Mornington BMW Cup Prelude

Group 1 racing returns to Caulfield this Saturday with a nine race card headlined by the $1.5 million Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes for two-year-olds over 1200m.

The card appears to have plenty of depth and will provide punters with the opportunity to find some winners at value.

We’re expecting a good day of racing, with the weather expected to reach a maximum of 26 degrees and mostly fine conditions throughout the entire day.

The track will be a good three and the rail will be in the true position, as it was the last time they raced here in February.

SKINNY – 3,4,10 / 1,3,11 / 7,16,18 / 10
WIDE – 1,3,4,10,11 / 1,3,4,10,11,13 / 1,7,9,14,16,18 / 3,10

We start this bumper card with the Mornington BMW Cup Prelude over 2000m and the punters have identified early on the horse they want.

Assign has been well supported to be the clear favourite for this event and it’s easy to understand why following his first-up performance. He was an impressive winner over the 1800m, although carrying 62kg and racing wide. The drop back to 54kg and the extra 200m looks ideal for him. He should get a nice run from barrier four.

Tashbeeh has drawn awkwardly but has shown that he can be adaptable when either going forward or being ridden cold. He won over this distance two starts ago and should be attacking the line strongly.

Radical should improve here. He had no luck in running on his last start from his wide gate, but from the inside gate here he should work into this race nicely. He drops in weight and we’ve seen him previously perform well at his home track.

Selections – ASSIGN, Tashbeeh, Radical, Bonfire
Value Selection - Radical

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Assign - 1pt @ 3.1

Zeditave Stakes

There looks to be plenty of speed in this 1200m event with barriers playing the key part when analysing the speed maps. With so many having the intention to lead, it may set up nicely for a backmarker.

Mogador is one of those backmarkers that will be hoping they run at a nice, genuine speed. He should be able to move to the outside and he will be attacking the line strongly. He’s never finished worse than second when first-up from three attempts and he’ll be hoping that record continues here.

Puritan was a winner at the track and distance on his last start. The form lines from that race have held up and he should get a reasonable run from barrier eight.

Bassett raced well behind Press Statement and we know that those form lines have held up. This distance looks more suitable and his recent jump out showed that he can play a part first up where he’s two from two.

Popovich steps up in grade but he has been performing well. From barrier four he should get the run of the race and we’ll find out if he’s up to this company.

Selections – MOGADOR, Puritan, Basset, Popovich,
Value Selection – Santa Ana Lane 

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Mogador - 1pt @ 4.4

Polytrack Angus Armanasco Stakes

This is a hard race to analyse and Cana leading is the only certainty from barrier two. This race should also be run at a strong tempo, providing backmarkers with an opportunity to run on strongly.

Pasadena Girl looks to be a nice bet here in race three. Opening at $5, she’s been well supported - which is understandable from her recent trial. She races well when fresh and is drawn nicely in barrier six. Luke Nolen rode his first winner this week and he’ll be hoping that confidence carries him to victory over 1400m.

Mossin' Around steps up to the 1400m, which seems a suitable step up. She had every opportunity to win on her last start but just ran into a good one. The stable is in good form and from barrier five she should be able to relax through the early stages.

Egypt went straight into the blackbook after her eye catching performance at Flemington last start. If she can repeat that turn of foot again, she’ll definitely be in the finish.

Selections – PASADENA GIRL, Mossin’ Around, Egypt, Cana
Value Selection – Let Her Rip

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PASADENA GIRL - 1pt @ 4.6

Caul Autumn Classic

Mahuta looks to be one of the best bets of the card. From barrier one he should jump well and control this race with Brad Rawiller on board. There is a slight question mark about the 1800m, but he should just be too good for this field from his form lines. He’s well suited under set-weights conditions and has been well supported early on.

Tally is the obvious danger to the favourite. He should get the comfortable run behind the leader and does have a nice turn of foot. His two victories this campaign have demonstrated that he’s capable of beating all runners in this race when he’s at the top of his game.

Patch Adams was only 0.3L off Mahuta over 1600m back in October. He hasn't enjoyed a great deal of luck in three runs since, but from barrier two he should get the run of the race. The rise to 1800m brings the same questions that we were asking with Mahuta, but he should finish in the top four.

Selections – MAHUTA , Tally, Patch Adams, Charlevoix
Value Selection – Patch Adams
Mahuta - 1pt @ 1.9

Crown Golden Ale Peter Young

The Crown Golden Ale Peter Young Stakes looks a very open affair with plenty of quality gallopers going head to head. This is one of the races in the programme where punters will be looking to find value.

Bow Creek ticks the boxes in this race. He has had no luck this campaign but he is drawn more suitably here for his racing pattern. With Damien Oliver on board, if he can repeat his closing effort in the CF Orr Stakes, he wil be very hard to hold out.

