The impending spring racing carnival gathers momentum this coming Saturday with the most interesting race card for some time.
Caulfield is the venue and the feature race is the Group 2 P B Lawrence Stakes. Last year it was won by Puissance de Lune at his first start for the spring. After not being seen since Cox Plate day last year, where he was injured, he makes a welcome return to the track to defend his title.
Of course it’s not a foregone conclusion that Puissance de Lune will win this year, but if he has recovered from his injury and is back to his best, the opposition shouldn’t be too hard to beat as not many of them are running first up at a suitable distance. The field does contain his nemesis in the 2013 Makybe Diva Stakes, Foreteller, who is kicking off his spring campaign in this as well. Others resuming are Queensland Derby winner Brambles, Let’s Make Adeal, Blamey Stakes winner, Lidari, among others. I reckon in form mare Gig who ran second in the Bletchingly Stakes behind Thiamandi could be a main contender and will possibly run a place.
The Listed Regal Roller Stakes appears to have a classier field. It is run over 1200 metres as opposed to the 1400 metres of the Lawrence Stakes, so has attracted a good field of sprinters that include dual Group 1 winner Moment Of Change. He’s the top pick, but South Australian mare Thiamandi, who sensationally won the Bletchingly Stakes at her last start, could well give him a run for the money. Others in contention are Pillar Of Creation, Electric Fusion, Hard Stride and the other mare Jemerica.
Overall the entire race card looks pretty good, and of special note are the two Group 3 races for three year olds – the Quezette Stakes for fillies and the Vain Stakes for colts and geldings – run over 1100 metres.
The fillies race looks the pick between the two with a field of smart fillies that include London Lolly and Royal Snitzel as the top contenders. They are both returning from a spell with two consecutive wins on their CVs. Also in the picture are Sunset Rock, Empress O’Reilly and Down The Hatch who have all won city races.
Cornrow and Jabali are the top chances in the Vain Stakes. Cornrow ran third in both the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Sires Produce Stakes at Group 1 level, whilst Jabali ran second in the Blue Diamond. Both have yet to win a race, but they get their best chance here. Other runners with a good chance are Nordic Empire and Reigning Meteor who both have won in lesser grades in the past.
The weather is expected to be fine tomorrow, so the light should be good for photos and a bit of fresh air and sunshine will do me good as I take in the sights and watch some excellent races in the process.