The Caulfield Sprint (Race 9) over 1000m should be a feisty affair with the Weir camp hellbent on making it three wins on the spin for the fast-finishing bay of the same name, who came with a powerful burst to overwhelm Sheidel in the Mypunter.com Handicap three weeks back.
The runner-up’s subsequent win last weekend gives some credibility to that performance but Hellbent has come up pretty short here and in a field with some decent calibre opposition we’ll be looking to take him on come raceday.
Astoundingly, this race has produced dead-heat finishes in each of the past two runnings with Éclair Choice surviving a protest to share the spoils with Lumosty last year while Miracles of Life and Bel Sprinter couldn’t be separated back in 2014.
The speedy Our Boy Malachi will be making his first appearance in Melbourne but having drawn the extreme outside, he may be disadvantaged and at the prices we’re happy to oppose him too.
Instead, our traders were looking to the Mark Kavanagh-trained Wild Rain, who acquitted herself admirably at Group 1 level when finishing in third place behind Extreme Choice in the Moir having earlier captured both the John Monash and McEwen Stakes.
The race also marks the return to action of multiple Group 1 winning sprinter Lankan Rupee, who hasn’t been sighted at the track for more than 12 months after requiring surgery to repair an off-hind hock.
With the Darley Classic on his radar, Mick Price’s charge has been asked to lump 61kgs here and while his record of having never finished out of the placings in eight previous tries over the 1000m warrants respect, we feel he might need a bit more time to recapture his best form.