Race 1 Inglis Debutant Stakes (1000m) - 9-10-13-11
I really liked the Cranbourne trial of Magnicity, who went to the line strongly under light riding to finish second behind Ruski in the fastest time of the two-year-old trials on the morning. Mockery showed plenty of speed in her Cranbourne trial and could be in front for a fair way. Utzon was very impressive showing plenty of speed and going to the line under a hold in her Cranbourne trial and is another that can win without surprising in an impossible race given the fact there are 13 debutants!
Suggested bet: No bet
Race 2 The Big Screen Company Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) - 9-8-1-10
I'd forgive the last start of Iconoclasm, where he was found to have a throat condition. The first-up run was very good with the pattern against and he was impressive winning both of his two previous starts at 1400m. Sircconi was very good first-up, should take improvement off that run and does have an encouraging second-up record. Comicas deserves respect on the Charlie Appleby factor alone, however, that aside he looks very well placed in this class on his best form. Fierce Impact caught the eye first-up in Sydney and did win second-up at 1400m last preparation.
Suggested bet: Iconoclasm win
Race 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes (1200m) - 4-1-3-6
I'd ignore the last start of Assertive Play, where she sustained an injury. She should've been unbeaten in her previous three starts and was very unlucky not to beat the likes of Thrillster and Humma Humma in the Atlantic Jewel Stakes at The Valley. The fact Phillip Stokes is happy to run her suggests she's suffering no lasting issues from her last run. Sunlight was very good sitting wide and beating a good field in the Quezette Stakes. Her trial at Cranbourne on Monday was exceptional and she is the class runner in the race. Meryl was too good in the Champagne Stakes and looks a key chance again. Humma Humma has form around all three of Sunlight, Meryl and Assertive Play.
Suggested bet: Assertive Play each way
Race 4 Cape Grim Beef Steaks (1200m) - 11-2-3-14
Fragonard was very good behind Grey Shadow first-up in a race I am expecting will prove a very good form reference. She produced a big finish off a moderate early speed and will potentially take improvement out of that run. Cool Passion was very good in that same race first-up, where she carried 61.5kg. She won this race 12 months ago and does have the ability to use the inside barrier. Winter Bride was impressive winning the How Now Stakes at this track and distance last start and looks a key chance again. Leather'n'lace hasn't had ideal luck in either start this preparation and her best form is good enough to measure up without surprising. Booker was disappointing first-up but if the blinkers can help her find her best form then she'd probably be the one to beat.
Suggested bet: Fragonard/Cool Passion win
Race 5 Keno Schillaci Stakes (1100m) - 11-2-13-5
Missrock boasts an exceptional first-up record. Fresh last preparation she finished third behind Redkirk Warrior and Redzel in the Lightning before going on to finish runner-up in the Goodwood behind Santa Ana Lane later that campaign, where she finished ahead of Voodoo Lad. I like the wide draw for her racing pattern. Voodoo Lad is racing in stellar form this preparation and might have gone close at this track and distance behind Ball Of Muscle six weeks ago had he not mucked up the start but still beat the likes of Brave Smash and Santa Ana Lane. Two starts ago defeated Home Of The Brave winning the Aurie's Star and he has an outstanding record at Caulfield. Snitty Kitty was the best of those on speed in a high-pressure Moir Stakes first-up. Second-up last preparation she finished second in the Oakleigh Plate at this track and distance. Illustrious Lad trialled nicely, has a good first-up record and did run a narrow second behind Super Cash in this race last year.
Suggested bet: Missrock each way
Race 6 Schweppes Thousand Guineas (1600m) - 4-1-5-15
Thrillster was outstanding in the Thousand Guineas Prelude, where she kept coming to the line reeling off the fastest last 400-200-metre sectional in the race despite working throughout the race after being caught wide without cover. I am surprised at the price discrepancy between her and the favourite Smart Melody, who is enough of a risk at 1600m that I can't justify her being $2.50. El Dorado Dreaming ran the fastest last 200-metre sectional in the same lead-up race and looks a filly that will relish getting to 1600m with potentially significant improvement out of her first-up run. Mirette couldn't have been much more impressive winning her maiden at Benalla by four-and-a-half lengths, beating subsequent 10-length winner Junipal.
