Australia vs. New Zealand (TV style) – (2017 Bledisloe Cup – Game 3)

Earlier tonight, I called the third Bledisloe Cup match of 2017 between Australia and New Zealand, which was held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

The All Blacks may have won the Bledisloe Cup for the 15th-straight year, but the Wallabies were looking for a confidence-boosting win against the world’s best. Could they achieve it?

Find out right here, and enjoy!

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A look at Caulfield and Royal Randwick

On Saturday, the spring carnival is set to heat up in Melbourne, where the running of the 2017 Caulfield Cup will take place, with the likes of Humidor, Johannes Vermeer, Bonneval, Amelie’s Star, Marmelo, Hardham, Jon Snow, Ventura Storm, Inference, and Wicklow Brave all strong chances of taking out the time-honoured event.

And, on a strong day of racing where a number of class horses are being aimed towards some of the biggest events of the spring, here are my tips for the races at Caulfield (Races 1-10), and for three races at Royal Randwick (Races 4, 6, and 7). (Please note that my tips will be updated in the lead up to the racing action pending changes to the fields)

CAULFIELD TIPS (Fields)

Race 1: 12:15pm 1400m Resimax Group Plate. Set Weights plus Penalties. Three-Years-Old, Fillies. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 6. Our Crown Mistress (8)

2nd 5. Super Snob (5)

3rd 3. Counterplay (10)

4th 11. Naantali (1)

Race 2: 12:50pm 1400m Polytrack Gothic Stakes. Set Weights plus Penalties. Listed. Three-Years-Old, Colts and Geldings. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 5. Octabello (4)

2nd 8. Lord Sundowner (8)

3rd 2. Beau Geste (7)

4th 10. Woulda Thought So (5)

Race 3: 1:25pm 2000m New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes. Set Weights plus Penalties. Group 3. Three-Years-Old, Fillies. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 4. Speedway (9)

2nd 6. Pinot (19)

3rd 10. Rimraam (6)

4th 12. Teodora (5)

Race 4: 2:00pm 2000m Ladbrokes Classic. Set Weights. Group 3. Three-Years-Old, No sex restriction. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 4. Main Stage (1)

2nd 7. Tavistock Abbey (4)

3rd 5. Ataraxia (7)

4th 2. Cliff’s Edge (8)

Race 5: 2:35pm 2000m Priceline Pharmacy Coongy Cup. Handicap. Group 3. No age restriction, No sex restriction. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 10. Kiwia (7)

2nd 2. Turnitaround (10)

3rd 5. Spectroscope (2)

4th 8. Samovare (11)

Race 6: 3:10pm 1400m Ladbrokes Moonga Stakes. Set Weights plus Penalties. Group 3. Four-Years-Old and Upwards, No sex restriction. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 11. Danish Twist (9)

2nd 10. Eckstein (10)

3rd 6. Grande Rosso (3)

4th 5. Ulmann (4)

Race 7: 3:45pm 1000m Harrolds Caulfield Sprint. Handicap. Group 2. No age restriction, No sex restriction. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 8. Snitty Kitty (8)

2nd 9. Super Too (3)

3rd 7. Sweet Sherry (7)

4th 1. Faatinah (1)

Race 8: 4:30pm 2400m BMW Caulfield Cup. Handicap. Group 1. No age restriction, No sex restriction. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 18.

My preview and tips for the 2017 Caulfield Cup.

Race 9: 5:10pm 1400m Schweppes Tristarc Stakes. Set Weights plus Penalties. Group 2. Four-Years-Old and Upwards, Mares. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 2. Global Glamour (16)

2nd 8. Now Or Later (11)

3rd 16. Swampland (5)

4th 1. Foxplay (4)

Race 10: 5:45pm 1100m Carlton Draught Alinghi Stakes. Set Weights plus Penalties. Listed. Three-Years-Old and Upwards, Fillies and Mares. No class restriction. Apprentices cannot claim. Track: Main. Track type: Turf. Field limit: 16.

