The highlight of racing in Australia is once again at Caulfield this week with the running of the first Group 1 of the calendar year, the C.F. Orr Stakes over 1400m at weight for age. That race is backed up with seven other Group 2 or Group 3 races in what looks a most interesting betting card. A quirk of the meeting is the many ex Darren Weir horses having their first run for new stables, many of them are hard in the market.

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Race 2 is a Group 3 over 1200m for the 3yo fillies. The Mick Price trained Crack The Code has won both her starts since resuming from a spell and runs favourite. Her first up win was dynamic and her last start was more workman like despite not much going right. I'm happy to risk her at the short odds. Embrace Me ran behind Crack The Code last start but didn't get much room back on the inside. She was a winner of her two runs before that and the rise to 1200m looks ideal. She is currently $8.00 with Sportsbet. Al Naifa from the Tony McEvoy yard had two runs in the Spring and performed admirably. She raced alone on the inside down the straight and wasn't beaten far first up and then ran into smart filly My Pendant at Moonee Valley. She was sent for a break and now resumes here after two jump outs. She looks over the odds at $18 with PointsBet.

Race 3 is for the mares over 1200m and it looks to be a race of little tempo. I Am A Star is easily the best performed horse in the race having won and been competitive at Group 1 level throughout her career. Her best runs are generally at 1400-1600 but given the lack of tempo here she has the chance to sit in the first 2 or 3 in the run and be very hard to hold out. Her recent jump out was good, showing that she is sharp enough for the 1200m. She is currently $4.80 with Neds and looks a good play.

Race 7 is a most interesting affair for the 3yos with many horses resuming from Spring campaigns. The best performed horse in the race is Ringerdingding who was a revelation in the Spring when trained by Darren Weir. He is now with Chris Waller and all eyes will be on him to see how he performs. I am happy to just watch him this week. Another former Weir trained galloper is Hawkshot who has been racing well without a huge amount of luck through the Summer. He is a horse who is still learning his craft and despite not being suited by drawing barrier 1 at his last two starts he has still performed very well. He draws barrier 3 on this occasion so should be able to find a good spot on speed, away from the fence and has fitness on many of his opponents. He looks a great play at $11 with Neds.

The Group 1 Orr Stakes is Race 8 on the card and is well deserving of its Group 1 status. It looks a race that should be run at a genuine tempo with many of the on speed runners drawn wide. There looks to be three main chances to my eye which makes this a good race to attack in tournaments, starting with highly touted Godolphin stallion Kementari. He raced without much luck last preparation which included an unlucky 2nd over this course and distance. He comes into the race first up off the back of an excellent trial in Sydney and is drawn to receive a soft run. Should he get the luck in running when needed it's near impossible to see him not being in the finish. He is currently $3.50 with BetEasy.

Land Of Plenty looks the main danger as the setup for this race looks perfect for him. His first up run was good enough where he had to chase from a long way out and still finished off nicely. He will no doubt be better for that run and this would be somewhat of a target race. His chances are further enhanced if horses can come wide and run on throughout the day. He is another horse that has recently left the Weir stable so you will be taking the horse on trust. He is currently $5.50 with PointsBet.

D'Argento is possibly the forgotten horse of the race. He is drawn the inside gate so like the favourite will need luck at some stage, has a good fresh record and comes off a recent soft trial. His chances will be further enhanced should there be some cushion in the track and is one to include if you are looking for some value late in the day. He is currently $11 with Sportsbet.


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