Friday, Feb. 21st (North American time)
Note: Caulfield is one of the three major tracks in Melbourne and Randwick is one of the two major tracks in Sydney.
A lot of big Aussie races on tap for Friday night! Here we go:
Race 2B (Caulfield) 10:15 PM EST
A lot of these horses have chased crack sprinter ZOUSTAR over the last 6 months. I know from experience that #3 Thermal Current is a tough little horse and usually the Peter Moody-trained animals relish Caulfield. 3/1 ML is no great shakes but I think he is the best of an evenly matched group.
Race 3B (Caulfield) 10:50 PM EST
#4 Marianne figures to be a lot a tighter with the Feb 8th return, and her class against top Melborne filly Gregers says she is the one to beat. Sprits Dance beat the top pick in a photo last time but that was her third start off the layoff and she probably does not have much more improvement in her scope. Peter Moody trains Spirits Dance and #6 Metaphorical, who has a great record at 7 furlongs and can factor in the gimmicks.
Race 4A (Randwick) 11:07 PM EST
#1 Toydini is being campaigned for an elusive Group 1 victory later this season, and 6 furlongs is much shorter than his preferred 1 Mile distance. If you are naughty and you have a Betfair account, he is probably a good “lay” candidate. Watch out for this one as they stretch him out in distance. He’s a real trier.
Race 4B (Caulfield) 11:25 PM EST
#2 Countersnip appears ready for a big run second off the bench. He seems to be the speed of the speed, but can also sit second. Mick Price is a top Aussie trainer and his horses always run well in the good races. From a value perspective I would demand 5/1, but if $10 is burning in your advance wagering account back this gelding “on the nose” and hopefully he will get the job done.
Race 5A (Randwick) 11:42 PM EST
#1 Guelph is a super filly. Even mediocre journeyman rider Kerrin McEvoy can’t mess her up. She is probably in the same class as a “Rachel Alexandra kind of filly” and she is being pointed to the $4 Million dollar Queen Elizabeth II stakes against older horses in mid-April. This is he comeback effort and lets hope she keeps winning.
Race 5B (Caulfield) 12:00 AM EST
#1 Fiorente, winner of the 2013 Melbourne Cup and third in the 2013 Cox Plate returns in a 9 furlong stakes race. He has won at a mile so I expect him to run well. Usually horses from the Gai Waterhouse barn are extremely fit, even in their comeback race. #4 Foreteller could be a threat off his 2013 Cox Plate, and he often runs well at fat odds.
Race 6B (Caulfield) 12:35 AM EST
A lot of these horses are cross-entered in another stakes at Randwick, so it is hard to make strong predictions. Peter Moody trains the even money favorite Moment of Change, and felt obligated to enter the talented #7 Lidari as well. Since I think Moment of Change is a chump, I will have a few dollars on Lidari.
Race 7A (Randwick) 12:52 PM EST
#1 Boban is considered one of the best, if not the best, horse in Sydney. His comeback effort was brutally bad, so make him run a much stronger effort before you back him again. Sometimes horses run off form for an entire prep sequence. It happens.
Race 7B (Caulfield) 1:10 AM EST
This is a Group 1, $1 Million two year old race. My money will be on #4 Chivalry. I will explain why on betptcblog.com in the AUSTRALIAN RACING section.
Race 8B (Caulfield) 1:45 AM EST
This is considered a good, not great, or defining sprint race on the Australian calendar. My top pick is Lankan Rupee, who has been a racing machine after getting the “ultimate equipment change,” i.e. being gelded. He is relaxing a lot better in his races now, which allows him to finish his races much stronger and put up big speed figures. There is a huge field of up to 18 runners, before scratches, but he is extremely sharp and can be placed anywhere in the top 4 in the running early.