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Naturalism Stakes Day – Caulfield – Tips, Odds and Preview

Fri, Sep 16, 9:00am by Bren O'Brien

Saturday’s Melbourne racing is at Caulfield, with the highlight the Naturalism Stakes (also called the MRC Foundation Cup) over 2000m. While it is only a Group 3 race in terms of status, it is a free ticket to the Caulfield Cup for the winner, hence why there is a capacity field, including four emergencies.

The exact nature of the track probably won’t be known until Saturday, with the track a Soft 7 a few days out, with some rain expected in Melbourne over the 48 hours leading up to raceday. We’ve based out selections on a track in the Soft 6-7 range. The rail is out 9m for the entire circuit, having been out 6m at the most recent meeting there.

Tom Melbourne was favourite in early markets for the main race, with Jameka expected to challenge him for that honour come raceday. Our money is with Real Love at the each-way odds of around $9. Our best of the day comes up in Race 7. No.4 Keen Array.

(Please note, odds quoted are opening prices on Wednesday, odds may change significantly by raceday)

Race 1 November Relaunch @ Caulfield Glasshouse Handicap (1400m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 15. Chase the Horizon ($7.50)

2nd: 5. Manhattan Blues ($10)

3rd: 2. Lord Barrington ($12)

4th: 3: Caprese ($18)

Summary: Tough race to open things up. Have gone for Chase the Horizon here. Was very good from back in the field off a short break last time, finishing less than 1.5 lengths from the winner. Will settle closer. Manhattan Blues had no luck in that same race, after being trapped wide and draws one here, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Lord Barrington, the winner of that race, will again give them something to chase.

Betting Confidence: Not a lot going into this. They are an even lot and the Kiwi Shillelagh is a big watch, but the each-way on Manhattan Blues appeals from a good alley.

WATCH: Our Preview of Naturalism Stakes Day

Race 2 Telstra Alfred Foundation Hcp (1100m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 4. Blue Tycoon ($9)

2nd: 7. Barthelona ($5)

3rd: 1. Dalradian ($15)

4th: 6. Radcliffe ($11)

Summary: Another tricky race, but feel the drop back in distance and class suits Blue Tycoon, who has drawn well and has won at this track and distance before. Barthelona is unbeaten in two starts and looks promising, although has a wide barrier, Dalradian could be value and will improve second-up.

Betting Confidence: Looking for value here because it’s a tough betting race. Each-way Blue Tycoon and Dalradian seem good each-way plays.

Race 3 PFD Lassallian Foundation Plate (1400m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 1. Najmaat ($5.50)

2nd: 2. Serenely Discreet ($6.50)

3rd: 4. Perfectly Safe ($7)

4th: 5. Dynastic Lady ($11)

Summary: Yet another even race (sensing a theme). Najmaat was good last week in a better race and will appreciate coming back around a bend with an inside alley. Serenely Discreet was good last time in SA and always wary when Stokes brings one over. Perfectly Safe will lead these and take some catching based on her last run.

Betting Confidence: Confident Najmaat has a class edge on these and this is a suitable race for her to win.

Race 4: MRC Foundation BM90 Hcp (1400m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 1. French Emotion ($4.50)

2nd: 4. Antelucan ($8.50)

3rd: 11. Majestic Lass ($4.60)

4th: 2. Miss Gunpowder ($5)

Summary: French Emotion backs up quickly from a Group 2 Flemington run where she loomed as a winner 200m out, only to be beaten 1.3 lengths into seventh. She goes up just 3kg into a BM90. Antelucan always improves second up and her run first-up was very good. She was just behind Majestic Lass there, and you wouldn’t expect much between then again. Miss Gunpowder‘s best puts her right in this and she is a track and distance winner.

Betting Confidence: French Emotion was a big run in a very good race last week. Confident that if she brings that here and improves third-up, she just wins.

