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CRAIG’S BLOG

Caulfield 27th November

Caulfield
Saturday 27th November
Rail: 6 metres
Track: Good 4

Race 2: Neds Sandown Cup (3200 METRES)
Horse: Sweet Thomas
Trainer: Matthew Smith

Race 3: Tobin Brothers Funerals Twilight Glow Stakes (1400 METRES)
Horse: Riduna
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Race 4: Premier Signs Doveton Stakes (1000 METRES)
Horse: Starry Legend
Trainer: John Sadler

Race 5: BECK Probuild Summoned Stakes (1600 METRES)
Horse: Brazen Song
Trainer: Shane Nichols

Race 6: Neds Sandown Guineas (1600 METRES)
Horse: Festival Dancer
Trainer: Matthew Smith

Race 8: Keno Eclipse Stakes (1800 METRES)
Horse: Starelle
Trainer: Danny O’Brien

Race 9: Quayclean Kevin Heffernan Stakes (1400 METRES)
Horse: Sinawann
Trainers: Anthony & Sam Freedman

Good luck to all connections.

Moonee Valley 26th November

Moonee Valley – night meeting
Friday 26th November
Rail: 6 metres
Track: Good 4

Race 7: TOTE Bar & Dining Handicap (2040 METRES)
Horse: Johandough
Trainer: Thomas Carberry

Good luck to connections.

Pakenham 25th November

Pakenham – night meeting
Thursday 25th November
Rail: 8 metres
Track: Good 4

Race 2: Pak Cup Countdown Is On Maiden Plate (1200 METRES)
Horse: Pagan
Trainer: Ben & JD Hayes

Good luck to connections.

Sandown 24th November

Sandown Lakeside
Wednesday 24th November
Rail: 5 metres
Track: Good 4

Race 1: IVE > Print Plate (Maiden 1200 METRES)
Horse: Surcote
Trainer: Chris Waller

Race 5: Ladbrokes Bet Ticker Handicap (Class 1 1300 METRES)
Horse: Wolf Skill
Trainer: Jerome Hunter

Race 7: Ladbrokes Card Handicap (BM70 1400 METRES)
Horse: Kazio
Trainer: Aaron Purcell

Good luck to all connections.

Cranbourne Preview

Today I’m riding at Cranbourne for the Cranbourne Cup meeting. It’s the first time this meeting has been held as a standalone meeting on a Saturday with the feature now over 1600 metres and worth $500,000. The rail is in the true position from the 1600 to the 1000 metres and then out 3 metres for the remainder. After the recent rain the track is rated in the heavy range.

Race 1 is the Rhino The Wrecker 2YO Plate over 1000 metres. My ride here is GREYT MUMMA who is trained by Anthony & Sam Freedman. This daughter of Capitalist is raced by Love Racing. She is making her debut today and has had three jumpouts in preparation for her first day at the races. She has looked very professional in all of her jumpouts and displayed nice natural speed in her most recent effort. She is untested on heavy ground so it will be interesting to see how she handles the day and track conditions. On face value if she brings her jumpout form to the races she will be very competitive.

Race 2 is the OBrien Real Estate 3YO Cranbourne Classic over 2025 metres. My ride here is STATION ONE who is trained by Liam Howley. This gelding by Toronado has had two starts for a win and an unplaced effort. He won on debut at this track over 1600 metres on 29th October before stepping up to Listed grade at Flemington during Cup week over 1800 metres where he made all the running and got tired late. He is dropping back in grade today, is stepping up in distance and returns to the track where he won his maiden. He is a horse that makes his own luck by racing close to the speed and if he runs out the distance and handles the track conditions he will be in this for a long way.

Race 3 is the Frankston Sand Soil & Mini Mix 3YO Handicap over 1200 metres. My ride here is RIDUNA who is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. This daughter of Fastnet Rock has had six starts for a win and two third placings. She races here fifth-up this preparation and is dropping back to the distance of 1200 metres that saw her win her maiden three starts ago after racing over 1400 metres at her past two starts. I rode her in her most recent start at Flemington in Listed grade where she stepped away slowly from a wide barrier and I felt that if she had clear running would have finished in the placings and it was a solid effort. She drops to the minimum weight of 54 kilos and will start from a middle barrier draw. She has been placed on heavy ground, so the track conditions should be of no disadvantage to her. She looks well placed here to be one of the main chances in this with the drop back in grade and distance.

