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Hawk’s Saturday Selections – Blue Diamond Stakes Day

February 23, 2013

 

A top card of racing awaits us today at both Caulfield and Warwick Farm, although the latter is set to be spoiled by an incredible storm which has hit Sydney this morning.

Due to time constraints, I’ve given an in-depth preview of the best three races on each card, with a couple of lines about the other black type races on the card.

Good luck today!

CAULFIELD

Race 1 – PREMIER SIGNS PLATE (1200m)

3 – CHOSEN MOMENT
8 – SHOREHAM
5 – CRYSTAL WEB
11 – TAN TAT ROCK

Race 2 – POLYTRACK HANDICAP (1400m)

10 – NOW YOU KNOW
4 – SECRET LIAISON
2 – MOURINHO
11 – BLUE RIBBON

Race 3 – GROUP 2 ANGUS ARMANASCO STAKES (1400m)

This race has almost been cannibalised by The Vanity last week and the Typhoon Tracy Stakes last night. I rate the You’re So Good form highly, so I have to have the promising RED FEZ on top. I hope they get Members Joy back to Flemington next start, because she’ll just about win.

5 – RED FEZ
1 – MEMBERS JOY
4 – BALACLAVA LADY
7 – HAMAM

Race 4 – GROUP 2 AUTUMN CLASSIC (1800m)

The scratching of High Shot has left this a two horse race. I can’t see FIVEANDAHALFSTAR losing if he runs up to his last start second to Mulaazem. SUPER COOL looks the only danger.

1 – FIVEANDAHALFSTAR
2 – SUPER COOL
3 – SUBIASO
6 – LUCK’S A FORTUNE

Race 5 – GROUP 2 PETER YOUNG STAKES (1800m)

A disappointing renewal of the Peter Young Stakes. The Orr Stakes form looks strongest, so MAWINGO and MR MOET have to go on top. However, ECLAIR SURPRISE is the one I’m most interested in heading to the Australian Cup. Took some of the $15 about him for the Australian Cup this morning.

3 – MAWINGO
1 – MR MOET
6 – ECLAIR SURPRISE
5 – FORETELLER

Race 6 – GROUP 1 FUTURITY STAKES (1400m)

A good race, although I do wonder whether it is positioned in a good spot to attract the best field. Once again, there only look to be four winning chances so I’ve got them down as my top four.

ALL TOO HARD must go on top again, although the price is probably not what I’d want to be taking. But he’s the x-factor in this field, especially over this distance, and he should prove hard to beat.

GLASS HARMONIUM’s race will depend on if he jumps with them. If he jumps, he’ll be up on speed and I could see him with a kick at the 200m. If not, his race is over and he’ll be languishing towards the rear past the post. He’s an in-play proposition.

GREEN MOON is the returning Melbourne Cup winner, and I know the camp is very keen on his chances – they’ve said so during interviews this week. He did run a cracker first up in the Memsie in the spring, but there was more pace on that day so he was entitled to flash home. The Blamey Stakes in the autumn is probably a better guide to his chances. Definitely rates highly.

And KING MUFHASA was disappointing first up in the Orr Stakes for mine. While I’d love to see him win, I’m still a little bit iffy about how he’s adapted to the stable change.

10 – ALL TOO HARD
4 – GLASS HARMONIUM
1 – GREEN MOON
2 – KING MUFHASA

Race 7 – GROUP 1 BLUE DIAMOND STAKES (1200m)

A cracker of a Blue Diamond Stakes, the most competitive in years. I’d probably argue it is likely to be one of the stronger Blue Diamonds too, as I think the form will stack up out of the race.

I’ve made it clear I think the fillies are superior to the colts in an article I wrote for The Roar. Click here to read.

For mine, you have to have the flying Adelaide filly MIRACLES OF LIFE on top. She was outstanding in the Blue Diamond Preview and she showed her versatility in coming off the speed. Likely to be just behind the speed here, and as long as Lauren Stojakovic holds her nerve, she should get an opening at some point. What a great story it would be if she were to win!

I know Peter Snowden has rated GUELPH as their best hope, but for mine, METASTASIO is the danger to the favourite. She was superb in the Chairman’s Stakes, although I do think they were the second or third tier two year olds there. She looks such a professional filly and the 1200m should prove no problem. She’ll be up on speed with the ability to dictate her own luck. She’ll be the one they have to run down at the top of the straight.

GREGERS is the potential upset horse. Beat Annenberg and Casquets at Moonee Valley, who then came out and reversed that order when running one-two in the Talindert Stakes last week. The Talindert was another race which looked to be for the second tier two year olds, but you can’t knock winning form. The David Hayes-Dwayne Dunn combination is another reason why she must be included in all multiples.

For fourth, I’ve put DISSIDENT in as the best of the colts. I think the blinkers will sharpen him up, giving him every opportunity to run them down. He may be better as a three year old though.

Of the rest, I think Guelph, MONTSEGUR and CRACK A ROADIE are also chances. But happy to be cheering on Miracles of Life – with a small each way bet on Gregers!

10 – MIRACLES OF LIFE
9 – METASTASIO
14 – GREGERS
2 – DISSIDENT

Race 8 – GROUP 1 OAKLEIGH PLATE (1100m)

The speediest race of the year is upon us. The Oakleigh Plate is known for its helter skelter tempo, and this year looks no different with five or six horses likely to push forward. It sets it up for a swooper, which is how I’ve assessed the form for this race.

WOORIM won last year’s Oakleigh Plate in breathtaking fashion – he was still near last at the 150m! Likely to be set up for him again, and I doubt any horse in Australia has as quick a turn of foot as him. The extra weight (2.5kg up from last year) is a concern, but I don’t think this is as strong as last year either. Good value.

