Author Archives: brisburghphil

Perth Cup 2023

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all on Twitter and particularly those that follow my ramblings and Blog Posts (not too sure how many are left!). This race takes place on Sunday and has tweaked my interest.

A couple of historical pointers and horses who fit the profile, along with a minor discussion of the likely speed in the race;

  1. The Cerise and White of owner Bob Peters have won 8 of the past 12 editions which is an amazing stat. It’s been a fairly miserable carnival thus far for the Leviathan owner but how good do those figures look for the back to form TRULY INSPIRED? He was ridden very quietly to win last Saturday with a Tongue Tie added. He had overraced the start prior when he failed, ridden a lot closer. His racing pattern and breeding suggest he will stay the distance no problem.
  2. Mares have a very good record in the race winning 5 of the past 11 editions. PURE DEVOTION represents the fairer sex this year.
  3. 20 of the last 21 winners have carried less than 56kg to win. Eight of those have won with 53kg or less. I doubt that is very significant this year with 14 of the 16 runners on the 53kg minimum. It possibly dents the confidence a little with last start impressive winner BUSTER BASH, but his connections will probably be relieved that Marocchino isn’t taking his place in the field. That will mean less speed in the race and more of chance for him to relax up on the pace. The tempo of the race should be faster than average as he still has Trap For Fools and Cockney Crew to deal with up front, but he did handle both of those horses very comfortably last start, sitting off both.

ALASKAN GOD is the current favourite for the race and I think he is a false one. I’ve been against him this preparation after studying his times in the Melvista (Derby lead up), and the WA Derby earlier this year. He was impressive in both, but on times he was vastly inferior to the likes of Regal Power who won both in 2019. Home in 37.43 for the last 600m of that 2021 Derby? The positive for him here is that he has been deliberately set for the race and wouldn’t have been suited backing up last start. Notably all his wins are from barrier inside 6 so perhaps he needs cover and his chances hinge on how well he is ridden. It’s hardly a vintage Perth Cup and we know he runs the 2400m right out. I just can’t have him at under $5.50 with his current quote around $4. Twenty one days between runs here might be beneficial but all bar one of his wins have been with a week less hiatus (other was first up).


Given the speed up front this year you would expect that every horse will get it’s chance in the race, providing they can get some cover if drawn wide. A few of the leading market hope have drawn out a bit whereas the three likely leaders, COCKNEY CREW, TRAP FOR FOOLS, and BUSTER BASH have all drawn inside. That is a big bonus for them as they won’t have to work to find the lead. Buster Bash will probably take the sit behind the other two as he did last start. He looks suited with that same scenario unfolding given the ease of his win last start.


TRAP FOR FOOLS- Impossible to pick him on form and he will have other company up front from horses who do have better form. Winkers On could be a positive but hard to quantify what effect they will have.

BUSTER BASH- Is very hard to knock with the barrier probably negating his historically difficult weight. He likes his runs spaced a bit and his form has been faultless excepting the Railway Stakes where he came back in distance 200m.. They weren’t really making ground on him last start late which augurs well for his first crack at 2400m in a very even field. He is one of only a couple here to have a public trial which was a solid test when winning over 1450m at Lark Hill.

ALASKAN GOD- As already mentioned I’m not that keen on him although he does have a couple of things in his favour. Unfortunately the barrier isn’t one of them so i’m even keener to work around him. Maybe the jockey change will prove a positive though. The extra two weeks between runs is probably suitable for him and has given his trainer a bit more time to get him to find his best form.

BAD WOLF- Struggling against most of these recently and the barrier probably seals his fate being a horse who sits just behind the pace.

COCKNEY CREW- Second to Buster Bash and he did give weight to Truly Inspired last start. Not really going well enough on paper but if he ever repeated his second to Regal Power in the WA Derby he would be winning this. He has a couple of gear changes and the one that really interests me is the Norton Bit going on. That gear change came to the fore during the Spring with two Waller stayers Durston and Francesco Guardi finding a few lengths with it’s application. That’s what he needs here. $20 plus to find out.

COME RIGHT BACK- Average stayer but I’ve liked his past two runs where he has had little luck. The trouble is his luck looks out here too having drawn very wide. Had he drawn inside I could make a strong case. Pretty sure he was $91 the other day so somebody has backed him.

DOM TO SHOOT- Looks very well weighted here off his past two efforts at WFA and you’d swear he would run this trip looking at this finishing effort last start. His only other run beyond 2000m wasn’t good though so I’m in two minds His barrier is a little awkward as he isn’t an on pacer and I’m not sure they will want to go right back in the field. $14 looks pretty good odds if he can find some cover which he will almost certainly need. From memory he was pretty lucky to have avoided injury two weeks ago when that ill fated mare fell in front of him. A change of jockey and the extra two weeks now have me thinking around him.

HOLY ENCHANTMENT- He gave Queen Alina 5kg last start and battled on okay after being exposed too early in the race. His only run beyond 2000m produced a grinding win in slow time which might not have suited him. He does boast a second to Western Empire in receipt of two kilos. Conversely he got nowhere near Dom To Shoot with 5kg less two starts ago. He did come back in distance there though and it’s interesting to note his first up run was over 1800m this time in That suggests to me that the stable think he needs this distance this preparation. His draw looks economical enough and his price is way too long in my opinion. I might be wrong but I think the trainer is the same person who rode King Of Saxony to win this race in 1999, first up off a 12 month break for his Grandfather (or father). This is an even more unusual preparation now but this race has always been the plan and it’s starting to look a tiny bit like De Javu. Trained on a long stretch of beach at Port Kennedy where they can pour the work into him?

NEUFBOSC- Another horse that is weighted to win and his form looks good enough leading in with the drop in weight. He won this race two years ago (hasn’t won since) but failed last year albeit with 55.5kg. He did back up off 7 days to win in 2020 but failed off 15 days last year. In 2020 he also won another race in that preparation backing up. He is 2-1/4 given that scenario. The negative is he is only 1/17 when drawn beyond barrier 6. A good ride however clearly suggests he can be competitive. His odds are about right. Two weeks more between runs for him now has me thinking his chances are not as solid. But he is fit and well weighted.

PLATOON- He ran third in this race last year but he came off a better lead up run and he hardly ever wins. Stephen Parnham has been riding him for his father but has elected to go with Holy Enchantment which isn’t overly surprising with Brad Parnham sticking with stablemate Neufbosc. Drawn well and he hasn’t done so this preparation.

PURE DEVOTION- Oaks placed at this distance and she was a decent fourth in this race last year beaten less than two lengths. She had been very disappointing this preparation but the Blinkers went back on last start (first time this prep) and she had absolutely no luck behind her stablemate Truly Inspired. She has never won beyond fourth up and she is fifth up for this race. You have to respect the ownership/stable in this race, and she wasn’t tested late last start so she comes into this race with a bit of unspent energy. And she meets her stablemate 1kg better. He price seems overs to me given that she is really the only midfield/backmarker type horse that has drawn well (excepting Holy Enchantment and Stafford’s Lad.

STAFFORD’S LAD- Chris Parnham is convinced he’s a chance and stipulates he just needs a fast run race. According to him the horse was a bit unlucky not to win last year so one can only assume that the pace wasn’t fast enough. This race should provide the necessary tempo. He was a bit unlucky last start but still needs to lift on what he has been doing of late. 0-0-0/3 at 2400m doesn’t get me too excited but he has drawn well and did win a race at Kalgoorlie last preparation from up on the pace when he drew inside. That gives the jockey options here but not sure he want to be chasing too close to the pace in this.

TRULY INSPIRED- The Bob Peters owned full brother to the ill fated Truly Great ( unlucky runner up in 2020) returned to form last start ridden a bit quieter with a Tongue Tie added. He is a horse on the up but you’d hardly call him well weighted in this, with Utgard Loki from their last start meeting him 3kg better for a narrow defeat, and Neufbosc 5kg better off for his half length defeat. I don’t doubt him at all at the distance (half sister won an Oaks @ $61) and the colours are well and truly due for a big race win this carnival. He has drawn okay but will settle way back anyway. A Norton Bit going on really has me interested. As mentioned with Cockney Crew that is the same gear that was applied successfully to both Durston and Francesco Guardi during the Spring. The two week break for him could be advantageous as the backup might have been a tiny query and he is still a horse on the up.

