Friday, February 08, 2013

The Autumn Racing Season Begins Once More

all too hard_guineas

Racing fans rejoice!

The first Group One of the autumn season is to be run this Saturday at Caulfield, with several interesting Group Two races on the cards as well.

The Group One C F Orr Stakes has been part of the Melbourne autumn racing season since 1925 and is usually run the second Saturday in February. It has been won by many of Australia’s racing greats; Black Caviar won it last year, and Typhoon Tracy the two years previously. Other notable winners are Redoute’s Choice, Saintly, Lonhro, Vo Rogue (three times) and Manikato (also three times) to name a few.

So who will win it this year?

There are nine acceptors, among them top three year colt, Black Caviar’s little half brother, All Too Hard. He will be kicking off his autumn campaign in the Orr Stakes and he has a good chance of winning. His last race was the Cox Plate where he ran an excellent second to Ocean Park and a few weeks before that he  beat Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas.

However, he will have to contend with tried and true performers such as King Mufhasa who has several Group One wins under his belt, and the well regarded West Australian Mr Moet having his first start in the East. The other interesting runner is Callanish who has a picket fence next to his name in the form guide, having raced eight times for eight wins. He faces his toughest race yet, but to my mind represents an excellent chance at attractive odds.

I was going to write more about the card at Caulfield tomorrow, but I’ve run out of time. I was contemplating attending the meeting in person, but have decided to wait until the following week, when Black Caviar will be contesting the Lightning Stakes for a third time, and aiming for her 23rd win in succession. This event is at Flemington, so it will make a change of scene from Caulfield and Moonee Valley.  Last year, as a member of the Black Caviar Cheer Squad, I attended this meeting and recall having a good time and incidentally witnessed All Too Hard winning his first race.

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