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Coongy Cup preview

Springtime hits fever pitch in Melbourne this weekend with Cup Day at Caulfield. While it's the eponymous Cup taking all the attention, the support card holds some tantalising betting prospects.

Making his debut on the blog at the height of the Melbourne spring, it's welcome aboard to Australian racing form student Callum Gogerly, @_gogs10.

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Priceline Pharmacy Coongy Cup
Group 3 Handicap, 2000m, AU$150k
Caulfield R6
1510 AEST, 0510 BST

Prices quoted from Sportsbet at time of writing

Speed: Whenever The Cleaner (2) is racing, you know that you are assured of a solid tempo. Tom Melbourne (6) looks like being the one to sit off him, while the favourite It’s Somewhat (1) looks to get a nice run on paper, one or two back on the fence. Expect every horse to get their chance.

1- It’s Somewhat ($2.60)- Import for the O’Shea yard who is into his fourth prep since being brought to Australia. Often you find these horses improve dramatically once they have had multiple Australian preparations (have you heard of Hartnell??) and he comes down here from Sydney in winning form. You can only beat your opposition and he did that convincingly last start, but you do have to query who he was up against. First time going Melbourne way and negotiating a quirky track at Caulfield as well as 59kg are three factors that he must overcome to salute.

2- The Cleaner ($11)- Shot to cult figure prominence two springs ago and recent runs this prep show that there is still some life in the legs of the 9YO. While his days in the top echelon that saw him compete in consecutive Cox Plates seem over, his recent form has been good enough to warrant consideration in this race. He beat home Caulfield Cup favourite Jameka two runs ago and was 3.8L off Cox Plate contender Black Heart Bart at WFA Group 1 last start. Back to handicap conditions he has to be some hope here.

3- Maurus ($4.60)- Had an extended winter program in Queensland and has basically come back into racing in Melbourne with no break. A significantly improved and eye catching run last start behind Real Love, no doubt appreciating the step up in trip. Best form has been at this distance range, including an Ipswich Cup win. Any rain would be a bonus. Include.

4- Vanbrugh ($5.50)- Highly promising early in its career, but has not seemed to carry on with potential. Admittedly has been running in relatively high grade races. Was never going to be a factor early in prep against Winx and co. but would’ve like to see more last time out. Up to 2000m a positive? First way Melbourne going? I’m not sure what to make here, think I’ll look and see at that quote.

5- Bring Something ($17)- Not a bad effort first up off two nice trials. Was caught on fence/flat footed, but picked up and hit the line nicely (note: before that run was 5: 0-0-0 first up). Interesting to note he was $91 to $41 that day too. Had not come up previous prep/s, but worth remembering he did show talent at 2000m+ early in career. If you’re happy enough to go on that first up run and trials, then he is right in this.

6- Tom Melbourne ($8)- The bookmaker’s horse! It must warm the insides of the bag boy’s when this boy runs around. Has started $4 or under in its past four starts without saluting. He maps to sit second off The Cleaner, which has proven in the past to not necessarily be a good thing due to the pressure that comes on the race from the 800m mark. I’m not sure how genuine he is either. If he wants to win today, he can do it without me.

7- De Little Engine (Scratched)
8- Tarquin (Scratched)

9- Blizzard ($21)- Dour NZ type who ran last in the Moe Cup on Thursday. Would have to improve significantly off that run to figure here.

10- Calvin Williams ($41)- Import for Darren Weir who has been quite disappointing since arriving down under from France. Improved run last time out at Bairnsdale where he was ridden closer to the speed. Expect a more forward position taken today, but would still have to improve significantly to win you would think.

11- Nozomi ($15)- Interesting runner. Excellent form in the staying trips as a 3YO, winning the Geelong Classic and placing to Preferment in a Derby. Was a strange win last start, rider committed early and was left a sitting duck, but could not be reeled in, admittedly in BM84 grade. The further he goes the better.

12- Rose of Virginia ($101)- Another runner from across the ditch. Placed in an Auckland Cup in March. Not today, but keep an eye on going forward: 2800mm race on Cup Day or Sandown Cup (3200mm)??.

13- Honorius ($41)- October 5, 2013. Yes, that was the last day Honorius saluted the judge first. If he broke through here you’d just have to dip your hat and say “that’s racing” and move on. Not for me.

Tips: Slightly tricky race to assess. It seems that the favourites are a little too short in the market. I think The Cleaner out in front making his own luck will at least provide something to chase and make whoever wants to beat him earn it. Bring Something can run a race at big odds, while Maurus and It’s Somewhat are clearly chances as well.

1. The Cleaner
2. Bring Something
3. Maurus
4. It’s Somewhat

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