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Run For The Money: Caulfield Guineas Day Edition

October 12, 2012

Andrew Hawkins: Welcome to Run for the Money, a new internet-based roundtable discussing the weekend’s racing! It’s Andrew Hawkins here, joined by two young guns in Jay Mathieson and Joshua Kayll as we look towards this weekend’s Caulfield Guineas Day! Welcome gents, excited for a big weekend of racing?

Jay Mathieson: Always Hawko, attention has well and truly turned to Melbourne. Looks a sensational day of racing!

Joshua Kayll: Very excited. Wouldn’t mind if the rain continued on Saturday so I can sit down and watch the racing. Top day’s racing!

AH: Excellent. Well, we’ll have a look at the features at Caulfield, as well as some of the other issues to arise this week. But first, let’s look at the Caulfield Guineas – field of eight, headlined by Pierro, who is currently $1.20 favourite with TAB Sportsbet. We also see All Too Hard, Epaulette, Ashokan, Awesome Bro, Let Go Lenni, Road Trippin and Carringbush Jack going around. It does look a Pierro benefit on paper. Jay, is that the way you see it?

JM: It’s pretty hard to see it any other way, but it is his first look at Caulfield – if there is anything, you can say that’s a negative! If I’m looking for value in the race I quite like Let Go Lenni from barrier one. He is your jump and run kind of horse that could give a sight at odds!

AH: Yeah, he was really good late in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude. What about you Josh?

JK: Obviously Pierro’s on top for mine, but I’ll be interested to see how All Too Hard will race with the barrier blanket on for the first time. May be a mug giving him another chance here, however I think he is the only horse that could possibly test Pierro at his best and he wasn’t that bad at WFA last start. Going to take the two in a quinella. Could see any horse from the rest of the field running third without really surprising, probably leaning towards Epaulette or Let Go Lenni filling that spot.

JM: You’re a brave man Josh and I think the only person that might actually believe that to be the case is Mr Tinkler himself! He has not showed that same dash since he was a 2yo and he will probably run another even race and hurt his stud value further!

AH: That’s the question though, will a barrier blanket help much? And will he be better suited in Melbourne? I think he’ll improve on what he’s shown in Sydney, but not enough to beat Pierro.

JK: Not saying he can win mate, don’t think anything can beat Pierro, but think he is the one that could push him if any can. Will be hoping for a nice fast finishing second. There is no doubt in my mind that All Too Hard is a better horse the Melbourne way of going.

JM: He can’t beat Pierro – it’s as simple as that. Sydney or Melbourne, I don’t care. Yes, he’s a better horse the Melbourne way of going but I don’t think he will run second. I’m sure the boys at Patinack would love to see me wrong though!

AH: That raises another query too though. Caulfield Guineas Day generally plays handy, and backmarkers struggle to make much ground. It has proved the pattern the last three or four years. Does that mean All Too Hard might be a place lay?

JM: I think so, like the on pace horses a lot!

AH: So who would you have in second Jay? I reckon All Too Hard picks himself, although the potential for track bias concerns me.

JM: That’s why I think it could be Let Go Lenni that sticks on! On pace horse, in great form, fitter for 3 runs back. Epaulette is the obvious danger but Kerrin is due a bad one!

AH: I guess the other question is, if Pierro wins as well as we expect, what price does he start in the Cox Plate?

JM: Way top short for me to back him, but I certainly wouldn’t be laying him at this stage! He’ll start $1.80.

JK: Inclined to agree with Jay here. Think he is already very short. May come in a tad though if he wins like I expect him to.

AH: So, lads, top four? For me, it’s Pierro from All Too Hard, Ashokan and Let Go Lenni. I don’t think Epaulette is as good ridden forward so happy to risk him. I’d also include Awesome Bro if I thought they’d be able to run on.

JK: Pierro, All Too Hard, Let Go Lenni and Epaulette. Apart from Pierro it’s an even field so I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the others ran a place.

JM: Pierro, Let Go Lenni, Epaulette, All Too Hard. I think Let Go Lenni is the value for the place, that’s what I will be working around!

AH: Brilliant! Good luck. Next up, we’ll look at the Caulfield Stakes. Seven horse field following the scratching of Manighar yesterday morning, headed by Underwood Stakes winner Ocean Park. Also in the field are Sincero, Alcopop, Sabrage, Midas Touch, Sanagas and Vatuvei. It looks a pretty weak Caulfield Stakes, doesn’t it Josh?

JK: Yeah, with the withdrawal of Manighar it definitely shows the lack of depth engaged here. Will be an interesting race though in terms of tactics in the small field. Douro Valley anyone?

AH: That was my initial thought too. Douro Valley repeat! But where does the pace come from? Sabrage? Midas Touch?

JK: One of those two I’d think.

JM: Those are the two that I see as well! It’s a weak race and I would love to see Sincero run out the 2000m but I’m still unsure he can. Ocean Park looks sensationally placed no matter where he sits, really!

AH: It does look an Ocean Park benefit, but I really do think Midas Touch is the one who may get rolling and prove hard to run down. If there’s to be an upset, I reckon it will come from him. He’s due to strike form.