Race 5 is the Rosemont Stud Fillies & Mares Pendant over 1400 metres. My ride here is MAYBE THE BEST who is trained by Anthony & Sam Freedman. This four-year-old mare by I Am Invincible is raced by James Bester, Robert McClure, Lauri Macri and partners. She is lightly raced having had only five starts for an exceptional record of two wins and three second placings. She’s had three runs this preparation and comes into this as a last start winner over 1300 metres. This will be her first time racing over the 1400 metres and the inside barrier draw will be to her advantage as she usually races on-speed. She usually starts as the favourite, so she’s always shown the stable good ability. She has been placed on a soft track at her only attempt in the conditions and she has trialled officially on heavy ground at Cranbourne where she was very competitive, so the track conditions will be of no disadvantage to her. She looks well placed here to continue her good record and will take a lot of beating in this.

Race 6 is the Procon Developments Apache Cat Classic over 1000 metres. My ride here is DEXELATION who is trained by Richard & Chantelle Jolly. This seven-year-old gelding by Ambidexter has had 42 starts for a record of 11 wins and 16 placings and has been such a consistent galloper throughout his career. He is racing in great form this preparation and is unbeaten from two runs this campaign. From his two attempts on heavy ground he has a win and third placing to his name and his soft track form is also very good. He is a horse that usually gets back in his races, so I’m hoping this track will be racing fairly as there looks to be a lot of speed in this race. If he holds his recent form he is the horse they all have to beat.

Race 7 is the Listed TAB Cranbourne Cup over 1600 metres. My ride here is MYSTERY SHOT who is trained by Lindsey Smith. This five-year-old gelding by Shooting to Win is raced by Brad Spicer and partners. He is lightly raced for his age having had 13 starts for a record of six wins and two placings. He’s had four runs this campaign and I rode him last start at Flemington over 1800 metres in BM90 grade. He drops back to the mile today and he has winning form over this distance range. He hasn’t raced on heavy ground but his soft track record of three wins and a placing from five starts is very good. He is racing up in grade today from his last start and drops 4.5 kilos in weight in this feature race. He has drawn a wide barrier in a race where there looks to be a lot of speed on paper and by the time his race comes around it might be an advantage to be away from the rail. I’m looking forward to having my second ride on him and he looks to be one of the main contenders in this new look Cranbourne Cup.

Race 8 is the BM84 Reed Cranes & Transport Marathon Handicap over 2550 metres. My ride here is BLANDFORD LAD (NZ) who is trained by Peter Gelagotis. This six-year-old gelding by Savabeel has had 30 starts for a record of five wins and six placings. He is a horse that races well at Cranbourne as from his two starts at the track he has recorded two placings, with both of those being his two most recent runs over a similar distance to this event. He is racing up in grade today from his last start and drops 5.5 kilos to the minimum weight of 54 kilos. He is racing in very good form but he is unplaced from three attempts in heavy ground, but he has winning form on soft tracks. If he handles the track conditions and runs up to his best form he will be one of the main chances.

Race 9 is the BM70 Hertz Handicap over 1300 metres. My ride here is THE GENERAL (NZ) who is trained by Richard Laming. This five-year-old gelding by Charm Spirit is lightly raced for his age having had 11 starts for a record of four wins and three placings. He’s had four runs at this track for two wins and a third placing and although untried over this distance, he has won over 1200 metres previously and three starts ago he wasn’t beaten far over 1400 metres behind the promising Sirileo Miss. With a rating of 75 in a BM70 race he carries the weight of 62.5 kilos. The track conditions will suit him as he has won on soft and heavy ground. He will start from a wide barrier and he is a horse that like to race on-speed and there looks to be lots of pressure, so it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds. If he runs up to his best form he will be in this for a long way.

Flemington Preview

Today I’m riding at Flemington for Oaks Day, the third day of the carnival. The rail is out 5 metres and after recent rain the track is rated in the soft range.

