Both Melbourne and Sydney play host to big meetings this weekend, as Caulfield boasts the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Sydney has The Shorts and the Colgate Optic White Stakes.
With a lot of runners backing up it will be interesting to see how many of them find form heading into the carnival.
A day littered with returning stars and the continuation of some big campaigns for others, Saturday shapes as an early defining day of the spring.
Race 3: I am Immortal stands out here with form in his runs from the Blue Diamond prelude and subsequent Blue Diamond run. Was all class in Prelude and wasn’t shamed in the Blue Diamond. Lesage provides the value here ($6.50 TopBetta), and only lost last start due to inexperience and should benefit from the run.
Race 5: Pippie the clear standout here, and has been all class winning three on the trot and cruised home last start. Has won two from three here and loves the distance (two wins from two). Will take some serious beating. If you’re looking with some value or a quinella option with the favourite (Pippie) Tofane provides it ($7.50 TopBetta). Bounced back second up after poor resumption running fastest final 200 metres of the day (11.365) and is a proven class performer, her best has her right in the mix.
Race 6: Almost a replay of last week’s Heatherlie Handicap, Super Titus got the chocolates and has been good since returning, can back up and beat these again. Etymology worked well through traffic in that race but couldn’t find the luck, but represents great each-way value ($8 TopBetta). Steel Prince has decent 2nd up form and is looking for the extra distance. Gave the field weight last start and should be all the better this time around. Don’t count out Supernova, was good at 1900m 2nd up last prep and is worth keeping an eye on this time around.
Race 7: Race of the day at Caulfield, Begood Toya Mother the one to watch here, led in the Memsie on a tough day to lead and fought hard before dropping away. Drops 7kg from last start and will lead again from barrier 3. Amphitrite will be in the swooping pack and finished well carrying a big weight and loves 1400m, is over the odds ($7.50 TopBetta) and can’t be ignored as the class runner in the race. So Si Bon has been excellent this campaign and split Scales of Justice and Alizee last start. Can he maintain his form and hold his own in this class again? Best of Days isn’t far from his best but is testing the patience of punters, good each-way chance.
Race 5: Avantage had a stellar autumn and will be hoping to find that form again and will look to take the lead but will have to do some early work from barrier 11. Cascadian is ok 2nd up and is looking for the extra distance. Star of the Seas stands out as the value bet of the race ($5.50 TopBetta), will be fitter for the 1st up run, never out of the placings 2nd up.
Race 6: Randwick main event! Santa Ana Lane’s scratching has opened this race and market, will return 5th October. Redzel was immense last start and back to his best beating Pierata, failed 2nd up last prep but may deserve forgiveness. Will lead all the way setting up an awesome final stretch. Pierata flew home in the last 200m falling just short, 2nd up form stacks up. Can Osborne Bulls chase down Redzel? Has left too much to do too late leading to five straight bridesmaid appearances, can he fix this or does he have Tom Melbourne syndrome? Classique Legend had a star autumn, can he rise to this level yet? His trials have been excellent so you can’t count him out.
Race 7: Happy Clapper was great upon resumption, loves the track and distance and is a fighter, is worth keeping the faith ($6 TopBetta). Avilius is rightfully the short-priced favourite ($3.20 TopBetta). No issue with the mile but needs to make his move before it’s too late, class runner who at his best is a class above. The mile suits no runner more than Samadoubt, who backed up a good run fresh with 2nd up win where race pattern suited him. Verry Elleegant had a poor return in the Winx Stakes, is unbeaten second up though so might be worth forgiving at this price ($6.50 TopBetta). If the track is soft, he’s a huge chance, his behaviour when running is always a doubt but seems to be getting better.
*All odds accurate at time of writing.