JK: Yeah, I agree with you there Andrew. Midas Touch hasn’t been racing very well this campaign, but he was better last start. Still can’t forget his good run in the Underwood last spring when going forward. Alcopop’s another who will run a good race however the lack of pace may come against him.

AH: He’s gone alright on this day before, Alcopop. Does anyone give Sanagas a chance for Bart? Probably needs to run well to warrant pushing on to the Caulfield Cup.

JK: Maybe a place chance. The jury’s still out on him. Think he has run well so far here over unsuitable trips, however I can see him running on well behind the placings again. Bart has the one race in mind for him and he’ll be all set to be peaking on that particular Tuesday.

JM: As always, remember Sirmione at 80-1 in the Mackinnon Stakes, he was awful at best before that! I would not be surprised one little bit if he improved!

AH: Okay, top four time. For me, I can’t have anyone but Ocean Park on top. I’ll put Midas Touch second, Sincero third purely on class, and perhaps Sabrage fourth.

JK: Ocean Park over Alcopop, with Sincero and Midas Touch fighting out third place. Will be an intriguing race to watch.

JM: Ocean Park, Sincero (again on class), Sabrage and Sangas. Leaving out Midas Touch but this is a race in one as far as I’m concerned!

AH: The third of the Group 1s is the Toorak Handicap. Slightly disappointing turnout of 10 runners, but there’s good class there. The big talking point will be More Joyous on 60kg, while last year’s runner up carries 59.5kg. Other runners are Glass Harmonium, Yosei, Steps In Time, Illo, Solzhenitsyn, Spirit Song, Tokugawa and Ulundi. In a rarity for the Toorak, there are no four year olds. More Joyous is an even money favourite, with the early support for Solzhenitsyn. Jay, are you sticking with Sydney’s favourite mare?

JM: I certainly am! I can’t believe the punters don’t want this! The 60kg might worry Singo but it doesn’t worry me! Unusually I agree with the market order. I thought Solzhenitsyn was brilliant in the Rupert Clarke, I think he is the obvious second pick. And last year’s winner King Mufhasa has been going brilliant over the ditch. But after the weekend Gai had last week it’s hard to bet against her!

AH: Thinking along the same lines Josh?

JK: Yeah. More Joyous represents class with a capital C, great mare and although I think the 60kg may worry her a bit she’s good enough to get home here. Hoping to see her handle the corner better than her previous attempts so I can be more confident heading into the Cox Plate. I don’t mind Yosei either, who will run a good race if she jumps. Solzhenitsyn, Glass Harmonium & Tokugawa are others that have a decent chance.

AH: Yosei’s the fascinating one, backing up from the Epsom Handicap in Sydney. She missed the start severely and was arguably one of the runs of the race. She seems to bob up at the most random times, but I think she’s definitely a good handicapper. I don’t think she can win, but only a half kilo over the limit, could she be one to watch? Remember she was only a length off More Joyous in the Doncaster and Yosei is 2kg better off here from that meeting…

JM: Glyn Schofield got off and simply said she should have won! She has never been one of mine but I really think that I should include it in there somewhere! Though I think More Joyous has too much class it wouldn’t surprise me to see Yosei run a really good race!

AH: And what about Glass Harmonium? I had him on top in the Cox Plate last year. May still be too short, but surely he’d want to get close if he wants to have any chance in this year’s Cox Plate? More Joyous will meet him 5.5kg better at Moonee Valley!

JM: I just want him hitting the line, to be honest, but I really don’t know if he is the same horse as last year. I don’t have any particular reason but there was just something that I didn’t quite like first up, so I’m wary.

JK: Apparently Glass Harmonium has improved since having the throat operation and if his first up run is any indication he is in for a very good campaign. I don’t think he is quite up to Cox Plate class but he’ll prove very competitive if he jumps with them at the start.

AH: Top four! For me, I can’t go past More Joyous. She’s the class mare, she should win this on her way to the Cox Plate. I reckon Glass Harmonium’s been forgotten a shade and gets into this quite well. Solzhenitsyn has been heavily backed suggesting he’ll be primed for this race, and I think I’ll throw Yosei in for fourth. I’ve convinced myself there. I should find somewhere for King Mufhasa, as I made him my best bet of the card last year and collected big time! But I’m not convinced he’s going as well this year and 59.5kg is a real steadier. I think he’d need to be further from More Joyous in the weights to push her.

JK: More Joyous is my tip too, although she is vulnerable here. I’ll put Yosei in for second, she is going better than her form suggests. Glass Harmonium will run a good race on pace and Tokugawa is an improving type who will run a decent race here.

JM: I agree with both of you, More Joyous should just have too much class on her way to a match up against her stablemate Pierro in the Cox Plate! Solzhenitsyn was brilliant last start and has to go in second. King Mufhasa will put up a gallant title defense and I will have him in for third. And Yosei could potentially bob up. Glass Harmonium is the obvious danger to those!