1st 1. Fuhryk (2)

2nd 3. Nieta (6)

3rd 7. Modern Wonder (4)

4th 10. Sneakers (1)

 

ROYAL RANDWICK (Fields)

Race 4 – 2:20PM CITY TATTERSALLS CLUB CUP (2400 METRES). LISTED, Quality, Minimum Weight 53kg, Three-Years-Old and Upwards, Apprentices cannot claim. Track Type: Turf. Field Limit: 13.

1st 5. Social Element (3)

2nd 3. Admiral Jello (2)

3rd 4. Alward (4)

4th 1. Destiny’s Kiss (5)

Race 6 – 3:30PM SOUTHERN CROSS GROUP BRIAN CROWLEY STAKES (1200 METRES). LISTED, Set Weights plus Penalties, Three-Years-Old, Apprentices cannot claim. Track Type: Turf. Field Limit: 13.

1st 6. Piracy (6)

2nd 5. Malahat (2)

3rd 4. Albumin (1)

4th 3. Goodfella (3)

Race 7 – 4:10PM ICD NIVISON (1200 METRES). GROUP 3, Set Weights plus Penalties, Four-Years-Old and Upwards, Mares, Apprentices cannot claim. Track Type: Turf. Field Limit: 13.

1st 11. White Moss (6)

2nd 3. Daysee Doom (5)

3rd 2. Dixie Blossoms (3)

4th 6. Diddums (4)

2017 Caulfield Cup – Preview

On Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm (AEDT), 17 runners will go head-to-head in one of the most iconic and time-honoured handicap races in Australia, the Group One Caulfield Cup over the famous 2400 metres at Caulfield, and what an even field we have with the likes of Humidor, Johannes Vermeer, Bonneval, and Amelie’s Star all considered strong contenders, with all four being aimed towards a tilt at the Melbourne Cup.

However, there are a number of runners planning on springing an upset with the likes of Marmelo, Hardham, Jon Snow, Ventura Storm, Inference, and perhaps even Wicklow Brave capable of producing a minor boilover.

So, here is my detailed preview of the 2017 Caulfield Cup. (Please note I will update this post in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup on Saturday).

1. Humidor (NZ) (7) 56kg

Trainer: D.K.Weir Jockey: D.M.Lane

Age 5YO (Foaled 14/09/2012)
Colour/Sex Bay/Gelding
Sire/Dam Teofilo (IRE) /Zalika (NZ)

Record: 19–6–6–2

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-1-0-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 7-2-2-1

Record in Group One races: 8-2-2-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 2-0-0-1

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 8-3-3-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 2-1-0-1

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-1-2-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-0-1

My judgement/view

Humidor is one of the more fancied runners, and despite its recent shaky form, it has performed well at Group One level, and even better across staying and handicap races. Will look to settle at the back of the field, and come through quickly towards the end. A strong place chance.

2. Marmelo (GB) (10) 55kg

Trainer: H.Morrison Jockey: H.Bowman

Age 5YO (Foaled 22/03/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Duke of Marmalade (IRE) /Capriolla (GB)

Record: 10–3–4–1

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-2-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 5-1-2-1

Record in Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 10–3–4–1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-1-2-1

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Marmelo is capable of a surprise. It has placed in three of its last four races, and has won 80 percent of its races overall, being strong in handicap and staying events. Likes to settle on or just off the speed, and while its experience at this level is a concern, it can cause a shock!(79 percent)

3. Johannes Vermeer (IRE) (2) 54.5kg

Trainer: A.O’Brien Jockey: B.J.Melham

Age 5YO (Foaled 20/04/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Galileo (IRE) /Inca Princess (IRE)

Record: 13–4–3–2

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 5-1-2-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 10-3-2-1

Record in Group One races: 6-1-2-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 5-1-1-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 6-1-2-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-1-1-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-0-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 2-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Johannes Vermeer is the current favourite for the Caulfield Cup, and has been in good form, placing in three of its last five races, and while it has a solid record at handicap level, it has found it tough when the level has gone up. Prefers to be racing closer to the speed, but a bit too inconsistent in running to be confident.(45 percent)

4. Jon Snow (NZ) (6) 54.5kg

Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Jockey: S.Baster

Age 4YO (Foaled 21/09/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Iffraaj (GB) /Orinda (NZ)