UTGARD LOKI- He ran really well last start behind Truly Inspired with 3kg more weight. He has drawn horribly though, and 2400m looks to be his outer limit.

MYSTERY ISLAND- Adds a bit more interest to this race after his win two weeks ago after the Perth Cup mishap. The key may have been riding him back in the field and the wide barrier today probably necessitates the same happening. His overall time was probably similar to what he ran when beaten behind Truly Inspired the week prior but his last 600m was way inferior. That probably indicated he was a beneficiary of a fast pace, which admittedly he will get today. Is he as good as some others though?

Summing up;

This race has way too many realistic chances to be confident and the market more or less indicates that. I’ve agonised over a selection but have come up with TRULY INSPIRED with that gear change and despite the jockey change (Fred Kersley has ridden here), and not being particularly well weighted. PURE DEVOTION looks great historically, and value wise. Unlike a few others in the race you know she should get an economical run, and if the gaps come she will get her chance. Looking at the replay of last year she drew barrier 5 but somehow ended up three wide at the 1000m mark and was a bit exposed. Then she ran into a traffic jam at the top of the straight. By the time she was truly clear her stablemate had pinched a few lengths on her. Like that winner Midnight Blue she can go one better this year. He was third the previous year beaten 4.4L. HOLY ENCHANTMENT looks a knockout hope at a big price if he can peak, and his barrier is better than many others. BUSTER BASH looks to be ticking over quite nicely off that trial and he should get the first crack at the leaders. They are my top four in that order but this is a very tough race to predict especially given the two week delay.


Winterbottom Stakes 2022

Below are the last 14 winners of this race (with their Age. Gender and Barrier Draw) which became a Group one race in 2011. Prior to 2006 there were some very notable winners though and many of us who have been around a while will remember the likes of Marasco, Miss Andretti and Ellicorsam, all of whom were prolific winners and did come East and taste success subsequently.

2021 GRACEFUL GIRL 4M (16)

2020 ELITE STREET 4G (12)

2019 HEY DOC 6G (13)

2018 VOODOO LAD 7G (13)

2017 VIDDORA 5M (7)

2016 TAKEDOWN 4G (8)

2015 BUFFERING 8G (8)

2014 MAGNIFISIO 5M (10)

2013 BUFFERING 6G (8)

2012 BARAKEY 5G (9)

2011 ORTENSIA 6M (2)


2009 ORTENSIA 4M (5)


2007 GLORY HUNTER 5G (6)

  1. 9 of the past 14 have drawn barriers 7-13 and only one horse has won inside barrier 8 in the past Eleven years. Three of the past four winners have drawn 12-13.
  2. Five of the last Nine winners sat first or second in the run, and one other was further forward than midfield (Magnifisio).
  3. Seven of the last Fiftenn winners (50%) have been aged six or over,and three of those have been eight and nine year olds Ten of the twelve have been aged five or over. That is quite an odd statistic for a Group one sprint.
  4. Seven of the past Fifteen editions have been won by an Eastern States galloper.
  5. Seven of last Eightenn have been won by a Mare or Filly (Female). Celebrity Queen went close two years ago and perhaps was a little unlucky. Only one has been aged over five and that was dual winner Ortnensia in 2011.

This has also been quite a good race for long shots or at least those at double figure odds particularly when there hasn’t been a high class and obvious Eastern States sprinter. The last four winners have started $31, $13, $13 and $9. With the 2010 winner Hadabeclorka going around at at least $41 ( I got way better than that from memory). Takedown started at $9 along with Glory Hunter, and the mare Magnifisio was victorious at $7.50. So perhaps value is the way to go this year too?


There does look to be a mountain of speed this year. Indian Pacific went like last weeks pay last start (setting up a very fast time) , and he will need to cross from a wide barrier. Red Can Man similarly after tracking that same horse in the Colonel Reeves lead up. Snipparoochy has barrier one, is a leader, and will want to take advantage of that draw. Massimo led last start in a fast run 1400m race. He comes back to 1200m here but will be on pace you’d suspect. The Astrologist has barrier 3 and will be on pace Rothfire is speedy and has barrier 3. He maps to get the run of the race. This’ll Testya is also an on pacer but she won’t lead and should track the on pacers similarly to last start. I’m looking for a horse to come from midfield or rearwards to win. BUT we need to see a track not favouring on pacers, or those nearest the rail.


I’m not going to go into great depth in analysing every runner. Given the excellent record of the fairer sex historically I’m just going to analyse that brigade in this edition which does look to be very open and perhaps a little down on quality this year. The scratching of Vilana hasn’t helped that cause.

12. KISSONALFORCHEEKS– This five year old mare represents great value. Back to her home state in her old stable (stablemate of Elite Street) on a drier surface should suit as should the freshen up. Her form behind Chain Of Lightning (started favourite in a Golden Eagle) conceding weight to that mare looks good enough. And back in February she gave This’ll Testya 6.5kg in a 1200m race here and was beaten less than a length and a half in an eyecatching run. Not sure she is a true miler with her sweet spot being 1400-1500m. The speed here should suit and the barrier probably doesn’t influence her chances at all. She will get back and power home and it’s just a matter of whether the 1200m is too short or not. She could have gone on a Winterbottom Stakes path last year but connections opted for a Railway Stakes campaign instead.

13. MISS CONTEKI– Was seemingly undone by the leader bias last start when she couldn’t get near This’ll Testya on the day. She profiles similarly to Graceful Girl last year but is her electrifying acceleration nullified at 1200m. She has ten wins at 1000-1100m ( 8 of those at 1000m) and her only win at 1200m wasn’t a big margin win against weaker class. Nevertheless the stable has faith and she looks the best selection historically at face value. Her barrier and speed of the race should suit in reality, providing she has the stamina to survive a very solid 1200m test.

14. THIS’LL TESTYA– She isn’t as well weighted today as she was in the Colonel Reeves and the track bias supposedly suited there. She was wide for most of that race though and just continued on her form form her previous two starts of this preparation. She was wide first up and Miss Conteki got a dream rails run to beat her. Second up she was wide again but game in defeat. Back to that last start win where the time was very, very hot. She ran 1.02.81 whereas in the same race last year Elite Street was half a second slower. And there is no doubt in my mind the track last year was considerably faster. No wonder they couldn’t get near her and they weren’t making any impression on her at the finish. 1200m looks an issue but she is in career best form and has that win over KOAFC at the distance back in February. She is 3/8 for the trainer and maybe Lucy Warwick has the key to her (2-1/3). She can put in a shocker of a run and hopefully she didn’t peak last start. There is no reason to suggest she can’t go on with it her given that she has been very good in all three runs this time in. From Barrier 9 she should get the right sort of run.

SNIPPAROOCHY- In form mare who should lead from barrier 1. She is a bit hard to line up here winning more obscure races. The best I can do is compare her time over 1000m two starts ago which was inferior to Miss Conteki by 0.58 of a second with 2kg more. I guess that puts her in contention here but she is going to have to survive a fierce pace duel in her acid test. She is the one that won’t have to work from out wide though and any leader track bias is going to help. Hard to knock a mare who has won 8/17 and is 6-1/9 at the distance. Importantly she is backing up and has won in that circumstance.

MY BELLA MAE- She is the most interesting runner in the race having had only the three starts for three wins. Whilst her time pales a little in comparison to TT last start (albeit different distance) she did beat the 1200m time of older horse Hot Zed on the day, and she did similar at her previous start also. She is clearly above average and they had to pay a 33K entry to run today. She also drops 3kg and should enjoy her barrier and the way the race is run (sits off pace) in theory. The three year olds are going well in Perth and Giga Kick won the Everest as a three year old with only four starts to his name. That was probably a harder test than she faces here, and she has won at 1200m twice whereas GK hadn’t won past 1100m and had to change states, and racing direction. Can she handle this high pressure speed against older horses though?

Hard to know which way to go here. All of these mares represent decent value but I’ll go with KISSONALLFORCHEEKS who will get back and hopefully finish hard late off a fast speed. I had the thought last year she could have contested the Winterbottom and could have won it. I don’t mind the fact she comes into this race as in ‘interstater’ of sorts. MY BELLA MAE is intriguing but might have to hold off a hard finisher late. THIS’LL TESTYA might at least have the locals covered off that time last start. I’ll go with those three in order.

