The Melbourne Mail: Caulfield – Saturday 18th of November 2023

The revamped Thousand Guineas day officially rounds out the carnival this Saturday at Caulfield.

CROSSHAVEN winning the Kevin Heffernan Stakes
CROSSHAVEN winning the Kevin Heffernan Stakes Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

Regular readers will note I am not Adam Blencowe, and therefore shouldn't expect witty, bordering on egotistical asides about famous poets or punters.

What they hopefully can expect, is a couple of long priced selections in the two Group Ones that make up this new-look day.

The Thousand Guineas has had a bit of an identity crisis in recent years, moved around a lot, but I quite like it here at the back of the carnival and the field is certainly up to scratch compared to recent years.

Skybird narrowly holds the call from Coeur Volante and I think they do deserve to be at the head of the market, but if you like Skybird, and many clearly do, I think you have to give plenty of respect to Quickster.

They met at Moonee Valley last time and as impressive as Skybird was, coming from back in the field to get up late, she did save all the ground along the rails and had a fairly uninterrupted run through, just having to take a gap late.

Quickster on the other hand, tried to come wider and was badly held up around the turn, copping a bump and then not really seeing clear air until the 150m mark. She charged into fourth late and her last 100m was very good.

She was 1200-1600m there and while she'll have to defy history to win this at just her third start, as a maiden, she should be much better for that run at a mile and I think she can make her presence felt.

In the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, there are plenty of chances, it being a Group One handicap, and our weight-adjusted ratings show that two horses share the highest last start rating in the field.

One of them is the favourite Magic Time, excellent off a tough run in The Invitation, and the other is Crosshaven. He was fantastic first up in the time honoured Racing And Sports Rising Fast Stakes, splitting Spacewalk and Najem Suhail and perhaps even a touch unlucky not to win.

That is his issue however- winning. Once a very promising three-year-old, he's only managed one win post his three-year-old season. The good news is, it came at the Caulfield 1400m when running to 112 with Timeform- the same number he ran to first up at Flemington.

He should get every chance just behind the speed here with 52.5kg and 20-1 being shopped is too big in my market, therefore he is a bet.


Backing: Race 7 #13 Quickster at $18/4.40

Also backing: Race 8 #15 Crosshaven at $20/5.50