CAULFIELD PREVIEW February 27, 2010 FUTURITY STAKES (WFA 1600M) Race 7, 4.15pm (Melbourne time) The crack mare Typhoon Tracy may not be at a ratings level of some of the great sprinter/miler mares in history, like Sunline and Emancipation, but she’s good enough to scare away a herd of possible rivals in Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes (wfa, 1600m). Only five other horses will line up against Typhoon Tracy, who will start as short as any favourite since Octagonal’s brother Mouawad won in 1997 at 4/9 ($1.45). Trainer Peter Moody started the autumn with an enviable team of sprinter/milers, and he was expected to dominate the Group 1 sprints with his band of classy 3YOs. The young guns have let the side down, as Moody has missed out on the three7 Group 1 sprints – the Lightning Stakes, William Reid Stakes and Oakleigh Plate – but his brilliant mare Typhoon Tracy is set to cut a swathe through the Melbourne and Sydney carnivals. She resumed in the G1 C F Orr Stakes (wfa, 1400m) at Caulfield two weeks ago, and at $1.40 favourite dominated the race, sitting outside leader Danzylum before charging clear at the 300m. Typhoon Tracy will only be improved by that run. Expect jockey Luke Nolen to send her forward from the outside gate (six) – he has the options to lead or park outside Joku. History shows that 12 horses have won the Orr–Futurity double, the most recent Yell in 2003, but Typhoon Tracy is aiming to be the first winner of the autumn double since the Futurity was increased from 1400m to 1600m in 2006.
The Hong Kong-owned Dao Dao, in the care of Team Hawkes, is a class galloper with an impressive record of seven wins and five placings from only 15 starts. He was a winner in the mud in Sydney last autumn before returning to Hong Kong to place third in the G1 Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin. He has returned to the Hawkes stable and showed he’s in fine form with a first-up third, beaten only a head, in a three-way go in the G2 Expressway Stakes (wfa 1200m) at Rosehill on a heavy track on Feb. 6. Dao Dao is a class act, who represents a danger to the mare, especially if the predicted rain arrives. Sniper’s Bullet is a Melbourne “maiden” but he won the Group 1 double, the Railway Stakes (1600m) and the Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in the summer. Importantly, Damien Oliver takes the ride. Oliver rode him aggressively to win the Kingston Town Classic, so I expect the champion jockey to employ similar tactics on the gelding in the Futurity. Lord Tavistock is a very interesting runner. Caulfield is a home away from home for this 4YO, as he was trained on the track by Mick Price in the 2008 spring. Lord Tavistock showed raw ability for Price, winning at Flemington (1410m) and placed second in the Listed Vain Stakes (1100m) and fourth in the G3 Guineas Prelude (1400m). Back in NZ, he won the G1 Mudgway Stakes (wfa 1400m) last spring and comes to Melbourne off a brilliant last-to-first win in the G1 Waikato Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on Feb. 13. Lord Tavistock is the value runner. The tips: Typhoon Tracy, Lord Tavistock, Dao Dao and Sniper’s Bullet.
Predicted positions on settling
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AND ALSO Betting advice for Caulfield tomorrow should be summed up in five words, but (hobby horse time again) because of the lunacy allowed in naming horses, one word of sorts is the summary – Thegreatandthegood. A colt of that name ran an eyecatching third in a Diamond Prelude on February 6, and that makes him an attractive proposition at the $9 on offer for Race 4. It also points us to the other two bets on the Caulfield card – Typhoon Tracy (the ‘great’) and Berringama (the ‘good’). Tracy’s only on the way to being great, but she’s a cert for Moody and Nolen in the Futurity (Race 7), although at $1.60 she is probably too skinny for most. So, to the last, and Berringama is already good. And he’s honest (his most recent win was in October, but since then he has finished 4, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2) and he’s tough. He had a torrid run last start and still figured in a threeway finish with La Rocket and Miss Maren, and they were first and third in the G2 St George last week. That’s good enough for this, so take the $3.60. If you look beyond Caulfield, Rosehill offers some strong fields. And Also will be watching how these measure up: Griffon ($2.90, Race 2) – Bart Cummings’ latest boom horse, who has had two super wins this time in. The visitors Chakvetadze ($3.20, Race 4, ex-Brisbane) and Sir Hallowell ($14, Race 6, ex-Perth). Stephen Howell