Rain fell before race 1 and the track was quickly downgraded to SOFT-5, then SOFT-6, then SOFT-7 with continued rain through they day.
This makes all relative times on the day no guide for us, even times versus class averages are extremely treacherous!
The inside lanes were avoided pretty much from the start of the day, and by the last few races, runners (that were in the finish) were closer to the middle of the track.
RUN OF THE DAY
This week punters voted as follows: SUPER SETH (31%) tipped out STANDOUT (29%) with JUNGLE EDGE (23%) back in third.
SUPER SETH did make a terrific return winning the Manfred Stakes. He had the right run and was able to edge off that inside section (despite drawing gate 1), travel well and chase down the leader FREE OF DEBT giving them all weight and carrying 59.5kg!
The stable openly said pre-race there was plenty to come from this star 3YO this preparation which is worth noting.
FREE OF DEBT led at a moderate tempo (went 37-flat 1st-600m) and was able to slip away, but had no answers over the last 100m.
Third placed DALASAN ended up well back after a tardy start and then just couldn’t quicken when the race went on. He built his speed/ momentum strongly and, in fact, ended up running clear fastest last 200m of the race in 11.92 (winner was 12.06). Good return!
These three put a gap on 4th-horse SPEND who certainly looked every chance but may well improve away from Caulfield. It was only start two from him. Time: 1-12.83
The Adams Stakes was Race 8 and the old marvel JUNGLE EDGE sat off a strong speed, peeled to the best going and finished too well, relishing the wet ground. This was despite carrying 60kg and being 9 years of age (not too many 9yos win fresh-up!) .
The first 3yo home was the runner-up I AM IMMORTAL and his run was enormous. He led and did not crawl. He went 22.97 1st-400m which was some 7L faster early than 2yos earlier in the day (reminder: deteriorating track). He stayed well off the inside and held off all-bar said winner.
It was no leaders paradise this track.
CAUSEWAY GIRL improved here hitting the line hard to just miss second. Her 12.47 last 200m was race-fastest.
BONS AWAY finished off well but he just needs things to pan out perfectly for him to win these days.
HUMMA HUMMA was race-fastest 400m-to-200m but was not at her dynamic best late (home 12.64) on the wet ground. She is better on drier for mine, but ran well.
FINE DANE in inferior ground held on well also. They ran 59.09 for 1000m.
The other 1000m race, Race 5 the Chairman’s Stakes saw MILDRED lead in 24.08 1st-400m ran well off the rail.
ARYAAF had the rails trail then went inside but just couldn’t reel in Mildred.
These two had 4.25L up their sleeve on the third horse FREDERICK THE DANE with SEA WITNESS finishing off quite well into 4th. Time: 59.79. Wet track complicates things but I do doubt this is the Blue Diamond winning form !!
Race 6 saw two promising stayers engaged: JUST BENJAMIN and AKTAU with the market clearly gravitating to the former (JUST BENJAMIN) who went straight to the lead. He was well-rated by Oliver but didn't look a natural leader to my eye. By that I mean, when Ollie upped the tempo he didn’t quicken but seemed to ‘’wait’’ for them, once joined by runner-up SAM SLICK (also had backing) he continued to fight all the way to the line.
He is very much still on the upward spiral and will get further.
AKTAU sat off speed outside and was keen early before finding a great trail. He looked in trouble when losing ground on said leaders straightening yet picked-up and came again (race-fastest last 200m) to just miss. Fancy he wants drier, and further also.
They ran 1-53.85 for 1800m.
NONCONFORMIST controlled race 2 up outside a 66.02 1st-1000m. They went over 9L slower 1st-1000m than the other mile race with the winner dominant despite ducking in late.
Outside of him, the other five runners crossed the line within .6L of each-other, they were 2.25L behind said winner, time was 1-41.18
In Sydney it was Randwick on a GOOD track with the Rail out 3m.
It was a great day to be a swooper as long as you were away from the inside lanes. There was a definite advantage to those off the inside rail.
RUN OF THE DAY
Punter's voting had STANDOUT on top and it was an excellent return win. He sat wide (fence off) midfield then tracked up beautifully before quickly going for home 300m out, holding star mare ALIZEE by 1.5L on the line.
Yet another class 3yo beating older horses and I do wonder if this will be the theme of the upcoming carnivals.
Winner STANDOUT ran a slick 33.52 last 600m with 10.79/ 11.69 for his final 2 x 200ms.
ALIZEE ran home 33.61 (10.78/ 11.68 - very similar splits) and they went by WHITE MOSS (sat up second/ held on well) with KOLDING doing his best work late after being unable to quicken (just like his trial) recording 10.9 / 11.69 for his final 2 x 200m splits.
Overall time was 1-9.56 off 35.44 1st-600m. They did not go hard by class standard, in fact the other 1200m race (Race 9 won by ROHERYN) was run some 0.43 (2-3L) faster in the first half of the race.
Worth noting, the only horse to break 34-seconds last 600m outside of the three stars in the Expressway was ROMANI GIRL who went 33.91 (10.87 11.73) home winning race 4 and beating INSENSATA and MONGOLIAN WOLF (11.57 last 200m - race-fastest). It was a race where first four home sat back in the last four spots. Yep, a great day to be a run-on horse!
SUBPOENAED was a class above winning Race 5 coming from well-back, in this race 2nd, 3rd and 4th sat up handy to the speed.
The winner recorded 34.59 (11.21 / 11.96) last 600m and ran 1-23.03 off a solid 47.9 1st-800m. They went .22 slower early and .20 slower overall than the BM78 on the day (won by ROYAL TUDOR - yep, a swooper who covered ground).
SUBPOENAED has an extravagant action but she sure can gallop.
RARI ran second after sitting up second and did a good job.
Third BEAUFORT PARK clearly should have finished closer.
Let’s line up the 2yo races:
Race 1 - Widden Stakes (Fillies) won by AWAY GAME who crossed and led, stayed off the rail and then kicked on strongly to beat CENTIMENTAL and PHILIZZY (hardly had ideal run). They ran 1-4.43 here off 28.83 1st-500m. Winner was 35.44 (last 600m) and 12.23 (last 200m).
Race 2 - Canonbury Stakes (Boys) won by PRAGUE who sat up second, took over and broke clear.
GLOBAL QUEST was being bumped around, and did pick-up and hit the line but doubt he would have tested the winner who ran 1-3.94 off 29.26 1st-500m.
In short, PRAGUE has run a significantly faster time than Away Game despite a slower early speed and ran home 34.46 (some 6L faster than Away Game) and 11.8.
Times are not everything as we know however, if these two 2yo’s clash down the track, it’s a huge advantage to PRAGUE !!!
THE FORGIVE FILE:
PHILIZZY (checked/ lost spot then raced tight/ didn't savage line when clear though)
NITROUS (too keen)
HARBOURING (respiratory/ issue?)
ONSLAUGHT (wasn’t in best ground/ swoopers race)
TURNBERRY (poor recovery)
ECHO GEM (poor recovery)
DARK PEARL (further now)
CISCO BAY (too dry)
VEGADAZE (own worst enemy !)
IRITHEA (led versus pattern)
ASSAULT’N’BATHORY (led versus pattern)
MONSIEUR SISU (worst going/ limited room)
RONSTAR (lost pilot)
DAWN DAWN (held-up/ held-up / flew late - stiff !!)
ROYAL CELEBRATION (badly blocked / went over line nicely/ hmmmm)