A fantastic weekend of racing concludes on Sunday when Caulfield hosts a quality nine-race card.
Featuring on the card is the Group 1 Underwood Stakes and the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. The Underwood features the likes of Hartnell, Bonneval and Black Heart Bart which will give punters a good guide to the spring features later this year.
The Sir Rupert Clarke is a big betting field which gives value punters a great sight and that’s not all the card has to offer.
The Thousand Guineas Prelude an Caulfield Guineas Prelude promise to be exciting races where some of Australia’s best up-and-coming thoroughbreds take to the track.
Caulfield free tips & form
Race 2. (13:30) Italktravel Plate (1100m)
Snitty Kitty is paying a great price in this situation and the big weight of 60kg won’t be an issue over the short course distance.
The four-year-old mare is a winner of four from nine starts, including one fresh up, and she has never run out of the money in three starts at Caulfield.
The Henry Dwyer-trained daughter of Snitzel last ran in the Lightning Stakes at Doomben where she won nicely and her form prior to that included a win and a placing on this track.
Her barrier speed is her biggest asset and drawing barrier six should allow her to cross to the front and give each way punters a good sight in the straight.
Race 4. (14:30) Up For The Challenge Handicap (1700m)
Many punters believe Our Century will need a couple of runs to show its best this campaign, but the Lloyd Williams camp has already shown this season that they can get the stayers up and running quickly.
2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin is a prime example and stablemate Our Century has more class than most of its opposition here.
The imported seven-year-old finished third behind Frances of Assisi in the Bendigo Cup and that form was franked last spring. He has since won the Wangaratta Cup over Extra Zero and he won the Manion Cup at Rosehill before being relegated.
He’s more effective over the longer distances, but he’s the fresh horse on the scene and bigger races are in his future this spring.
Race 5. (15:00) Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m)
Catchy is one of the most popular horses in Australia and punters have come for it again.
The Lindsay Park-trained three-year-old filly has won five of her seven starts which includes three of her four starts at Caulfield.
The track specialist won the Blue Diamond Stakes last season before running last in the Golden Slipper. Forgive that run as it came on an unsuited heavy track and it has since recovered admirably.
The daughter of Fastnet Rock tried hard in behind Crown Witness in the Quezette Stakes when fresh up and she rebounded perfectly in the Danehill Stakes last start by hitting the line with purpose.
The .75-length win over a top-quality field signaled her return to the big time and it’s hard not to root for this filly.
She faces a quality field here and gives them all weight, but she has been a good runner to follow and long may that continue.
Race 6. (15:30) Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m)
Royal Symphony is in the same mold as Catchy and punters are getting the same price.
The Tony McEvoy-trained colt is unbeaten after four starts and his most recent win at Flemington was of superstar material.
The three-year-old was entitled to get beaten after it got stuck on the inside of runners, but it got out late in the race and sprouted wings to win the Exford Plate.
Its win prior came by over four lengths and although this is his toughest test to date by some margin, punters have to be impressed with the way he finds the line.
He has the makings of a champion and despite drawing wide in barrier 11, we’ll take the $2.05 until he shows us that he’s not in the top class.
Race 7. (16:00) Underwood Stakes (1800m)
Punters were left licking their wounds when Hartnell finished second in the Makybe Diva Stakes last start, but he’s a champion thoroughbred and we’re expecting a bounce-back performance.
The James Cummings-trained seven-year-old won the P.B. Lawrence Stakes two starts back by over two lengths and that put him into the Caulfield Cup frame, but the confidence has taken a hit after his most recent effort.
He was left out in the open too soon at Flemington and it’s a very long straight. Hartnell will be better off sitting in behind the leaders at Caulfield and that should be the scenario having drawn barrier eight.
His biggest threat is New Zealand mare Bonneval, but she might suffer from second-up syndrome and she hasn’t been fully tested on the weight-for-age scale.
Race 8. (16:30) Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m)
It was hard not to be taken with the performance of Scales of Justice at Flemington last start.
The Perth runner finished second behind Redkirk Warrior and he still has plenty to learn after running wayward in the straight.
Had he not run off down the straight he might have finished closer to Redkirk Warrior, but despite that run, he looks a great chance here.
He’s arguably taking on an easier field given the conditions and his form in Perth was good enough to see him winning in Melbourne.
He has drawn ideally in barrier six to sit just behind the speed and we believe he’s on another level compared to his opposition.
We wouldn’t take anything less than $3, but $3.80 is a nice price.