PUNTING SPECTATOR: Caulfield Guineas

The Spring Carnival really hots up this weekend with the running of the Caulfield Guineas and it looks like a dominant three-year-old is set to emerge.

A long time Turf Deli subscriber, a Mr Bush, has written to us this week asking for advice regarding debt management and investments.

He writes:

Dear Turf Deli,

Recently some good friends of mine have got themselves into some financial troubles in the stock market. Can you help ? What do I do? And who do you fancy for the Cup?

Of course, George, no problem, happy to help out.

We should start off by issuing a warning that playing the stock market can be a nasty and addictive habit, so please try to invest responsibly. Know when it is time to walk away. Or in this case, run away. Run away quickly – whilst embezzling as much as you possibly can into your off shore bank accounts.

Remember, there is also a lot of stigma attached to investing. "He was a bit of a heavy investor," your wife may say. "Often we would miss meals in the evening cause he had spent the week's pay on blue chips – and you can't eat those. Not even fried. Believe me, we tried."

So, George, our best advice is to avoid chasing pipe dreams with the imaginary bulls and bears of the stock market, and to sink your money into real hard rippling horse flesh – with a little man sitting on top. It's much better than investing in large multi-zillion dollar organisations with an even smaller man pulling the reigns to maximise his golden parachute.

Horse racing is a much safer investment. As any punter knows, when you are faced with an unexpected nasty bill, the best plan of action is to take a fraction of that amount down to the TAB, box up some trifectas and make the bill pay for itself. Easy.

In your case, George, plonk the $US700 billion from the bailout on WHOBEGOTYOU? at $3.20 in the Guineas. Those Darwin bookies keep boasting about taking big bets, so sure they will take you on. Pay off your debts and set your winnings aside for a rainy day when you are bored and feel like treating the missus by invading Iran. Or maybe fund a bailout of all the accumulated toxic debt of Turf Deli subscribers after a season of following our tips – a lazy couple of billion should suffice nicely.

On to this weekend's feature, the Caulfield Guineas, a group one race for three-year-olds over 1600 metres.



Speed summary:

Pace: Fast
Leaders : 4-ROCKDALE, 10-TINDAL, 20-BRIGHT DEPUTY (emerg)


1-VON COSTA DE HERO had high expectations at the start of the spring, but hasn’t really produced. Fitter for two runs in, up 200 metres here again today, but the extra distance should suit. His first-up run wasn’t too bad when they went quickly and he came pretty wide around them on a slow track. Useful effort to get into the place getters here last start, was running on well, and the Guineas Prelude form usually holds up. Does get a weight turn around into this set weights race. Drawn wide, probably drops back here, but this race is normally a pretty rough-and-ready affair at a face pace, so runners-on often figure. Looks a genuine chance.

5-CARNERO is fitter for the three runs in and is coming along nicely. Has been just behind these at all three starts this time in, and he is one that is going to be suited as the distances increase and he gets fitter. Run at Moonee Valley was pretty good, he had a lot of trouble getting clear on the home turn and then was jammed on the rails shortly after. Gets the weight drop against the first two home from the Guineas Prelude when again got cluttered for room. Drawn wide is a worry, he will probably have to drop well back. Hasn’t had the best of luck, has been going along OK and is on the improve, so think he is by far the best rough chance in this. Pity about the barrier, would represent a nice bet if drawn well, but still some hope.
11-WHOBEGOTYOU has been stamping himself as the 3YO one to watch all spring. Simply could not get out when held in a vice like grip by school yard bully on the rails first-up at Caulfield and flew home when clear. Drifted far too far back and ran on well in on pace dominated Prelude here the start after – though worth noting he still meets some of those who finished in front of him worse on weights. Then stepped up to the 1600 metres under lights and put on a star performance – it was a dynamite leader’s track, although they did go quickly in that race, he come out a good 500 metres from home, went widest, went around them all and just kept on going. Most impressive performance. Like to get on the 3YO on the rise in this race, they usually keep on going, and he definitely seems to be the one. Like that he is going into this off stunning 1600 metre win. Middle barrier and probably won’t drift quite as far back as he has previously. Runners on win this race often should be suited. Definitely one to beat – just watch he doesn’t start silly odds though – this is always a tough competitive race and he has been beaten by many of these two starts back. So guessing $3.50-$4 is the right price. Strong chance.

