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Hawk’s Saturday Selections – C F Orr Stakes Day

February 9, 2013

With the return of Saturday racing, it’s time to get back into our Saturday tips.

For the next few months, I will be providing my selections on any Saturday meeting featuring Group racing.  I won’t provide a summary for every race, but I will give a quick spiel for each of the Group races on offer, as well as any other races of interest.

This week, we have the Group 1 C F Orr Stakes (1400m) headlining the meeting at Caulfield, while the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) is the feature  from Warwick Farm.

Here are my selections for today’s racing:

CAULFIELD

Race 1 – BMW MELBOURNE HANDICAP (2000m)

3 – FLASHY FELLA
1 – WHISPER DOWNS
8 – WORD GETS AROUND
4 – RED EYE SPECIAL

Race 2 – LISTED KEVIN HAYES STAKES (1200m)

Nice little race for the three year old fillies here.

SUMAKARAY’s last win was absolutely stunning, racing deep most of the trip but still being able to win. She defeated Avoid Lightning, who did carry 6kg more but still had her chance – Avoid Lightning won a Listed sprint last week and is now Oakleigh Plate-bound. Her only failure was at Flemington behind Shamal Wind, when she was beaten a long way and all was obviously not right. She gets her chance to add black type here.

ANGELIC LIGHT won the Crockett Stakes in the spring before two alright efforts in similar company to this. I think she’s better suited to 1200m rather than 1400m, and this race should suit. Sumakaray may just be too good, but I wouldn’t be discounting this filly.

LEGCUT could be the blowout. Rocketed home last start after having no luck on the turn, similar scenario the start before. I think she’s flying, she just needs to get to her right race. Whether that is this race, I’m not sure. She’s one to be included in multiples.

MEMBERS JOY is an enigma. It’s no surprise that she has run at Caulfield seven times in a 10 start career, given she is raced by a Melbourne Racing Club members’ syndicate. However, quite ironically, she seems to race below her best at Caulfield. She’s placed once at Caulfield, when second in the Blue Diamond Preview last year, but she’s missed the placings the other six times. This is highlighted by her strong performances away from Caulfield – won on debut at Sandown, won at Listed level at Flemington, before a second in a Group 2 at Flemington. That said, this is one of the easiest assignments she has faced. She’s a chance, but her Caulfield record is a worry.

3 – SUMAKARAY
4 – ANGELIC LIGHT
10 – LEGCUT
2 – MEMBERS JOY

Race 3 – GROUP 3 BLUE DIAMOND PRELUDE – COLTS AND GELDINGS (1100m)

Small field, and I’m not sure how strong a reference this will be to the Blue Diamond Stakes in two weeks.

DISSIDENT burst through the pack to win on debut in the Blue Diamond Prelude. His stablemate Thermal Current was unlucky, and Dissident’s win was almost forgotten. The extra trip will suit and I think race experience will bring him on greatly. The one to beat for mine.

MARSEILLE ROULETTE won the Inglis Classic on debut over 1200m, which is no mean feat. I’m not convinced about the strength of the Inglis Classic, either. Still, on his first performance, he must rank as a chance.

THE BOWLER has been spruiked early on, his Blue Diamond price has tumbled with the money suggesting he’ll make it to the race. He’d need to perform strongly here to have any chance of making the field.

And I’ll be interested to see KUROSHIO step up in trip, this might be the chance for him to be ridden handy without leading (if Marseille Roulette takes the lead). It could make for an unexpected test.

4 – DISSIDENT
1 – MARSEILLE ROULETTE
7 – THE BOWLER
3 – KUROSHIO

Race 4 – GROUP 3 BLUE DIAMOND PRELUDE – FILLIES (1100m)

Tough little race to figure out, with Darley looking to hold the key to the race.

I’m going against the favourite, instead going with Darley’s second stringer MONTSEGUR. She had absolutely no luck first up behind Miracles of Life, and a smaller field here should play to her advantage. I’m sure Craig Williams won’t allow it to happen again. She’s been $5.50 into $4.20 with Luxbet, the only one the smart punters wanted in early betting.  I reckon she’s a nice chance.

There are a couple of reasons I’m going against GUELPH. The money trail is one reason, but I’m also wary of her first time the Melbourne way of going – around Caulfield, of all tracks. Sydneysiders tend to struggle around Caulfield first time. She may take to it like a pro, but I just want to see it happen first. Peter Snowden considers her their benchmark juvenile, so if everything goes right, she could just blow them away. I’m not taking odds on to find out, though.

