Naturalism Stakes Day 2017: Harlem Books Caulfield Cup Start

September 23, 2017

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Naturalism Stakes Day 2017: Harlem Books Caulfield Cup Start

The lead-up to the Caulfield Cup heats up this afternoon with the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival action of 2017 Naturalism Stakes Day and the full Caulfield racing results will be available right here as each race unfolds.


Last year’s Naturalism Stakes winner Jameka went on to take out the Caulfield Cup 2016. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

A bumper nine-race card is slated for Caulfield Racecourse for Naturalism Stakes Day including two Group 3 events.

Vying for a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption, the stayers do battle in Race 7 when the Naturalism Stakes runs as the Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (2000m).

The penultimate event and other prime betting race for the punters at is the How Now Stakes, the mares running in the event currently known as the Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes (1200m).

Stay tuned to all afternoon for the official Naturalism Stakes Day results and Caulfield winners, with the latest markets and offers on all the features open right now at

Race 9 (4:55pm) – $120,000 Inglis Supports Riding For The Disabled Victoria Plate (1400m)


Merriest took out the last at Caulfield on Naturalism Stakes Day. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #7 Merriest
  • 2nd: #11 Petition
  • 3rd: #9 Princess Of Queens

The Danny O’Brien-trained Denman mare Merriest took out the last on Naturalism Stakes Day leading all-the-way to continue her strong record at the Caulfield track. The four-year-old bounced out well from the gates and led early from Rocket Commander, while Petition got the box seat in third. It was a muddling pace throughout, Merriest positioned nicely on the inside right up on the speed where plenty of Caulfield winners had come from across the afternoon. Apprentice Taylor Marshall used his two kilo claim on Merriest who carted 53kg and the mare relished the relief. She was able to lead from the front, improving second-up to hold off Petition who ticked over well again without winning in second, while Princess Of Queens finished third.

Race 8 (4:15pm) – Group 3 $150,000 Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes (1200m)

Savanna Amour

Savanna Amour held off in a tight finish in the 2017 How Now Stakes results at Caulfield. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #3 Savanna Amour
  • 2nd: #4 Legless Veuve
  • 3rd: #6 Ravi

The Chris Meagher-trained Love Conquers all four-year-old Savanna Amour scored an upset How Now Stakes result, the last start Cockram Stakes winner making it a Group 3 double at Caulfield Racecourse backing-up to take out Saturday’s sprint at a nice price of $15. Between first and sixth over the line in the race run as the Ladbrokes Odds Boost Stakes, just a length separated the top runners in a true blanket finish. On top was Savanna Amour who shot away on the straight. She looked to be getting weary 100m from the line, but continued her great Caulfield record that also includes the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes back in February. Savanna Amour just had enough in the tank to hold off the fast-finishing Legless Veuve who rocketed home for second, while the beaten favourite Ravi, coming off her Sheraco Stakes success, came from from last-to-third to round out the trifecta.

Race 7 (3:35pm) – Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (2000m)


Naturalism Stakes winner Harlem will rocket to the top of the 2017 Caulfield Cup ballot for the October 21 classic. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #8 Harlem
  • 2nd: #15 Samovare
  • 3rd: #6 Stampede

Gun Lindsay Park-trained import Harlem has booked a spot in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup field over the mile and a half on October 21 winning the ballot exemption with a big victory in the Naturalism Stakes. Jameka (2016) did the Naturalism Stakes – Caulfield Cup double last year and now this lightly-raced Champs Elysees six-year-old will be well-supported to repeat the feat. Jockey Dwayne Dunn gave the entire a mindful run from barrier one, presenting him on the straight moving up on the outside of the front-running favourite Stampede, and quickly shaking the top fancy off. Harlem looked to have three lengths on runner-up Samovare on the line, while Stampede held for third. Co-trainer Ben Hayes was full of post-win praise, confident there was improvement to come as Harlem stretched out to the 2400m in the 2017 Caulfield Cup, odds for which the Naturalism Stakes winner is sure to firm in.

Read the full 2017 Naturalism Stakes Results.

Race 6 (2:55pm) – Listed $120,000 Skyline Education Foundation Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m)

Bons Away

Bons Away scored an upset over The Everest-bound Brave Smash in the Testa Rossa Stakes 2017. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #11 Bons Away
  • 2nd: #3 Brave Smash
  • 3rd: #4 Fast ‘N’ Rocking

The Ciaron Maher-trained four-year-old Bons Away posted his fourth win on the trot, coming with a big late run down the middle to turn the Testa Rossa Stakes into a brilliant two horse race with the Darren Weir-trained odds-on favourite Brave Smash. Japanese import Brave Smash is already assured of a run in the $10 million The Everest (1200m) in Sydney on October 14, but didn’t have the sprint to beat Bons Away in today’s black-type. Bons Away was punched out by the in-form Linda Meech who also rode the winner Sircconi in the race before, scoring the upset to finish a head in front of Brave Smash, while $51 roughie Fast ‘N’ Rocking rounded out the trifecta.

