Feb 09, 2018 01:27 PM
Author: James Beeson
G1 CF Orr Stakes: Fitness edge the key at Caulfield
Saturday at Classic Caulfield makes for a great edition of the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes. This race always includes some big names returning after last Spring heroics, but also includes those who do have runs under their belt which could be telling.
Speed will be vital and historically if it is slowly run it makes it near impossible for the resuming staying types to run on, and the horse with the tactical speed can hold a significant advantage.
Race Track Traits
Caulfield is currently rated a Good 3, and with scattered showers predicted throughout Melbourne on Saturday, can only get a bit worse if at all. The track has been racing well over the past two weeks where the rail has been out 9m for both meetings, and it is now back to the true position with a close watch on any early perceived track bias a must.
The market has been relatively quiet for this Group 1, with a slight drift for favourite Tosen Stardom $4.40 out to $4.60, and Brave Smash out to $8.50 from $7 openers. There has been some support for Thronum $12 into $10 and Mr Sneaky into $9 from $10.
#1 Hartnell $5.50
On his day would simply brain them! But he has had plenty of time off (13 weeks) since his 20 of 23 finish in the Melbourne Cup and only one trial albeit impressive. A number of these will have the fitness edge and it would be a mighty effort to win first-up. The Melbourne Cup run may have blunted his sprint, and suspect this will be too short.
#2 Black Heart Bart $7 > $6.50
An absolute warrior and is always up for these big Group 1 contests. Suspect he is far from his best, and this started to show in his previous two Group 1 starts in Perth against weaker opposition. Still there is plenty in his favour: he loves the track and trip here at Caulfield (6:4:1:1) and is almost always contesting at the highest level. Can run well.
#3 Tosen Stardom $4.40 > $4.80
“Dropped from the Clouds on them” for one of the most impressive wins during the Spring Carnival in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes over 1600m. Has had 13 weeks off since and has never won over this trip. Darren Weir and Damien Lane are a lethal combination and whilst there is plenty against could easily blow them away.
#4 Brave Smash $7.00 > $8.50
Arrived in Australia and quickly became the spruik horse for the Everest after some very impressive lead up runs. He oozes class and has an electric turn of foot. First-up run was good enough at the Valley over 1200m where he appeared to be very fresh, the 1400m contest suits better here. Expect him to take a sit midfield and come with a withering burst late.
#7 Mr Sneaky $10 > $9
Had good market support last start at the Valley and ran on well for second. The 1400m on Saturday will suit and he could be great value. Watch for any significant move inside the last few minutes of betting.
#8 Thronum $11
On pacer who burnt them off early last start and kicked clear and held on for a brave win at Mooney Valley. Looks the likely leader again with a few other speedsters including Lord Of The Sky, however if he gets it cheap, will still be there digging in for the fight over the last 50m.
#9 Dollar for Dollar $16 > $20
Tony McEvoy has a huge opinion of this fellow and the SP profile always suggests he is showing plenty at home. Did not have the best of luck in his past two runs where was caught wide most recently, and could not run on off the slow tempo the start before. Needs a few things to go right and can atone here if the speed is on. Good value.
#11 Shillelagh $10 > $8
Likes this distance (8:2:1:1) and definitely has the class with a last start Group 1 victory. The pattern for her is to get back and if the speed is on she wont be too far away. Will be storming home from the tail provided they don't crawl up front.
Of The Others….
Mighty Boss can’t be ignored off the back of his Caulfield Guineas win. Michael Walker is engaged for the shrewd Mick Price yard and they can both weave magic.
1st Brave Smash – electric turn of foot.
2nd Dollar for Dollar
3rd Mr Sneaky