ORTENSIA is the class mare of the field, especially when you consider three of her last four wins have been at Group 1 level in Australia (Winterbottom Stakes), Dubai (Al Quoz Sprint) and the UK (Nunthorpe Stakes). Pretty good for a mare who looked destined to retire without a Group 1 win next to her name. She carries a lot of weight here, but as with Woorim, I expect to see her swooping late. Didn’t trial the best, but I’m sure the extra week off will benefit her.

It would be great to see the Perth sprinter BARAKEY keep his unbeaten record intact here. Perth sprint form generally holds up on the eastern seaboard, as we’ve seen in the last few years with the likes of Hay List, Scenic Blast and Miss Andretti. You can even go back to Placid Ark to see that Perth sprinting form tends to translate well here. I’m just concerned about where he’ll get to in the run.

And SHAMAL WIND gets in with 50.5kg, which should give her every chance. I hope she is ridden cold though, as that allowed her to produce that breathtaking finish at Flemington on Oaks Day. If so, she could be off and gone before Woorim and Ortensia can reach her.

Next best is FACILE TIGRE, who maps perfectly for mine. I can’t quite see him as a Group 1 winner, but he’ll get every opportunity.

2 – WOORIM
1 – ORTENSIA
3 – BARAKEY
14 – SHAMAL WIND

Race 9 – GROUP 3 MANNERISM STAKES (1400m)

Typical open mares race, about eight or nine could win this. Went for the class in SPIRIT SONG, although I do have soft spots for BONARIA and HI BELLE.

1 – SPIRIT SONG
7 – BONARIA
2 – HI BELLE
3 – STAR OF GISELLE

WARWICK FARM

Race 1 – INGLEBURN RSL CLUB HANDICAP (2200m)

1 – BID SPOTTER
3 – MARDEN
5 – SINDARIN
7 – NOW I SEE

Race 2 – EASTERN CREEK TAVERN HANDICAP (1400m)

8 – SONG AND LAUGHTER
3 – ZIN ZAN EDDIE
4 – KNOYDART
6 – DIAMOND DRILLE

Race 3 – DARBY RACING HANDICAP (1200m)

4 – CALMING INFLUENCE
9 – PARFURI
13 – ALL THAT I AM
2 – ROCKFORD

Race 4 – LISTED TRISCAY STAKES (1200m)

Solid race for the mares, but there looks to be only four legitimate chances so I’ve got them as my top four.

APPEARANCE surprised almost everyone when she won the Myer Classic in the autumn. She’s still relatively lightly raced and she flies fresh so she must go on top.

NOCTURNELLE won two stakes races at the end of last preparation. She is best suited with give in the ground so she should get her chance here, however I’d like to see her further into her prep.

I originally had COLORADO CLAIRE on top because of her good fresh record and because I think she’s still improving. However, I believe her to be best on top of the ground, so I’ve relegated her to third.

Next best is SHE’S CLEAN, who I think ranks clearly below the top three but also ranks well ahead of her rivals.

1 – APPEARANCE
2 – NOCTURNELLE
3 – COLORADO CLAIRE
4 – SHE’S CLEAN

Race 5 – CANLEY HEIGHTS HOTEL HANDICAP (1300m)

4 – JACQUINOT BAY
3 – EIGELSTEIN
11 – EXOTIC ESCAPE
5 – TERRITORY

Race 6 – GROUP 2 APOLLO STAKES (1400m)

A nice race heading towards the Sydney Carnival. And for mine, Chris Waller can celebrate a huge week with a top four here!

Firstly, let’s look at GLENCADAM GOLD. I reckon he’s come back well, no doubt, but he’s never raced over anything less than 1550m – and even then, he fell in. So explain to me how he’s been backed into favouritism? Rates as a lay in my book.

SHOOT OUT is the classiest horse in the race, and class usually prevails in these sorts of races.

DANLEIGH loves Warwick Farm and he tends to excel on a slow track. The constant rain this morning threatens to cause another downgrade, this time to a heavy, and he doesn’t go so well on a bog. Nevertheless, he’s a chance.

KELINNI is coming off a Melbourne Cup run, so is in a similar situation to Glencadam Gold. However, I was incredibly impressed with his trial and he’s at least got form over the shorter trips, no matter how long ago it was. Looks to have improved a fair bit.

And for mine, ALBERT THE FAT comes into it now we’ve got a slow track (and potentially a heavy track). Performs well second up and should get his chance.

1 – SHOOT OUT
2 – DANLEIGH
6 – KELINNI
3 – ALBERT THE FAT

Race 7 – GROUP 3 SOUTHERN CROSS STAKES (1200m)

A bit of a disappointing race for mine, and despite being run as a quality handicap, I still expect class to prove too strong.

And in this race, the class lies with STREAMA. She’ll be wanting further now, no doubt, but she’s simply better than these and I expect her to be going very close.

HYPURR, formerly Sichuan Success in Hong Kong, was poor last start after a cracking first up run behind Adebisi. If he’s back to his best, he could easily give this field a shake.

Now that this is likely to be run on a bog, you cannot ignore HOOD. Doesn’t go so well on a slow track, but given it is likely to get down to a heavy track come this race, he’s a must include. Performs at his best while fresh too, so could easily be in the finish.

And SKYTRAIN’s never been one of mine but I guess I should include him based on his current form…and there’s nothing much else to include!

1 – STREAMA
3 – HYPURR
6 – HOOD
2 – SKYTRAIN

Race 8 – NAGS HEAD HOTEL GLEBE HANDICAP (1600m)

7 – LUNAYIR
2 – HAVANA REY
5 – ZAKYNTHOS IMPRINTZ
13 – MR EDISON

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