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Futurity Stakes preview

The Futurity Stakes is a traditional feature of the Melbourne Autumn Carnival, this year promoted as '#RelaxedRacing' with later starting times in the warmer weather, and in some places, more relaxed dress codes. A quality field will go to post, considering the huge carrot Sydney has thrown out this year for its showpiece, The Championships.

No longer restricted by a bookmaker, at least in the free speech sense, it's a welcome return to astute Aussie racing analyst Manny Galouzis.
In his words "If you wouldn't mind, tell the readers to direct all praise/hate-mail/death threats to @mannygalouzis on Twitter haha!".

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Caulfield Race 6 - Group 1 Futurity Stakes

Greetings punters! What a fantastic day of racing we have this Saturday at Caulfield. Three Group 1s, all high quality fields and big prize money up for grabs. We kick things off with the first race of the quaddie, The Group 1 Futurity Stakes.

Run over 1400 meters, this weight for age contest has often been the starting point for middle-distance horses and stayers kicking off their Autumn campaign. That being said, the Futurity has a rich history of quality sprinters on it's honour roll. In more recent times, this race has been won by the likes of All Too Hard, Typhoon Tracy and Fields of Omagh. If we go back a bit further, you will see names such as Schillaci, Vo Rogue and of course the four-time winner of this race, Manikato. But enough about the past, let's look forward to the future and try and find a winner.

1. Sizzling

A decent run resuming in the Expressway at Randwick, got home nicely enough to finish 3rd. It will be interesting to see how this horse goes this prep now that he has been transferred to Chris Waller. He might get a bit cluttered up from barrier 2 but with any luck he could run into a place. I dare say this will be an indication of better things to come in the future.

2. Moment of Change

A string of near misses and bad luck over the last 18 months have made this horse a very expensive one to follow. Running placings in multiple Group 1s over 6 furlongs, his last start win in the CF Orr has now confirmed that 1400m is his ideal distance (especially at Caulfield!) He was the benefactor of a very soft lead last start, only getting there by the barest of margins, but Nolen might find himself getting away with a similar tempo here. He is clearly the one to beat.

3. Pinwheel

As honest as the day is long, Pinwheel's first up run in the Expressway was a decent return to racing, running 4th just behind Sizzling. His second-up stats read very nicely, but he's not getting any younger this boy and I have a feeling his best days are behind him. It wouldn't shock to see him run a place, but I can't see him winning here.

4. Sertorius

Last year's Spring campaign was huge for this guy, winning the Bendigo Cup and Sandown Classic. He will use this race as a launching pad for bigger things to come over longer distances. Won't be troubling the judge in this one.

5. Smokin' Joey

Well, they say a change is as good as a holiday, and after Smokin' Joey was transferred from Mick Price to Wez Hunter, he appears to have found a few lengths! First up for his new stable, he won a 1400m Group 3 at the luxurious odds of 40/1 and then proceeded to run arguably the best horse in Australia to a nose in the Emirates Stakes (after being 3 wide the entire trip). If he can slot in no worse than midfield, I wouldn't be surprised to see this horse run a very cheeky race. With odds of 20/1 available at some corporates, you could do worse than have a few dollars each-way on him.

6. Clear For Action

It would be foolish of me to waste more than a few lines here. He's 250/1 and for good reason. Beaten 6L last start at Sale, he'll be running closer to last than first.

7. Lidari

An impressive, if somewhat short lived Spring campaign; Lidari kicked things off winning in very impressive fashion at Caulfield and then went on to run .3L behind subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente in the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes. His first-up record is very good and if he shows a glimpse of what he was capable of last Spring, he could be very competitive in this. The only thing going against him is a lack of pace in the race. He could get too far back off a slow tempo and find it hard to make up ground. Place chance.

8. Polanski

Arguably the story of last year's Spring Carnival. A $4000 purchase, Polanski showed that purchase price doesn't mean anything in racing, winning three races in a row, culminating in a very impressive win in the Victoria Derby. He's got stayer written all over him, so I can't see him making too much of an impact here. If he does come out and run a big race though, I think he'll be just about winning anything he runs in afterwards.

9. Bull Point

The colt has already been the subject of good support in pre-post betting, being backed in from 5/2 into 2/1 at most corporates. He won nicely first up in the G3 Manfred Stakes, beating other Guineas chances like The Quarterback and Prince Harada, however I think the step up in class might be too much for him here. Going from three year old races up to G1 open class is a very different story. He will more than likely sit outside Moment of Change, so he will have every opportunity, but at the price I think he is short enough. Happy to risk.

Moment of Change should go straight to the lead with Bull Point outside of him. Pinwheel and Sizzling should both get very nice runs in transit with the rest of the field bringing them up. There isn't a lot of speed in this race on paper, so horses any further back than midfield will find it difficult to make up ground in the home straight.

I marked Moment of Change about a $2.30 chance in this and with odds of $3.00 available, I think he represents good value. If you're not interested in backing favourites, I think the 20/1 about Smokin' Joey is a great price, maybe a small bet the win and more the place. I'm risking Bull Point, but due to the fact he will be up on pace, I have to concede he should be in this for a long way.

Selections:

1. Moment of Change
5. Smokin' Joey
9. Bull Point
7. Lidari

Good luck punters, and remember, there's no such thing as the last race!

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