13-LORD TAVISTOCK did have fairly big raps on him. Beaten first-up when jockey got criticised for going a wee bit too early, and then settled down to tough it out in head to head battle second-up. Not far off them in the Prelude here, even performance, probably did have every chance though. Blinkers first time here is a plus. Has drawn a nice barrier, will sit on the speed and form is good enough to be in the finish. Chance.

14-TIME THIEF has had only the three runs in, but has been showing a stack of ability. Unlucky not to be unbeaten – got held up for runs in silly straight race and was finishing over the top of the other one when nosed out in photo finish. Then was used up early to go forward, got headed and was coming back again on the line and think he would come again in another 50 metres in the Prelude. Definitely should’ve won that day. Drawn a nice barrier, can sit not far off the speed and should be right in the finish here. Guess he does meet all of these on worse weight terms though – that’s the only negative – gets the worse of the weights from the Prelude. But think he in on the rise and going really well, so going to ignore that and he is a strong chance in this. Main danger to favourite.


2-DUPORTH has come down from Sydney. Plenty of merit in all three runs this time in, though struggled a little in open company last start. Like that he has had the 1600 metres run leading into this. Always hard to line up the depth of Sydney racing, he has drawn well and can take a good sit here so will get a good run into the race. Not much between most of the Victoria runners and he does represent the new form line, so is worthy of consideration. Probably be around the money, tending towards place.

3-ALL AMERICAN has been chopping and changing all over the place – solid first-up run in Sydney over the 1400 metres, then probably set a task dropped back to open class Group one 1200 metre sprint. Solid run in Bill Stutt Stakes, especially considering he was stepping up 400 metres in distance and also because he raced on pace and they set a furious pace, so he did well to stick on. Still hard to see him beating the WHOBEGOTYOU who had him well covered that night, but drawn well, will race handy, and is going along OK, so will probably be around the placings.

6-FERNANDINA caused a bit of a surprise in winning the Prelude, but that form does usually hold up going into this race. Led to win over 1100 metres first-up, jockey got off and said he will run 1200 metres – just – which looked to be the case with second-up run, and then blow us down if he doesn’t come out and win over 1400 metres the start after ! Ouch. On pacers did dominate that race, and although he meets the TIME THIEF 1.5 kilograms better off from that run, it had a much harder run and was coming back on the line and would’ve grabbed the lead if they went a bit further. Drawn barrier one and probably goes forward – and sits handy – doubt he will lead as they know the 1600 metres could be an issue and they probably intend to cuddle it a little bit. Just think he would need everything to go right to win this, get a soft run on speed, and probably on pacers to be favoured. Dangerous to ignore the Prelude form though, so definite place chance, just watch out he doesn’t blow out to silly odds cause everyone thinks he is a risk at the trip.

7-DREAMSCAPE is a lightly raced Sydney horse with only the three starts. Is going along pretty well and ran fast time to win over the 1400 metre last start. Can sit handy, guess watch the market and see if the big Sydney money comes for him. Again, represents a new form line and not that much between the Melbourne 3YOs. Rough chance.

8-BACI AMORE has been going along OK in Sydney, has the three runs in since a mid-winter break and all have been reasonable. Probably drops back here. Guess he hasn’t been winning, and goes into an even tougher field here so probably ready to leave him out. This race can often produce upsets though and he is the sort who can win at big odds and then you look back at the form and think well, it wasn’t that bad. Tough even field so do need to knock some of them out, but hasn’t been disgraced this time in, drawn a good barrier which is often important in this race. Maybe keep in as a super rough chance – if there is going to be a 50-1 winner will be him.

15-GOGOCANNY is fitter for the three runs in and has been going along OK. Decided to go part rodeo clown second-up at Flemington, then run in Guineas Prelude wasn’t that bad – was cluttered for runs and stuck on OK. All those who beat him home that day are going around here as well, and he does meet them all on equal or worse weight terms, so hard to see him turning the tables. However, is drawn well, suspect he might race more forward here today, and if you are going for a monster trifecta/first four probably worth putting him in as the silly outsider. Rough place chance.