Race 5 (2:15pm) – $120,000 Ladbrokes Supports National Jockeys Trust Handicap (1400m)


Sircconi could target the 2017 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic after a nice win at the track. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #9 Sircconi
  • 2nd: #8 Wyndspelle
  • 3rd: #2 So Si Bon

Possible Group 3 $350,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic (2000m) hopeful Sircconi returned to winning form at Caulfield today, improving on a dead-last in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last start to win the National Jockeys Trust Handicap over 1400m. The Nicconi colt enjoyed his first victory since the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce over the same distance at Flemington back in March and beat home the older horses in a much-improved second-up effort today. In a nearly all-the-way effort, the front running three-year-old held off the late finishers to beat home roughie hope Wyndspelle (2nd) and the well-fancied So Si Bon (3rd).

Race 4 (1:40pm) – $120,000 Flight Cancer Foundation Plate (1100m)


Bandipur posted a Caulfield win for Godolphin in the fourth on Naturalism Stakes Day. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #1 Bandipur
  • 2nd: #4 I Did It Again
  • 3rd: #5 King’s Authority

Godolphin enjoyed their first win at Caulfield today with smart colt Bendipur continuing his super-consistent form with his third win at career start number six. The son of Commands came into the race off lead-up form reading one-two-one-two, and true to that form, finished on top in a tight finish. His lead-up run was a second at Moonee Valley in the Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) from late August and he presented well after the freshen-up. Carrying the 57.5kg top weight, Bandipur arrived late on the scene and scored the win, his first as a three-year-old, at odds of 4/1 over the hot favourite I Did It Again, who finished second in a photo with third placed roughie King’s Authority. Bandipur holds a nomination for the Group 3 $350,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) back at the track on October 18, but the team were yet to lock in any plans.

Race 3 (1:0pm) – $60,000 Lojac Civil Handicap (1800m)


Anaheim enjoyed a firm track and step up in distance for a win in the third at Caulfield. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #4 Anaheim
  • 2nd: #11 Sin To Win
  • 3rd: #8 Goodwill

The Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Fastnet Rock four-year-old Anaheim was back in winning form enjoying his second 1800m win from as many goes at the distance, the entire relishing the firm going at Caulfield. Luckless in the autumn producing brave runs on wet tracks in Sydney including the Rosehill Guineas fourth, the galloper had form around Hey Doc having finished under two lengths fifth in the Australian Guineas at a mile on a Good Flemington track earlier as a three-year-old. He jumped well in the third on Naturalism Stakes Day, getting into a box seat and from the right position his hoop was able to produce him late with Anaheim quickly putting away his rivals. Up to a more suitable trip, the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup-nominated youngster got the top prize defeating the short-priced favourite Sin To Win (2nd) and Goodwill (3rd).

Race 2 (12:30pm) – $120,000 Sportsbet Supports Mirabel Foundation Handicap (1600m)

Cliff's Edge

Cliff’s Edge has a Group 3 Victoria Derby Day target after winning at Caulfield on Naturalism Stakes Day 2017. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #2 Cliff’s Edge
  • 2nd: #6 Sunquest
  • 3rd: #11 Pres De Toi

Weir made it back-to-back wins at Caulfield in the opening two races of Naturalism Stakes Day after a nice effort from three-year-old colt Cliff’s Edge who was given a more positive ride up on the speed by John Allen today. Weir described the son of Canford Cliffs as “very casual” and “very, very hard to get fit”, adding that the key to the win today was backing him up from his nice effort at Flemington last Saturday. Cliff’s Edge ran four lengths back eighth behind Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas contender Royal Symphony in last weekend’s Listed Exford Plate (1400m), franking that form with his first start at the mile. He held off the fast-finishing Sunquest, while roughie hope Pres De Toi – a well-bred daughter of Helmet – held for her third 3rd placing on the trot. Weir named the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) on Victoria Derby Day as a likely spring target for Cliff’s Edge during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Race 1 (12:00pm) – $120,000 Aquis Farm Supports Pinchapoo Plate (1400m)


Group 2 racing calls for Darren Weir’s Naturalism Stakes Day winner Leather’N’Lace. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

  • 1st: #9 Leather’N’Lace
  • 2nd: #13 Uptown Gal
  • 3rd: #8 Banish

Master Victorian trainer Darren Weir kicked off Foundation Day with a beautiful win from his improving Street Cry filly Leather’N’Lace, the second elect given a gun run up front on the speed by jockey Damian Lane. A winner of her past three on the trot, the untapped Leather’N’Lace dictated the race up front in her all-the-way victory that she won comfortably over roughie hope Uptown Gal ($81). Banish held for third in the bob of a head to round out the trifecta. Weir has named a Group 2 mile race for fillies in a couple of weeks as the “logical next step” for Leather’N’Lace who he said had a “great racing style”.

*All times quoted are local (AEST) and subject to change

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