Record: 16–4–1–5

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-1-0-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 3-1-0-0

Record in Group One races: 8-1-0-3

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 6-3-0-2

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-1-0-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 4-1-0-2

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Jon Snow is an outside place chance for mine just because of its strong record in staying races and at Group One level. Will look to settle close to the speed, and if it can handle the conditions of the race, is a strong, outside place hope.(65 percent)

5. He’s Our Rokkii (NZ) (15) 54kg

Trainer: D. & B.Hayes & T.Dabernig Jockey: L.Nolen

Age 5YO (Foaled 28/09/2012)
Colour/Sex Bay/Gelding
Sire/Dam Roc De Cambes (NZ) /Clerihew (GB)

Record: 25–7–3–1

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 11-5-2-0

Record in Group One races: 7-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 2-1-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

He’s Our Rokkii is a rank outsider here, struggling with his current form, and not much better over staying distances. Will settle just off the speed, but the field will be far too strong.(29 percent)

6. Sir Isaac Newton (GB) (17) 54kg

Trainer: R.Hickmott Jockey: K.A.Mallyon

Age 6YO (Foaled 12/02/2012)
Colour/Sex Bay/Gelding
Sire/Dam Galileo (IRE) /Shastye (IRE)

Record: 17–3–3–1

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 3-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 12-1-2-0

Record in Group One races: 5-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 5-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 10-2-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-1-1-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Sir Isaac Newton is also an outsider, having not placed in its last three races, and while it has been strong in handicap, staying races, its record doesn’t give you much confidence. Where it settles could make or break its race.

7. Ventura Storm (IRE) (4) 54kg

Trainer: D. & B.Hayes & T.Dabernig Jockey: D.Oliver

Age 5YO (Foaled 15/02/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Zoffany (IRE) /Sarawati (IRE)

Record: 16–6–2–1

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-0-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 15-6-2-1

Record in Group One races: 6-1-2-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 5-1-2-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 9-3-2-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 9-3-2-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 4-1-2-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 4-1-2-0

My judgement/view

While it has only placed in one of its last four races, Ventura Storm is an outside place chance, and is fairly consistent at Group One and handicap level, as well as in staying races. Prefers to settle off the speed, and if it is close to the front, should be an outside place hope.

8. Wicklow Brave (GB) (16) 54kg

Trainer: W.P.Mullins Jockey: J.Moreira

Age 9YO (Foaled 10/03/2009)
Colour/Sex Bay/Gelding
Sire/Dam Beat Hollow (GB) /Moraine (GB)

Record: 37–10–4–5

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 5-0-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 34-10-4-5

Record in Group One races: 11-2-0-3

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 9-2-0-3

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 37–10–4–5

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 34-10-4-5

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 11-2-0-3

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 9-2-0-3

My judgement/view

Wicklow Brave has been in decent form, without being in great form, placing in only one of its last five races, but finishing fourth in four of its last five. Can settle close to the speed, or at the rear of the field, and should be an outside place chance as it can stay.(48 percent)

9. Inference (11) 53.5kg

Trainer: M, W & J.Hawkes Jockey: D.Dunn

Age 4YO (Foaled 15/08/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam So You Think (NZ) /Pontiana

Record: 15–4–2–2

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 3-2-1-0

Record in Group One races: 7-1-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-0-1-2

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 4-0-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Inference hasn’t placed in its last four races, but has a 100 percent place record in handicap races. Will settle towards the rear and look to come home strong, but I sense the quality of this field is far greater than it has faced before.(51 percent)

10. Single Gaze (12) 53kg

Trainer: N.Olive Jockey: K.O’Hara

Age 5YO (Foaled 21/09/2012)
Colour/Sex Chestnut/Mare
Sire/Dam Not a Single Doubt /Redaluca’s Gaze

Record: 26–5–5–3

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 5-0-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 10-3-3-1

Record in Group One races: 9-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 1-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 7-2-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 2-0-1-1

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 4-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Single Gaze is at best an outside place chance, but despite a good record at handicap record, and in staying races, has placed just once in the last five races. Will look to settle near the front of the field, but you sense this field might be far too strong for her.(42 percent)

