursley at Caulfield (2000m). Fearless Raider has not raced on a track firmer than a soft-6 but he should be better for his last run over the distance, he meets Hursley 2kg better and Dwayne Dunn is a key riding change. Hursley (1) has raced very well at his only three starts in Melbourne; two starts back Hursley finished strongly for third to in-form filly Lady Selkirk in a 3-Y-O handicap at Flemington (1600m) before he proved too strong for Plymouth Road, O'Lonera and Fearless Raider at Caulfield (2000m). Hursley has to lump 60kg but he carried the same weight to victory at Caulfield, he is a winner on a good track and Craig Williams stays with him.
Caulfield, Race 4 - Rockmount Pretraining Handicap (1:38)
Longeron (1) is in career-best form and he is a chance for the hat-trick in this open handicap over 2000m; two starts back Longeron was too strong in an open handicap at Moonee Valley (2040m) before he proved a class above his rivals including Kapour, Self Sense and Bondeiger in an open handicap at Caulfield (2000m). Longeron has drawn awkwardly and he rises another 1.5kg but he has an excellent record over the course and distance, he should easily find a prominent position, he is effective on good tracks, Dwayne Dunn rides again and this field is no stronger. Bondeiger (6) disappointed again at his first run for Darren Weir when fifth to Longeron at Caulfield; that was also Bondeiger's first start for nine weeks so he should be better with that run under his belt, a firmer track is in his favour and Craig Williams is a key riding change. Kapour (3) improved significantly at his second run from a long spell when second to Longeron at Caulfield; Kapour might be looking for further but he should be close to peak fitness, he is drawn for a good run and he meets Longeron 2kg better. There are a few others that would not surprise by winning.
Caulfield, Race 5 - TAB supports Jockeys Trust Handicap (2:15)
Mr Individual (1) has not been at his best this preparation but he is a strong winning chance in this open handicap for 3-Y-O over 1400m; at his last start in Melbourne Mr Individual finished an unlucky fourth behind Tango Rock, Divine Mr Artie and Makatiti in a 3-Y-O handicap at Sandown (1400m) carrying 60kg. Divine Mr Artie and Makatiti have raced very well since so there is nothing wrong with this form. Mr Individual then hung-out badly at his first Queensland start and his effort to be beaten five lengths into tenth place behind Tsaritsa in the G2 Queensland Guineas at Eagle Farm (1600m) was better than it looks on-paper. Mr Individual then lead at a solid tempo before he weakened for fourth behind Tivaci in the G3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m). Mr Individual drops in class, he returns to Melbourne, he is a Caulfield winner over He's Our Rokkii, the drop-back to 1400m is in his favour and he will only carry 56.5kg after the claim for Ben Thompson.
Caulfield, Race 7 - LUCRF Super supports Jockeys Plate (3:35)
Duke Of Brunswick (3) is racing very consistently and he is a good chance again in this open handicap over 1400m; two starts back Duke Of Brunswick battled-on well for second to Voodoo Lad in an open handicap at Moonee Valley (1200m) before he proved too classy for Ulmann in a BM-90 at Caulfield (1400m). Duke Of Brunswick rises in class on his last run but he stays on the same weight, he has an excellent record over the course and distance, he is drawn for another good run, he handles firmer tracks and Dwayne Dunn rides again. Ulmann (8) had his chance but he could not get within 1.5 lengths of Duke Of Brunswick at Caulfield (1400m); that was Ulmann's first start for 238 days and his first for Darren Weir so he should improve with that run under his belt, he has drawn barrier one, a firmer track is in his favour and Craig Williams rides. There are many horses in this race that would not surprise by winning.
Caulfield, Race 8 - PFD Food Services Sir John Monash Stakes (4:15)
This year's Monash Stakes at WFA over 1100m is a very tough edition. Fast 'n' Rocking (1) is better suited over 1200m but he has the class to overcome his rivals if he is within striking distance at the top of the straight; three of Fast 'n' Rocking's last four runs have been outstanding with a close fourth behind Flamberge in the G1 William Reid at Moonee Valley (1200m), a very close third behind Music Magnate in the G3 Hall Mark at Randwick (1200m) and a last-start fourth behind Black Heart Bart and Under The Louvre in the G1 Goodwood at Morphettville (1200m). Fast 'n' Rocking is very well-weighted at WFA, he has a good record at Caulfield, he has been kept fresh for this 1100m scamper, Dwayne Dunn rides and a firming track is in his favour. There are many other chances including the enigmatic Lord Of The Sky (3) and all of the mares Wild Rain (13), Girl Guide (14), Atmospherical (15) and Kayjay's Joy (16).
Eagle Farm, Race 6 - Power Train QTIS Plate (3:27)
Arthur Le Roi (4) is in sparkling form and he is a good chance for the hat-trick in this Set Weight race for 3-Y-O over 1500m; at his first start after a seven week break Arthur Le Roi proved too classy for 3-Y-O BM-75 company at the Gold Coast (1200m) before he came from an ordinary position at the top of the straight to snatch victory along the inside in a 3-Y-O handicap at the Sunshine Coast (1300m). This is a better field and Arthur Le Roi steps-up to 1500m but he is bred to run the extra journey, he ran well at his only start over 1640m last September and he could not be in better form. Salmanazar (5) has raced very well in strong company this preparation and he has definite winning claims; after easy wins in a Toowoomba maiden (1200m) and a Class 2 at the Sunshine Coast (1400m) Salmanazar has finished second in a 3-Y-O handicap at Ipswich (1350m) and an excellent second to Sold For Song with Tsaritsa third in the Daybreak Lover at Eagle Farm (1400m). Salmanazar steps-up to 1500m for the first time from the outside barrier but he may prove too classy. Mr Epic (1) and Legal Procedure (2) ran the quinella in a 3-Y-O Plate at Rockhampton (1600m) at their last start while Sagaronne (11) showed a glimpse of her best form when fourth behind Sold For Song in the Daybreak Lover at her last start.