As anticipated it was a long day at Caulfield racecourse last Saturday, but worth the effort with the racing action being engaging and bright sunlight the order of the day.
My arrival at the track, a little after 1.30 pm, was in plenty of time for the first of the Blue Diamond Preludes, this being for colts and geldings and run over 1100 metres.
Jacquinot was the favourite, but missed out on running a place. 10/1 shot Lofty Strike with a burst of speed down the outside won the prize from Semillion, and Blue Diamond Preview winner Daumier ran third.
The fillies Blue Diamond Prelude was the next to run and impressive Blue Diamond Preview winner Miss Roseiano was the hot favourite. She raced on the speed second to race leader English Riviera, but after briefly taking the lead was pipped at the post by Revolutionary Miss, another long odds winner.
It certainly wasn’t a day for favourites as the result of Race 5, the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes, only went to prove when Argentia spoiled the party for Scorched Earth at odds of 8.5/1,
The next race, the Group 3 TS Carlyon Cup, was run over 1600 metres. It had an interesting field of contenders that included Spanish Mission who ran third in 2021 Melbourne Cup, as well as one time Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby who has been off the scene for a couple of years due to injury. All Star Mile aspirant Callsign Mav was also in the field.
French bred import Normandy Bridge started favourite, but as with the earlier results, he finished unplaced.
Callsign Mav and Earlswood ended up fighting out the finish with 14/1 shot Earlswood being the victor by a narrow margin. Spanish Mission finished third and Surprise Baby ran fourth.
After the Carlyon Cup had been run there was only one more race before the Orr Stakes to witness.
The afternoon had passed quite quickly and despite the intensity of the sunshine it wasn’t hard to find a cool shaded spot to sit for a bit between races.
The crowd was larger than the two previous meetings I had attended, and I was pleased to see my photographer friends Rebecca and George back at the track again.
The stalls area at Caulfield has changed considerably. It all looks bare and treeless and quite different to what was there before.
Race 7, the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes was next up. A sprint over 1100 metres, and for a change the favourite, Marine One, was successful this time and won by over a length from Oxley Road and Sword of Mercy.
Our favourite spot on the fence by this time was in the shade though the track was still bathed in sunlight, so it was more comfortable to watch the running of the Orr Stakes.
As mentioned before, Tofane took the lead from the start and was never threatened, going on to win by over a length from fellow mare Lighthouse with Cascadian running third.
Pretty boy Lightsaber missed the start and ended up finishing second last, however I was glad to get some nice photos of him as he travelled to the starting gates.
The wait for the last race, even if it meant a long afternoon at the track, was worth it to see wonderful New Zealand mare Probabeel win the Bellmaine Stakes for the second year in succession. She did it hard from the outside, carrying a top weight of 60kg, overtaking the leaders Mariamia and Flying Mascot to win at the last instant.
My trip home was uneventful though it was close to 7.00 pm when I finally got there.
Next Saturday I’m looking forward to going to Flemington for the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. It looks a doozy of a race with a top field of sprinters that include Nature Strip, who won the race last year.