Ascot Railway Stakes day 19/11

I thought I’d have a go at this card (excepting R1 & 2) although I haven’t spent a lot of time on some of these races;

R3 FLYING MISSILE has a touch of class and should get back to midfield with enormous speed in the race. Not a race I would like to get too involved in though. Pike on a dual first up winner with Blinkers on first time Materal Witness is interesting.

R4 WRITTEN MATTER hasn’t won at 1400m but his two runs this preparation have been huge. He should have won first up but really put the writing on the wall after a wide run. Second up he had to work hard from a wide barrier to lead and just kept going. Hopefully he gets a softer time of it today and the good barrier is going to help.

R5 ANGELIC MISS won three of four races at this time last year. She has a win over Snipparoochy too giving her 5kg. Today she concedes 3.5kg to that mare. She looks a good value chance here with the 3yo filly Baby Paris challenging for favoritism. Not even sure she can beat Snipparoochy on times though with both dropping in weight significantly today.

R6 IT’SARAYDAY might be the value runner having had no luck at all his past two starts. He is 1/1 at the distance and he draws a better barrier today with a fully fledged jockey on rather than an apprentice. Let’s Galahvant is one who keeps running good races and also seems significant value here from a good barrier.

R7 BUSTLER is 4/4 and I’m in his camp today. I was hoping All The King’s Men was going to hold him off last start but he dug deep and is probably suited at a mile more than that horse. The filly Amelia’s Jewel is very short in betting and I’m not sure she has come back the same horse as she was in her first preparation. The mile is a query for all of them and she is no exception.

R8 See Preview but I have IRONCLAD on top and it appears the track will be okay for him now. Also for Karli’s who I really want to see win.

R9- MR DELEGATOR appeals to me third up with his 5/9 at this distance and he has won 5 races with 15-21 days between runs. That is the type of break between runs he has today. Not much else to get too excited about in this race. A bit of give in the track looks perfect for him too.

Good punting.

Railway Stakes 2022

Below are the last Nineteen winners of this excellent mile race which is always one of my favourites on the Australian calendar. Hence the preview, which is always a tough ask!

2021 WESTERN EMPIRE (3) 53kg


2019 REGAL POWER (13) 53kg

2018 GALAXY STAR 6M (2) 53kg

2017 GREAT SHOT 5G (8) 53.5kg

2016 SCALES OF JUSTICE 4G (8) 53kg

2015 GOOD PROJECT 4H (11) 53kg

2014 ELITE BELLE 6M (12) 53.5kg

2013 LUCKYGRAY 6G (12) 58kg

2012 MR MOET 5G  (4) 53.5KG

2011 LUCKYGRAY 4G (12) 53KG

2010 GATHERING 4G (6) 52KG

2009 SNIPER’S BULLET 6G (12) 56.5KG

2008 GILDED VENOM 4G (9) 52KG

2007 EL PRESIDENTE 4G (4) 55.5KG

2006 BELLE BIZARRE 5M (6) 54KG

2005 COVERTLY 4M (2) 51KG

2004 MODEM 6G (7) 55KG

2003 HARDRADA 4G (13) 54KG (Race staged at Belmont).

2002 OLD FASHION 5G (1) 54.5KG

2001 OLD COMRADE 4G (8) 53.5KG

2000 NORTHERLY 4G (12) 51KG

These are the most pertinent historical statistics;

  1. 16/20 have carried less than 55.5kg to win, and 16/18 carried less than 56.5kg. 2007 winner El Presidente carried 55.5kg but was only 0.5kg over the minimum that year. 9 of the last 10 winners have carried 53.5kg or less. The only one not too was the dual winner Luckygray in 2011 and 2013, He had also run second in 2012 carrying 58kg.Eleven of the last Twelve winners have carried 53.5kg or less to win.
  2. 18/20 dropped in weight from their prior start, and 16/18 didn’t rise in weight. The average weight drop over this period is roughly 3kg. No horse has won rising more than 1kg off it’s last start
  3. 15/20 have been either 4 or 5 years of age, and only 2 horses have won beyond 6 years of age since 1989. 4yo’s have won 11 of the last 22, and 18 of the past 41.
  4. The Lee Steere Classic and RJ Peters Stakes have produced 13 of the past 20 winners. Of the others- Mr Moet was first up. Sniper’s Bullet, Gathering and Good Project came via Melbourne through albeit different races, and Luckgray, Galaxy Star, Regal Power, Ispirational Girl and Western Empire came through the Asian Beau Stakes so it’s four winners in a row coming out of that race with the same trainer/Owner.
  5. 18/20 placed in the first 4 at their prior start, and all bar one of those has been a WA galloper. 30 winners since 1985 finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd at their prior start. Stick with an in form galloper!  2 of the 3 Eastern States winners in recent times were well beaten at their previous start (Sniper’s Bullet & Gathering)
  6. 13/19 have won from barriers 1-9, and 19/20 from barriers 1-13. Oddly six of the past Fourteen winners have come out of barrier 11,12, and 13 (four from barrier 12) as did Northerly in 2000. Providing the horse has the early pace to get across to lead, or be on the pace early a wide barrier is no disadvantage, the perfect example being Good Project winning in 2015. Either that or your horse needs to drop out to the tail early (Luckygray twice, and Elite Belle). Caught midfield off a wide barrier here is almost always fatal, and getting the speed map right for this race is crucial
  7. 4 of the past 20  winners had run in this race in one of the past two years. 3 of those had been runner up.
  8. 7of the past 10 winners have come from a midfield or worse position to win, which is a total reversal for this race which was largely dominated by on pace horses (or those sitting on pace to midfield) in the decade prior.
  9. 18/20 had raced in Perth at some stage before winning. Gathering in 2010, and Good Project in 2015 are the only one’s not to have done so. Gathering got a soft lead off a very suitable (for him) 27 day break leading in, and GP also raced right on the pace.
  10. Only 3 Stallions had won the race in the past 29 years. Good Project broke the drought in 2015, with the previous being Island Morn in 1994.
  11. Average winning price is around $9 and that is consistent with results over more than a 20 year period.
  12. Only 5 mares have won in the past 20 years, and allhave been aged  5 to  6. The positive is that four have won in the past eight editions, from the same stable and owned by Bob Peters (famous pink and white).
  13. 3 of the past 17 winners  have come from the Eastern States. All have been Sydney trained, and came out of a last start Spring carnival run in Melbourne. And all have been on pace runners.

Summing up the ideal historical candidate would be;4 to 6 years of age, B) finished in the first 4 placings last start, C) Carrying less than 55.5kg and preferably less than 53.5kg  D) Coming from a barrier no wider than 13, E) had alead up run in the Lee Steere, RJ Peters or Asian Beau (more recently) and F) be dropping in weight preferably 2.5kg or more. G) Preferably be a Gelding or Mare. Finding one with all these pre requisites at close to or at a double figure quote would be ideal.

RESORTMAN– He is having his eighth run in a fruitful preparation but he is yet to race past 1400m which is a little bit odd. He ran on resolutely late in the Lee Steere but meets Karli’s Karma 2kg worse for that effort. 57kg and first run at a mile has me risking him (none of his siblings have won beyond 1400m) and I’m not sure the inside barrier is much of an advantage to him. He goes well on any surface though so a wet track is no problem for him.

YONKERS– He is a good traveller with his interstate sojourns reaping 4 wins and 4 placings from 13 races. When you consider four of those defeats were on unsuitable Heavy tracks it’s no surprise to see him in Perth contesting this event. Last start he was only a length or so behind Hezashocka who then went on to run a super second to Zaaki in the Mackinnon. That formline says he is definitely good enough to win this race and he looks quite well in at the weights. He also ran third to Numerian in Brisbane and that horse was just over a length away in the Caulfield Cup recently. Back to a mile here is unprecedented for him in a preparation (has won 20000m-1800m two years ago) but trainer Chris Waller has a good record in this race. The barrier draw did look a worry for him but now that the track is rain affected it ‘s probably not such an issue. He doesn’t like Heavy going but his last win was on a Soft 6 and he was good two starts ago on a Soft 7. His price does look overs in what might be a weakish edition.

GOD HAS CHOSEN- He looks to be really struggling for form and the wide barrier makes it nearly impossible for him against this lineup. He does handle any type of surface though.

