What a Saturday for the three-year-old’s, quite possibly the best class of the classic age group in generations, but what is even more exciting is that this is just the start of eight weeks of battle between them to determine who is the best of them all at their optimum distances.
Caulfield has five races either exclusively for three-year-old’s or having three-year-old market favourites in the others against the older mob. Group 1 winners abound throughout.
The VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound (NZ) is in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) and the Reliable Man filly is the $2.60 TAB market favourite.
The sprinters contest the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) and while the Sepoy gelding Pandemic is ‘just’ stakes placed he has been assisted to concentrate on his potential ability by being gelded and he should rise above this level. Pandemic is the $2.00 favourite.
The three-year-old fillies run in the Group 2 Armanasco Stakes (1400m) with Group 2 winner Acting (NZ) the $3.40 favourite.
Super Seth wide out defeats Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas at Caulfield last October, picture Quentinjlang.com
Then the Group 1 Cauflield Guineas winner Super Seth is the $2.80 favourite for the Group 1 WFA Futurity Stakes (1400m). The Dundeel colt has won five of his eight starts and cruised in his opening race of this campaign to win the Group 3 Manfred Stakes over 1200m at the same track in February 1st.
Group 1 winner Bivouac completes the market dominance of the three-year-old’s at Caulfield being backed from $2.80 into $2.60 for the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m). The Exceed And Excel colt, the winner of the Golden Rose over 1400m last spring, carries 55.5kg with barrier seven for Craig Williams.
Out in barrier 15 is the Fastnet Rock filly Anaheed with the wide barrier draw not crimping punters supporting the filly at $5.50 and $2.10. The Group 2 winner carries 52kg under Tim Clark to assist but might be a wide and closing passage.
Then it is to Rosehill and the Group 1 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) with no less than five of the 11 strong field Group 1 winners. Microphone is expected to speak loudest of all and is backed as the $3.00 favourite. With his tidy win second up in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield on February 8th the support is well founded.
The others will be looking for more distance and the manner of their closing sectionals will be studied long and hard.
Castlevecchio, the winner of the Group 1 Champagne Stakes over 1600m and second in the 2019 WS Cox Plate over 2040m, is first up. So are Warning, the VRV Derby winner; Shadow Hero, the winner of the Spring Champion Stakes and Prince Fawaz, the winner of the JJ Atkins. All will improve further into the autumn.
Enjoy the spectacle at each track knowing that this is not the last we will see of them, plus the others not on the track today such as Exceedance, Alabama Express, Catalyst (NZ), Alligator Blood and Standout.