Thursday, August 13, 2015

How will The Cleaner Scrub Up? Racing At Caulfield

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The Cleaner – Australian Cup Day Flemington 14 March 2015

This coming Saturday Caulfield Racing Club hosts a moderately interesting meeting, the feature race being the Group 2  PB Lawrence Stakes.

Also on the card are two Group 3 races for three year olds, Golden Rose or Guineas bound colts and geldings and fillies.  The Vain Stakes over 1100 metres is one for the colts and geldings. Unfortunately for Melbourne racegoers, the best colts in the land will be contesting the San Domenico Stakes in Sydney, so the line up for the Vain Stakes is less than inspiring, especially since Blue Diamond Prelude winner Of The Brave was a non acceptor due to illness.  The top pick now is Demonstrate who recently won at Moonee Valley. Star Planet, who finished a close second on that occasion, is also a good chance. Stoker, Gold Symphony and Top Me Up are the next best.

The Quezette Stakes, the fillies version of the Vain Stakes, has attracted a much classier field of contestants that includes unbeaten filly Petits Filous having her toughest test to date.  She will have to beat smart fillies like Jalan Jalan, Thurlow, Stream Ahead and SA filly Miss Gunpowder who is also unbeaten in two starts. The Quezette is in fact the most interesting race of the meeting. I’m fascinated to see if Petits Filous can rise to the occasion and further confirm her star potential.

Cult Tassie horse The Cleaner starts his Spring campaign in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes. He was last seen in Melbourne running in the Easter Cup where he finished 5th. His usual style of front running brought him undone on that occasion as he was swamped at the finish by back markers. Will there be a change of tactics this time?

The class runner in the race is in form Smokin’ Joey who won the Bletchingly Stakes in fine style at his last start. 

Mourinho also is worthy of consideration, as he’s won at Caulfield on two occasions and has beaten the likes of Dissident and Happy Trails in the past.

An interesting runner is the Darren Weir trained Taiyoo who won five races in succession over the autumn racing season and finished the season with a narrow second in the Adelaide Cup. He’s a versatile horse who has won races from 1200 metres to 2600 metres, though predominantly on good tracks.

Having his first start in Australia for the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig stable is former Hong Kong galloper Dibayani, an unknown quantity whose form looks OK considering the horses he has been placed against – Able Friend and Designs On Rome are the standouts.

The aforementioned Group 3 San Dominico Stakes sees the return of Golden Slipper winner Vancouver to the scene at Rosehill. He has yet to be beaten in four starts, so is expected to win this race despite a weight impost of 60kg. Trying to steal his glory will be the Chris Waller trained Japonisme who has won his last three races in lesser company, Headwater who won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes then finished third behind Vancouver in the Todman Stakes and fifth in the Golden Slipper and Haptic who has won two of his three starts. These are the main chances in what looks like a very interesting race.

At last the racing scene is looking brighter, with even better things to come with the first Group 1 of the season being only two weeks away.

Anyway, I’ll be there at Caulfield this Saturday to see the action, and to cheer on Petits Filous.

As there has been little rain this week, the track should be rated on the good side. And thankfully the weather is finally warming up after a bitter winter, so it will be pleasant to be outside, even if not sunny.

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