KAPTAIN KAOS– Another local that is struggling for form rihgtnow but he has drawn well, Blinkers go on first time, and he is 3/4 third up. Seems harshly weighted against some of these but he will run the distance. The wet track is probably a bonus for him.

MAROCCHINO– In winning form and one of the likely leaders who has drawn a bit wide. Interesting that Willie Pike had ridden four times for four wins and Chris Parnham is two from two aboard. Jason Whiting has ridden him Twenty Five times for one win! At least he knows the horse well I guess. Might give a bit of cheek up front but his form seems best when his runs aren’t so spaced. A wet track looks beneficial given his 4/11 record.

COMFORT ME- Placed in this race last year but doesn’t seen to be in the same form this time around. Horribly drawn so it’s hard to see him figuring at all.

ALASKAN GOD– He was the star three year old in the Autumn and comes in as favourite. I have to say I have a query on him from the wide barrier in this class. As good a lead in race as the Asian Beau has been in recent years, I’m not quite sure the race is as good a guide this year. A couple in the race were unlucky in a blanket finish, namely Devoted and Searchin’ Rocs. The former is an emergency here and the latter fell in last week in the RJ Peters with Devoted an unlucky third. He profiles very similarly to Regal Power who won this in 2020. Looking back at his Derby and Melvista wins that year RP ran over a second quicker in both (similar track ratings) than AG and RP’s last 600m in the Derby was 1.5 seconds quicker. Potentially he is probably the best horse in the race but it’s so hard to win from where he is drawn, and there are enough negatives for me to work around him. The distance is another being probably short of his best and he is an unknow on wet ground (Siblings no good on it).

BUSTER BASH– Hard fit and a likely leader who is facing his acid test. He won his last start from a similar barrier. You can make some sort of a case for him given he beat a horse called Crescent City two starts back conceding him 4kg. CC beat home Karli’s Karma last preparation at level weights. His career win read 8/20 but he hasn’t from from 8 starts first and second up. Otherwise he is 8-3/12 which is quite a revelation. Backing up off seven days he is 1/1. He has a fitness edge on quite a few horses here and will give some cheek up front with this weight dropping 2.5kg.

IRONCLAD– Interstate visitor who looks up to winning this. When drawn in the first half of the field he has won his last four start. Seven of his last Eleven runs have been from barriers in the second half of the field and he hasn’t won any of them. Last week appears to be a decent barrier trial for this when he had no chance from tailed off last, but he ran on well. The trainer says he is a confidence horse and thinks he is doing well enough in that department to have a crack here. The query is the seven day backup and a very wet track. He gets through wet going but is more effective on dry it seems. He has drawn to advantage, and I think that will enable him to sit just behind the leaders which is his best racing pattern and suited to this race. He does seem outstanding value at better than double figures.

KARLI’S KARMA– I’m biased here because she is my favourite horse out west. Particularly after she won first up eariler this year as the 20-1 outsider in a seven horse field. Her form plateaued a bit toward the end of that preparation but since joining the Sumner Dickson stable she has found quite a few lengths. Last start she probably needed the run off a months break (missed a run in the Asian Beau as an emergency), yet she nearly ran down the leader late, probably peaking on her run off that break. The time was superior to the Asian Beau (though different days) and Notorious One confirms that to be true I feel. He was unlucky in that race when beaten less than two lengths, but he couldn’t get within five lengths of KK in the Lee Steere. She should be better served fitness wise for the Lee Steere but the query is the last 100m of a mile. She maps beautifully in this race so if she runs the distance out she can definitely win. Doing that now on a wettish track seems more unlikely. Her two runs on wet tracks haven’t been good enough BUT she is a better horse now and the track might dry out enough for her.

LAST OF THE LINE– He is a horse with a lot of ability and he can reverse the result form last week against Searchin’ Rocs with a 5kg weight swing. He was horrendously weighted last week but ran as well as could be expected albeit suited by the pattern of the day. His wide barrier is a massive problem here though and a wet track doesn’t look his forte.

NOTORIOUS ONE– Enigmatic galloper who was well beaten in this race last year, although only two and half lengths behind the runner up. The stable is adamant he is going better than this time last year though and the Blinkers go on. Given that scenario he is 2-1/3 when applied/reapplied in the past. A wet track is almost certainly a bonus too, and the barrier definitely is. If Alaskan God and TOTT are mid $4 chances then how is he going around at $71? There doesn’t look to be anything between them going on the runs in the Asian Beau.

SEARCHIN’ ROC’S– She was unlucky in the Asian Beau and made amends last week in the RJ Peters when given a peach of a ride on a biased track. You can only win though and she has great wet track stats and the mile distance is favourable. from inside barriers (1-6) she is 6-1/8. From wider than barrier 6 she is 1-1/6 so the gods have smiled on her again this week as was the case seven days ago. This is her first go on a seven day backup and if the inside isn’t ‘off” she should give herself every chance of winning. $11 is good value.

STARTRADE- He has been a revelation this preparation and particularly last start. He hasn’t won here from three starts and hasn’t won beyond 1400m. And does that last start say more about the opposition than anything else? He has drawn well though and handles any going. And he is hard fit. Going around at $35 and has form comparable to the two favourites.

TREASURED STAR– WA Guineas winner and that is good form for this. Also the Cerise and White have won this the past four years with William Pike aboard out of the same lead up race. On that factor alone she looks the winner but the barrier may have cruelled her chances. And she did only ‘fall in’ last start when things were in her favour, in what could be a suspect form race. She is possibly a query on a wet track also.

TRIX OF THE TRADE– He looks the logical favourite in the race given his current form strike rate, good barrier, and right lead up race. Historically he looks a ‘lock’ and his form on wet tracks is superior to most of this field, although he doesn’t necessarily prefer it. Again though I’m just querying the Asian Beau form a little in respect to value. He has the one win at 1600m and some decent form beyond it, but is a mile his best distance, or is 1400m better? He looks a very good chance but I’m going to risk him at the price.

Summing up;

Gee this tough now. With the wet track I’m not quite sure which way to go but I know I’ll be cheering Karli’s Karma for Summer Dickson and my early investment. Logically, analytically, and value wise I’m choosing around her though. The local form could be a little suspect so perhaps the two interstate horses get their chance. Those barrier stats swing me to the Victorian IRONCLAD and I just hope he handles the travel, wet track, and the backup. Better than double figures is good enough value for me. YONKERS probably won’t get a better opportunity to win a G1 race and his price is also generous. There are many other chances worth a mention, but the two at massive odds nobody is giving a chance too are Buster Bash and Notorious One. Searchin’ Roc’s looks good value in comparison to the two favourites.

Derby Day 2022

Have to have a go today and hopefully one or two of these come up trumps. Good prices as you would expect on a day with such depth.

Flemington R6 NETTUNO was very good in a jumpout recently at Flemington and he comes here off a Randwick Heavy track failure which can be totally forgiven because so many horses don’t seem to handle it at all. $27 gets me in.

R8 SHE’SLICKETYSPLIT– Ran very similar time to the older mares last start on the same day and distance. Pre race the trainer mentioned this race and wasn’t going to be perturbed even if she didn’t win the Thousand Guineas. He did mention she would be better suited to the bigger track at Flemington. Here she is dropping 7kg but against another gun female from NZ (La Crique). The price difference is stark though so I’m keen to take he on first start across the Tasman. Improving track (at this stage is a bonus) as is the $8.50-$9 price. I have also made mention of KIKU on Twitter who comes into that Randwick Heavy track failure system. Worth a flutter at $27 or so.

Randwick R7- PRIVATE EYE is getting out to a silly price now. I think the reason for that is this race being at Rosehill and not Randwick. But it has won here on a dry track at 1350m. Two failures have been on wet tracks which isn’t ideal for him. The other was in the Golden Eagle this day last year when he was trapped hopelessly wide the whole race and was beaten less than four lengths. He was super last start in The Everest on a least favoured surface and the start prior he was outstanding down the straight at Flemington. His time there was better than any time Nature Strip has posted at 1200m there.

GYPSY GODDESS is 2/2 first up and 5/5 on dry tracks (thanks to @Trev781 for that) and has a touch of class. The fact she has drawn well is obviously a bonus. This is such a tough race though and I’m also on the import WELWAL (super value with hie El Bodegon/Ornesto/Vedani form) and the Waller mare FANGIRL who hates the Randwick Heavy and returns to a more suitable dry track today. I could name another eight horses I like but I just thought the stats for GG had to be pointed out.

