The big guns like Buffering, Ocean Park and Snitzerland were racing and winning at Caulfield on Saturday. However the focus of attention on the meeting was the shock defeat of star colt Pierro in the Caulfield Guineas.
Earlier in the day, Snitzerland and Buffering had both won their respectively races as expected as short priced favourites.
In the Caulfield Stakes, Ocean Park had confirmed his rating as a genuine Cox Plate hopeful by winning the Group1 race as an odds-on favourite from Alcopop and Sincero. Some people commented that Ocean Park didn’t kick away from the 2 placegetters in the last 200m and won by a bigger margin. However, Ocean Park’s jockey, Glen Boss, revealed after the race that Ocean Park has been doing so well in Melbourne the horse has actually put on weight after winning the Underwood Stakes 3 weeks ago. Boss believed that Ocean Park really needed the run and now he should be spot on for the Cox Plate. Sincero had also run a nice race to finish 3rd even though I still have my doubt on his ability to run a strong 2000m.
Pierro started the Caulfield Guineas as the shortest favourite in the race’s history at $1.20. He was trapped 4 wide in the early part of a fastly run race and jockey Nash Rawiller had decided to stoke Pierro up running 2nd outside the leader, Ashokan. At the same time, All Too Hard was settling nicely at the back of the field. Pierro had taken the lead at the 300m and was leading by 3 lengths to All Too Hard and Epaulette. But the early effort had taken its toll on Pierro and he was noticeably tiring in the last 50m. The overall time was 1:36.05 and the last 400m 24.12 secs.
Although the defeat of Pierro has seen his quote eased a little, he remains as the Cox Plate favourite. Ocean Park has now moved to equal 2nd favourtism (with Green Moon) for the Cox Plate.
Editor’s Note : For the followers of homeofracing.com.au, they would have backed the winners mentioned by Steve Englebreht (Malavio) and Liam Prior (Nocturnelle) in the trainers’ interviews. For the punters who follow my tips from my weekly Carnival Corner article on Friday, they would also have backed the Caulfield Stakes winner (Ocean Park @ $1.55) and the Toorak Handicap winner (Solzhenitsyn @ $5.50). If you missed out last week, not too worry. There are plenty more winners to be backed. Let’s join in the fun.
Owens Wong, Editor