Payney’s Punt | Caulfield races preview

By Aydin Payne

Welcome back for another edition of Payney's Punt and gee whiz, it has been a big week in the racing world.

There has been plenty of talk about the spring racing carnival in Melbourne and the potential restructuring of it.

Racing Victoria revealed during the week discussions had begun on the Caulfield Cup moving to the end of November, breaking tradition on the time-honoured event.

Meanwhile, owners and connections could return to race tracks in July, with RV chief executive Giles Thompson saying yesterday it was possible for some crowds to return.

We are delving into tomorrow's nine-race card at Caulfield, which is forecast to receive a drizzle of rain, but don't expect the track rating to be any worse than a Soft 5.

The rail is out 9 m and expect runners on the speed to hold a slight advantage.

If you are reaching into the pockets tomorrow, please remember to gamble responsibly.

Race 1. 11.40 am — Super Vobis 2-Y-O (1100 m)

Expect Island Joy (11) to jump out and find the lead from barrier one, with Dark Horse (2) and Nantucket (5) to work across from wide barriers. Island Joy won on debut a fortnight ago at Cranbourne and could take some catching. Payney's Punt blackbooked Dark Horse after its win on debut, was a really strong run on soft ground. Steps up to an extra 100 m here. Favourite Crystal Chief (6) will settle at the back, almost did enough to win last start after finding trouble. Finished third behind Nantucket that day after posting great sectional times. Jabali Ridge (1) returns after finishing fifth in the Blue Diamond Prelude, finds them easier here.

Top tip: Dark Horse EW

Race 2. 12.15 pm — BM78 (1100 m)

In the second expect a fast dash with multiple runners looking to take up the lead, with Button Express (5) and Kalkarni Royale (9) up on the pace. The former has Billy Egan in the saddle, who has been in terrific form lately, don't be surprised if he can make something happen. Has been in strong form lately with four straight placings. Lankan Star (1) won at this track and distance in April, ahead of race favourite Paul's Regret (6) and Felicia (8). Broadwayandforth (3) has been there about in his past few runs, finishing just on the heels of winners. Flashed home two runs back in the Euclase Stakes to finish fourth.

Top tip: Broadwayandforth

Race 3. 12.50 pm — BM78 (1200 m)

Race three looks a real cruel one for punters, with not a great deal of confidence in many runners. One of those races where a long-odds runner wins. Let's start off with the favourite Ruban Bleu (6) who is finding the market money. Is backing up after finishing fourth last week on a Heavy 8. Has placed twice in both runs at Caulfield, but has not won on good footing. The pace looks to come from emergency runners, Raktoff (16) and Rolling Moss (15). Speaking of emergency runners, if Good Therapy (17) gets a run it's worth watching. Was first-up last start and finished third and has a 6:3-0-2 record when second-up.

Top tip: Ruban Bleu

Race 4. 1.30 pm — Super Vobis 3-Y-O (1600 m)

After a string of sprints to open proceedings, the fourth heads out to a mile and there looks to be plenty of value for punters here. Liberate (2) is looking for three straight wins after a good win at Flemington in a BM78. Got to respect that form, but does rise 2 kg in weight. Regardsmaree (3) put in a superb run last start and missed out three back at this track. Understandably steps up to 1600 m, but should have plenty in the tank to run a strong race and is a steal at good odds. Right You Are (4) is hunting for a hat-trick in fifth start. In maiden win two runs back he kicked clear over 1500m, will run out this distance. Translator (7) is another searching for three straight wins, with Craig Williams sticking. Both wins have been at or past this distance on soft ground.

Top tip: Liberate EW

Race 5. 2.05 pm — BM90 (1200 m)

Back to 1200 m and expect a fast tempo from the middle barriers. Gododdin (7) is the one that we like the most. Has finished in the money at past two starts and drops 4 kg from last run where she was nabbed at the post. Has won twice from four attempts at Caulfield, will race on the speed and take some catching. Jamaican Hurry (11) beat Gododdin last start and is searching for four-straight wins. Is absolutely flying at the moment and loves this distance with five wins from eight starts. Opened at $9 with barrier 16 the only question mark. If you are looking for value, She's A Thief (13) gets Billy the kid in the saddle and strips fitter here. Has won second-up before and has shown talent in higher grade.

Top tip: Gododdin

Race 6. 2.45 pm — Handicap (1100 m)

Expect a mad dash from Tavisan (5) to grab the front position from 7, 2, 1 and News Girl (4). The money has come for News Girl, who won last start at this track and distance on a Heavy 8. Hawker Hurricane (8) has been unlucky in recent runs, finishing fourth in a Group Two two runs back. Black booker Inn Keeper (6) has finished in the money past two starts and is a long-time favourite of Payney's Punt. We have the Symon Wilde-trained gelding on top here. Before you pot us, hear us out first. Inn Keeper finished third behind Order Of Command two runs back and ran second last start with 63 kg. Drops to 56 kg and is 3:1-1-1 at Caulfield. Expect a nice run from barrier one behind Tavisan.

Top tip: Inn Keeper EW

Race 7. 3.25 pm — BM84 (1600 m)

Back out to the mile and this looks the most one-sided race of them all. David and Ben Hayes’ and Tom Dabernig's Sikorsky (6) has opened as favourite following a solid win at Flemington when third-up. All indications are this four-year-old gelding can get the job done. Is two from two at this distance and if he can find a nice position from barrier 10, it's all over. Not a great deal of love for the rest.

Top tip: Sikorsky

Race 8. 4.05 pm — BM84 (1400 m)

In the penultimate race on the card, there are two front runners who should fight it out. Jumbo Ozaki (12) and Victoria Star (15) are leading the market, with the former racing in strong form. The lightly-raced gelding has a record of 10:4-3-3 and is coming off three top-two runs over this distance. Beat Sikorsky last start who has been running well, expect a strong run. Victoria Star has won three-straight and was impressive last start when chasing down Inn Keeper. Has a great second-up record and normally loves it wet and if it rains, he's a lock. Watch market on Viral (9), who won at this track and distance last start.

Top tip: Victoria Star

Race 9. 4.38 pm — Handicap 3-Y-O (2000 m)

The last steps out to 2000 m and it looks to be a wide-open affair. Super Titus (3) is on the hunt for back-to-back victories after delivering on his potential at Flemington last start at this distance. Has two wins from this distance and has been racing strongly. Inverloch (4) ran its worse race last start in the Warrnambool Cup, finishing at the back of the pack. Won the Easter Cup at Caulfield over this distance after a string of top-two placings. Rates highly at this track and distance 3:2-1-0 and on soft ground 13:5-0-2. Mahamedeis (8) gets the favourite tag after running a good race when second to Super Titus. Copped a bump late and just missed out. No doubt will be there about at the end along with Girl Tuesday (6).

Top tip: Inverloch EW

Best of the day

When: Tomorrow

Where: Flemington

Race 7: Inn Keeper (6)