Ascot R8 LAST OF THE LINE comes into this race second up and is 3/3 given that scenario. The stable have had a big opinion of him for a while and he hasn’t delivered yet. Today might be the day for him because the two favourites have drawn very wide and so have a couple of others. I have backed TRIX OF THE TRADE also, It’s win first up was incredible. It’s very hard to win at this track from where he is drawn though. $10 is really good value for him if he can take advantage of that barrier.

Caulfield Guineas 2022

Saturday sees the running of the 2021 Caulfield Guineas a Group 1 set weights race for three year olds. First run in 1881 it has an amazing honour roll of winners that includes the likes of Surround, Luskin Star, Manikato, Red Anchor, Mahogany, Redoute’s Choice, Lonhro and  Weekend Hussler. In this preview I am primarily looking at the last Twenty winners back to 2001 in the quest to help us find the winner of this years edition. Below are the those horses with their barrier draw, lead up run, jockey and starting price;

2021 ANAMOE (13) 2nd Golden Rose D.Oliver $2.10

2020 OLE KIRK (7) 1st Golden Rose- Rosehill W.Pike $4.20

2019 SUPER SETH (4) 5th Guineas Prelude Caulfield M.Zahra $7.50

2018 THE AUTUMN SUN (5) 1st Golden Rose 1400m Rosehill J.Macdonald $1.73

2017 MIGHTY BOSS (5) 4th Stutt Stakes M/Valley 1600m M.Walker $101.00

2016 DIVINE PROPHET (1) Second Stan Fox Stakes Rosehill 1500m D.Dunn $7.00

2015 PRESS STATEMENT (14) First Stan Fox Stakes Rosehill 1500m H.Bowman $2.50

2014 SHOOTING TO WIN (8) First Stan Fox Stakes Rosehill  1500m J.Mcdonald $7.50

2013 LONG JOHN (1) Third (0.9L)Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m K.McEvoy $3.75

2012 ALL TOO HARD (3) Fourth 3L George Main Stakes Randwick 1600m D.Dunn $12

2011 HELMET (5) First Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m K.McEvoy $2.10

2010 ANACHEEVA (1) First Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m L.Nolen $6

2009 STARSPANGLEDBANNER (1) Fourth (0.6L) Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m D.Nikolic $13

2008 WHOBEGOTYOU (11) First Bill Stutt Stakes M/Valley 1600m M.Rodd $3

2007 WEEKEND HUSSLER (4) First Sandown 3yo Open 1400m B.Rawiller $1.90

2006 WONDERFUL WORLD (8) First Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m L.Nolen $6.50

2005 GOD’S OWN (12) Second (0.1L) Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m G.Boss $7.50

2004 ECONSUL (4) Sixth (3L) Stan Fox StakesWarwick Farm 1400m C.Munce $41

2003 IN TOP SWING (4) Second (2L) Guineas Prelude Caulfield 1400m N.Callow $21

2002 HELENUS (7) First Bill Stutt Stakes M/Valley 1600m S.King $4.25

2001 LONHRO (10) First Stan Fox Stakes Randwick 1400m D.Gauci $7

Pertinent statistics;

A) 16/21 drew barriers 1-8. Looking back to 1995 those same barriers have provided 29 of the last 35 winners (82%) so it is advantageous to draw favourably in this race. 12 of the last 18  winners have drawn barriers 1-5 which is a 66 % winning ratio. 4 of the last 9 winners have drawn barrier 1 and. 8 of the last 11 winners have drawn 1 or 5, quite a statistic

B) 8/21 ran in Guineas Prelude prior and one other (Helenus) ran a close third in the Guineas Prelude before winning the Stutt Stakes prior to this race.  5/16 came out of the Stan Fox Stakes in Sydney including 3 of the past 5  winners. The programming for that race was changed last year though to be 5 weeks prior to the Caulfield Guineas, hardly ideal from a historical perspective,

C) 20 of 21winners had less than a sixteen day break between runs.

D) 11 of 21 won their last start, and a further 8 finished in the first 4 placings last start. 19/20 finished within three lengths of the winner. Super Seth the odd one out.

E) 7 of 21  won their last start by more than 2 lengths

F) 11 of 21 were in the first four horses turning for home. Those that have come from well back in the field have generally had a class edge (Whobegotyou, Helenus, Anamoe) or produced a freakish effort to win (Lonhro, God’s Own, Super Seth). Divine Prophet was close enough to the leaders when he won, and got a great rails run. Mighty Boss the big roughie also got a dream rails run.

G) 13 of 21 started their Caulfield Guineas preparation in Sydney

H) 16 of last 20 winners had 3 starts or more in their current preparation prior to winning this race. The Autumn Sun two years ago did not, but he was a class above the rest and started odds on. Ole Kirk didn’t either but he also won the Golden Rose prior.

I) .7 of last 11  winners came via Sydney from a distance ranging from  1400m-1600m.

J) 4 of the last 8 winners (and 5 of last 9 have come out of a race at a distance of more than 1400m.

K) The better performed Autumn 2yo’s from the Golden Slipper or Blue Diamond don’t tend to win this race. Only one Anamoe last year) on the above list were prominent in either race, or the leadups to them which is quite damning.

L) 7 of the last 13 winners have Danehill (Sire) lineage.

I) The Hawkes stable has won three of the past ten editions ,and Sydney based stables have won Eight of the past eleven.

K) Thee of the last four winners have come via The Golden Rose in Sydney. Two of those won that race and the other was a narrowly beaten second.

Average starting price $12.00 is more than you should expect from a set weights race. But it tells you something about the unpredictability of three year old races at this time of the year, where all are open to huge improvement, and many trainers are yet to find out what is the best distance for their horse.

Epsom, Metrop, Turnbull day 1/10

Just my thoughts today though they certainly haven’t been much good of late.

Randwick R8 (Epsom) TOP RANKED looks a great chance here going on his last win and he hadn’t won a race below 1650m prior to that 1400m win. He is a high class import with absolutely stellar form at a mile and this is one of the weakest Epsom fields we have ever seen. He doesn’t seem badly treated here with 56.5kg and the Heavy track should pose no problems given he was only just over a length behind Verry Eleegant at WFA here over 1600m. Begrudgingly, (given I tipped it last start) I’d say HINGED is going to be very hard to beat because of the Heavy track and the fact she drops so massively in weight. It’s really hard to see Icebath beating her home from last start on that comparison so it shouldn’t be favourite here.

R9 (Metrop) HAMERON is going to be tested class wise but I just want to be on him at 2400m. Given his dourness it seems he is looking for 2400m+ and gets his chance here off an eyecatching run last week. A Heavy track today is a big bonus for him too seeing he is 3/4 on that surface. DURSTON is absolutely flying and the only thing that might bring him back to the field here is the Heavy surface. Since the Norton Bit went on he has been sensational winning by decent margins in his last two starts. Weighted to win on what he has been doing. Has to go into all Multis today. Price is probably unders though and I’d like to see $4 at least.

R10 COAL CRUSHER appeals to me hear beating a pretty decent field before a spell at the end of a preparation where he was only beaten once in six starts. He was beaten on debut but has won his two first up runs since both with Blinkers coming off. They come off again today and he is 3/4 on Heavy tracks. I’m imagining him sitting first or second in this race which should afford him every chance. I’m wary of STEELY in the gun first up stable of Ryan/Alexiou off a nice trial. He has won two races first up and handles Heavy ground. The fact it is Randwick and he has drawn wide just has me preferring the other horse a little.

Flemington R6 DAQIANSWEETJUNIOR– Has never won a race first or second up (0/6) but third to sixth up he is 6/8. Add to that he has been running on wet tracks of late and it seems he is far better on dry ground (5/7). This is a tough race but $8.50 is too good a price not to take with those two stats and the fact he is stepping up in distance. He did win the Adelaide Cup at 3200m last preparation and wasn’t far away in a Sydney Cup on and unsuitable surface.

