NOT many horses win two races in a row, let alone four, but that’s what Caro Cavallo will be attempting to do on Monday at Grafton.
VOTE NOW: WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE RACEHORSE?
DERBY DAY: EARLY TIPS FOR THE MONSTER MEETING
WINX MANIA: GLOBAL OBSESSION WITH WONDER MARE
The John Shelton-trained six-year-old had no wins and just two placings after his first 12 starts but this time in he’s a different horse ahead of lining up in a Benchmark 66 Handicap (1400m).
Shelton decided he had to try something with the son of Van Costa De Hero, so he gave him a four-week freshen up after Caro Cavallo ran seventh at Coffs Harbour.
BEST BETS WITH SHAYNE O’CASS: GRAFTON
BEST BET: SHE’S CHOOSIE (Race 8, No. 9)
A locally trained filly who is trained by Greg Kilner and will be ridden, as usual, by his daughter — 2kg claiming apprentice Leah. The daughter of Choisir won five of her 12 starts and is three from four with a second place when racing at home.
NEXT BEST: TOAST (Race 7, No. 9)
Has only won three times in 46 starts but a lot of that has to do with her pattern which is basically a get back and run on one. He has placed 13 times and is nearly always each-way odds or better.
VALUE: CARA CAVALLO (Race 6, No. 7)
Has won his last three on the trot, each and all of them here at his home track of Grafton. Matthew McGuren has ridden him at two of those three wins and is back on board for this.
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW: MATTHEW McGUREN
The aforementioned Matthew McGuren has a fabulous book of rides at Grafton, six out of the right, and not one of them is not without a winning chance.
BEST EXOTIC: QUADDIE
Race 5: 3,5,7
Race 6: 7,11,12
Race 7: 3,6,9
Race 8: 7,9
He returned to run seventh again but this time was more impressive in making ground late.
“I’ve just changed his training up a bit,” Shelton said. “I’m not working him as hard as I used to, so it must be helping him.
“It has brought him into some nice form. It’s hard to win three straight today.”
His last-start triumph was his best, when he came from 13th on the turn to run down Arrogant Boy on a heavy eight track, which is always a difficult challenge.
And all three wins have come at Grafton, so despite a rise in grade Shelton is naturally confident.
“I suppose I’m most excited about Caro Cavallo, who has put three together and I think he will race well again,” he said.
“It looks to be a pretty open race. It’s pretty competitive but if he races like he did the other day, with some speed in the race, he will be right in it.
“Racing on his home track obviously helps him and he was pretty impressive the other day on that wet track.
“I think the 1400m to 1600m seems to be about his trip. He has been good since dropping him back in trip.”
Caro Cavallo will be ridden out of barrier 12 with Matthew McGuren on board and will be looking to flash home again.
“He drew wide the other day and we went back on him, so I’m not too worried about his draw,” Shelton said.
Caro Cavallo’s biggest obstacle might be stablemate Cool Prince, who has been ultra consistent of late. He is coming off a fourth placing at Grafton on October 12 over 1420m and has won at the track and distance before.
“Cool Prince is racing nicely and I can’t fault him,” Shelton said.
“He’s going well after a few close seconds and I’m expecting another good run.
“I don’t think there’s actually a lot in it between him and Caro Cavallo, based on their work.”
Shelton will also pit stablemates Lucky Meteor and Cash Spinner against each other in the final race, the Jacaranda Prelude (1100m).
“It’s not the right distance for Cash Spinner first up, but the other horse will go well despite the big weight and bad draw,” Shelton said.
“I’m very happy with him at the moment.”
Shelton wants to see Gypsy Ball improve and learn at her second run in the third race, while King Of Monaco is an each-way hope in the second event, a Class 1 and Maiden Plate over 1700m.
“King Of Monaco is a place chance,” he said. “I’ve given him a freshen up and he will whack away.”
INSIDE MAIL WITH SHAYNE O’CASS: GRAFTON
His Kyllachy left England finishing 6th in the same race that Invictus Prince was runner-up in. He spent some time with Chris Waller and is now with Tess Wilkes and has doing quite well without winning — until today perhaps. Drawn well, nicely in and will run this trip right out. Slaughter Bay is a Queenslander who won over 2200m at the Sunshine Coast two runs ago. Tough One was $21 when he beat His Kyllachy here last start.
BET STRATEGY: HIS KYLLACHY WIN, QUINELLA 1,4
Delacroix has only won the one race from his 17 starts but both of his second placings have come at his most recent outings so he is getting close to another win it seems. Indian Rocks is a Matthew Dunn trained gelding who is every chance to take up the lead but may have to be used up given the wide draw. Arrogant Boy has been thereabouts in his last few and should run 1700m (first time).
BET STRATEGY: DELACROIX WIN
We Concur is another of the Matthew Dunn runners on the card, this one may be his best chance. The lightly-raced three-year-old resumed with a closing third at the Gold Coast over 900m and should thus relish the 1200m on Tuesday. Looks well placed here despite the wide draw. Duebank has placed at half of his eight starts, placed two of four here. Should be in the finish. Dukatti races handy and should get his chance from gate 5.
BET STRATEGY: WE CONCUR WIN, EXACTA 4 TO BEAT 1, QUINELLA 1/4
Fair Dinkum is a Ross Stitt trained gelding with the compelling record of two wins from four starts. He won here in a C1 over 1115m as recently as October 12 in a Class 1. This is a Class 2 of course but from gate three, Matthew McGuren will give him every opportunity to step up. Hashtag Hero has a win and a second from three track/distance runs but has only won one of 19. That said, has eight seconds — might be nine today! Jahez is lightly-raced but terribly draw.
BET STRATEGY: FAIR DINKUM WIN
Just Sizzling is a Neil Godbolt three-year-old who has the decent record of one win and four placings from his nine starts. The son of Sizzling split Good Excuse and Phelpedo last time out, both of them quite handy types. Just Sizzling was beaten a nose here at the only prior visit. Red All Day has been consistent to say the least of late with two seconds and a win. The horse he beat last start won on Saturday. Ornate is a Gerry Harvey bred filly whose only win is here at home.
BET STRATEGY: JUST SIZZLING WIN, BOX TRIFECTA 3,5,6,7
Caro Cavallo is aiming for four straight wins on Tuesday bearing in mind that those three previous wins are at home there at Grafton. Two of the, he was ridden by Matthew McGuren who takes over from Ben Looker who turned in one of the best rides you would see to win on him last start! Looker’s mount is Mackellar who won on the same day and absolutely bolted in! This should be a real battle between the two great jocks and last start winners. P’Artie Town is the potential spoiler.
BET STRATEGY: CARO CAVALLO WIN, QUINELLA 7,11
Toast has only won the three races from his 46 starts but when you get back and run on as a pattern, you invariably need things to go your way regarding tempo and clear runs, etc. That hasn’t always been the case for Toast but he should relish the wide open spaces and long straight. Barrier (13) is probably a plus. Peter Graham rides him well and he’ll always be good odds. Princess Elle has won two from three here at home. Ilia has six career wins, five are at Grafton.
BET STRATEGY: TOAST EACH-WAY
The feature Jacaranda Prelude has brought together a fantastic field. It’s going to be a huge ask for the three-year-old filly She’s Choosie to beat the older, and higher rated, horses here from the extreme outside alley but that might mean she is a better price than what she might have been otherwise. Loves racing at home and was runner-up at Doomben last start. The two John Shelton horses — Cash Spinner and Lucky Meteor, particularly the latter who is 4 for 4 at the track/distance.
BET STRATEGY: SHE’S CHOOSIE WIN, CASH SPINNER PLACE, DUET 7,9