The action of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival steps up a notch today, Saturday September 24, with a double-shot of Group 1 racing headlining the Caulfield card for Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day 2016.
The Melbourne forecast is for scattered showers throughout the day, but without any heavier rainfall due to fall until late afternoon the current Good (3) Caulfield track rating is unlikely to suffer too much.
Caulfield Track Report – 24/09/2016
- Track Rating: Good (3)
- Rail: True Entire Circuit
- Weather: Scattered Showers
- Irrigation: 3mm last 24hrs, 13mm last 7 days
- Rainfall: nil last 24hrs, 3mm last 7 days
- Penetrometer: 5.08
Caulfield racing kicks off this afternoon at 12:30pm (AEST) and the bumper nine-race program goes through until the card closer at 5:25pm (AEST).
Four Group races and a Listed showdown headline the program including two Group 1 races – the 2016 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and the 2016 Underwood Stakes running as Race 7 and 8 respectively.
Both elite levels have had notable scratchings with Under The Louvre, Charmed Harmony and Tycoon Tara out of the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes field, while Our Ivanhowe misses the Underwood Stakes due to injury.
Check out the complete Caulfield Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes Day Preview and scratchings below before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your spring selections at the right odds!
Caulfield Scratchings – 24/09/2016
Total Scratchings: 18
Race 1 (12:30pm) – $80,000 The Alfred Hospital Plate (1100m)
- #8 Foreign Affair (3)
Ten remaining runners in this Benchmark 90 to kick off the card with Super Cash ($3.30) first-up and domination markets after his strong form last time in in Group company. Dangers are Jalan Jalan ($40) also first-up and coming off a hot trial, and market mover Magic Alibi ($5) drawn wide but a danger off a Group 3 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) third first-up.
Race 2 (1:05pm) – $120,000 Listed italktravel Harry White Classic (2400m)
- #1 Signoff (6)
The meeting’s first stakes race and with the Melbourne Cup performed Signoff out, seven line-up in this mile and a half feature including the defending champion Black Tomahawk ($3.40) for Darren Weir who comes off four consecutive second place efforts.
Race 3 (1:40pm) – $90,000 Moniek Sambor Tile Importer Handicap (1700m)
- #8 Pilote D’Essai (10)
- #13 Wales (9)
Eleven remaining hopes in this middle-distance staying clash where even under the 61kg top weight, Weir’s in-form seven-year-old Royal Rapture ($3.10) is the one to beat again in the back of four straight wins. Plenty of others with strong lead-up form though including Big Memory $5.50) and Heatherlie Handicap third placegetter Longeron ($6.50).
Race 4 (2:15pm) – $250,000 Inglis Cup (2000m)
- No current scratchings
A lucrative restricted Inglis clash over a good distance features all 12 original acceptors with Pay Up Bro ($2.90) the clear favourite to win his third on the trot after the easy three length effort over 1400m on September 14. He’s on the quick back-up and hasn’t won over further than that distance however so opens it up for something like the Weir-trained stallion Kevin’s Time ($6) coming off a strong mile win under heavier kilos.
Race 5 (2:55pm) – $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Thousand Guineas Prelude (1400m)
- #9 Sweet Sherry (1)
- #11 Leotie (10)
There are a dozen 2016 Thousand Guineas-bound fillies in the mix now after the scratchings and all the money is on the favourite Whispering Brook ($2.50) who is drawn wide but clearly the one to beat second-up. She suffered her only loss in her interstate debut at the Valley last start, but the Perth visitor was narrowly beaten and ready to improve and return to winning form. The dangers include Samara Dancer ($5) and Sebring Dream ($5.50).
Race 6 (3:35pm) – $175,000 Group 3 Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m)
- #5 Good Standing (4)
- #7 Throssell (17)
- #17e Larrikin (9)
- #18e Lucky Beau (13)
With the emergencies scratched a below capacity field of 14 remain for this traditional Caulfield Guineas lead-up where Archives ($4) is heavily backed, but is facing some smart Kiwi competition including returning JJ Atkins winner Sacred Elixir ($7.50) and his last start conqueror in the Danehill Stakes Saracino ($4.80).
Race 7 (4:15pm) – $500,000 Group 1 Yulong Park Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m)
- #1 Under The Louvre (14)
- #5 Charmed Harmony (9)
- #8 Tycoon Tara (8)
Thirteen runners still left for the day’s first elite level including Chris Waller’s firming favourite Counterattack ($3.30) who is backed to win his first Group 1 at just his second Melbourne start. Voodoo Lad ($4.80) for Darren Weir (chasing three straight wins in the race) is up in class, while Bon Aurum ($5.50) and Tivaci ($8.50) shape-up as livewire hopes.
Race 8 (4:55pm) – $500,000 Group 1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m)
- #3 Our Ivanhowe (3)
Ten remaining weight-for-age hopes in this key Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate lead-up. Darren Weir’s dual Group 1 winner Black Heart Bart ($2.70) is all the rage despite his inexperience at the distance, while Kris Lees’ champion mare Lucia Valentina ($3.80) is out to make history as the first mare since Tristarc (1985) to win.
Race 9 (5:25pm) – $90,000 Mypunter.com Handicap (1100m)
- #3 Reldas (10)
- #5 Craftiness (13)
- #14 Murt The Flirt (1)
- #16 El Prado Gold (7)
Twelve left in the last with some nice types engaged for the sprint clash including the market mover Hellbent ($3.40) drawn wide for hoop Craig Williams, but coming off the win at Sale over 1005m. Right down in weight (59kg to 54kg), but danger is Sheidel ($5) carrying top kilos but class to do so.
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change