It’s the first day of February, and the new month brings an outstanding day of Saturday racing across the country. Caulfield is without a doubt the highlight, with the feature races including the G3 Manfred Stakes, and Listed W.J. Adams Stakes. But don’t be fooled, because these fields are full of G1 quality horses, a number of which are kicking off their Autumn campaigns today. The road towards the Golden Slipper continues at Randwick, with the Widden and Canonbury Stakes for the 2YO’s, and also the G2 Expressway Stakes for the open sprinters/milers. With a number of other great meetings taking place, PlayUp form analyst Lewis Willoughby has narrowed in on five key bets for today.
Caulfield R2 #6 Nonconformist $4.20 at PlayUp – Recorded a dominant 6L victory last start, albeit in an easier race at Pakenham. Still managed to record the quickest last 600/400/200m of the race even when winning by such a big margin. Comes here fourth up holding form, two starts back was placed against the talented Mrs Beckham, and on debut was placed behind Diode who won on Friday night. Not a whole lot of speed engaged, so may push forward from the wide draw and be very competitive at the business end of the race.
Caulfield R5 #3 Aryaaf $2.90 at PlayUp – The win on debut of this filly was very smart down the Flemington straight in the G3 Ottawa. She was ultra green, ducked out and then laid back in under pressure but still recorded the best sectionals and held the margin comfortably. Has drawn very well in barrier two, will get a very good run just behind the speed. Now has the benefit of race experience, and racing around the bend I think will actually help to keep it straighter, will be very hard to beat here. I also think Mildred is a good each way bet in this race.
Caulfield R8 #4 Humma Humma $5.50 at PlayUp – Very talented John McArdle mare resuming here. Comes here off the back of one super sharp jump out where she crossed the line with Pippie, and they gapped the rest. Her first up record is outstanding, with three wins and one second from four attempts. She also holds the exact same record at this 1000m distance. Should be able to slot in around midfield from the draw, and at the current price she is still an each way bet.
Randwick R5 #8 Subpoenaed (BEST) $2.20 at PlayUp – Expecting the Waller filly to be too classy for this bunch today. Comes here first up off the back of two recent trials, in which she has been very sound. Her first up record is very good, won on debut in NZ before just missing out on AUS debut at Canterbury last year. Her runs last prep culminated in finishes behind Funstar and Moonlight Maid in G2 races, this is a far cry from that quality, and she can kick start a promising Autumn campaign with a win here today.
Newcastle R2 #2 Covert Ops Bet Now at PlayUp – This Gerald Ryan galloper resumes here over the 900m with some untapped talent I believe. Never really came up well last prep, but his run on debut in the Breeders Plate was outstanding. A recent trial behind Heart Of The Oak was great, showed blistering speed early and was only run down late when hard held to the line. This is an easy race to kickstart his campaign in, and he maps to lead easily which is always a bonus over this short distance.