Caulfield Racecourse will play host to Melbourne’s headline race day on Saturday, highlighted by the running of the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).
Quality fields have been drawn to all nine races on 2017 Sir John Monash Stakes Day and we have analysed every horse in each, in order to help you find a winner.
The action on Sir John Monash Stakes Day is set to get underway with the running of the TROA Supports Jockeys Trust Plate (1400m) at 11:45am, while the feature race is slated for 3:30pm.
Race 1 (11:45am) TROA Supports Jockeys Trust Plate (1400m)
Fourteen horses will contest Race 1 at Caulfield on Saturday, including Lord Tennyson (barrier 13). The Written Tycoon gelding comfortably overcame several notable horses at Ladbrokes Park (1400m) last time out and should only improve into this race, with a month between runs. Data Point (barrier 4) is yet to finish outside the first three through three starts this time in, while Orient Line (barrier 3) also won last time out and is drawn ideally with in-form hoop Craig Williams in the saddle. Both Emoji (barrier 7) and Pakaya Prince (barrier 8) are live chances of winning a race amongst this quality of company.
Tip: No. 5 Orient Line ($5)
Race 2 (12:20pm) John & Denise Cobcroft Handicap (1200m)
Fourteen two-year-olds have been confirmed in the final field for Race 2 at Caulfield on Saturday and a total of five will make their competitive debuts. Godolphin entrant Bandipur (barrier 8) returned to the races for a smart win at Moe on June 24th and while clearly facing a big step up in class, has the ability to comfortably win this race. Fox Swift (barrier 12) was not far away when second at Wangaratta on debut and will only improve into this race, while Aljawzaa (barrier 4) has plenty of upside, is drawn ideally and has the notable advantage of Craig Williams in the saddle. Flash Cash (barrier 11) has finished second in his two starts so far and is primed for another big run on Saturday.
Tip: No. 10 Aljawzaa ($5)
Race 3 (12:55pm) Henry Dwyer Racing Handicap (1200m)
Thirteen talented three-year-old fillies have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s Henry Dwyer Raving Handicap and there is a case to be made for most. Hot Dipped (barrier 7) will make her competitive return in the race, but was outstanding last time; posting five-consecutive race wins and ending her campaign second in the Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m). Moonlover (barrier 11) will carry winning form into the race and should find a handy position off the early pace from her wide draw, while Bay Harmony (barrier 9) and Abriola (barrier 2) are both seeking third-consecutive race wins. Le Renarde (barrier 12) has been extremely close in her three most-recent starts and is ready to return to winning form this weekend.
Tip: No. 6 Abriola ($7)
Race 4 (1:30pm) Laming Racing Handicap (2000m)
A capacity field of three-year-olds will line up for Race 4; the Laming Racing Handicap. Kiwia (barrier 6) is yet to finish outside the first three and is ready for another big performance, despite being charged with carrying a 60kg topweight. Thaad (barrier 15) returned to winning form with a strong performance at Flemington three weeks ago and should prove tough to beat once more in this race. Savvy Dresser (barrier 19) has been a strong and consistent performer this time in, but has been charged with overcoming the outside barrier, while Arohato (barrier 1), Dandre (barrier 8) and Seattle Park (barrier 10) are all in the right form to win amongst this quality of company.
Tip: No. 1 Kiwia ($2.30)
Race 5 (2:10pm) National Jockeys Trust Plate (1700m)
There is several winning chances confirmed in the fourteen-horse field for Race 5 and it is subsequently shaping as one of the more well-contested events of the day at Caulfield on Saturday. Onpicalo (barrier (12) has wound back the clock and mustered several impressive performances this time and is again not without a chance in this race. Swacadelic (barrier 4) clearly required a run when he returned to the races for a lacklustre 12th at Flemington, but he is sure to carry plenty of benefit into this race and is always far better third-up. Show A Star (barrier 7) has steadily built to the task this time and is ready to peak in this race, while Lucky Paddy (barrier 13) should have stripped fitter from his most recent run. Step The Pedal (barrier 2) went amiss last time out, but won each of his five starts prior to that and is drawn and weighted well on Saturday.
Tip: No. 3 Coldstone – Each Way ($6.50/$2.50)
Race 6 (2:50pm) TAB Supports Jockeys Trust Handicap (1400m)
Twelve classy sprinters have been confirmed for Race 6, including My Paisann (barrier 10). The three-year-old was scratched from a start at Listed level last weekend and should prove tough to beat amongst this company, while Valliano (barrier 2) should improve of his last-start sixth in the Securecorp Handicap over course and distance a fortnight ago. Nikitas (barrier 3) has been a different horse since joining Darren Weir’s stables, but was disappointing last time out and should receive a far better run in transit from an inside draw. Enigman (barrier 7) has been impressive at his two most-recent starts and should be right in the finish of this race, with some luck in transit. Wenner (barrier 4) is seeking a third-consecutive win.
Tip: No. 2 Nikitas – Each Way ($6.50/$2.35)
Race 7 (3:30pm) Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m)
Ten sprinters will contest this year’s Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes, including Lord Of The Sky (barrier 1). A former winner of the feature race, Lord Of The Sky has not been seen at the races for close to a year, but has a class edge on many of his rivals here and should have little issue finding the early speed from the rails draw. Chocolate Holic (barrier 8) will have his first start for Darren Weir and was excellent last time in, while Murt The Flirt (barrier 9) is capable of a big performance at odds and has reportedly taken plenty of benefit from his time in the paddock. Supido (barrier 5) is another horse whose class is sure to count for plenty, he is drawn ideally and will prove extremely tough to beat under the conditions of this race.
Tip: No. 1 Lord Of The Sky ($5.50)
Race 8 (4:10pm) LUCRF Super Supports Jockeys Handicap (1200m)
Twelve horses remain in contention for Race 8 following scratchings. Beatniks (barrier 10) will return to competition with a race-high 60kgs, but his chances have improved with the booking of Craig Williams. Sullivan Bay (barrier 8) returned to winning form last time out after a number of strong and consistent performances and is one of the horses to beat once more this weekend. Divine Chills has won two of her last three and finished second on that other occasion, and should relish the conditions of this race. Adalita (barrier 7) is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from her first-up run for second at Geelong and represents terrific value as an each-way chance.
Tip: No. 10 Adalita – Each Way ($9.50/$3.10)
Race 9 (4:45pm) OTI Racing Handicap (1400m)
Thirteen horses have been confirmed in the final field for the last race on Sir John Monash Stakes Day, including veteran Kenjorwood (barrier 3). Kenjorwood has failed to fire at his two most-recent starts, but is more capable amongst this company if he finds his best form. Schism (barrier 4) is drawn ideally, with be partnered by Beau Mertens and is seeking a third-consecutive race win this weekend. Mihany (barrier 7) is yet to show much this time in, but should be reaching peak fitness for this race, while Vital Importance (barrier 5) and Here To There (barrier 13) are both ready to win.
Tip: No. 8 Schism ($3.30)