This Saturday Caulfield Racecourse will be host to a bumper nine-race program for CF Orr Stakes Day, one of the meeting’s major support races being the Autumn Stakes 2012.
While Black Caviar and co. are set to steal the spotlight in Race 4 – the $400,000 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m), Luxbet punters will also be wanting to have a punt on the next with a field of 13 top gallopers engaged to face off in the $180,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m).
Wearing the No. 1 saddleclth as the 58kg topweight of the three-year-olds’ showdown is the Peter Snowden-trained Benfica.
Drawing nicely with barrier three the Lonhro colt resumed after a lengthy seven and a half month spell to run a disappointing dead-last in the Zeditave Stakes (1200m) at the track on January 26.
A Group 1 winner in the TJ Smith over the Eagle Farm mile in June, Snowden is hopeful that stepping up to 1400m Benfica can bounce back to form on Saturday.
Snowden is also represented in the Autumn Stakes field this year by the very promising Pied A Terre who has suffered an early blow with barrier 12.
The Ad Valorem gelding suffered their first career defeat from four starts at Flemington in the Chester Manifold Stakes back on January 14 when going down to At The Heads from a wide barrier (10 of 10).
Also drawn wide for Saturday is the Anthony Freedman-trained Specter in 11 – runner-up in the Zeditave Stakes first-up following a strong spring that culminated with a fourth to Helmet in the Caulfield Guineas, and Michael Moroney’s resuming Victoria Derby third placegetter Sabrage to be ridden by Damien Oliver from 13.
Autumn Stakes hopefuls with better luck in the barrier draw include Mick Price’s undefeated More Than Ready colt Proliferate (barrier four) racing for the first time since their win in a Listed Crown Oaks Day race over 1800m during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and Peter Moody’s Caulfield Guineas third placegetter Huegill to get the inside running from barrier one with Black Caviar’s regular rider Luke Nolen engaged.
The Autumn Stakes is shaping up this year as a good guide to the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.
Of the above bunch, Benfica is the shortest-priced early entry in the 2012 Australian Guineas odds at Luxbet paying $15, a price likely to firm should they salute on Saturday.
Betting markets for all of the Caulfield races this Saturday are due to open at our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet shortly so make sure you sign-up with them now to get in on the action!
2012 Autumn Stakes Final Field & Barriers
Caulfield Race 5 – 3:10pm (VIC time) – 11/02/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|2||1X41320X||COLLAR (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Steven King||7||57.5kg||80|
|3||111X||PROLIFERATE||Mick Price||Michael Walker||4||57.5kg||80|
|4||1X04313X||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||13||57kg||93|
|5||1X2134X2||SPECTER||Anthony Freedman||Steven Arnold||11||57kg||84|
|6||11X12||PIED A TERRE||Peter Snowden||–||12||56kg||89|
|7||3X5113X6||HUEGILL||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||1||56kg||86|
|8||3X21315X4||ADAMANTIUM (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Glen Boss||5||56kg||80|
|9||X28358X217||MISTER MILTON||Norman Waymouth||Ben Melham||2||56kg||70|
|10||42X1741||BOMBALATOMBA (NZ)||Chris Hyland||Brad Rawiller||8||56kg||67|
|12||12X5||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Craig Williams||6||56kg||68|
|13||47X1||ZEPHYRON (NZ)||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||10||56kg||62|