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Money (Mis) Management Part 2

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Speed maps: How important are they?

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The Melbourne Review Feb 1

3 weeks ago

OVERVIEW

Well the rain arrived in a big way and the Caulfield track deteriorated from a Soft 5 to a Sift 7 fairly quickly once the rain set in. As stated in the Preview, I marked the card at a Good 4 possible Soft 5, I'd rather play on the side of caution rather in these situations and pull stumps if conditions get worse - remember, if conditions do change then stop betting until you can confidently reassess. Betting early to the sort of forecast we had last week is fraught with danger!

The track played predictably as the card wore on with jockeys looking to get wide and use a fair bit of the track. This is consistent in my experience with Caulfield on a wet day; what will be interesting is how much wear that has caused for the 7-day back up and a True rail position this coming Saturday for the Orr Stakes.

STAND OUT WINS

R2 NONCONFORMIST: This was a cosy win at the line in what was a farcically run race and I'm really keen to see what this bloke can do out to 2000m in a race run at a genuine tempo. I doubt that he is actually 2.5L better than this field but what he had over them was acceleration and tactical speed; if he can continue with those weapons as he steps up in trip he might be a handy horse for those second tier Derbys.

R4 DIAMOND EFFORT: Not only was this the biggest margin win of the day but the winner pulled up having suffered an internal bleed! This mare has always hinted that she is above average and this win might signal a graduation of sorts to better grade. She goes to a 79-rating now and will be well weighted to a BM84 next start - she could put a couple of wins together this prep.

R7 SUPER SETH: The reigning Guineas champion showed why the likes of Alligator Blood will need to be at their very best to beat him when they clash this year with a very strong win. I doubt the horse really loved the soft ground but he let down well enough in it and ran down a fit speed horse that met him 2.5kg better at the weights. This was a big win and a smack in the chops for rivals that thought they might make up ground on him from the spring.  

A special mention to...JUNGLE EDGE (R8): Look we know what the old boy is all about don't we? So how the hell did he go off at $21 on a S7 track! Not only was the win dominant at the post but he was set a pretty tough task by his rider Jade Darose - a super effort from the old warhorse and well worth a mention here!

HORSES TO FOLLOW

R6  AKTAU (3rd): With a clear run and a slightly faster tempo this fellow probably wins the race. He was bumped quite severely and lost momentum round the turn and then checked again by the 300m and plenty of European horses would turn it up at that point; what I loved most was how determined the horse was to chase and fight from the 250m on and through the line he was well in command. Might need a big track to show his absolute best but can certainly improve at Caulfield next time now he's had a look at the track.

R6 BIG SUR (5th): Outclassed and with virtually no hope from the 1000m given the tempo of this race, I was really impressed by Big Sur from the 400m to the line. Look, he's probably never going to be able to beat Aktau or Just Benjamin all things being equal in running, but he's a 69-rater eligible for weaker races and he can put a couple of wins together soon enough out to 2000m this prep. 

R7 DALASAN (3rd): During spring this bloke showed up to G2 standard but was that little bit off the absolute top shelf colts, I'm not saying he has joined them on the back of this run but to my eye he has made some improvement. Loved how hard he chased to the line from the 350m when he was having mud kicked in his face, I still think Super Seth and Alligator Blood beat him 7 times out of 10 if the trio clash, but if they have an off day Dalasan will be there ready to pounce.

R8 HUMMA HUMMA (5th): On face value the market expected a little more from this mare but it's clear now she is not at her best on Soft ground - her form probably hinted at that pre-race so I was a little surprised she was backed near the race. That's probably an indication as to how well she is going this prep, I would not be writing her off second-up back on top of the ground - we might get big odds!