Race 5 National Jockey Trust Plate (1600m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 4. Captain Duffy ($21)

2nd: 3. Awake in Grinzing ($7.50)

3rd: 5. Lord Macau ($15)

4th: 13. Kaching ($7)

Summary: Only two of these have raced over the 1600m before and many of these have Derby aspirations. We will see some staying credentials emerge from this race. Captain Duffy backs up after a decent run at Flemington, should improve and looks value. Awake in Grinzing was just ahead of him in that race and looks born to stay, but may need further. Lord Macau was brave in front last time and may benefit from a quieter ride. Kaching is a horse on the up based on his Bendigo win.

Betting Confidence: Confident an each-way play on both Captain Duffy and Lord Macau is a good play here.

Race 6 How Now Stakes (1200m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. Miss Promiscuity ($4.40)

2nd: 3. Vibrant Rouge ($13)

3rd: 4. Secret Agenda ($3.50)

4th: 10. Andrassy ($11)

Summary: Quality mares race with Miss Promiscuity dropping back to her own sex and she looks well placed at a venue where she was won four times. Vibrant Rouge drops in distance but looks in good form and won’t get too far back from the inside barrier. Secret Agenda was a high-class filly (now a mare), but am slightly concerned about the 1200m first-up. Andrassy is in good form and looks value.

Betting Confidence: Highly confident that this is the sort of race that Miss Promiscuity should be winning. She’s a good win bet.

Race 7 Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 4. Keen Array ($4.20)

2nd: 1. Hucklebuck ($8.50)

3rd: 6. Santa Ana Lane ($5.50)

4th: 7. Dan Zephyr ($15)

Summary: Keen Array has returned in great form and was beaten by a very good one last time. They found out last time in that he wasn’t G1 class and this type of race looks exactly the right level for him. Hucklebuck is a G1 winner who has won three of six first-up and won a recent trial. He looks a serious challenger despite a big weight. Santa Ana Lane will appreciate being back around a bend after struggling down the Flemington straight, while Dan Zephyr is the best roughie in the race.

Betting Confidence: Very, very confident that Keen Array will prove too good for these. The best winning chance all day in our opinion.

Race 8 MRC Foundation Naturalism Stakes (2000m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 4. Real Love ($9)

2nd: 13. Tom Melbourne ($3.90)

3rd: 6. Jameka ($5.50)

4th: 8. Set Square ($9)

Summary: Great renewal of this race with so many high class gallopers seeking to guarantee a spot in the Caulfield Cup. Really like Real Love in this. Her run first-up in the Dato was brilliant and she looks to have improved again. Tom Melbourne is progressive and resumed well here three weeks back, while Jameka is an Oaks winner with plenty of class.

Betting Confidence: Highly confident Real Love is a great each-way play at $9.

Race 9 Sheen Group Hcp (1400m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. He’s Our Rokkii ($3.20)

2nd: 12. Sebring Sun ($5.50)

3rd: 4. Mighty Like ($15)

4th: 15. Loyalty Man ($11)

Summary: Tough race with a big field, but think the favourite He’s Our Rokkii is going places. Has won four of his past five, including an impressive win first-up over this course and distance. Sebring Sun has been good in his two for Weir, but worried about the wide barrier, while Mighty Like‘s form looks excellent if you ignore the failed run in Adelaide.

Betting Confidence: Pretty confident in He’s Our Rokkii. He may progress to top company this campaign, while Akavaroun represents bet value.

Race 10 Mortimer Petroleum Gold Nugget (1700m)

Tips: (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 5. Refulgent ($6.50)

2nd: 4. Tarquin ($8)

3rd: 17. To Be Honest ($21)

4th: 7. Lord Durante ($10)

Summary: This race has wandered from Ballarat to Geelong to find itself as the last race on this program because of meeting transferals and bad weather. Refulgent got back to winning form at Sandown last time and think he can do it again at a track where he boasts one win and three placing from six starts. Tarquin looks well-placed in this race and will improve of his first-up effort. Lord Durante is super consistent and will take plenty of catching again.

Betting Confidence: Confident that the race will be fought out between Refulgent and Tarquin. Will be betting for value, which at this stage looks to be Tarquin.

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