There's no doubt about it, Spring is in the air and a number of quality horses step out this weekend, for many, kick-starting their campaigns over the next few months. Like everything else in the world, this year's Spring carnival will be different but there's still money to be won!
Not too hard to spin a profit from the Caulfield program, albeit our faith will be in a couple of short priced favourites. First bet of the day in Melbourne comes up in Race 4, Plein Ciel. It feels like we're falling into a trap here, it looks a weighted certainty against some horses that are suited over longer or others who are either first up or coming up through the grades. Cherry on the top? D Oliver. $2.35, yikes, seems overs?
Race 7 on the card is the Regal Roller over 1200m. If the Caulfield track is playing fair, this should set up well for something from the back with some very good speed engaged. Bumper Blast for Hickmott and Williams will be sitting off that good tempo and will have last crack at them after surprising with a win first up at Flemington. Not getting under our guard here around the $5.50 mark, nice each way bet.
Arcadia Queen first up last prep
The feature of the day, the P.B. Lawrence Stakes is tough. There's just too many question marks, if Arcadia Queen or Mystic Journey turn up anywhere near 100%, either of them probably get the job done but I am going to go with the one that will be sitting on speed, drawn low and will have some residual fitness from a winter campaign, Savatiano. She probably gets a good run behind the likes of Streets of Avalon and Morrisey, Savatiano, $5 looks a good price and I reckon we might get better.
Last race of the day at Caulfield we will see the return of a superstar, Showmanship. W Pike over from the west to ride. $1.75 is short, we might get better on game day but unless there's some form of incredible track bias or this thing loses a leg in the mounting yard, it'll be winning. Pike in the last!
Sydney's card of racing is super competitive. It is going to be wet, we know that. How wet might determine whether we see boom horse Masked Crusader in the third race of the day, currently priced around the $1.55 mark. Will the Hawkes stable still run him on a bottomless track given he is first up, surely not. Showers forecasted to be increasing to rain in Sydney on Saturday, I am guessing he'll be scratched.
Outside of that intrigue, finding it really difficult to find some good bets. Confidence levels are low and with track conditions likely to be in the Heavy range, expecting a number of horses to come out and saved for another day.
The only one I might be able to entertain is the returning Danzdanzdance in the 8th race of the day, which will enjoy the wet surface and goes well fresh. Perhaps James McDonald can keep her out of trouble from the wide draw and sail down the outside. 1400m, short of her best but this race might set up just fine.
Racing in Brisbane is at headquarters, with rain expected to hit on race day. The track is currently good but we may be looking at some sting out by the latter stages of the 9-race card.
A couple of early short priced favourites with classy filly Kisukano ($1.90) out to avenge her last start defeat. Any sting out of the track probably helps her chances, she will be hard to beat. The following race is exciting, Chris Waller's promising gelding Super Contender comes to town after a dominant last start win at the Gold Coast. I like this horse, $1.90 currently but expecting it to drift by jump time. Michael Cahill should pop this fella out and send him forward and be hard to beat, plenty of talent!
What else in Brisbane? Race 7, I'll be backing Impasse from the Matt Dunn stable. First up after two trials, drawn soft and it should sit behind the speed set by Fiery Heights. Never missed a placing fresh, I'll be taking it each way around the $5.50 mark, backing R Fradd to get it home!
One quick look at Adelaide, a cracking field for the Spring Stakes which is their feature of the day. Dalasan, Behemoth, Kemalpasa all first up but adding some great quality to the race. Liked the trial of Behemoth, I can see him figuring in something big over the carnival, maybe in cup week at Flemington, he's that sort of horse. Let's back him to win and throw in More Than Exceed in a box first four with the other class runners.
Good luck, good punting and as always, gamble responsibly!