11. Bonneval (NZ) (14) 52.5kg

Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Jockey: K.McEvoy

Age 4YO (Foaled 08/10/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Mare
Sire/Dam Makfi (GB) /Imposingly

Record: 11–7–0–1

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 3-2-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 3-2-0-0

Record in Group One races: 4-3-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 1-1-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-4-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-1-0-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-2-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-1-0-0

My judgement/view

Bonneval is one of the favourites for the Caulfield Cup, and it has won two of its last three races, and has performed superbly at Group One, and handicap level, as well as in staying races. Will settle midfield, and look to come home strong. She is the one to beat.(81 percent)

12. Hardham (8) 52.5kg

Trainer: D.R.Brideoake Jockey: C.Newitt

Age 4YO (Foaled 28/08/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Redoute’s Choice /Nureyev’s Girl

Record: 12–3–1–2

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 3-1-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 8-1-1-1

Record in Group One races: 2-0-0-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-1-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-1-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-0-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Hardham has placed in two of its last three races, and has been strong in staying races, placing in all three of his staying races. Will settle off the speed, possibly in midfield, and will look to come home strong. Only concern is its record at handicap and Group One, and while the odds may reflect that doubt, I believe he is a strong, perhaps outside place chance.(72 percent)

13. Boom Time (3) 52kg

Trainer: D. & B.Hayes & T.Dabernig Jockey: C.J.Parish

Age 6YO (Foaled 26/10/2011)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Flying Spur /Bit of a Ride

Record: 31–6–2–7

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 5-0-0-2

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 27-6-2-5

Record in Group One races: 3-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 1-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 13-5-0-2

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 9-5-0-1

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Another outsider, Boom Time has placed in two of its last five starts, and has a good record in staying races at handicap level. Will aim to settle close to the speed, but its record at Group One level suggests this field will be far too strong.(29 percent)

14. Abbey Marie (5) 51.5kg

Trainer: M.C.Kent Jockey: B.Mertens (a)

Age 5YO (Foaled 12/11/2012)
Colour/Sex Bay/Mare
Sire/Dam Redoute’s Choice /Catshaan

Record: 11–3–1–0

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-0-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 5-1-0-0

Record in Group One races: 4-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 1-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-0-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 2-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Abbey Marie is another outsider here, and that she has only placed in one of her last four reflects this. Will settle at the back of the field, and won’t be getting anywhere near the front here.(24 percent)

15. Harlem (GB) (1) 51.5kg

Trainer: D. & B.Hayes & T.Dabernig Jockey: C.Schofield

Age 6YO (Foaled 16/02/2012)
Colour/Sex Bay or Brown/Horse
Sire/Dam Champs Elysees (GB) /Casual (GB)

Record: 14–4–1–2

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-1-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 13-3-1-2

Record in Group One races: 3-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 2-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 12-3-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 11-3-1-1

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 3-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 2-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Harlem has won once in its last four races, and while it is solid in staying, handicap races, is considered an outsider. Will settle in midfield, but will struggle to be competitive.(23 percent)

16. Amelie’s Star 51kg

Trainer: D.K.Weir Jockey: C.Williams

Age 6YO (Foaled 16/10/2011)
Colour/Sex Bay/Mare
Sire/Dam Testa Rossa /Zazita

Record: 17–6–2–2

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 5-1-0-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 13-5-1-2

Record in Group One races: 1-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 6-4-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 5-4-0-0

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 1-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Amelie’s Star is one of the more fancied runners here, and while it has a good record at handicap level, especially over staying distances, it has only placed in two of its last five starts. Will settle in midfield, and could be a strong, outside place chance if everything goes right for her.(44 percent)

17. Lord Fandango (GER) 50kg

Trainer: A.Alexander Jockey: B.Allen (a)

Age 5YO (Foaled 08/02/2013)
Colour/Sex Bay/Horse
Sire/Dam Lord of England (GER) /Fitness (IRE)

Record: 16–5–2–1

Record in Last Five races (last six months): 4-2-1-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties races: 13-5-2-1