Race 1 is the BM70 TCL TV Stakes over 1700 metres for fillies and mares. My ride here is BIG ANGEL who is trained by Chris Waller. This four-year-old daughter of Zoustar is raced by Kevin Payne. She’s been a model of consistency in her career with a record of one win and six placings from 11 starts. With her rating of 61 she comes into this race carrying the light weight of 55.5 kilos. She is unplaced in two attempts on heavy ground but has placed twice in soft conditions. She drops back in distance from her last start which was over 1800 metres, so she will be very fit for her fourth run this campaign. She will start from a wide barrier but she is a mare that always seems to run her best on the outside of horses, so that won’t be a disadvantage to her.

Race 2 is the Inglis Bracelet over 1600 metres for fillies and mares. My ride here is SIRILEO MISS who is trained by Symon Wilde. This is a race that is restricted to horses that were purchased through and paid up for the Inglis Race Series scheme. SIRILEO MISS is a four-year-old mare by Pride Of Dubai. She is a talented mare with an amazing record of five wins and three placings from nine starts, only missing a top three placing once when she contested the Group 1 Australian Oaks in Adelaide last season finishing fifth on that occasion. She is such a fierce competitor who has really good ability. She’s had three runs this preparation and remains undefeated after winning at Group 3 level last start. Due to the set weight and penalty conditions of this race she does carry a weight penalty, but she is only 2.5 kilos off the minimum and on her 95 rating she is very well placed in this race. She has winning form on soft ground and the stable are confident she will excel in heavy ground also should the track deteriorate. This is a small field of gallopers and she is a mare that makes her own luck by racing close to the speed. On her form she is the horse they all have to beat and I’m looking forward to riding her again.

Race 3 is the Group 3 Darley Ottawa Stakes over 1000 metres for two-year-old fillies. My ride here is SEE YOU IN HEAVEN who is trained by Richard & Chantelle Jolly. This daughter of Divine Prophet is having her first start today, as are most of the field. She’s been well educated with jumpouts and an official trial in Adelaide in preparation for her debut run and the fact that the stable has decided to send her to Melbourne means that they think highly of her. She showed good improvement from her first to second pieces of work which is always a good sign. This is a very competitive field but I expect she can make her presence felt and be one of the main chances.

Race 4 is the BM90 Twitter Trophy over 1800 metres. My ride here is MYSTERY SHOT who is trained by Lindsey Smith. This five-year-old gelding by Shooting to Win has had 12 starts for a record of six wins and two placings. When he started his career as a three-year-old his first five starts were all wins before a long lay-off. His next preparation saw him contest four races for a win and second placing before being spelled again. He’s had three runs this campaign and is dropping back in grade today to benchmark company after running at Listed level for his past two starts. This form around him from his past two starts is very strong which will hold him in good stead for this contest. He has never been exposed to heavy ground but has won three races on soft ground. He will start from a favourable barrier and will be given every chance to return to the winners circle if he runs up to his recent form.

Race 5 is the Listed Off the Track Desirable Stakes over 1400 metres for three-year-old fillies. My ride here is RIDUNA who is trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott. This daughter of Fastnet Rock has had five starts for a record of one win and two third placings. She’s done all of her racing in New South Wales, so this will be her first time racing the Melbourne way of going. She’s had three starts this preparation and is racing in good form with her win and a third placing coming this preparation. Last start she finished fourth in a Listed race over 1400 metres, so she stays in the same grade and racing over the same distance as last start. She is a horse that races on-speed and has drawn a wide barrier today, as seems to be a regular occurrence for her! She has winning form on soft ground and has been placed in heavy conditions. If we have luck in running she can make her presence felt.

