Welcome to Off And Racing – a weekly column where I will have a look at the feature racing for the weekend ahead and hopefully help you to find a few winners with Five To Follow.
The Gate/The Brook/The Ashby have you covered this weekend if you are looking to have a punt with first class facilities, friendly staff and action galore in the Sports Bars.
Caulfield takes centre stage on Saturday where there are no less than 4 Group 1 features on the card.
The highlight for many will be the clash between glamour mare Winx and WA star Black Heart Bart in the Caulfield Stakes over the 2000 metres.
While many have run scared of Winx leaving just a field of three (Another former West Aussie He Or She is the third runner) Bart has fronted up to have a crack and some are suggesting he can bring her golden run to an end.
Winx is chasing 12 straight victories here and while I am one of Bart’s biggest fans I think the Chris Waller trained wonder mare can go on her merry way. She is the $1.24 favourite with Black Heart Bart at $4.60 and He Or She a $31 outsider.
With just 3 in the race it is sure to be a tactical affair but Hugh Bowman is one of the best riders in the world and I would be surprised if he didn’t get Winx home for her 12th victory in a line. Bart may well run a gallant second.
In the Group 1 Thousand Guineas over the mile for the fillies talented Sydneysider Foxplay is the easing $3.70 favourite – again for the dominant combination of Bowman and Waller.
Foxplay has come back in splendid order winning both runs this time in and having drawn favourably in barrier 5 you would expect her to be a major contender.
On the second line of betting is the Gai Waterhouse trained Global Glamour at $4. She has been the best backed runner since markets came out firming from $5.50 into $4.
Global Glamour took out the Group 1 Flight Stakes at Randwick last weekend where she accounted for Golden Slipper Runner-Up Yankee Rose in impressive fashion.
There is some WA interest in the event with the Simon Miller trained Whispering Brook having her third run for the preparation.
She was the star of the 2 year old ranks in WA last season and has been backed from $11 into $9.50 to bounce back to winning form.
Others that can be entertained include Missrock who was luckless last time out ($12), Legless Veuve who has won both runs this time in ($18) and $41 chance Sword Of Light who will be ridden by Damian Lane.
In recent times Sydney 3 year old form has stacked up hence Foxplay and Global Glamour heading the markets. While they are the ones to beat I am happy to play a bit wider in my Quaddie and take a few hopes to win here.
Another open affair where betting sees Impending at $4.40, Divine Prophet at $5, Sacred Elixir at $6, Evacuation at $7, Good Standing at $9 and Hey Doc at $11 with all other runners $13 and above.
I quite like the prospects of New Zealand galloper Sacred Elixir on an each way basis in this race.
He was a comfortable winner of the Group 1 JJ Atkins at Eagle Farm over this trip at his final run of last preparation and resumed with a first up victory in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.
He has drawn ok in barrier 7 and will have the services of Damian Lane. There has been good support for him with his price trimming up from $7.50 into $6.
At big odds Hey Doc can run a cheeky race for Trainer Tony McEvoy. The son of Duporth has won all 3 starts this time in including the Group 2 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley over the mile last start.
The favourite Impending must be respected and Divine Prophet has shown enough in his career to date to be a key player.
It appears quite open but I am happy to team up with Sacred Elixir each way.
He’s Our Rokkii is a four year old who is going places and his recent record tells you that with four straight victories.
The Hayes/Dabernig trained galloper won two group 3 races in Sydney before a spell and has since come out and won two straight races at Caulfield.
While this is a step up in class the horse is racing in grand style and he appears capable of mixing it in this grade. He is the current $3.90 favourite.
Japanese galloper Tosen Stardom is now under the care of Darren Weir and after finishing 4th in the Feehan Stakes beaten less than three lengths first up you would expect further improvement for this.
There has been good early support for Royal Rapture – $12 into $8.50 and Thames Court $17 into $11 who must both come under consideration.
The Chris Waller trained Counterattack has been racing consistently and has admirers while Bon Aurum has been outstanding in winning his last two.
This is quite a tricky affair and I thought there were a string of hopes. If Tosen Stardom brings it’s best it may well prove the horse to beat.
In WA Bunbury is the feature meeting on Saturday with a strong 8 race program commencing at 1.14pm.
FIVE TO FOLLOW
CHETWOOD : (Caulfield Race 4 Number 3) : Four year old son of Exceed and Excel who has taken his game to a whole new level this time in winning three in a line in Sydney and last time out was brilliant in taking out the Group 3 Cameron. From the powerful Godolphin operation and looks to be getting better with every run. Well placed in this and can continue on his winning ways.
STAR TURN : (Caulfield Race 10 Number 12) : Won the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes two starts back at Rosehill before going down narrowly to Astern last time out in the Group 2 Run To The Rose. Has since being given a freshen up and while he is giving away experience gets 5.5 kilograms on the entire field here. Is a very smart galloper and I think he can send us home a winner in the last at Caulfield.
DONALD TUX : (Mandurah Greyhounds Friday Race 2 Number 1) : Box one bandit who is in a purple patch of form with wins at his last couple in slick times. Steps up in grade here but has drawn to perfection and this is not an overly strong grade 4 lineup. Should shoot straight to the top and make his own luck from there. Looks awfully hard to beat.
TEDDY MONELLI : (Cannington Greyhounds Saturday Race 5 Number 1) : Real up-and-comer who steps up to the 600 metres for the first time here. Has shown awesome acceleration in his brief career to date and with even luck should simply be to clever for his opposition in this. I’m using him as my first leg of a Saturday night all up with his kennelmate Penny Monelli.
PENNY MONELLI : (Cannington Greyhounds Saturday Race 8 Number 5) : Another very smart sprinter from the Hobby kennel who accounted for a hot lineup last week. Has enough early pace to overcome this draw and zoom down to the rails where she does her best work. Should cruise her way through the grades and looks the testing material.
Good luck with your bets this weekend and remember to gamble responsibly.