Caulfield Guineas day traditionally
marks the start of the Melbourne Spring Carnival with three Group one
races decided on the card and many of the top hopes emerging during the
day for the future big races. Race 1 on the program was the
Weekend Hussler Stakes where Instinction powered home to win easily
taking his record to 14 starts for 4 wins and 3 placings. By
Exceed and Excel Instinction is a 4yo entire from De Lago Mist.
The second race the Blue Sapphire for
3yos saw the clash of the three unbeaten horses Fire Thunderbolt, Lankan
Rupee and Sizzling plus Snitzerland who was unbeaten as a 3yo.
Down the straight Lankan Rupee led while Snitzerland tried to chase
while Fire Thunderbolt was joining in down the outside and Sizzling was
starting to wind up from well back. In the final few bounds
Snitzerland got the upper hand to just hold a margin to win from Fire
Thunderbolt with Lankan Rupee just holding out Sizzling for third.
Snitzerland by Snitzel from Fraar mare Monte Rosa no takes her record to
9 starts for 6 wins and 2 placings. The Thoroughbred Club
Stakes was next which saw Cavalry Rose on the rails win from Mareeza
with Saturn Rock third. In winning the daughter of Charge Forward
took her record to 8 starts for 3 wins and a placing.
The Schillaci Stakes has been
taken out by Black Caviar for the two previous years but this year it
was Buffering who added his name to the winners list. Winning his
second race in a row this preparation Buffering defeated Golden Archer
with the ever consistent Stirling Grove third. The 5yo took his
record to 28 starts for 11 wins and looks to be the star sprinter of the
spring in the absence of Black Caviar and Hay List this year.
The Caulfield Stakes followed
where Ocean Park continued in his winning form defeating the fast
finishing Alcopop with Sincero third. Ocean Park is a 4yo entire
by Thorn Park from Zabeel mare Sayyida and now takes his record to 10
starts for 6 wins and 3 placings his only unplaced effort was on a bog
track in the Randwick Guineas.
One of the smallest fields for the
Toorak in many years turned out next and all expected to see More Joyous
walk away to another victory but a torrid run early in the race took its
toll and in the closing stages it was Solzhenitsyn who stormed home to
grab the lead right on the line from Spirit Song with Yosei third and
More Joyous in 4th. Solzhenitsyn by St Petersburg took his record
to 24 starts for 11 wins and 7 placings.
The feature race was next The
Caulfield Guineas and once again it proved why it is a time honoured
race. Only a very small field lined up this year with only the top
three runners expected figure in the finish. Perro was unbeaten in
8 races and going for 9 in a row while Epaulette had won The Golden Rose
and the Caulfield Guineas Prelude at his previous two runs while All Too
Hard, a half brother to Black Caviar by Casino Prince, had done a few
things wrong against the older horses at his last start but was expected
to show his best today. Pierro was caught 4 wide early on and like
More Joyous was under pressure to run on up the hill along the back of
the course while All Too Hard dropped out to the back of the small
field. Along the side Pierro was out moving up on the leader while
All Too Hard and Epaulette were positioned for their runs. In the
straight Pierro kicked well clear and looked to have the race in his
keeping but All Too Hard was just starting to hit top speed.
Inside the final 50m All Too Hard hit the front and although Pierro
fought back strongly the early effort told and All Too Hard gained the
upper hand right on the line to win from the gallant Pierro with a
gap back to Epaulette third and another gap to the others. Both
horses are expected to return for a second Melbourne clash in the Cox
The Herbert Power Hcp was race 8
where several Caulfield and Melbourne Cup hopefuls were having trying to
win their way into the big Cups. Gatewood, Bianmick, Excluded and
Exceptionally were all well fancied but in the end it was the French
horse Shahwardi that despite being on the toe pre race stormed past the
field as if they were standing still in the run to the line to win
convincingly from Excluded with Exceptionally third and Ironstein 4th.
By Lando and from the Dr Devious mare Sharndara the 7yo stallion took
his record to 21 stars for 4 wins and 11 placings and is not expected to
start again before the Melbourne Cup where he is right on the borderline
of gaining a run.
The final race was the Sprint
Series Final which went to the fast finishing Serene Star from Koonoomoo
with Miss Marx third.