Record in Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One races: 0-0-0-0

Record in staying races (2000 metres or more): 12-5-1-1

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties staying races (2000 metres or more): 11-5-1-1

Record in Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

Record in Handicap/Quality/Set Weights+Penalties Group One staying races (2000 metres or more): 0-0-0-0

My judgement/view

Lord Fandango is a strong rough chance here, and has placed in its last three races, and has a strong record in staying races, with all but one of them at handicap level. Will look to settle in midfield, but while its experience at this level is a concern, it should a strong, outside chance of a place.(62 percent)

 

My tips for the 2017 Caulfield Cup

1st 11. Bonneval (NZ) (14)

2nd 2. Marmelo (GB) (10)

3rd 1. Humidor (NZ) (7)

4th 12. Hardham (8)

 

2017 Women’s Ashes – Preview

The 2017 Women’s Ashes Series begins on Sunday when the Australian women’s cricket team takes on the English women’s cricket team in what is sure to be a fantastic series at a time when women’s cricket and women’s sport around the globe has never been more popular.

Unlike the men’s Ashes series, which is just five test matches, the women’s Ashes incorporates all recognised formats of the game, test match cricket, one day cricket, and Twenty20 cricket in a multi-format series where the two teams will play for points, with some matches, depending on the format, worth more than other matches, and the team with the most points at the end of the series wins the Women’s Ashes.

The 2017 Women’s Ashes Series will comprise of three one day internationals, one test match, and three Twenty20 internationals. Two points will be awarded for each victory in any of the one day internationals or Twenty20 internationals throughout the series, with one point to be awarded to each team should any of the one day internationals or Twenty20 internationals be abandoned, or if there is a tie between the two teams.

However, for the sole test match of the series, four points will be awarded for the victory, while two points will be awarded to each team should the test match end in a draw. It is also important to note that the test match will be a four-day match.

The history of the Women’s Ashes is very interesting considering the points system format was introduced for the 2013 series in England, and in the three series that have taken place under the points system, England have won two of the series, while Australia won the last series back in 2015 in England.

In terms of the one day internationals in a Women’s Ashes Series, Australia lead the head-to-head over England by five wins to four, while in the Twenty20 internationals in a Women’s Ashes Series, England hold the upper hand over Australia, claiming six wins to Australia’s three.

However, in the three test matches between the two teams since the Women’s Ashes became a multi-format series, Australia has won one, England has won one, while the other test match was a draw. However, what is important to note that whoever won the test match went onto win the Women’s Ashes Series.

Before the multi-format Women’s Ashes series came into existence, the Women’s Ashes was just test matches, just like the men’s Ashes have been. In the 18 Women’s Ashes test series played between the two teams, Australia had won seven, England had won four, while seven series have been drawn.

However, when you count the 45 individual test matches in each of those 18 test match series between Australia and England, Australia have won 11, England have won eight, but there have been 26 draws between the two teams.

So, overall in test matches between the two nations, Australia have won 12 of their 48 test matches against England, with England winning nine, and there have been 27 drawn test matches between the two teams in history, but you sense this will mean little when these two great sides come head-to-head in what is set to be an enthralling series.

However, Australia will be without their regular captain Meg Lanning, who is out with a long-term shoulder injury, which is a huge loss considering that she averages 41.27 across all forms of the game combined. This will mean that Rachael Haynes will captain the Australian team, and she will be under the pump after Australia’s semi-final exit from the Women’s Cricket World Cup earlier this year, but while the batting has generally been brilliant of late, it has been the bowling that has really put the team under huge pressure.

You sense from an all-rounder’s perspective that Ellyse Perry needs to have a great series if Australia are going to retain the Ashes. Averaging 40.54 runs per innings across all forms of the game combined, and taking a wicket at an average of 22.28 runs per wicket, Perry is the player that England must shut down.

Talking about England, they have a number of players who can take Australia down to reclaim the Ashes, with the likes of captain Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont, Sarah Taylor, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, and Alex Hartley all playing instrumental parts in helping England win their third World Cup.

So, who is going to win the series?

