Caulfield Racing Preview: Friday January 26th By Dean McHugh

25 January, 2024

Discover our racing picks for Caulfield’s card from January 26th

Race 1 - Tile Importer Trophy (2400m)

A competitive-looking race kicks off the action from Caulfield this Friday, where thirteen horses have been declared. 

In what looks to be a tight betting heat, the likely favourite looks to be Speranzoso. One of the most consistent horses in the lineup, he heads into the contest with two wins in his last five starts and lurks as a real danger to all in the field. 

Northern Barrage will head into Friday’s contest without a win in any of his last nine starts but will be hoping to reverse his fortunes here. With a great draw, look for him to make his charge late.

If looking to back a horse at a price, it could be worth giving Pittsburgh Pirate a second look. Having notched three wins from his last six starts, he looks to be another viable contender. 

Race 2 - Catanach’s Jewellers The Mary Bell (1400m)

The second race of the evening is exclusively for the girls and nine talented mares are due to head down to post. 

Most of the pre-race betting will focus on Eternal Flame who could have too much class for this field. With two wins from her last seven starts, her connections will have every right to feel confident about another success. 

If looking to take the favourite on, the selection has to be Frenchmans Bay. A consistent type, she has won two of her last six starts and has placed second in each of her last two races. She looks like a great alternative.

Another horse that appeals is Versilia. Without a win in any of her last ten starts, backing her will require a leap of faith, but she has finished second in three of those races. 

Race 3 - Sportsbet Blue Diamond Preview (fillies only - 1000m)

The Sportsbet Blue Diamond Preview is a race dedicated to two-year-old fillies, and the vast majority of runners will be making their debuts. 

Races of this nature can sometimes throw up surprise winners, but both Matisse and Mind Shift look well bred and look likely to play a major role in proceedings.

If looking to stay away from the newcomers then Hayasugi looks a viable candidate. The most experienced runner in the field, this will be her third career start. Yet to win, she did show flashes of promise when finishing second on debut. Her experience could prove crucial in this wide-open-looking contest.

Race 4 - Sportsbet Blue Diamond Preview (colts and geldings only - 1000m)

Don’t be alarmed by the title of the race. Race four is the turn of the boys and is dedicated to two-year-old colts and geldings. 

Nine of the ten declared runners will be making their debuts, with only Blue Stratum being the only horse to have run competitively.

Although yet to win, his two runs have shown plenty of promise. Only just denied on debut, a repeat of that performance should see him go close.

High Octane ran in several trial races in the build-up to this race and has run well. A potential classy operator, of all the newcomers, he looks to be the one to pay attention to.

It could also be worth noting any market moves for Innervisions. Another runner who has been successful in trial races, he could well have the class to make an impression on debut.

Race 5 - W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m)

The fifth race of the card is a sprint race where several horses look to hold a great chance of victory. 

Set to start at the top of the market is Va Via. A winner of four of her last five starts, she arrives at Caulfield in brilliant form. Having placed in 60% of all her twenty career starts, it looks highly likely that she will play a major part in the contest.

Katsu will be another popular selection. A good winner when last seen at Flemington, he will try to dictate the pace from the front and will hope to use the rail to guide him home.

If looking to take a chance on one, it could be worth backing Greyt Mumma. A winner last time out, she boasts a 50% career strike rate. Whilst all of those wins have come in a lower grade of race than this one, she arrives in top form and could well pull off the upset.

Race 6 - Tile Importer Manfred Stakes (1200m)

The most prestigious race of the card comes in the form of the Tile Importer Manfred Stakes. A group 3 contest, eight horses have been declared, and the race looks wide open.

Likely to start the race as the favourite is Steparty. A winner of five of his six career starts, his only defeat came when last seen, when he could only finish third but was impeded in the run-in. He looks to hold every chance.

Carbonados looks like the most exciting prospect in the race. Having won both of his first two starts, his victory last time out was done with plenty to spare. Still unexposed in comparison to most of his rivals, further improvement could be on the cards and will be a real danger to all in the field.

King Colorado is one of the most experienced horses in the race and has won two of his seven career starts. Without a win in five, he does arrive with plenty to prove but is formidable on his day.

Consideration must also be given to Brave Mead. A winner of three of his nine career starts, he boasts an impressive 89% place rate and could be worth a shout at a larger price.

Race 7 - Evergreen Turf John Dillon Stakes (1400m)

The Evergreen Turf John Dillon Stakes looks like one of the most competitive races of the card. With barely anything separating the majority of the field, it is Ayrton who may jump off as the slim favourite. 

Having only won once in his twenty career, that win came when he last raced at the track, and his best form has come at Caulfield. Set to give his running once again, he will be hoping to win the second race of his career.

Buffalo River has amassed over a million dollars in his career and will be seeking a sixth career success. A winner two starts ago, his last race can be ignored as he lost a shoe early on. Clearly in good heart, if he can avoid mishaps this time around, he has to be considered as a major contender.

Yonce started his career in thrilling fashion by winning his first six starts. Now, without a win in his last two starts, he will hope to fare better than his eighth-place finish when last seen.

Race 8 - Nick Johnstone Real Estate (1400m)

The final race of Caulfield’s Friday card is a competitive-looking handicap where fifteen horses will head down to post. 

With a whole host of horses in with a chance of landing a blow, Tasman Park is likely to lead the betting. A winner of three of his twelve starts, he has now gone nine starts without a win and is looking to right the ship here.

A consistent horse, he does boast a solid 75% place rate and usually gives his backers a good run for their money.

Jenny Jerome looks to be a real contender. A winner of four of her seventeen starts, she holds the best winning strike rate in the entire field. She has gone four starts without a win and will hope to regain the winning thread here.

If looking to back a horse in form, the selection has to be Estrapaz. A winner of his last three starts, he is clearly thriving and could well be capable of winning a fourth race on the bounce.

Handicap races of this nature are always good for throwing up big-priced winners, and one horse to potentially take a chance with could be Adandiman. He has won five races in his career, including a good win last time out. He has form to find with some of his rivals but could be in with a real chance of landing a blow.

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