4-ROCKDALE isn’t going very well at all. Led to win over 1400 metre in Queensland before coming to Melbourne, where he must be hanging out late night on King Street or something, because his form has been awful. Led and gave in quickly in Guineas Prelude – and the on pacers stuck on that day, then change of tactics to ride him back in the field at Flemington really didn’t help much. Maybe try running him in the other direction? Add some thrills and spills to this race? Probably goes forward here from good barrier, but can’t have on form.

10-TINDAL led all the way to pinch the race against fairly ordinary opposition last week in a small field. Drawn extreme outside and does like to race on pace – think they need to push forward here and risk being trapped wide. Yet to miss a place, so obviously has ability, but sceptical about the field he beat at Flemington, and think he faces a task drawn wide, on pace in this field when they normally go pretty quick. Happy to risk.

12-MINNESOTA SHARK was suited in first-up win when they ran along and he got a split through the middle of the field. Three runs since then have just been OK, he hasn’t really challenged, but probably not bad enough to quite write him off. Drawn inside barrier and suspect he might race more forward today. Dropped back, then went wide and early in Bill Stutt and stuck on OK, but the winner came from behind him, went around him and left him far, far behind. Guess this is always a pretty tough even field, he has met most of these last three starts and most of them have beaten him home, so probably a bit hard to have on form in this. No

17-WHITEFRIARS is another Sydney visitor who has drawn a wide barrier and does normally race forward so likely to get trapped wide here. Fought on OK last start, but clearly beaten by DREAMSCAPE. Looks a tough task in a harder field, Melbourne way of going, on pace from a wide barrier. No.

18-GEORGIA'S BOY gets into the field with early scratchings, which is handy, means he can prepare a packed lunch for the day. Beat small field leading at Bendigo, before that outclassed against many of these, raced on speed and probably should’ve fought on well as it was the racing pattern. Drawn very wide, and another who likes to race handy, so just going to add to the pressure up front now he is in this field. Not in this.

19-BONDARCHUK (emerg) is fitter for 2 runs in, but only contesting small fields in Adelaide, drawn outside barrier and hard to argue his chances. No.

20-BRIGHT DEPUTY (emerg) gets to be the lucky fourth emergency for the week. They should run a spring raffle as to whether any of these ever get a start. On pacer who is well drawn, but if started likely to be lots of pressure up front and stepping up in class here. No.


Caulfield Guineas, always a tough, high pressure race and we have managed to concede a chance to the majority of these. This race has been know to cause the odd upset with a bolter winning, so it's always worth keeping an eye on the outsiders in this race. However, traditional form lines are usually the best way to go, so stick to the place getters from the Guineas Prelude (especially), Bill Stutt and Concept, and watch out especially for those who are benefited under the set-weights scale today. Often barriers are important in this race, but we wonder if that is because the track often favoured on pacers in previous years.

Big field and there is just about always a genuine to fast pace in this race, and usually we want to be on something running on down the middle of the track. Likely leaders are 4-ROCKDALE and 10-TINDAL (crossing from outside barrier), however, there are quite a few here that race on speed that are drawn wide, so also expect that 17-WHITEFRIARS and 8-GEORGIA'S BOY will also push forward. Expect that they will go pretty hard early as the big field tries to jostle for position and they should be winning out wide by this race.

Really need to pay attention to the dominant 3YO on the rise in this race – if there is one – and think we do have one this year in 11-WHOBEGOTYOU. It has been unlucky in first two runs, then really showed something special in Bill Stutt Stakes win. Should be running home down middle of track and suspect that he wins. Just be careful he doesn’t start silly odds though – while he stands out, it is still a very, very even field. 14-TIME THIEF continues to do everything right, and despite being disadvantaged at the weights he should get a good run in this race and is on the improve. Expect improvement from 1-VON COSTA DE HERO today with weight advantages. 5-CARNERO definitely the best of the roughies, though is going to need a bit of luck from the barrier. Suspect these four are the best out of the Melbourne lot, if an upset is going to come it will be from the new Sydney form lines – if you want to go wide in quaddies, then they are the ones to add in .

One to risk: 10-TINDAL

For more forms and tips from Turf Deli, head to turfdeli.com.au.


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