Race 9 is the Group 3 Listed Network 10 Red Roses Stakes over 1100 metres for three-year-old fillies. My ride here is XTRA GEAR who is trained by Richard Laming. This daughter of Xtravagant is raced by Newhaven Park Stud and partners. She’s had three starts for a win and second placing, only missing a placing last start when she contested a Group 2 race at Caulfield where she stepped up to 1400 metres for the first time. She drops back in distance today to her previous winning range which should be to her advantage. The form around her is very strong and she finished second on debut to Invincible Caviar. She is untested on heavy ground but won her maiden in soft conditions and has jumped out recently at Cranbourne on rain affected ground. I rode her in that jumpout and was impressed with her performance, she did want to go left handed at times and this will be her first time racing over the straight course track. If she runs up to her recent jumpout I expect she will be one of the main chances if she handles the straight course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flemington Preview

Craig rides at Flemington today. Watch his preview below:

 

Moonee Valley Preview

This evening I’m riding at Moonee Valley where it’s the first meeting of the Cox Plate weekend of racing. The rail is in the true position and the track is rated in the good range. The weather in Melbourne for this evening may prove challenging with rain forecast, so it will be interesting to see how that changes the racing conditions not only this evening, but for tomorrow’s Cox Plate day also.

Race 3 is the Sweeney Estate Agents Plate over 2040 metres for mares. My ride here is LE LUDE who is trained by John Thompson. This six-year-old mare by Lope de Vega has had 28 starts for a record of four wins and six minor placings and has been a consistent galloper throughout her career. She’s had four runs this preparation with all of those being in black type company and this race sees her drop back to mares handicap grade. She is a horse that races well on both rain affected ground and firmer surfaces, so the track conditions won’t be to her disadvantage. She has very strong form lines around her this preparation and hasn’t been beaten far in her four runs this campaign. She can race on-speed to mid field to make her own luck and a low barrier draw will give her every chance to take up that position without too much work. This will be her first time racing the Melbourne way of going, so I’ll be mindful of that and help her around as much as I can. She looks well placed here under the set weights and penalty conditions and she will be one of the main chances.

Race 7 is the feature on the card, it’s the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes over 1200 metres run under weight for age conditions. My ride here is INGRATIATING who is trained by James Cummings. This three-year-old colt by Frosted is raced by Godolphin. He’s had 10 starts for a record of three wins, four seconds and a third placing, only missing a top three placing on two occasions in his career. He was unplaced at his most recent start at Flemington where he was disappointing in finishing ninth after starting favourite in the Danehill Stakes. Since that run he has returned to Sydney and returned back to Melbourne. He is a horse that will most likely race off the speed in the second half of the field and will need the track to be racing evenly and the speed to be on to suit horses closing off. If you can forgive his last start and he returns to his best form he will take a lot of beating in this Group 1 feature.

Moonee Valley Preview

This evening I’m riding at Moonee Valley where it’s the first meeting of the Cox Plate weekend of racing. The rail is in the true position and the track is rated in the good range. The weather in Melbourne for this evening may prove challenging with rain forecast, so it will be interesting to see how that changes the racing conditions not only this evening, but for tomorrow’s Cox Plate day also.

Race 3 is the Sweeney Estate Agents Plate over 2040 metres for mares. My ride here is LE LUDE who is trained by John Thompson. This six-year-old mare by Lope de Vega has had 28 starts for a record of four wins and six minor placings and has been a consistent galloper throughout her career. She’s had four runs this preparation with all of those being in black type company and this race sees her drop back to mares handicap grade. She is a horse that races well on both rain affected ground and firmer surfaces, so the track conditions won’t be to her disadvantage. She has very strong form lines around her this preparation and hasn’t been beaten far in her four runs this campaign. She can race on-speed to mid field to make her own luck and a low barrier draw will give her every chance to take up that position without too much work. This will be her first time racing the Melbourne way of going, so I’ll be mindful of that and help her around as much as I can. She looks well placed here under the set weights and penalty conditions and she will be one of the main chances.

Race 7 is the feature on the card, it’s the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes over 1200 metres run under weight for age conditions. My ride here is INGRATIATING who is trained by James Cummings. This three-year-old colt by Frosted is raced by Godolphin. He’s had 10 starts for a record of three wins, four seconds and a third placing, only missing a top three placing on two occasions in his career. He was unplaced at his most recent start at Flemington where he was disappointing in finishing ninth after starting favourite in the Danehill Stakes. Since that run he has returned to Sydney and returned back to Melbourne. He is a horse that will most likely race off the speed in the second half of the field and will need the track to be racing evenly and the speed to be on to suit horses closing off. If you can forgive his last start and he returns to his best form he will take a lot of beating in this Group 1 feature.

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