The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
This Saturday the Melbourne punters are in for a treat at Caulfield Racecourse with a triple shot of Group 1 racing action headlined by Cox Plate-bound three-year-old Pierro looking to retain their undefeated status and in the Caulfield Guineas 2012.
With eight previous wins from as many starts, three at Group 1 level, there are more than just a few reasons why this star son of Lonhro is at disgustingly short odds for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) this year.
Last seen running away with the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes win over the Caulfield Guineas distance (1600m) the Melbourne way of going at Moonee Valley by five lengths on September 28, it is easy to see why Pierro is $1.22 in the Caulfield Guineas odds at bookmaker.com.au and firming.
While the Gai Waterhouse-trained $3.15 million earner is seemingly unbeatable, history suggests an upset Caulfield Guineas result is a (slight) possibility here.
Many a legendary galloper has been defeated in the Caulfield Guineas when seeing the course for the first time including Kingston Town (1979) who came onto the race on the back of six straight wins including the spring 3YO triple crown, Sir Dapper (1983) and more recently dual Cox Plate hero So You Think (2009).
However this year the form specialists and track legends agree that Pierro is in a different class again.
“Pierro is the ultimate professional,” former jockey Malcom Johnston who was aboard Kingston Town for their ’79 Caulfield Guineas loss said.
“He will get around Caulfield without a drama because he seems to handle everything that is thrown at him.
“I don’t label horses champions very often but if he wins the Caulfield Guineas and the Cox Plate, he deserves to be called a champion.
“He will win the Guineas, I have no doubt, then the big test will come in the Cox Plate.”
Ron Quinton, who still remembers his shock loss on Sir Dapper in the ’83 Guineas, agrees.
“The track won’t be a problem for him,” Quinton said.
“He does everything right in his races and the way he handled Moonee Valley the other day (in the Bill Stutt Stakes) showed that the Melbourne way of going isn’t a concern.
“If he stays out of trouble, he should be too good for them.”
While the Caulfield Guineas is definitely not the best race for the favourites with only nine saluting since 1983, including three of the past 10, Pierro really should be able to buck the trend here.
Nothing but serious bad luck should stop this champ with the Caulfield Guineas but another stepping stone onto his first real test in the Cox Plate.
And with the favourite and Races.com.au Caulfield Guineas tip at such short odds, see below for the best horses to add into the exotics for value at bookmaker.com.au this weekend.
1st: #1 Pierro ($1.22)
- Undefeated in eight with a 100% win and place rate
- Triple Group 1 winner
- Comes off a Bill Stutt Stakes romp and two Caulfield Guineas winners in the past 10 years have taken out this double with Whobegotyou (2008) and Helenus (2002)
- Two wins over the mile and the only horse in this to have run and won over the 1600m previously
- Best three-year-old colt getting around so will be hard to beat against his own kind at level weights
- Might not have seen the track but strutted his stuff well in the anti-clockwise direction in the Bill Stutt and in Flemington trackwork this week
2nd: #2 Epaulette ($9)
- Group 1 winner in the Golden Rose two back
- Comes off a Caulfield Guineas Prelude win at the track
- The CG Prelude has produced seven of the past 10 Caulfield Guineas winners, three horses completing the double with Helmet (2011), Anacheeva (2010) and Wonderful World (2006)
- Came within a few centimeters of Pierro when second in Todman back in March but hasn’t been able to get close in two runs against them since (16th in the Golden Slipper and 3rd in the Run to the Rose)
- Prepared by Peter Snowden who won the race last year with Helmet
- Last year’s winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy is aboard
- Drawn in gate six which has produced the most Caulfield Guineas winners (6) of any gate
- Boats the second best win rate of the field (57.51%)
- Only horse to have won at Caulfield before
3rd: #8 Let Go Lenni ($31)
- Very juicy price for this rails-drawn chance
- Yet to finish out of the money with a perfect place percentage
- Have run top three at Caulfield before coming off a close second (beaten a long neck) to Epaulette in the Prelude
- They had 55kg to Epaulette’s 58.5kg however and will need to improve at equal weights here
Whether you are having a punt on Pierro to win the Caulfield Guineas, hey 22 cents for every dollar is better than nothing, or backing one of his rivals in the exotics now is the time to place your bets before markets firm at bookmaker.com.au!
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