AH: The races so far have been pretty straightforward. But now we get to a race that might cause a few ructions – the Herbert Power Stakes, the last chance for many of these stayers to get a run in the Caulfield Cup next week. Exceptionally went up favourite, but she has been overwhelmed by the support for this international, Gatewood for John Gosden, who has well and truly eclipsed her as the market pick. It’s a big field: in market order, next comes Excluded, Mr O’Ceirin, Precedence, Reuben Percival, Bianmick, Dance With Her, Ironstein, another international in Shahwardi, I’m Jake, Guns At Five, Red Eye Special, Silent Surround, Budai and Auld Burns. It’s a really tough race to figure out. Josh, we’ll start with you. What are your thoughts?

JK: Hmmm…this race starts the battle between my logical thoughts as opposed to what I want to happen – my head versus my heart. This is a very good race in my opinion, very excited to see how it pans out. I can’t back an international until they run here, but Gatewood really does look the one to beat. His form overseas is exceptional and he gets in well here. However I think that if Exceptionally runs up to her best she’ll beat him. I believe she is in even better form than 2010, when she pushed Zipping and beat Manighar at weight for age. Hopefully the track has a bit more give than last Saturday.

AH: I think, though, the difference between Exceptionally and Gatewood is that he’s still on the up. I think she’s a good mare, and if she gets to the Melbourne Cup, she’ll give a great sight. But I also think he is still emerging. Last start, he was only just grabbed by Arc third Masterstroke. That form should be good enough here! Jay, what do you think?

JM: I tend to agree that Gatewood is on the up! I really think he will be very hard to beat! I’m going to go a little left field though and go with a horse who has been one of mine for a long time. Dance With Her looks exceptionally placed and I thought her run in the JRA Cup was super, considering I don’t think she is suited by Moonee Valley. I think she is at full fitness now and the rain around will only improve her chances.

AH: Dance With Her is so consistent, it wouldn’t surprise to see her sneak into one of the Cups.

JK: She’s a lovely mare. Would be very happy to see her get a run in one of the Cups, as she’ll run her usual honest race. I’m also interested in how Shahwardi will run. I have backed him at long odds for the Melbourne Cup but the worry for mine is he hasn’t won in a long time. Then you have emerging stayers like Excluded and Mr O’Ceirin, as well as some horses who should be competitive in a Melbourne Cup should they run – the likes of Precedence, Dance With Her and Ironstein.

JM: I have plenty of respect for Shahwardi but I think he is more a dour European stayer. Still, I am interested to see how he goes. I think Mr O’Ceirin, Bianmick and Exceptionally will all be thereabouts and I even think I’m Jake can run a sneaky race. It is certainly an interesting race and I will be watching very closely to make sure I get my Cup picks right!

AH: I must say, I love the internationals but I don’t think Shahwardi can win. I backed him in a 4300m race at Royal Ascot, on that alone I can’t be backing him here. What about Ironstein? He was massive in the JRA Cup, and I’ve always thought he could win a good race. I reckon he might be more a Melbourne Cup chance but reckon he can go on his way here.

JM: Agree 100% with your point about Shahwardi. Could stay all day but his turn of foot is not as good as some of the others here. Ironstein was a super run but I’m still sceptical about him. I see him as a horse who is always there but will never actually win one of these races. Always seems to find a couple that are better than him. I am still scratching my head from when he won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington last year…

AH: I think he’s another one that goes better down in Melbourne. But that’s just personally. I could also see Excluded in the finish, but I am really keen on Gatewood. Okay, top four. For me, it’s Gatewood to win from Ironstein, Excluded and Dance With Her.

JM: For me, my top 3 are Dance With Her to beat Gatewood and Bianmick. Will throw in I’m Jake for even more value but it is a very tough race!

JK: Agree with Jay, this is a really tough race. I’ll probably lean to Exceptionally here to beat Gatewood, Dance With Her and Precedence.

AH: That’s almost it for today’s discussion. Just want to quickly get your thoughts on the Schillaci. Is it Buffering’s race? Or can Pampelonne, Golden Archer or Lone Rock beat him? Personally, I think Buffering wins but I’ll be keeping a close eye on Didntcostalot at odds. He was extremely unlucky at Moonee Valley and while I don’t know if he has the class, I love the rags to riches tale.

JM: It’s funny how I see things like you do sometimes Hawko! I’m backing Didntcostalot, put a line through his last start. But really it’s the Buff’s race to lose.

JK: Buffering wins. Unless he is still getting over the issues from his Hong Kong inoculations last week, he is a moral in my opinion.

AH: Anything else on the card catch your eye? I think Hoss Amor is a backable price in the third race.

JK: I like Veewap in the first race, he is very well placed along with Smokin’ Joey. Those are the two to watch. Great day’s racing!

JM: I agree with Josh, Smokin’ Joey looks a great bet. Serene Star is good value in the last as well, that’s the get out if you are having a bad day!

AH: Cheers guys, thanks for your time! Hopefully we can chat to you next week when we dissect the Caulfield Cup!

JM: Sounds great Andrew! Thanks again!

JK: No worries, it’s been a pleasure speaking to you and Jay.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lenni permalink
    October 12, 2012 7:06 pm

    podcast needed….

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