Flemington R7 (Turnbull)- PROFONDO reaches his D-Day today and he gets his chance back on a dry track for the first time in six starts. The last time he was on this surface he thrashed Alegron who has since run second in two Derbies behind the superstar Hitotsu. I’d prefer to see him with a kilo less weight but he is still only 2kg over the minimum here. If he is going to find his best form it will be today. GOLD TRIP looks the big danger dropping 5.5kg here from last start and his best form would win this by many lengths. The query with him is his will to win but if he captures that he should be the one. CHAPADA looks the best roughie in the race given a good run last here in this behind Incentivise with 2kg more. He looks to be going at least as well this preparation coming in.

Kalgoorlie R8 (Cup) SLUICE BOX has been set for this race it seems although I’m sure the stable would have wanted to pick up the Boulder Cup 13 days ago.. On face value he was disappointing last start but he got cramped for room at the top of the straight and that probably didn’t suit The prior start here he was way underdone with 7 weeks between runs. I’d expect Shaun Mcgruddy back on suits and he will be given more galloping room today. He does meet Stafford’s Lad 2kg better for last start. The value isn’t great @ $5.50 for him but I’d expect him to drift in price a little bit. The horse who might be value is NATIVE CHIMES. It did beat General Grant over 1500m in March and has found form recently. There is a massive difference in price between those two today and GG has had a big of a setback since (missed a start in Boulder Cup here), though the trainer says there is no fitness concern for him.

Toowoomba Weetwood day 24/09

I’ve just had a look at the Quaddie today but probably not in as much depth as I normally would at any meeting. I’m struggling to back a winner interstate and today doesn’t look a great day to do so.

R6 RAVAGED AWARD Is scratched from an earlier race to run in this harder one. After the claim it only has 50.5kg and it won here two back by more than 6 lengths in her Queensland debut. She was in good form down in Victoria before that and comes back from a mile race today. The question is can she win in this class but I think the $8.50 price is good enough to find out from a good barrier. RUBAMOS does look quite well served with her weight also coming off a win and is the logical favourite. I BB’d GAVE US UP off his first up run at Doomben. He was quite good late in that race and is a good price here albeit a horror barrier.

R7 (Cup)- I really don’t like this race at all but my gut tells me AUSSIE NUGGET is well weighted coming off a win on the minimum. He does have a third in a Canberra Cup on his resume. Other than that I have little to suggest other than the topweight Bartholomeu Dias is going really well surprisingly so on dry tracks too. WELSH LEGEND (namesake lol) probably prefers it dry and it’s best form is good enough. The last run wasn’t though. The other chances are indicated by the betting market seemingly.

R8 EMERALD KINGDOM appeals to me with his superb second up record (5/8 despite the change of stable. He did beat Apache Kingdom at WFA last preparation off a similar beaten margin first up. Certainly that last run was nothing to write home about but at nice double figure odds he is worth an investment. FLYING CRAZY does look the one in a fantastic first up stable. His best form might suggest he is too good for this lot who probably aren’t capable of winning much beyond this class. He probably is but the price now is probably too short. $4+ I was happy with but didn’t take unfortunately.

R9 Just about a pin job this race but with the claim FOR MY ANNIE looks well weighted. It is 5/6 here and the defeat was less than half a length. It meets Be Water My Friend 8kg better for a less than two length defeat three starts back and Maya Bay 6kg better for a 3.45 length defeat two starts ago. None of those runs were at it’s favourite track and both those horses are a shorter price. The problem is that might be the wrong formline to go on. Nevertheless $20+ gets me in.

Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes 2022

Race 7 at Caulfield on Saturday sees the 2022 running of the Sir Rupert Clarke stakes, a 1400m Group one race that throws up some amazing historical precedents which no other race in Australia can match.

For that reason it is my favourite race of the spring. It has been quite easy to predict in recent and certainly challenges the Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane as the premier 1400 metre handicap race in the country.

YEAR HORSE JOCKEY BR SP WT Age/Sex Form, Weight Drop, Stage of Preparation

2021 SIRRA SUE (10) $11 52.5kg 7th Memsie Stakes WFA Eighth up.

2020 BEHEMOTH (5) $3.80 60kg 5G 1st Memsie Stakes WFA. Third up.

2019 BEGOOD TO YA MOTHER (3) $3 52kg -7kg 5G 6th Memsie Stakes 1400m WFA (2.9L) Third up.

2018 JUNGLE CAT J.DOYLE (5) $13 58kg +1kg  6h- 1st Dubai 1200m G1 First up.

2017 SANTA ANA LANE D.YENDALL (6) $26 52kg- 5g- 4th (1L) M/Valley 1200m Open Listed (-3.5) Third up.

2016 BON AURUM K. McEVOY (5) $4.50 52kg- 4H- 1st  Flemington Sofitel 1400m (Open) (-2) Third up.

2015 STRATUM STAR C.WILLIAMS 15 $8.50 54.5kg 4H- 3rd Memsie Stakes Caulf WFA (-4) Third up.

2014 TRUST IN A GUST  D. LANE 9  52 $6  4H-  1st Le Pine Funeral Stakes Caul (-3.5) Fourth up.

2013 REBEL DANE   G.BOSS    14      $5.50 55.5 4H- 4th Bobbie Lewis (-2) Third up

2012  MOMENT OF CHANGE  L.NOLAN  15  $4.50 52.5 –  4G 3rd Tramway Handicap (-1.5) Third up.

2011 TOORAK TOFF C,WILLIAMS 5   $12  56.5   4H  5th Bobbie Lewis (-0.5) Second Up.
2010 RESPONSE C.WILLIAMS 5 $4.75 53.5 4M 2nd Cockram – 2nd Lets Elope (-2) Third up
2009 TURFFONTEIN G.BOSS 11 $15 55.5 5H 7th Premiere Stk-5th Bobbie Lewis ( +0.5) Third up.
2008 ORANGE COUNTY D.OLIVER 15 $9 54 6G 4th McEwen Stk-3rd Bobbie Lewis (-2) Third up.
2007 BON HOFFA V.DURIC 3 $3.80f 53 5H 1st Caul 1200m Hcp-1st Bobbie Lewis (0) Third up.
2006 REWAAYA C.WILLIAMS 1 $3.70 51 4M 14th Cockram Stk-1st Lets Elope Stk (-2) Third up.
2005 BARELY A MOMENT C.WILLIAMS 8 $8 52 4H 8th MV 1200m 1MW-LY-2nd Memsie Stk (-5.5) Third up.
2004 REGAL ROLLER M.FLAHERTY 11 $4.60 55.5 5G 4th Bletchingly Stk-1st Liston Stk-1st Memsie Stk (-2.5) Fourth up.
2003 EXCEED AND EXCEL C.BROWN 5 $7 52.5 3C 6th San Domenico-1st Up & Coming Stk-1st Roman Consul (-4) Fourth up.
2002 PERNOD K.MCEVOY 15 $12 53.5 5M 1st Cockram Stk
2001 MR. MURPHY D.OLIVER 13 $11 54.5 4H 9th Caul 1200m Hcp
2000 TESTA ROSSA B.PREBBLE 9 7-2f 58.5 4H 1st McEwen Trpy
1999 TESTA ROSSA D.OLIVER 12 5 54.5 3C 1st San Domenico-1st Up & Coming Stk-2nd Ascot Vale Stk
1998 LORD LUSKIN S.BASTER 8 33 51 6G 3rd VRC Winter Final-4th Sand 1000m Hcp-13th Bobbie Lewis
1997 CUT UP ROUGH S.KING 15 12 57 7G 3rd Manikato Stks-3rd Bobbie Lewis
1996 ENCOSTA DE LAGO S.KING 18 4 50 3C 5th MV McKenzie Stks-1st Ascot Vale Stk
1995 OUR MAIZCAY B.YORK 2 1-1f 52.5 3C 1st Up & Coming Stk-1st Roman Consul-1st Ascot Vale Stk
1994 POETIC KING D.OLIVER 2 2f 55.5 4G 1st Bletchingly Stks-3rd Bobbie Lewis
1993 BLACK ROUGE N.WILSON 8 16 52.5 5G 8th MV 1200m Hcp-4th Manikato Stk-4th Memsie Stk
1992 MANNERISM D.OLIVER 11 11-4f 56 5M 1st Let’s Elope Stk
1991 ST. JUDE B.YORK 4 9-2f 57 4H 4th Bobbie Lewis
1990 SUBMARINER D.OLIVER 4 8 49 4H 6th Caul 1200m Hcp





(1-5) 13 WINS
(6-10) 7 WINS
(11-15) 11 WINS
(16+) 1 WIN

13 last start winners have won
8 horses were placed at their last run
9 horses unplaced (inc 4 x 4th, 5th & 6th)

I’m utilising 32 years of data ,and remarkably 17 winners in that period have been Entires (a horse or colt, not a gelding). That factor alone accounts for over 50% per cent of winners, and over 60% of those (10) have been four years of age. There have been four 3yo Colts, and two 5yo Entires also win in this period. In the 2014 years edtion of this race there were six entires engaged, who astonishingly  finished in the first eight placings.

