The C. F. Orr Stakes (Race 7C at Caulfield, near Melbourne, 12:30 AM EST Saturday) is the first Group 1 race of the Fall Australian season. 18 horses are entered and it should be a great race. Here are my picks for the Friday night the 12th (Western Hemisphere time).
Race 1A Randwick 5.5 furlongs ($125K) 8:40pm EST (7:40pm CST, 5:40 pm PST) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super 2yo OPEN LR Apprentices Cannot Claim
#1 Prized Icon (123) 7/2 ML. Was disadvantaged 1st on the layoff when he had to run on a very wet, heavy track and never really found his stride until it was too late. The horse that beat him that day is also considered to be very talented. Both of his runs are good enough to win today, and I think the extra half furlong in distance will suit.
Race 1C (Caulfield) 9 furlongs (BM96) ($80K) 9:30pm EST (8:30pm CST, 6:30pm PST) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Apprentices Can Claim
#4 Tashbeeh (130) 3/1 ML. Has turned into a win machine, winning three of its last four starts, and he is able to run at the level because a apprentice, Dylan Dunn, takes the mount. Speed figures continue to improve and this horse knows where the line is.
Race 2C (Caulfield) 6 Furlongs KEVIN HAYES STAKES 3yo F OPEN G3 ($150K) 10:00pm EST (9:00pm CST, 7:00pm PST) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super
#2 Risque (125) 3/1 ML was a Group 1 winner in New Zealand in November and comes back in this spot for the sizzling Hayes/Dabernick/Lindsay Park operation. She has a good 6 furlong record (2-1-1-0) and overall record (6-3-2-0). Her best wins this.
Race 3C (Caulfield) 5.5 furlongs LADBROKES BLUE DIAMOND PREL-Fillies ($200K) 10:30pm EST (9:30pm CST, 7:30pm PST) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super, Pick 3 (3C, 4C, 5C) 2yo F OPEN SW G2
#3 Calliope (122) 6/1 ML looks to be a special horse and I am very willing to take the 6/1 Morning Line Odds in the key fillies prep for the AUD $1 Million Blue Diamond in two weeks time.
Race 7C (Caulfield) 7 furlongs LADBROKES C.F. ORR STAKES GROUP 1 ($500K) 12:30am EST (11:30pm CST, 9:30pm PST) W, P, S, Ex, Qu, Tri, Super
#7 Turn Me Loose (130) 5/1 ML Was a top three year old that won a AUD $1 Million mile race on Melbourne Cup week over older horses in very fast time. A horse that Turn Me Loose beat that day, Lucky Hussler, came back to win a restricted AUD $948,000 stake in January. Lucky Hussler is now the favorite but I have seen both horses run several times and Turn Me loose is the better animal.