Caulfield Race 1, 2YO fillies 1000m (1pm AEDST)
The opening event at Caulfield on Wednesday will see six debutants from leading stables step out for the first time over 1000m. The only horse with racetrack experience is the Danny O’Brien trained 1 NOTONYOULIFE who finished down the track in the Ballarat Magic Millions Clockwise Classic.
The Trial Files identified 2 JINX as a standout when it trialled back on November 12: “JINX missed the kick. She travelled up very comfortably just behind the speed and only needed a split. She got through on the rail as the leader hung off and she burst through under light riding. She kicked away late and was the clear pick of the trial.”
This Nikki Burke-trained daughter of Starcraft has had another solid trial since and looks primed to run extremely well on debut. The problem is the rest of the field is made up of unseen first-starters who have had secret barrier trials at a range of tracks across the state.
This practice of holding private jumpouts is archaic and deprives the punter, the biggest contributor of funds to the racing industry, the opportunity to bet with confidence which in turn ensures turnover on these events is significantly decreased.
It is time to step out of the dark ages and realise that, in 2013, this practice of holding “private” trials is not acceptable and a model that will diminish the amount of participants actively involving themselves in the sport. Sports betting in Australia is rapidly growing in popularity and it is easy to see why. The media coverage, availability of stats, coverage of training and injuries in sports such as AFL means the punter doesn’t have to leave their living room to feel completely informed about the sport on which they are wagering. This simply isn’t the case in horse racing. To be somewhat informed on the Sport Of Kings you need to trek from track to track in the wee hours of each, and every morning attempting to glean information about which horse is which under the dark of night knowing that most of what you hear will be worthless information.
Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the punter. The Melbourne Racing Club recently announced that their private barrier trials will be made public from January with field lists to be published and horses to wear correct silks. This isn’t deserving of a round of applause, but it is great to see them stepping out of the 19th Century and somewhat bringing themselves into line with modern thinking and technology. Let’s hope this change in thinking will force tracks such as Cranbourne and Flemington to make their jumpouts accessible to punters.
Back to the first on the card at Caulfield tomorrow. 2 JINX goes around as the outsider in the field but it’s not hard to see why when you look at the lineup of trainers with ‘unseen’ runners; Hayes x 2, Price x 2 and Snowden x 1. As a punter, you’d have to be stark raving mad to bet with confidence against the might of these stables, for there could well be the next Black Caviar amongst the field.
As punters, we simply don’t know and for an industry desperate to take, and spend, our almighty dollar this just isn’t good enough.
For the record, 2 JINX will run well here and a ticket EW wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world.
Ascot Race 2, 3YO Hcp 1000m (4.55pm AEDST)
A small but interesting field is set to fly along over the 1000 metres here and we are confident one of our trial blackbookers can run a big race on debut.
The Lindsey Smith trained mare 1 YOU WILL BE QUEEN has had a brilliant campaign. She has won twice in midweek and provincial class races and has also run placings on two other occasions in Saturday grade behind Hey Bro and the classy Testamezzo. She is a strong front-running filly and that is the only way she knows how. With the rail at the 12 metre position today, and Paul Harvey on board she will be very hard to run down.
A horse that is likely to challenge 1 YOU WILL BE QUEEN for the lead is 5 OMINOUS WARNING. He is back from a short spell after his first campaign where he started favourite at his two most recent starts, with his best result being a nose second on a slow track in a Pinjarra maiden. Resumed two weeks ago at the trials and went fairly, and that fact that Paul Harvey has jumped off to ride 1 YOU WILL BE QUEEN is a fair indication of his chances today.
10 ROMARIN has schooled up with two trials in the past month in preparation for this race. In the most recent he finished just behind WILD STRATUS. Although we didn’t rate the trial overly strong, we thought 10 ROMARIN’s trial was slightly better. Wild Stratus has since come out and made a complete mess of a maiden field at Bunbury last Sunday, strengthening the form out that trial. With the claim for young Jake Casey, 10 ROMARIN should be able to settle midfield and with even luck in the straight, is a chance running on.
We were extremely impressed with the trial of 3 L’RONDINE two weeks ago. To put it in perspective, he ran almost one second quicker than Wild Stratus, who trialled immediately following, and did it all under a tight hold. He settled midfield in his trial and will be hoping to do the same today from the good barrier draw. Meryl Hayley scratched him from a race on Saturday for this race, and with the 3kg claim for Jerry Noske he will only carry 53.5kg. The 4.5kg advantage over 1 YOU WILL BE QUEEN might just be the telling factor late.
The knockout horse and slight unknown is the Paul Jordan-trained 4 MENTAL NOTE. He trialled way back at the start of October and hasn’t been seen since. His trial that day was solid without being great but he has had the blinkers added to his gear since then. Given it is nearly three months since his trial we can’t be 100% sure how he is going, but must be considered a chance in this kind of field.
Although 1 YOU WILL BE QUEEN is very hard to beat, she is likely to start at very short odds. Given that, and on the strength of his trial, we are happy to recommend an each way bet on 3 L’RONDINE. The debutant 4 MENTAL NOTE can play a part as can 10 ROMARIN with the low weight.
Wednesday’s best bet
Ascot Race 2
• 3 L’RONDINE (each way)
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