A massive day of racing awaits punters at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday afternoon, where the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) headlines a stacked 10-race program. The Guineas is supported by the Group 1 Might And Power Stakes (2000m) as well as the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m), with plenty of black-type racing littered throughout the card. Despite a bit of rain forecast leading into the meeting, track staff are confident we will be racing on a Good 4 for one of the biggest days of racing on the Victorian racing calendar, whilst the rail will head to the true position. A massive Group 1 day of racing is set to get underway at 12:15pm AEDT.
Keep reading for our free Caulfield race-by-race preview and quaddie selections
Race 1: BM80 Handicap (1700m)
It was hard to not be taken by the way Matron Bullwinkel returned as a winner at Flemington. The five-year-old mare gave her rivals a start and a beating over 1420m, and the step up to the 1700m second-up from a spell looks ideal. She was a Flemington 1700m winner when second-up last campaign and she appears to be the runner with the most upside in this field. From barrier 14, Ben Allen will have no choice but go back towards the rear of the field. However, with Rhinoceros set to give us a genuinely run affair, we expect Matron Bullwinkel to be charging down the heart of the track and proving too hard to hold out.
Serasana chased home a smart one upon return at Sandown, but showed plenty to suggest she was worth sticking with wherever she went next. The three-year-old filly brings the right form lines into this event for fillies, and the step up to the 1200m from 1000m looks to suit her perfectly. It is the daughter of Snitzel’s first crack at the trip, but based on what she has been able to produce in her career, she should handle it with great aplomb. If Jamie Mott can land in the moving line with cover from barrier six, Serasana has a strong finishing burst and can bring up a second win at her fourth start.
Win and you are in to the 2023 Caulfield Cup (2400m), that is what is is on offer for the winner of the Group 3 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m). It is where we find our best of the day, the Danny O’Brien-trained Carini. The four-year-old gelding needs to win a race like the Herbert Power to remain relevant in Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup discussions, but his win last time out at Flemington suggests he should prove too good for this lot on Saturday. He got the better of Sibaaq and Aberfeldie Boy in impressive style on that day and despite being four weeks between runs and stepping up to the 2400m from the 1700m, he looks to have a class edge on his rivals.
A competitive field of mares have assembled to compete in the Group 3 Northwood Plume Stakes (1200m) and at a decent each-way quote, we’re happy to side with She Dances. The Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman-trained mare was ok upon return in a similar field to this, but with the run under her belt and a near bombproof record at the 1200m (5: 4-1-0), she can give us a great sight at odds. From barrier seven we expect Linda Beech to have She Dances rolling along at a genuine tempo out in front and despite lacking a bit of class on some of her rivals, she might just prove too hard to gun down late. At +1000 with online betting sites, we are more than happy to find out.
The Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) looks to be a race in two between Asfoora and Uncommon James who finished in the minor placings behind Imperatriz in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m). We’ve settled on Uncommon James but there is not much splitting the two. When they met in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) during the autumn, Uncommon James was able to finish over the top of Asfoora and we’re hoping something similar happens on the weekend. With the run under his belt and the ability to land in a stalking position from barrier six, we’re confident Damian Lane will have the Queenslander ready to strike in the Schillaci.
We’re confident Ayrton can return a winner in Saturday’s Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m). The Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)-trained gelding hasn’t tasted success since claiming the Group 3 Victoria Handicap (1400m) when first-up from a spell in April, 2022. We’re hoping a return to that track and trip, in what shapes as a weak Listed affair, can see this bloke return to his best. He simply did not come up in the autumn, but his form during the spring of 2022 suggests he should blow this field away. Ayrton has four wins from four starts at Caulfield and with four first-up wins, we’re quite bullish about Ayrton on Saturday.
The Group 1 Might And Power Stakes (2000m) is the first of the three Group 1’s on Saturday and despite the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained duo (Alligator Blood & Just Fine) topping the market, we’re expecting Duais to spoil the party. The Edward Cummings-trained mare was taking substantial ground off Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and the step up to the 2000m at this point of her campaign, can see her bring up a first win in 18 months. With the two favourites set to make this a genuine tempo throughout, Duais drawing barrier 10 is offset by the fact that the race might just be set up for a swooper to feature in the finish. Having claimed the Coongy Cup (2000m) at her only run at the track and trip, we’re confident Duais can add the Might And Power Stakes to an already impressive career record.
Wishlor Lass was a dominant winner at Sandown in much weaker company on October 1 and despite going from a BM70 to Group 3 company, she looks well placed to do damage here. Damian Lane takes the steer and from barrier six, look for Frosty to have this Mshawish mare settled in a prominent position throughout the 1600m. Despite being a four-time winner at 1400m, this is the first time she sees 1600m, but everything we have seen so far in her six start career suggests she will lap it up. In a field where there does not look to be many speed influencers, Wishlor Lass will be given every opportunity to see out the trip and with a bit of luck, prove too good for her rivals.
Worth $3,000,000, the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) has attracted a strong field of 15 three-year-old colts and geldings for the 1600m feature. Last start Golden Rose (1400m) winner Militarize (+190) heads the market, with Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) winner Steparty (+280) his main threat. Throw in the likes of King Colorado (+800), Veight (+1700) and Scheelite (+1900), the race might just be more than just a race in two.
Amelia’s Jewel is arguably the headline act on Saturday’s card and gets her chance to further solidify herself as one of the country’s best horses in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m). The WA superstar set a new Moonee Valley track record when claiming the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) when overpowering Pride Of Jenni late and we anticipate that quinella will be prominent in the finish in Saturday’s Toorak. Amelia’s Jewel will be giving all of her rivals a start having drawn barrier 12, but she is the obvious class horse in the race and with nine wins from 11 starts, is as consistent a mare as you could ask for. The race will be set up perfectly for her with a strong tempo expected throughout and outside of any bad luck, Amelia’s Jewel should just simply be winning on her way to a tilt at the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).