Australia will be very hard to beat at home, there is no doubt about that, but England I feel come in with the strongest squad. I think England will win the one day international and Twenty20 sections of the series by two matches to one in each instance, but I think Australia will win the day/night test match that will ultimately play a critical part in the home side retaining the Women’s Ashes!

2017 United States Grand Prix – Preview

The 17th round of the 2017 Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula One World Championship takes place this weekend from the Circuit of the Americas, located about 22 kilometres away from the city-centre of Austin, the capital of the state of Texas, and we have two world championships that could well be decided this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton (306 points) leads the world drivers’ championship in his Mercedes by 59 points over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (247 points), while Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas (234 points) is third in the championship, 72 points behind Hamilton, and still has a mathematical chance of claiming his first world championship in 2017.

Hamilton extended his lead over Vettel from 34 points to 59 points after taking a magnificent victory at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka after starting from pole position, thus having started from pole position on every circuit on the current Formula One calendar, and holding off Red Bull driver Max Verstappen in the closing laps to take his eighth win of the season, and his fifth win in the last seven races, including his fourth win in the last five races. In addition to this Hamilton has finished on the podium in six of the last seven races, including in the last five races, and is truly at the top of his game right now!

The same cannot be said for Ferrari, who have dropped their bundle in the last three races with the collisions and accidents in Singapore, which wiped out a two-car Ferrari team on the opening for the first time in history, and then reliability issues in both Malaysia and Japan with their power-units, allowing Ferrari to only score a combined 22 points during the last three races, and is seemingly going to cost Vettel the world championship, and it makes it more painful to consider that they had arguably a faster car than their rivals at all of those three events.

Meanwhile, Bottas has been consistent without being spectacular recently, but has finished inside the top five in the last 11 races, but has only finished on the podium twice in the last five races, the five races since the summer break, and you sense he will need to lift his game if he wants to secure second in the drivers’ championship.

So, for Hamilton to clinch his fourth world championship at the United States Grand Prix, one of these scenarios must happen:

  1. If Hamilton wins the race, Vettel must finish sixth or lower.
  2. If Hamilton finishes second, Vettel must finish ninth or lower, and Bottas must not win the race.

However, as I said before, that is not the only championship battle that could be decided this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, with the World Constructors’ Championship up for grabs for Mercedes for the fourth-straight year.

Mercedes (540 points) lead over Ferrari (395 points) by 145 points with four races remaining, with reliability and the lack of a strong two-driver effort costing Ferrari any realistic hope of claiming their first constructors’ championship since 2008.

Mercedes, in the five races since the summer break, have out-scored Ferrari 183 to 77, a difference of 106 points, and in the last three races, Mercedes have out-scored Ferrari 105 to 22, a difference of 83 points. In fact, Red Bull (303 points), who sit in third in the constructors’ championship, but out of mathematical contention have also out-scored Ferrari in the last three races 91 to 22, a difference of 69 points, and are only 14 points behind Mercedes when you just consider the last three races, just showing how far Ferrari have fallen in terms of the reliability of their car.

So, for Mercedes to clinch their fourth-straight world championship at the United States Grand Prix:

  1. Ferrari must not out-score Mercedes by 17 points or more. If one of the Mercedes win the race, they are guaranteed to win the constructors’ championship. If both Mercedes finish inside the top four, they are guaranteed to win the constructors’ championship.

So, will Hamilton and/or Mercedes claim the world championships this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas.

Both Ferrari and Red Bull have the potential to challenge Mercedes here, and Mercedes, as far as their speed is concerned, don’t have as big a margin as they have had previously at this time of the season compared to 2014, 2015, and 2016.

However, Lewis Hamilton has been right at the top of his game in recent races, and if he continues in this vain of form, he will be very hard to beat at a place where he has only lost once.

Hamilton to win the United States Grand Prix to clinch Mercedes the constructors’ world championship, but the drivers’ world championship to continue onto Mexico.

 

The first two practice sessions (90 minutes each) are on Friday at 10am and 2pm local time (Saturday 2am and 6am AEDT).

The final practice session (60 minutes) and qualifying is on Saturday at 11am and 4pm local time (Sunday 3am and 8am AEDT).

