The Sydney races at Randwick were cancelled last Saturday due to the extreme heat and will be run today (Monday) instead, so we’ll get to see Winx race in the Apollo Stakes at 5.40pm this afternoon.
In Melbourne the weekend weather was very pleasant, Saturday being a partly sunny day with a light breeze – perfect for an afternoon turfside.
As planned, I arrived at Caulfield in plenty of time for the first of the Blue Diamond Preludes and had time before the race to cruise through the stalls and check out who had arrived.
I’ve given up trying to take photos from the public lawn, the hedge is so high I can barely see over it to get a clear shot. So I spent most of the afternoon on the hill above the stalls area, which was remarkably uncrowded.
Soon enough the fillies were assembling for their Blue Diamond Prelude and Catchy started favourite with Limestone being the second pick.
The race ended with Catchy and Limestone fighting out the finish, Catchy winning by a nose. Arctic Angel finished third, 1.35 lengths behind the leading two.
Sydney colt Pariah was the starting favourite for the colts and geldings Blue Diamond Prelude, but he was outgunned by Property, who has now won the Blue Diamond Preview and Prelude double. Can he add the actual Blue Diamond Stakes to his wins? The last horse to do so was Sepoy in 2011. Wait For No One finished third.
Race 5 was the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes, run over 1200 metres, for three year old fillies.
Fuhryk, who I admit I had never heard of, started favourite and scored a good two length win over Oregon’s Day and Savanna Amour.
Chautauqua was the star attraction in Race 6, the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes where he started as top weight and warm favourite. However, he didn’t win, finishing third after leaving his run too late. Victory went to rank outsider Super Cash with I Am A Star running second. Chautauqua’s connections were left scratching their heads and came to the conclusion that he is looking for longer races these days. So they are going to try him over 1400 metres next.
Finally it was time for the feature event, the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes and a fine field had turned up for it. Black Heart Bart held narrow favouritism over Malaguerra at race start time and didn’t disappoint his supporters with a grand win, overtaking race leader Turn Me Loose close to the post and winning by a length. I was delighted to see Turn Me Loose show that he is back to the form that won him two Group 1 races in spring 2015 (Emirates Stakes) and autumn 2016 (Futurity Stakes). His main aim this autumn is to win the Futurity Stakes for a second time.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Ecuador ran third and Jameka and Palentino dead heated for fourth.
Calling it quits after the Orr Stakes I headed for the station and home having enjoyed another pleasant afternoon at the races.
Next week the Group 1 action is at Flemington with the feature race being the Black Caviar Lightning.
Just watched the running of the Apollo Stakes and Winx won like the champion she is, notching up her 14th win in succession. Go Winx!