Fenway was luckless last start as well as in the CF Orr Stakes and appeared to have left a lot on the track. She has good second-up form and is drawn perfectly in barrier five. She has been well supported early and Mark Zahra will be hoping that she can turn his recent form around as well.

Rising Romance had the fastest final 200m in the CF Orr Stakes and has finished second twice from four attempts when second up.

He Or She also looks well suited in this race. His second-up record is outstanding (3:2-1-0) and he has drawn well for Dwayne Dunn, who won on him here three runs ago. He will be attacking the line strongly and has the ability to run the fastest sectionals late.

Selections – BOW CREEK, Fenway, Rising Romance, He Or She
Value Selection – Lidari
Bow Creek - 1pt @ 4.8

Italktravle Futurity Stakes

The Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes (1400m) is top heavy with quality, with eight of the 11 runners all winning at Group 1 level. The form lines are strong, with Suavito beating Group 1 winners Hucklebuck, Turn Me Loose, Rebel Dane, Boban, Stratum Star and Trust In A Gust in the C.F. Orr Stakes.

Turn Me Loose will be looking to add to his strong second-up record here. He put in an honest performance in the CF Orr Stakes when he was beaten by horses that all sat behind him in the run. He will ensure that this race is run at a good tempo and he will give the field something to catch.

Hucklebuck looks suited here and is ready to win. The 1400m should suit and although he has a strong turn of foot, from barrier four, he should be able to settle closer to the leaders.

Suavito has a brilliant record at Caulfield (7:4-1-2) and has only missed a place once from nine runs over this distance. She should be able to sit just behind the leaders and it has been proved it is hard to get past her after her terrific win last start.

Politeness has drawn awkwardly in barrier one. The one thing we do know, though, is that if she sees daylight early down the straight, she’ll attack the line strongly.

Selections – TURN ME LOOSE, Hucklebuck, Suavito, Politeness
Value Selection – Boban
Turn me loose - 1pt @ 3.4

Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes

The Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) sees Mick Price with the two early favourites. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of early speed in this race, which may make it a sit and sprint over the closing stages.

Concealer has really impressed in the lead-up races despite showing that she is still green. She missed the kick slightly last start and still ran on strongly to finish second from the back of the field. If she jumps well then she should be in a more prominent position closer to the leaders.

Extreme Choice has been so impressive and deserves to be favourite. However, Damien Oliver hopping off to ride Flying Artie has thrown a spanner in the works. He has done everything right in the lead up, now we will just see if he can win the big one.

Flying Artie showed his class when winning the Blue Diamond Prelude, even though he had to cover extra ground. The big issue for him here is the barrier. Oliver has chosen to ride him over Extreme Choice, but he is going to need to find early cover.

Samara Dancer is hard to analyse. She was well supported in the Prelude but did not respond well to Tourneur when he asked her to pick up. She also bled from one nostril, which is a concern.

Selections – CONCEALER, Extreme Choice, Flying Artie, Samara Dancer
Value Selection – Kinetic Design
Concealer - 1pt @ 6.5

Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate

The Group 1 Oakleigh Plate over 1100m is going to be the ultimate battle, with a full field of 18 runners contesting the $500,000 event.
Heatherly is flying at the moment and can continue here. She is looking for four in a row and she’s drawn perfectly in barrier two. She beat Politeness by 5.5 lengths last start in a stunning time and should be able to again comfortably find the front.

Keen Array has drawn nicely with only 50kg on his back. His journey to this race has been fascinating, winning a maiden last year by seven lengths and then going straight into the Coolmore Stud Stakes over 1200m where he finished second. He has the class to win with the light weight.

Bounding loves the track/distance and won in style at it last campaign. She trialled well along side of Terravista and Exosphere and then impressed again when winning her next trial by over five lengths. From barrier eight she should be able to settle close to the speed which will suit here.

Selections – HEATHERLY, Keen Array, Bounding, The Quaterback
Value Selection – Pittsburgh Flyer 
HEATHERLY - 1pt @ 4.6

Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes

Darren Weir has a strong hand in the final race of the day, with three runners in the Group 3 $150,000 Premier Signs Mannerism Stakes.

There is confidence about finishing the day off in style for punters with Azkadellia. The pace looks strong and the middle of the track could be the place come race nine. Her last win came over this trip and she has been well supported. Tuscan Sling was too good for her last start, but she can turn the tables, meeting her 1kg better for a half-length defeat.

Choose is a tough on-pacer who should find the front from barrier two. Her 1400m record is good and she has been close-up in all three runs here at Caulfield. She will need some luck to match it with the top two.

Wawail also comes from the same race and will also need some luck to turn the tables on the top two.

Selections – AZKADELLIA, Tuscan Sling, Choose, Wawail
Value Selection - Anaphora  
Azkadellia - 1pt @ 2.3