The 56 lap race is on Sunday from 2pm local time (Monday 6am AEDT).

2017 MotoGP Australian GP – Preview

The 16th round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship takes place this weekend from the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Australia, which is located about 140 kilometres south-south-east of Melbourne, and it is the second of three-straight flyaway weekends (Japan, Australia, and Malaysia), and from what we saw in Japan, we are set for some great racing at this breathtaking circuit.

Marc Márquez (244 points) leads the world championship on his factory Honda, but his championship lead over factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso (233 points) has been cut to just 11 points after the Italian’s sensational victory at the Twin Ring Motegi in very wet conditions, overtaking Márquez on the final lap to grab his fifth victory of the season, which is the most wins Dovizioso has had in a season since he claim the 125cc championship in 2004. It was also Dovizioso’s seventh podium of the season, which is the equal most he has achieved in a season during his premier class career (2010, 2011, and 2017).

And while the lead for Márquez was cut to 11 points, the Spaniard could celebrate his 100th podium in Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing in just his 165th race, and with that podium, it is the seventh time in the last eight years that Márquez has achieved 10 podiums or more in a season across all classes.

Third in the championship is factory Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales (203 points), 41 points behind Márquez after a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix, struggling in very wet conditions on his Yamaha, a bike that has struggled all season long in wet conditions, and after scoring three wins in the opening five races of the season, Viñales has only been able to manage three podiums in the last 10, a run of form that will surely cost him any hope of winning his first MotoGP World Championship in 2017.

Dani Pedrosa (170 points), the teammate of Márquez, is the last rider in mathematical contention for the world championship, but is 74 points (out of a possible 75) behind Márquez in the championship after retiring from the Japanese Grand Prix, and will need a miracle if he was to win his first MotoGP World Championship in 2017.

Valentino Rossi (168 points) is fifth in the championship on his factory Yamaha, but officially out of championship contention after crashing out in Motegi, struggling like his teammate Viñales in the wet conditions.

Johann Zarco (125 points) is ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (116 points), and Danilo Petrucci (111 points) in the battle for sixth in the championship, which will be battle outside of the championship battle that will be sure to captivate great interest among the fans as this season draws closer to the end.

Cal Crutchlow (92 points) is ninth in the championship, and is ahead of Jonas Folger (84 points) who missed the Japanese Grand Prix due to a mystery virus, and looks set to miss the Australian Grand Prix, as well as the Malaysian Grand Prix the week after.

As far as who is going to win at Phillip Island, Honda, Ducati, and Yamaha should all have strong bikes to handle the fast, sweeping corners around this iconic circuit.

It is important to note that Phillip Island is one of just five circuits on the current MotoGP calendar that run in an anti-clockwise direction, and at the three anti-clockwise circuits (Circuit of the Americas, Sachsenring, and Motorland Aragón) MotoGP has been to in 2017, Marc Márquez has won all three, while Andrea Dovizioso has struggled, finishing sixth, eighth, and seventh respectively at those three circuits.

However, Márquez has only won the Australian Grand Prix once since joining the premier class in 2013, but could have potentially won all of those races. Márquez was disqualified in 2013 after failing to pit within the prescribed pit-stop window in the first-ever dry flag-to-flag race, before crashing at Turn 10 in 2014 while leading the race comfortably, before winning a thriller in 2015 when he was out of championship contention, overtaking Jorge Lorenzo on the last lap, and then crashed at Turn Four (Honda Corner) while leading the race again in 2016.

Conditions this weekend are set to be fine, but cool, which should suit the Yamaha better, but I think the Honda and Ducati have been developed much further and better than the Yamaha, and given his record on anti-clockwise circuits, both in 2017 and in general, it is very hard to tip against Márquez moving a step closer to a fourth MotoGP World Championship, and his sixth championship across all classes.

 

MotoGP Practice on Friday at 10:55am, and 3:05pm local time (10:55am, and 3:05pm AEDT). MotoGP FP3 on Saturday at 10:55am local time (10:55am AEDT), FP4 on Saturday at 2:30pm local time (2:30pm AEDT), Q1 and Q2 on Saturday at 3:10pm and 3:35pm local time (3:10pm and 3:35pm AEDT). MotoGP Warm Up on Sunday at 11:40am local time (11:40am AEDT), and MotoGP race on Sunday at 4:00pm local time (4:00pm AEDT).