The other factor that has played a major factor in the outcome of the race is the leadup. The most prolific has clearly been the Bobbie Lewis Quality run down the straight at Flemington, two weeks prior). It has provided nine of the past 29 winners, including five of the last nine but none of the last 4 winners came out of that race, and a change of programming appears to now make that race far less of an influence. It is now run a week before this race rather than two and three weeks prior, as was the case.

Interestingly only one of those actually won the Bobbie Lewis (Bon Hoffa in 2007), though all bar one horse that has come out of that race (to win this), has finished in the first five placings. Four of the last five Bobbie Lewis representatives that went on to win this have been Entires, and three of those have been four year olds.

Mares do have an average record in the race with only five winners in the past 32 years, and none have come out of the Bobbie Lewis. Three of the four female winners  came via the Let’s Elope Stakes.

Barriers have played little consequence in the outcome of this race so I think it is best not to be put off by wider draws. Stratum Star in 2015 (Barrier 15), Rebel Dane in 2013 (Barrier 14), and Moment Of Change in 2012 (barrier 15) are strong recent examples suggesting that if the horse is good enough it can still win from a poor draw. And barriers 11-15 have a better record than the inside barriers of 1-5. Barrier 15 has won four of the last seventeen editions and two of the last seven..Barrier 5 has had 7 winners in the period 1999-2020. Only 7 of the past 23 winners have drawn inside barrier 5 and only 2 of the past 17 have done so.


The weight range 49kg-55.5kg has provided 25 of the past 32 winners which might once again help us whittle down the chances this year.

Jockey Craig Williams knows what it takes to win the race having been successful on six of the past 17  occasions (oddly all have been 4yo’s), and Damien Oliver has won the race six times since 1990. Those two have now won it a combined 11 times in the past 28 years. That is a rarity in any horse race.

10 of the last 21 winners have been four year olds, as have 7 of the last 11.

25 of the last 30 winners finished in the first 5 placings last start. Sierra Sue last year came off a seventh placing but she was unlucky not to win that race.

19 of the last 20 winners have started at $15 or less

14 of the last 21 winners have been third up into their preparation. Four have been fourth up and one has been second up, and one has been first up.

3 of the last 7 winners have come out of the Memsie Stakes.

Former winners of this race have sired 2 of the past 10 winners. Bon Hoffa (Bon Aurum), and Barely A Moment (Moment Of Change),

The ideal candidate to win this race would have the following criteria;

  1. Aged 5 years or less
  2. Be a Colt or Horse (Entire)
  3. Have finished with a win or placing last start, or finished fourth or fifth less than 2L from the winner.
  4. Preferably coming into the race third up
  5. Dropping in weight from last start.
  6. Preferably be drawn outside barrier 4
  7. Be at starting odds of $15 or less.

Speed Map;

Buffalo River, Callsign Mav and Tuvalu look the likely pace in the race with the latter horse actually having drawn best in barrier 11 (after emergency scratchings). Red Can Man is probably the next fastest horse but he too has drawn poorly. Just Folk can be forward in the run which probably leaves him and Ayrton as the horses most likely to get ‘gun’ runs, most suited to the track and race. Aysar should be just behind that pair but could also get a similar run. It might take an exceptional horse to win from midfield and back, but at least all of the leaders are drawn out a bit which could influence the tempo of the race.

DALASAN- Resumed with a decent win in Adelaide but the form out of that race wasn’t really franked in the Balaklava Cup on Wednesday. His form at this track is not great and he has the job ahead with the weight he has to carry. Having said that he is a Stallion which augurs well and this isn’t the strongest edition of this race. He is a WFA class galloper and there aren’t too many of them down in the weights in this race, unless Dragon Leap gains a run.

LAWS OF INDICES– Hasn’t won for 14 months which was a victory in France. His best run here might have been his first one. He hasn’t won in eight starts here, and although it’s hard to say he can’t win I’m struggling to find positives and personally can’t see why it should get a run. Enough said!

SINAWANN– Another former import who has won a Group 3 race here and finished second at Group 2 level. I’m not sure that makes him overly well weighted in a G1 handicap race though. He has drawn well and has 4/4 placings from barriers 1-3. Not having run for a month is probably a negative, and I think he was slightly injured last start. All his career wins are second up and that is the case here. His 6yo stallion status also stands him in good stead historically.

CALLSIGN MAV– Likely leader and comes out of the right race. He was a bit disappointing there though given the speed map and he is yet to prove he is up to Group 1 level here. Therefore I don’t seem him as well weighted with 57.5kg. He might have to work a little to cross from that barrier too. This is his pet distance and he handles any conditions.

I AM SUPERMAN– 0/6 at Group 1 level so I have my doubts about him here. The positives are he does have a good second up record, he has won here, and he probably needs to be kept fresh which is the case here. The barrier looks a real issue for him though and I can’t have him winning this with 57.5kg.

JUST FOLK– He was outpointed by Dalasan last start in Adelaide and is another that might just be found wanting at G1 level (0/3 thus far). I thought his run was quite good last start when he was fighting back at the death and he does have some positives here. He is 3/4 third up and 4/8 with 3-4 weeks between runs. And the wetter the better for him with his 3/4 record on Heavy tracks. The track was probably not wet enough last start. He has drawn well and his racing pattern should be suited to Caulfield and a race like this. Blinkers are going on first time and he is really worth some serious thought here in a sub standard Group 1 (if the emergencies don’t get a run). I think he is twice the price he should be at an early $41 quote.

GRACEFUL GIRL– She ran okay last week but was beaten home by Red Can Man who just isn’t in the same league over in WA. All bar one of her wins are at 1200m although she does have a decisive win on her resume at 1400m (1/1). She doesn’t have any weight relief to get her back to top form so I can’t quite have her in this. Not sure barrier 1 is any help to her either. Class mare but seems well short of her WA form.

AYRTON- Well he is the statistical selection in this with his 4/4 first up record and 4/4 record here. He is 6-2/8 from barriers 1-3 so the inside barrier he has drawn here looks a positive. I thought his run in the Stradbroke last start was poor, even though he was wide. Perhaps the month between runs did him no favours that day. A wet track is an unknown but a very wet track is know with him, and I wouldn’t be backing him if a lot of rain comes. I’d like to see him with a bit less weight but this isn’t a vintage edition and those stats of his can’t be ignored. Looks one of the better chances.

HILAL– His WFA form coming in looks enticing but gee he was quite poor last start getting a soft lead and not really producing in the straight. He is 0-3/6 at G1 level and the outside barrier looks a nightmare for him. Hasn’t won for nearly a year but here he is with 56.5kg. I just don’t see him as well weighted at all, His 4yo Stallion profile looks his biggest asset here relative to this race.

SHOWMANSHIP– Really good WA galloper who has won eight from ten so has to be respected on that factor alone. He is 1/1 here and is 4/4 at the distance. That is similar stuff to Ayrton but he has the advantage of one run back this preparation. I suppose the downside is he hasn’t beaten much and here he is with 56.5kg! Damien Oliver and a middle barrier look positives. I think if you look at his two Melbourne wins and his last start in Sydney ,you can see he is a better quality horse than his actual form (what he has beaten) shows. Looking at the race shape of all of those he wasn’t really entitled to win any of them. But he is a horse that knows how to win and finds a way. He looks at least a top three chance here to me, although I’d like to see him with a kilo or so less. I think he has a bit more tenacity than Ayrton. Historically a win would be an anamoly as a 7yo gelding

RED CAN MAN– Yet another horse who just seems to find Group 1 races a bit beyond him and barrier 17 is going to be an issue. It’s quite noticeable he isn’t a great weight carrier (3/22 with 57kg or more) so his 56 kg here looks a bonus. This is probably his best distance but he needs it dry which might not eventuate. Hard to see him winning yet alone running a place from that marble.

