Caulfield Preview: 24th February by Dean McHugh

23 February, 2024

Caulfield will host a loaded ten-race card, which features two Group 1 races, the Lamaro’s Hotel Futurity Stakes and the Sportsbet Blue Diamond Stakes, in what promises to be a superb day’s racing. Read on as we reveal our picks from every race across the card.

Race 1: Vale Verry Elleegant Handicap (2000m)

Eight runners will head down to post for the first race of the day, the Vale Verry Elleegant Handicap. 

Dunkel and Glentaneous look like heading the betting, and both head into the race following victories when last seen; however, of the two, it could be worth siding with Dunkel. 

A winner of seven of his ten starts, everything looks set up for another big run.

 

Race 2: Sportsbet Make It Look Easy (1100m)

Another intriguing handicap awaits in the second race of the day. Despite the large number of runners, Midtown Boss looks set to start as the one they will all need to beat. 

Having won three of his eight starts, he has never finished outside of the top three, and he looks well-placed for another big run. 

Hanchi, Kin and Miss Icelandic are all other horses that warrant consideration.

 

Race 3: Sportsbet Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m)

The first graded action of the day comes in the third race of the card in the shape of the Group 2 Sportsbet Angus Armanasco Stakes. 

Ten runners will head to post, and Autumn Angel is likely to start as the horse they will all need to beat. 

A winner of two of her first five races, she has never finished outside of the places and already has a Group 3 win to her name. Having had 18 weeks off the track, she should arrive fresh and rested.

Serasana has been handed the plum draw on the inside and looks capable of serving it up to favourite.

 

Race 4: Sportsbet Zeditave Stakes (1200m)

The Sportsbet Zeditave Stakes is the first Group 3 race of the card. Eleven horses will head down to post for the race, and Brave Mead could jump off as the hot favourite. 

Having captured the Group 3 Tile Importer Manfred Stakes just under a month ago, he looks to have every chance of backing that performance up here.

 

Race 5: Stow Storage Autumn Classic (1800m)

Race 5 sees a return of the Group 2 action, and the Stow Storage Autumn Classic looks wide open. 

United Kingdom looks an exciting prospect. A great winner on debut, he has been pitched into a race of this quality, so must be highly regarded. It will be interesting to see how he handles this jump in class. 

Immediacy is two from two and heads to Caulfield in search of his first graded victory. Caracas and Socks Nation look like two other horses to put onto the shortlist.

 

Race 6: Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m)

The third Group 2 of the day is the Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes. Ten horses will head to post, and the favourite for victory looks set to be Gold Trip. A no-show in the 2023 Melbourne Cup, he has some great form in the book, which includes a third-place finish in the 2023 Caulfield Cup and a victory in the Turnbull Stakes. If tuned up, he could be hard to pass.

Campionessa will hope to take advantage of any rustiness from Gold Trip. A Group 1 winner in the 2023 Zabeel Classic, she has similar form lines to the favourite and is more than capable of winning this race.

 

Race 7: Lamaro’s Hotel Futurity Stakes (1400m)

The first Group 1 race of the day comes in the shape of the Lamaro’s Hotel Futurity Stakes. Mr Brightside will start the race as the overwhelming favourite. 

Having won five of his last eight starts, he finished second in the 2023 Cox Plate but is a multiple winner at this level. One of the best horses in training, if he runs well, he will win.

If you don’t like backing short priced favourites, Attrition and Nugget could be worth siding with. Both come into the race in good form but will need to produce something special.

 

Race 8: Sportsbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m)

The second and final Group 1 race of the day is the Sportsbet Blue Diamond Stakes, where sixteen runners will battle it out for the $2,000,000 prize pool.

The exciting Coleman is expected to start as the favourite following two victories to start out his career. A good winner of the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes, he looks capable of winning a race of this calibre.

Lady of Camelot could only finish fourth on debut, but she put that performance behind her with a great performance in the Widden Stakes last time out. Highly progressive, she is bound to be popular in the betting. 

 

Race 9: Sportsbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m)

The final Group 1 contest comes in Saturday’s penultimate race. Fifteen will head to post, and it looks like King’s Gambit will lead off as the favourite. 

Yet to finish outside of the places in any of his six career starts, he was successful in the Grade 2 Roman Consul Stakes. A wide draw isn’t ideal, but he should give his running. 

Asfoora is a regular at this level, and she will be looking for a first Group 1 win following multiple successes in Group 2 and Group 3 races. Unlike King’s Gambit she has been handily drawn and is likely to prove popular on the betting. 

 

Race 10: Catanach’s Jewellers Mannerism Stakes (1400m)

We end the day with a ten-runner Group 3 race, where Eternal Flame looks to be the one to back. 

A good winner of a couple of handicaps this season, she has yet to land a race of this quality, but that record is bound to change soon.

If the wide draw of Eternal Flame is off-putting, then Revolutionary Miss could be the play. A winner of two Group 3 races this season, a hat trick bid is well and truly on the cards, and she will play a major role in the race. 

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