CAULFIELD PREVIEW August 15, 2009 LISTON STAKES (WFA 1400M) Race 6, 3.25pm (Melb. time) Not too many trainers seem concerned about the questionable history of the Group 2 Liston Stakes as a spring guide, because a crack field of 15 horses accepted for the Caulfield feature. History shows that no Liston winner has won a Melbourne Cup and only one, Sydeston (1990), has gone on to win a Caulfield Cup. Only three Liston winners have won a Cox Plate, the last So Called in 1978. At least last year’s race held up to some degree after third placegetter Maldivian (behind Light Fantastic and Weekend Hussler) scored a brilliant win in the Cox Plate (WFA 2040m) at Moonee Valley. This year’s event shapes as a genuinely run affair, thanks to the appearance of the speedy frontrunner Jungle Ruler. The grey entire crossed from a wide draw to lead last week at Flemington (1400m) before tiring to finish fifth behind Driffield Gold. He backs up on a track where he has won three races, and he should set a merry pace to suit all runners. The speed will aid the unbeaten mare Typhoon Tracy, who resumes from winning the Group 1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 21. The mare, who is five from five, has tremendous tactical speed that should see her parked behind Jungle Ruler. Her only danger is being left in front too soon if JR is feeling the pinch on the bend, as he was last week at Flemington. Typhoon Tracy is trained at Caulfield, and reports from the Peter Moody
SPEED MAP Predicted positions on settling
stable are that the daughter of Red Ransom is primed for a first-up run. She will need to be right on her mettle to beat another Caulfield horse, Heart Of Dreams. The gelding’s last appearance was a win in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on the same day Typhoon Tracy won the Coolmore – they ran almost identical time. Before his Rosehill win, Heart Of Dreams beat Von Costa De Hero in the Group 1 Cadbury Guineas (1600m) at Flemington. Trainer Mick Price believes the gelding may need the run, but Price rarely starts his horses not ready to win. Expect a big run from the Sydney visitor Predatory Pricer, who looked very impressive beating the fast Here De Angels in an 800m trial at Cranbourne last week. The chestnut looks to be the improving from his 3YO season when he competed brilliantly at the highest level. He was third in the Phap Lap before finishing third behind Roman Emperor in the Group 1 AJC Derby (2400m) at Randwick. While Whobegotyou might be the best horse, he’s the one who might find this race beyond him at this stage of his preparation. He will get back as usual and he might find that giving a start to some of these other Group 1 class horses a shade beyond him over 1400m. Although, it must be remembered, his greatest triumph was his easy win in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on this track last spring. Orange County has rough claims. The tips: Typhoon Tracy just ahead of Heart Of Dreams, Predatory Pricer, Whobegotyou and Orange County.
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AND ALSO If last Saturday grabbed your attention – and the Aurie’s Star Handicap should have with the mighty Mic Mac (a betting proposition) winning first-up and El Segundo (simply a feel-good story) running a hell of a race – this Saturday should have you firmly focused and, perhaps, in thrall for the whole of the spring. Yes, mid-August is an early start, but traditionally the Liston meeting is the beginning of the bloom. Caulfield has more than the G2 Liston, so there is plenty of early talent to win you your season’s bank – play up the Mic Mac money on the very good’uns resuming because more often than not they are still very good’uns. The And Also list, in racebook order (and with the proviso of stopping when ahead/not getting too greedy) is: R4: Rostova (about $2.50) is ready, with Headway ($5-$6) the question mark. R6: can’t see why Typhoon Tracy ($2.50-ish) won’t keep winning – want to see Heart Of Dreams and ‘Whobe’. So far, no fancy odds, just the right options. So, to R7: honestly, Romneya ($6-$7) is eachway forever – yes, Dunn is on the Freedman stablemate Marchelle Belle, but don’t read too much into that because he probably will have to step aside for McEvoy later in the spring if Darley runs its little beauty in a big race. Looking further north, Phelan Ready fits the bill at $3-plus (Rosehill R5) and Hus Der Lieften (R6) looks as if he’s going to – it’s eachway him around $5. Stephen Howell