BUFFALO RIVER– Hasn’t won for nearly a year and has won one of his last nineteen starts. This is his distance, track and he likes the wet. But all those things were common last time and he was beaten nearly 8 lengths. He shouldn’t be keeping more exciting horses out of the race with his inclusion.

AYSAR- He doesn’t look the roughest here back in form with Craig Williams aboard, drawn well enough and stallion status. Blinkers went back on also last start and he finally produced what he was capable of. This horse has been a total enigma since running a close second in the Caulfield Guineas as a three year old. The question is can he reproduce the same form of last start and even improve enough to win this? None of his wins are with less than 23 days between runs so the 14 days here could be looked upon as a negative. Nevertheless he looks good historically, handles the wet, and is way over the odds.

BANKERS CHOICE– He was average first up and notably is 3/3 on good tracks. Soft tracks definitely aren’t his forte and that might be the conditions underfoot in this race. The barrier is horrible for him and heaven knows where he gets to in the run being a midfield (at best) type of horse. He does look quite well served at the weights actually meeting the topweight 4kg better for a length and a half defeat the last time they met at WFA. In the right stable for an upset but everything would have to go right.

TUVALU– He is a surprise edition to this race but probably has the most upside of any runner. His form through I’m Thunderstruck has always looked promising and I’m not sure we have seen the best of him yet. He was very good last start in the Winter Championship final and he might actually be a superior horse on wet tracks. He has won his last three starts on wet tracks and been beaten his last two on dry tracks. On his earlier form he was 3-4 lengths inferior to I’m Thunderstruck but that is probably good enough to see him go close here. He is 7-4/11 in his career which is only surpassed by Showmanship in this race. The negative is the preparation just isn’t right to win this race. But on the plus side he probably is weighted to win. Very hard to beat if he brings his A-game and his on pace ability is an asset for this race and track,

CHAILLOT- Good mare who did have a fine first up record before her last preparation where she blotted her copybook. One year since she won a race and my thinking is she isn’t quite good enough to win at this level. A host of gear changes and last years winning jockey aboard add some confidence and I guess if she was going to win a very good race it would most probably have to be fresh. History says no in that regard.

DRAGON LEAP– He has the good Memsie WFA run on his resume beaten 3.5L by I’m Thunderstruck in that race. That puts him in a similar category to Tuvalu and he has had a better preparation coming in. His barrier is awkward though, and he doesn’t want the track too wet. Obviously weighted to win dropping 5kg from a WFA race and he should have got a run. Perhaps he would need more than 1400m to actually win but he would be a live chance if he gains a start.

I WISH I WIN– He couldn’t have been more impressive winning on debut here and I can’t remember an NZ horse ever winning that easily at it’s first go with the possible exception of Sunline. The time basically mirrored that of the Memsie albeit he did only have 54kg. Perhaps beware all of his wins are first up and he is yet to win second up. That is of some concern but he had plenty in hand first up and is in a new (Australian) stable. Hoping he does get a run but it seems unlikely. A travesty really!


It’s an odd race this year with those two excellent chances not likely to get a run. How bad is it that the nominal favourite for the race isn’t going around? Anyhow enough of that and I’ve settled on this first 4. It’s hard to go past the outstanding strike rates of the first trio;

  1. SHOWMANSHIP- I think the $9 is probably value given his one run back and career strike rate. My second and third selections might have more raw ability but he knows how to win when the chips are down whereas I’m not sure that’s the case with the other pairing.
  2. Tuvalu
  3. Ayrton
  4. Just Folk- Best roughie along with Aysar. i like his stats better than that horse though.

If either of the emergencies do get a run then the complexion of the race does change a little. I would have I Wish I Win on top in all likelihood.

McEwen Stakes 2022

I thought I’d have a look at this race tomorrow given the small field which looks to have many chances, and perhaps a favourite that can be ‘taken on’. It looks as though the track will be Soft and most probably a 6 rating. Not much rain around though so perhaps it could be upgraded to a Soft 5 tomorrow.

The speed is going to be hot with four leaders engaged in the shape of Zoustyle ( should take up the running), Rothfire, In The Congo and Semillion. Coolangatta could also lead but it would seem unlikely she could match it with the two Queenslanders drawn inside her. That only leaves Away Game and The Inferno as off pace horses and the mare Away Game should be ahead of The Inferno in the early stages from her better barrier.

  1. THE INFERNO won this last year on what could be an identical surface. It is the only race he has won in Australia, though his best two runs by far here have been at this track and distance, His record in Springtime is also superior to any other time of year. Jye McNeill can watch the race unfold in front of him and make his move when he sees fit. He is probably not quite a top level G1 horse here but this is well within his capabilities. The inside barrier could be a slight negative but it’s hard to see why he is double figures in this race. His best is probably good enough and you can anticipate him returning to that level here. $6

2. IN THE CONGO– Classy four year old who has some good G1 performances to his credit. But he hasn’t yet run below 1100m, and is used to getting his own way in front. From the outside barrier here that doesn’t seem possible so he looks to be a bit outside of his comfort zone here. If he adapts he could easily win, and a wet track holds no fear for him at all. $7

3. ROTHFIRE sustained a career threatening injury a couple of preparations ago so an argument can be made he isn’t quite the horse he was prior to that. This does look a great race for him though with his 4/4 record at the trip and 4/4 in races with 1-7 runners. He doesn’t have to lead and should get the absolute gun run in the race. He got through the Winter unscathed and the wet surface shouldn’t trouble him at all. He looks great value here at $7. I’d have him favourite at $4.

4. ZOUSTYLE– He is a very fast horse and looks certain to lead from barrier 2. The consensus seems to be that he needs a dryish track so a Soft 6 is a bit concerning whereas a Soft 5 would add a lot to confidence to his supporters. At listed level and above his winning record reads 2/9 so you just wonder whether this is as hard a race as he would like. And he hasn’t won in four starts outside of Queensland. Other speed in the race ensures he will have to be on his game. You have to have enormous respect for the stable though and they have targeted this race since the early Winter dodging wet tracks to get here. $7

5. AWAY GAME– Top class mare who ran a bottler first up in the Autumn conceding a lot of weight to the flying Marabi over 1100m and nearly running her down late. She is yet to win below 1100m and is yet to record a win in ten left handed track starts which is really a weird statistic given she is trained in Melbourne. She also seems to dislike inside barriers so drawing number one here is hardly ideal on paper. There is a lot of speed here though so she should get clear galloping room with only The Inferno likely to get near her outside flank. And Blinkers going on could really turn her form around. Is this just a run for her fitness though (was going to the breeding ban post Winter too) with the 3yo filly from the stable more likely to be set for this? Hard to say she can’t win but maybe 1000m for her is 100m too short for her. $7

6. SEMILLION- Interesting runner who could shock given his 2/2 wet track record and and he is the only horse in the race that has had a run back this Spring/Winter). He too gets Blinkers on first time and is likely to provide nuisance speed up front. His barrier probably makes things tough for him but his two year old form is probably only 2.5-3L inferior to that of Coolongatta. He got tired late when resuming over 1100m on a dry track (Fast time) so perhaps back in distance here and on to a wet track is in his favour? I’d have to say he is probably worth a small bet @ $46 with a few things in his favour. Unfortunately the barrier isn’t one of them but you never know what might transpire in running. $15

7. COOLONGATTA– Playing Devil’s Advocate here I just can’t have her at the price on offer. Gun two year old who may have won the Golden Slipper with a better preparation, or a better surface, but we still have to see what she can do against experienced older good class sprinters. Her barrier draw is a little awkward but the surface probably holds no fears for her. The light weight of 50kg really catches your eye and the stable have a habit of producing young female sprinters that win these type or races. And they seem confident of a win. She is $2.25 though and the 3yo colt is $46. Is there really that much between them, and is either of them even up to beating this opposition. They are questions we don’t have an answer to yet. $6.50

I would be a bit cheeky throwing in a First 4 here so I’ll just list my Trifecta in order based on value and this analysis. For mine Rothfire has the most going for him statistically- 4/4 at the distance, 4/4 in small fields, good barrier, an ability to not have to lead to win, and a race setup that should suit. He can also get through wet ground. All that and you can still get $7 for him.

  1. Rothfire
  2. The Inferno
  3. Semillion.