Held in the opening stages of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival is CF Orr Stakes Day, an event which boasts a quality day of racing at Caulfield Racecourse. The race card includes seven Group races, headlined by the $500,000 CF Orr Stakes, a Group 1 weight-for-age event run over 1400m. The programme is an important part of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival as horses prepare for bigger races later in the season.
Other feature races on CF Orr Stakes Day include the Autumn Stakes, Rubiton Stakes, Carlyon Cup, Geoffrey Belmaine Stakes, Kevin Hayes Stakes and two instalments of the Blue Diamond Prelude – one for fillies and the other for colts and geldings. The event is held annually in mid-February and is widely regarded of the second biggest day of the carnival, with only Blue Diamond Stakes Day eclipsing it. In excess of $1.8m in prize money is on offer on the day, with all age groups catered for.
CF Orr Stakes day has arrived and it signals the first Group One race of the Calendar year.
Nine races are set down for decision with 8 of the 9 races carrying Group status headlined by the 1400m weight-for-age CF Orr Stakes.
The Orr has bought together a quality 14 horse field that represents a mix of established G1 stars like Black Heart Bart, Hartnell and Tosen Stardom balanced by the up-and-comers like Mr Sneaky, Thronum, Tshahitsi and Dollar For Dollar.
Complementing the Orr will be preludes for both sexes of the Blue Diamond Stakes, with these races traditionally the strongest lead to finding the winner of the Blue Diamond Stakes in two weeks.
In the Fillies prelude the McEvoy trained Oohood will look to improve on her 3rd in the Blue Diamond Preview last start, while in the Colts & Geldings division, Plague Stone has already been well supported in early trading.
UBET will be offering real money back on Races 1-5 (see T’s& C’s) if your horse finishes second or third. Grab your slice of CF Orr Stakes Day.
|RACE NO||RACE NAME||RACE TIME||STATUS||PRIZE MONEY||DISTANCE||RACE TYPE||RACE CODE|
|1||BIG SCREEN COMPANY HANDICAP||11:30AM AEDT||-||$100,000||1800m||OPEN HCP||MR01|
|2||BLUE DIAMOND PRELUDE (F)||12:05PM AEDT||2||$200,000||1100m||2YO SW||MR02|
|3||BLUE DIAMOND PRELUDE (C&G)||12:40PM AEDT||3||$200,000||1100m||2YO SW||MR03|
|4||TS CARLYON CUP||1:15PM AEDT||3||$150,000||1600m||SW+P||MR04|
|5||KEVIN HAYES STAKES||1:50PM AEDT||3||$150,000||1200m||3YO F SW+P||MR05|
|6||RUBITON STAKES||2:35PM AEDT||2||$200,000||1100m||SW+P||MR06|
|7||AUTUMN STAKES||3:05PM AEDT||2||$200,000||1400m||3YO SW+P||MR07|
|8||CF ORR STAKES||3:45PM AEDT||1||$500,000||1400m||WFA||MR08|
|9||BELLMAINE STAKES||4:25PM AEDT||3||$150,000||1200m||4YO+ M SW+P||MR09|
An 1800m handicap to kick off the day with Plot The Course and Gallic Chieftain disputing the position at the top of the market.
Gallic Chieftain is first-up since the 3200m Sandown Cup in November when carrying 57.5kg behind Fanatic. His Spring campaign also featured a 2nd to Vengeur Masque in the Geelong Cup.
Thirteen fillies have accepted for the Blue Diamond Prelude with the Tony McEvoy trained Oohood the best supported in early trading.
La Parva was a good winner on debut at Ballarat for Godolphin following two trials at Randwick, The Lonhro filly is out of the Golden Slipper placed Portillo and will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn.
Fourteen colts and geldings will do battle in the ‘boys’ division and the early favourite is another Lonhro for Godolphin in the shape of Plague Stone. There is a strong connection to this day with Lonhro successful in the 2004 CF Orr Stakes siring Plague Stone.
Robbie Griffiths will saddle three runners with the Hayes/Dabernig and Ellerton/Zahra stables each having dual representation.
Just the seven acceptors for the Carlyon Cup to be run over 1600m with 3 of the 7 coming from the Hayes/Dabernig yard.
Gailo Chop, Lord Fandango and Harlem will all be first-up with each of those runners having last raced at Group 1 level last start. Of the remaining four runners, they all met last start in the same race when contesting the Listed Barton Stakes. Wyndspelle finished the best of those when running 3rd.
Last start G1 Myer winner Shoals returns for her Autumn assault with Mark Zahra re-uniting with the filly after he couldn’t get down to the 50kg needed for the Myer.
Yet to miss a place in 7 appearances her record stands at 7: 5-2-0, with both of those 2nd placed runs coming here at Caulfield. 2 from 2 first up, there has been solid support as the opening $3.30 quote holds steady.
Booker boasts one of the victories over Shoals when defeating her by a half-length in the Tranquil Star when meeting her 2.5kg lighter. The Ellerton/Zahra trained mare is the only other runner supported in early trading, firming from $4.40 to $4.20.
A field of 8 to contest the 1100m Rubiton Stakes named after the former champion that was a ten-time winner ranging from 1200m up to 2000m with his highlight the 1987 Cox Plate.
Of the 8 runners, 6 will be resuming for their Autumn campaigns Last start Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Merchant Navy was installed at the top of the market. From 6 career starts he has been successful on 5 occasions with the only failure when he didn’t handle the Sydney way of going in the Golden Rose.
Ardrossan is a big query runner and has been kept very safe after opening at $4. The Mick Price trained 3YO has only faced the starter twice, with both of those coming during his 2YO term in New Zealand. Michael Dee takes the ride at 53kg.
Cao Cao is an early scratching leaving 13 runners in the 3YO 1400m event held under set weights and penalties.
Levendi and Villermont are disputing the position at the top of the market, with the Peter Gelagotis trained Levendi holding the most early. The Pierro colt was last seen when taking out the Carbine Club Stakes on VRC Derby Day. Damien Oliver rides the colt for the first time under race conditions.
Of the 13 runners, none have been successful on the Caulfield track.
The first Group 1 of the calendar year has seen a strong field assemble with 7 of the 14 acceptors citing at least one Group 1 victory to their name.
Darren Weir will saddle 3 runners, the defending champion Black Heart Bart and the Japanese imports Tosen Stardom and Brave Smash. Last start Mackinnon Stakes winner Tosen Stardom has been the best supported since the final field market was declared.
The Australia Stakes has been the best guide to this race in recent years and the 2018 winner Thronum has landed gate 8 as he looks to secure the G2/G1 double.
Last start Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss resumes for his Autumn campaign. The last 3YO to win the Orr was All Too Hard in 2013 and like Mighty Boss he had won the Caulfield Guineas and was first-up in the Orr.
A 1200m event restricted to mares aged 4YO and older with 12 acceptors to do battle in the get-out of the day.
There has not been any real action in early trading with the Group 1 winner silent Sedition at the top of the market. The 5YO is also the topweight with 59kg.
The Godolphin mare Fragonard is on the second line of betting and will be first-up. A winner of 3 from 3 when resuming, she is also 2 from 2 at the six furlong trip and Damian Lane will ride for the first time.
|RESULT||RUNNER||WIN ODDS||PLACE ODDS|
|1ST||1 BLACK HEART BART||$2.90||$1.60|
|2ND||5 TURN ME LOOSE||-||$5.10|
|RESULT||RUNNER||WIN ODDS||PLACE ODDS|
|2ND||4 LUCKY HUSSLER||-||$1.90|