QUEST FOR PEACE is an interesting runner. She defeated Metastasio easily in a barrier trial before her first start, where she finished two lengths behind Kuroshio. She didn’t look overly comfortable up the straight, and I think she’ll relish getting back to her home track. She looks the only potential threat to Darley’s stranglehold of the race.

Of the unraced types, MORE THAN AMEIRA caught the eye – nice pedigree, trained by one of Victoria’s best horsemen in Pat Carey, good wrap on her by knowledgeable judges – I’ll definitely have one eye on her.

2 – MONTSEGUR
1 – GUELPH
3 – QUEST FOR PEACE
8 – MORE THAN AMEIRA

Race 5 – GROUP 3 RUBITON STAKES (1100m)

Another small sprint field – what’s happening this autumn?

ADEBISI was an easy pick for best of the day for mine. Just looks the winner on paper. Thrown in at the weights under the set weights and penalties conditions, flies fresh (has had seven weeks between runs) and there looks to be a clear lack of pace so should get an easy run in front and just win. A little bit concerned about Caulfield the first time, but should be too good for this lot.

RESCUE MISSION is in good form, although I think Adebisi is far more formidable opposition than Decircles and Eight Bills. The trip suits, just think he’ll struggle to pick up Adebisi late.

Not much between the rest of the field, with SHANGHAI WARRIOR and OUTLANDISH LAD looking best of the rest. In short, I think the market has it right.

1 – ADEBISI
5 – RESCUE MISSION
3 – SHANGHAI WARRIOR
2 – OUTLANDISH LAD

Race 6 – GROUP 2 AUTUMN STAKES (1400m)

Really nice race here, combining a number of formlines. A lot of different types of horses here – some will be milers, some will love 2000m, some will relish getting to a staying trip. At this time of the year, though, almost anything can happen.

MULAAZEM is only coming out of a Cranbourne 0-68, but the way he did it was incredibly impressive. Should ping out here and lead, and he might just prove too quick for his rivals. Rates clearly on top.

The danger has to be HIGH SHOT, coming out of a Cranbourne maiden – obviously Cranbourne form is top form for a Group 2. What he did on debut, though, was nothing short of incredible. He flew from last to win easily over 1400m. It was the win of a top class horse. By High Chaparral out of a Sir Tristram mare, he’ll obviously appreciate a lot further. But fresh today, he will be the one to look for late.

SUPER COOL came from (almost) nowhere in the spring to win the Mitchelton Wines Vase before finishing second to Fiveandahalfstar in the Victoria Derby. I think, in time, he’ll be at his best between a mile and 2000m. With class on his side, he’s a chance.

Next best is RED INCA, who comes off a summer preparation. His last two runs have been his best, and match fitness might give him an advantage here.

6 – MULAAZEM
10 – HIGH SHOT
2 – SUPER COOL
5 – RED INCA

Race 7 – GROUP 1 C F ORR STAKES (1400m)

Not the best Orr Stakes I’ve seen, but an intriguing race nevertheless.

I’d be disappointed if ALL TOO HARD didn’t win. I think we’ve now all learnt that there are two All Too Hards – the Sydney All Too Hard (meek, not genuine, disappointing) and the Melbourne All Too Hard (electric, exciting, consistent). I’m expecting the Melbourne All Too Hard to show up – if so, I think he just wins. Everything we’ve seen from him this prep points to the fact he’s come back a better horse. Let’s hope he can follow his half sister Black Caviar in winning the Orr.

KING MUFHASA is likely to get a soft lead here, which may mean he is hard to gun down. I love Mufhasa as a horse, but I’m concerned about the stable change and how that may have affected him. Look, he’s an eight year old, he’s campaigned all over the place, change probably means nothing to him. But a change as big as that is always something to be wary about. Watch him today.

MAWINGO didn’t look to come up in the spring, but if the Mawingo of the autumn steps out here, I could see him running a cheeky race.

And PINWHEEL is probably not up to these class-wise, but he’s one of those most suited by the conditions of the race so he’s a knockout chance.

9 – ALL TOO HARD
1 – KING MUFHASA
5 – MAWINGO
4 – PINWHEEL

Race 8 – GROUP 3 CARLYON CUP (1600m)

I always find this a fascinating race under the set weights and penalties conditions.

