2018 Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes – Preview and Tips
Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes, Caulfield Tips 1400m
The first of 2018’s Group 1 races gets us underway for the upcoming Autumn meetings throughout Australia. The traditional lead-off race is the 1400m Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes, run at Caulfield. It’s a star-studded line-up with numerous chances, but the early season may catch a few out.
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Here’s the field for the Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes:
1 HARTNELL, C Williams, J Cummings, 12, 59kg, $5.50
2 BLACK HEART BART, B Rawiller, D Weir, 3, 59kg, $6.50
3 TOSEN STARDOM, D Lane, D Weir, 14, 59kg, $4.60
4 BRAVE SMASH, J Allen, D Weir, 6, 59kg, $7.50
5 LORD OF THE SKY, D Oliver, R Laing, 10, 59kg, $41.00
6 TSHAHITSI, B McCoull, C Crook and I Miller, 11, 59kg, $18.00
7 MR SNEAKY, K McEvoy, A Freedman, 13, 59kg, $9.00
8 THRONUM, M Zahra, D and B Hayes and T Dabernig, 8, 59kg, $10.00
9 DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, J Kah, T McEvoy, 7, 59kg, $19.00
10 SINGLE GAZE, K O’Hara, N Olive, 1, 57kg, $31.00
11 SHILLELAGH, M Dee, C Waller, 2, 57kg, $9.00
12 ABBEY MARIE, L Nolen, M Kent, 4, 57kg, $41.00
13 JESTER HALO, C Puls, D Kolpin, 9, 57kg, $101.00
14 MIGHTY BOSS, M Walker, M Price, 5, 55.5kg, $14.00
There’s not much weight relief for many of the starters given the CF Orr Stakes is a weight-for-age race. 9 horses (the boys) are on equal weight at 59 kgs, 4 mares carry 57 kg, while the sole three-year-old Mighty Boss carries 55.5kg.
Let’s start with him, a last start winner on the track, taking out the Caulfield Guineas at 100/1 last year. Trainer Mick Price said this week there wasn’t much point running him in a Group III race. This is all about going for the jugular. If he’s good enough, he’ll win it. If not, he’ll go back to his same age group in the Australian Guineas in a few weeks time. One thing is for certain, the showy chestnut with the golden mane will be easy to spot.
Of the proven gallopers at this elite level, Hartnell, Black Heart Bart and Tosen Stardom are the obvious selections. Bart won the CF Orr Stakes last year with a sustained burst to overhaul Kiwi galloper Turn Me Loose. He’s on target for a repeat. The former Japanese galloper Tosen Stardom finally reached his potential last year with two Group 1 wins in the Toorak Handicap and the Emirates/McKinnon Stakes. The query with him this weekend is his widest barrier draw 14, from the notorious 1400m mark at Caulfield. You have to be good to win from there.
Three runners ran in the Australia Stakes a couple of weeks back at Flemington. Thronum, Mr Sneaky and Brave Smash. The latter was the favourite but was unflattering in the six-horse field, finishing second last. He’ll be better off for the run, but he’ll be up against two of his stablemates coming from the Darren Weir stable. Both Thronum and Mr Sneaky could be interesting in the betting market if one is keen to look beyond single figure odds.
Tshahitsi, Dollar For Dollar And Jester Halo are three horses coming through the grades, and all three come from interstate (the latter two from South Australia, Tshahitsi from Tasmania). The trio bring good form coming into this, but they have been racing in lower grades recently so they are not expected to compete at the elite level just yet. There should be some good money about for them.
The other three mares: Single Gaze, Abbey Marie and Shillelagh are all high quality performers, and Group 1 winners. They also benefit from inside barrier draws. Of the three, perhaps Shillelagh is better suited to the shorter distance of the CF Orr Stakes, while the credentials of the other two are proven at middle distance races. Come what may, the run on Saturday will improve their fitness as we head further into Autumn.
Tosen Stardom will probably start favourite, but his wide draw is a concern for me. Black Heart Bart has the inside draw at 2, but he’ll need to push up early to counter all the other horses coming across from wider barriers. I think he’s good enough to do it. Shillelagh and Mighty Boss are drawn handily, and at reasonable early odds too. If I was going to have a sneaky sideways punt, I might go for the speedster Brave Smash. As mentioned, he’ll be better off for his last start run, and $7.50 is still good odds if you get on early.
Black Heart Bart, Shillelagh, Mighty Boss
Dollar For Dollar $19.00
CF Orr Stakes – check the odds on Sportsbet