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Caulfield Cup guide and tips

ROLL up, roll up for Caulfield Cup Day 2010. Hope the Postman can deliver the mail which will set you on a path to wealth and prosperity! Weather may play its part, but the Postman's expertise and wealth of knowledge will hopefully add a silver lining to your bets.

Race 1. D’Urban Plate 1400m $70,000 Plus $30,000 SV Bonus

Competitive fillies kick off the program. Blink probably leads or races handy. Alotta Spur has been super unlucky in all her city races so far - she has bled, got kicked on, bumped and held up - a bit like trying to get into a Prahran nightclub over the carnival! She is due for a change of luck. Barrier 7, home track, P Moody ... recipe looks good for a nice start to the day at reasonable odds. Sheila’s Star can run a bolters race while Belle Chantecler is right in the mix.

Best bet

7. Alotta Spur

Strong chances

5. Blink

4. Sheila’s Star

8. Belle Chantecler

Race 2. Hoyts Food Spices Stakes (LISTED) 1400m $100,000 Plus $10,000 SV Bonus

Sit and sprint journey for the three year old boys - pace will be the key. Territory - the likely leader - will try to stack 'em and rack 'em as he did at Flemington, but Skilled holds the key to the race in my view. Barrier one probably pushes Skilled back fifth or sixth from the fence - which is slightly awkward - but he does have a large class edge if he can be extracated. Meridith is the other runner to represent Sheikh Mohammed but probably needs a firm track. Ace Acosta looks smart, whilst Mr Chard is probably the other winning hope.

Best bet

1. Skilled

Strong chances

5. Ace Acosta

2. Territory

3. Mr Chard

Race 3. Sportingbet Stakes(LISTED) 2000m $100,000 Plus $30,000 SV Bonus

Real guessing game here. Wet tracks and bloodlines! Speculating on the pair Speed of Dark and Dizlago. Both come out of the Edward Manifold and the step up to 2000 metre mark. Will help if they can handle the slush. Topweight Precious Lorraine on her best form would go close, but D Hayes can only win two year old races these days. Zutara can feature whilst Our Pride and Joy - bit unlucky last time - is the best of the rest.

Best bet

4. Dizlago and 3. Speed of Dark

Strong chances

5. Golden Tabby

2. Zutara

Race 4. AAMI Norman Robinson Stakes(GROUP 3) 2000m $125,000 Plus $10,000 SV Bonus

Tradtional derby lead up. Sydney galloper Retrieve looks well placed along with Yulalona, whose won last start in Sydney. The Conlan trained Rekindled Interest will have his supporters - of which i am not one. The Chevron was a super run last start, looks ideally suited for the 2000 metre mark if he can handle the bog. Well bred Shadow of Excellence was very good at Flemington.

Best bet

1. Retrieve

Strong chances

9. Shadow of Excellence

12. The Chevron

2. Yulalona

Race 5. Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint(GROUP 2) 1100m $200,000

Tidy sprint with Definitely Ready to burn the turf out in the lead. If Definitely Ready can get a breather (there doesn’t seem to be anything that can go with him) he will be hard to hold out. Dubleanny might be kept safe by the bagmen with the Price/Newitt fresh combination all too familiar. A very good horse on the up and will storm home with huge hope. A fresh Set for Fame will have admirers given her class but this race may be just too short, whilst Soul looks super competitive and may yet get the favoured conditions. Classy Eagle Falls is a risk in this race and Dissolved may find this race too slick.

Best bet

6. Definitely Ready

Strong chances

7. Dubleanny

4. Soul

1. Eagle Falls

Race 6. Betfair Stakes(GROUP 3) 1400m $125,000

The question of speed becomes a statement with D.Gauci riding. He only knows one way, with the light on going forward so Jungle Ruler leads from Gathering. Thought Demerit put the writing on the wall with an excellent effort first up, a winner here second up and looks to have come back in good shape. Very good value at around the 7/1 mark. Dao Dao also has some class and will be super competitive in the wet, as will McClintock.

Best bet

8. Demerit

Strong chances

10. Dao Dao

4. McClintock

1. Sniper’s Bulle

Race 7. David Jones Cup(GROUP 3) 2000m $125,000

Very open race with a host of winning chances. With the weather looking sour, I think the international runner Becqu Adoree from the Cumani camp has to be respected. The wetter the better for this mare, a strong chance for a quinella as does the Kent trained pair Zoomin and the unknown Stansill. Of the locals, C’est La Guerre looks mighty hard to hold out. I thought he would have been a chance in the Caulfield Cup if he got a run, but alas he is here and in this up to his eyeballs. There are plenty of ticks for this bloke. Purple, another chance, is strong in the slush.

Best bet

13. Becqu Adoree

1. C’est La Guerre

15. Stanstill

Strong chance

4. Empires Choice

Race 8. BMW Caulfield Cup (GROUP 1) 2400m $2,500,000

I look back on past Caulfield Cups and can barely remember a Cup with so many horses out of form. There are only three horses in the field that have won in their previous start - Mr Medici, Herculian Prince and Harris Tweed. If we take the old fashioned line through the Turnbull, only Shocking and Metal Bender gain a pass mark, but the late rain now makes this more of a guessing game. I think the odds are slightly with Shocking if this was at Flemington. Alcopop ran really well behind the Freak last start but so did Whobe. I think he is a slightly under but concede a wonderful chance back to handicap conditions.

The more I look at the race the more I warm to Herculian Prince. Tough, on pace, making the others chase. I think he can pinch a length and keep going. Most wins have been on good tracks, but was impressive in the Metropolitan (Tawqueet) and five of the past nine winners of the Caulfield Cup have won their previous start.  Tipping a NSW quinella with the Waller trained Metal Bender. A model of consistency, had a big run last start looking for the mile and a half ... surely will finish hard. Faint Perfume down in the weights and up in mileage looks ideally suited to improve many lengths and can fill a hole at nice odds. Can Shocking be the second consecutive horse to win the Caulfield Cup? The odds are stacked but you wouldn’t bet your life would you! Internationals? Manighar is my pick.

Best bet

13. Herculian Prince

Strong chances

2. Metal Bender

17. Faint Perfume

15. Descardo

1. Shocking

Race 9. Harrolds Tristarc Stakes(GROUP 2) 1400m $180,000

By now it’s all about track bias. Hot Danish will be the people’s favourite but I have a sneaky suspicion the bookies will risk her. It just might be Live in Sin’s sort of day. Jump, run, find a margin out in the centre and hold on ... she has done it before and if we get to a heavy eight, the conditions could make her safe. Believe 'N Acheive has been freshened up nicely, while Palacio De Cristal is an old favourite but looks better suited to Flemington. Aloha, down in the weights, is a good chance. I’m going to take a set against Hot Danish.

Best bet

13. Live in Sin

Strong chances

12. Believe ‘N Achieve

14. Aloha

7. Marquardt

Race 10. Carlton Draught Pure Blonde Plate 1100m $70,000

We won't know until race morning, but if Varena Miss gets a run, she could be a great little anchor in quads. Has untapped ability and her win at Ballarat was stunning. That said, she isn't in the field at this stage, so I'm looking for value with Misty Blue and Sunday Rose - who looks the testing material here. Netra is honest and on the pace so bear that in mind if track conditions play out that way. Go wide in multiples - always a roughie filling the slots in these mares races.

Best bet

20. Varena Miss ( if she gets a run)

Strong chances

12. Misty Blue

4. Sunday Rose

16. Off the Planet

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