Although, I think I might have gone mad. I’m tipping an 11 year old who hasn’t won in more than three years to win the race. Yes, I’m putting GOOD BA BA on top. He was one of the world’s best milers in his heyday, winning three Hong Kong Miles. That’s an incredible feat. I was as shocked as anyone when they put him into work down here, but his first two runs have been very good to say the least. Now he gets up to his best trip, and under the conditions he’s weighted extremely generously. I reckon this might be the story of the day.

FORETELLER won the Coongy Handicap here 18 months ago. That Caulfield experience will benefit him greatly today. He’s another one who looks very well in under the weight scale, and he’s best when fresh. He’s the main danger.

PRAIRIE STAR adds another element of class to the race. The French Group 2 winner had two runs in the spring, where he performed alright without catching the eye. Now that he’s had time to acclimatise, I reckon he’ll step up. Prefer to see him over further now, but fresh today, he is a chance.

LORD OF BRAZIL looks best of the “local” brigade. His recent runs have been well spaced, winning three of his last four stretching back to Crown Oaks day last year. Interestingly, he’s never raced at Caulfield, so this will be a new experience for him. I’m leaning towards the other three, but he could easily win.

4 – GOOD BA BA
2 – FORETELLER
7 – PRAIRIE STAR
8 – LORD OF BRAZIL

Race 9 – GROUP 3 GEOFFREY BELLMAINE STAKES (1200m)

Open mares race to finish the day at Caulfield.

I’m going for BONARIA at double figure odds. Always seems to fly under the radar but she’s a consistent mare. Reached her high point last year when she ran second to Mosheen in the Blazer Stakes. Drawn wide, but she’s going to go back anyway. Expect her to be hitting the line late.

LOVEYAMADLY has a great record, winning four from six. This is her toughest test to date, but she looks well placed to make it five from seven.

BONNIE MAC mixes her form, on her day she’d definitely be capable of winning this race. 1200m suits her, and she’s won her only start at the track. One to watch.

At odds, include BIANCON ROSE in all exotics. Goes well at the track and distance.

6 – BONARIA
10 – LOVEYAMADLY
2 – BONNIE MAC
9 – BIANCON ROSE

WARWICK FARM

Race 1 – AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1000m)

7 – SUGAR RUSH
1 – ALL THE TALK
8 – VELA
5 – SAUNTER

Race 2 – 2013 ATC MEMBERSHIP ON SALE NOW HANDICAP (1300m)

3 – MICKELBERG
2 – PRINCESS LAYLA
1 – GENERAL’S SNIPER
6 – SERVANTE

Race 3 – SHARP HANDICAP (2200m)

10 – LASER FLASH
1 – MARDEN
3 – PLANETARIUM
6 – MISS DIAGNOSIS

Race 4 – FACEBOOK.COM/SYDNEYCARNIVAL HANDICAP (1600m)

12 – UNIMPEACHABLE
2 – THAT’S A GOOD IDEA
1 – SILK PINS
10 – VADASHAN

Race 5 – HAPPY 2ND BIRTHDAY ATC HANDICAP (1100m)

11 – CHARGE ACCOUNT
5 – YING LA
6 – AIR COMET
13 – CHIARAMONTE

Race 6 – GROUP 2 EXPRESSWAY STAKES (1200m)

Not a vintage Expressway Stakes, but one that still provides intrigue.

Going with the former Kiwi TOUGHER THAN EVER, who raced as Warhorse in New Zealand. He’s won a Group 1 over there, he finished third at his most recent start behind Sacred Falls, who I rate as one of the most promising gallopers I’ve seen. As a three year old, he’s down in the weights, and the decision to run him here is shrewd. It’s probably to avoid a clash with Sacred Falls next week, but even still, I’m happy to be on him.

Perhaps DANLEIGH can make it a Waller quinella? He’s in the twilight years of his career, he’s nine and probably not improving. However, he loves Warwick Farm, and on that alone he must be a chance.

I don’t rate the fields HAPPY GALAXY has been beating, although he’s been beating them with ease. For mine, I want to see him do it first. Happy to risk today.

And keep an eye on DOCTOR DOOM first up off a long spell. Trained on the track, he’ll need further but can show something fresh.

9 – TOUGHER THAN EVER
1 – DANLEIGH
10 – HAPPY GALAXY
6 – DOCTOR DOOM

Race 7 – TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1400m)

2 – BEREFT
7 – AL’S GOLD
11 – MR EDISON
4 – PUNCH YOUR WEIGHT

Race 8 – WARWICK FARM HANDICAP (1600m)

5 – ZAKYNTHOS IMPRINTZ
4 – SINGLE
8 – FROZEN ROPE
3 – THUMBTACKS

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