Suggested bet: Thrillster/El Dorado Dreaming win
Race 7 Aquis Toorak Handicap (1600m) - 4-5-1-10
Shillelagh caught the eye first-up in a strong Theo Marks Stakes before an excellent run in the Epsom second-up. She seems to save her best form for the spring and third-up 12 months ago she won the Cantala Stakes. Land Of Plenty ran an enormous race in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, where he kept coming to the line despite being caught wide without cover throughout. He did win at 1600m last preparation but I do have a niggling doubt as to whether he is stronger at 1400 and the barrier means he's potentially going to have work hard again or concede a big start. If Hartnell can reproduce his last start then he can win again from an ideal barrier despite the big weight. Noire has produced big finishes in low-pressure races in each of her past three starts. She still needs to prove she can produce a similar finish off a faster speed but if she can then she's among the better winning chances.
Suggested bet: Shillelagh win
Race 8 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) - 2-12-1-10
What a race! Humidor looks ready to peak following a terrific run in the Underwood Stakes. His best form at the distance (+40m) - a second placing beaten less than half-a-length to Winx in last year's Cox Plate - is the best in the race. Unforgotten was terrific in a fast edition of the Epsom and looks ready for the step up to 2000m. It won't surprise at all if she announces herself as the heir apparent to her stablemate Winx with a victory. Benbatl's win in the Dubai Turf in March was world class, when he comfortably had the measure of Blair House, who had narrowly beaten him the start prior. D'argento finished ahead of stablemate Unforgotten last start and has had one start at 2000m for a Group 1 victory in the Rosehill Guineas. The chances don't end there. The Cliffsofmoher's form looks good enough that he can measure up, Tosen Basil likely has further improvement to come and should appreciate the extra 200m and Night's Watch has the turn of foot that gives him a hope with the right run.
Suggested bet: No bet
Race 9 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (1600m) - 1-4-8-2
The Autumn Sun was stunning winning the Golden Rose coming from last in very fast time. In that race he was dropping back from 1500m on a wet track to 1400m on a dry track second-up, which adds further merit to the performance and he's likely even better suited at 1600m third-up. This field is potentially weaker than what he beat last time and he looks the obvious horse to beat. Leonardo Da Hinchi's last-start win was better than it looks on paper as he likely would've won far more comfortably had he been able to get into the clear earlier. His tactical versatility looks a real advantage. Good 'N' Fast caught the eye at Flemington and then was too far back in the Caulfield Guineas Prelude. He gets blinkers for the first time and looks suited at 1600m. The extra 200m is the concern for Native Solider but he was dominant last start, has a great racing pattern and the right trainer if he is going to run a strong 1600m.
Suggested bet: The Autumn Sun win
Race 10 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) - 9-6-5-8
Rising Red has returned in arguably career-best form this preparation. He caught the eye behind Moss 'N' Dale at The Valley first-up before a terrific run second-up in the Naturalism Stakes, where he rode a hot speed and held off all bar the highly-rated Night's Watch. He might be ready to peak third-up and the rise in distance looks ideal. In his past two starts beyond 2000m he split Jon Snow/Gingernuts in a NZ Derby and won the Premier's Cup in Queensland. Lord Fandango won this race 12 months ago, outstaying his rivals in a fast race. He was very good first-up in the Benalla Cup and likely has plenty of improvement to come. Gallic Chieftain was very good behind The Taj Mahal in a high-pressure JRA Cup. He likely has further improvement to come and I like his form at this distance with blinkers on. Brimham Rocks was very good behind Avilius in a fast Kingston Town Stakes and then honest in the Metropolitan in which I'm not sure any horse can be too harshly treated due to the low early pressure. He did have the measure of Gallic Chieftain at Bendigo last preparation.
Suggested bet: Rising Red win/Lord Fandango each way