 

Gold Coast 600 – Preview

This weekend, the 12th round of the 2017 Supercars Championship takes place at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit on the Gold Coast for the Gold Coast 600, and after long, wet, and eventually chaotic Bathurst 1000, we have been left with a championship form guide that has been turned upside down.

Coming into the Gold Coast 600, Fabian Coulthard (2431 points) for DJR Team Penske leads the championship by 91 points over Triple Eight Race Engineering driver Jamie Whincup (2340 points), and 97 points over his teammate Scott McLaughlin (2334 points).

Coulthard and his co-driver Tony D’Alberto were quiet for most of the weekend, especially compared to McLaughlin and his co-driver Alexandre Prémat, with Coulthard qualifying in seventh after the Top 10 Shootout, and being comfortably slower than McLaughlin for the entire weekend, but managed to stay out of trouble to salvage third in a brilliant performance of damage limitation that led to Coulthard not only taking the championship lead, but him and D’Alberto taking the lead of the Endurance Cup.

However, it was not a good race day for McLaughlin and Prémat, with McLaughlin making a mistake early in the race to lose the lead, before engine problems came into play, affecting their performance before it eventually failed on Lap 73 on approach to The Cutting, becoming the first competitors to retire from the 2017 Bathurst 1000, which has severely compromised McLaughlin’s championship hopes by scoring zero points.

However, it wasn’t a good weekend for Whincup and his co-driver Paul Dumbrell, and generally for Triple Eight Race Engineering overall, struggling with their brakes and general car set-up, with Whincup failing to qualify inside the Top 10, qualifying only in 11th, and then not leading a lap in the race.

It was the first Bathurst 1000 since 2004 that a car containing Whincup did not lead a single lap. This was before engine issues all but ended any hopes of a victory, with the car getting back out for the last few laps to be classified, and gain some vital championship points.

Fourth in the championship is Chaz Mostert (2208 points) for Rod Nash Racing/Prodrive Racing Australia, 223 points behind Coulthard in the championship after finishing 10th with co-driver Steve Owen at Mount Panorama after serving two drive-through penalties, but the team has steadily been improving their car speed, and Mostert looks set for a late-season charge to towards possibly winning his first championship.

Shane Van Gisbergen (2142 points) is fifth in the 2017 Supercars Championship for Triple Eight Race Engineering, 289 points behind Coulthard after he and his co-driver Matt Campbell finished the Bathurst 1000 in fifth position. Like all of the Triple Eight cars, they struggled with brake stability and car balance, but Van Gisbergen was able to qualify the car in fifth after the Top 10 Shootout.

However, they struggled during the race, with Campbell having an absolute shocker in wet conditions, while Van Gisbergen made some uncharacteristic mistakes, costing the team a chance of the victory, but Van Gisbergen is still a realistic hope of defending his championship crown.

In terms of the Teams’ Championship, DJR Team Penske (4800 points) are leading Triple Eight Race Engineering (4482 points) by 318 points, with DJR Team Penske having a slim hope of claiming the teams’ championship this weekend, and ending Triple Eight’s seven year domination of the teams’ championship.

In terms of the Endurance Cup standings, 18 driver combinations still remain in mathematical contention with the top five separated by 108 points with Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto (480 points), Cameron Waters and Richie Stanaway (444 points), Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen (414 points), David Reynolds and Luke Youlden (408 points) after winning the Bathurst 1000, and Dale Wood and Chris Pither (372 points) all in realistic contention to win the Endurance Cup.

As far as who I expect to be strong on the streets of the Gold Coast, I expect both Triple Eight Race Engineering and DJR Team Penske to be mighty, and while I expect Prodrive Racing Australia to be in the fight, I am expecting Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Prémat to hit back after their retirement at Bathurst to claim victory in both races at the Gold Coast 600, and allow McLaughlin to regain some momentum in the championship.