1. Horse Racing – Derby Day – The Melbourne Cup is Australia’s most famous and prestigious race but in terms of quality the whole way down the card Derby Day is probably unrivalled in Australia. Four Group 1 races and five Group 2 or 3 races fill the card. The Victoria Derby is the feature race but this year it threatens to play second fiddle. The Coolmore Stud Stakes has a super field and should be a great race. Rich Enuff has been outstanding this campaign but will be challenged not only by the drop in distance but also plenty of worthy challengers, especially from Sydney. I like Rubick and think he could cause an upset. The 2500 metre Victoria Derby see’s the Gai Waterhouse trained Hampton Court starting as a short priced favourite for the three-year old race. As with the other runners the distance is a query, but all indications are he’ll have no problems. Atmosphere has yet to win but flashed home late last weekend for second behind another chance in Moonovermanhattan. Bondeiger was further back in that race but eased up toward the line and if the jockey’s comments afterwards are anything to go by is primed for this weekend.

 Tip – Hampton Court is at short odds and is the one to beat. Don’t think he will be beaten but closest challenger will be Atmosphere. Bet of the day for me is Fontein Ruby in Race 2. Deep Field in race 9 is a potential superstar and should continue his winning ways as well.

SUQ – 9.5 – The start of the Flemington Carnival, need I say more.


  1. Football – English Premier League – The Manchester Derby – Between them Manchester United and Manchester City have shared the last four Premier League titles. But right now neither are playing like Champions. City has suffered two defeats in the last week and in the process have picked up a couple of worrying injuries, notably to David Silva. United played well against Chelsea last weekend but still couldn’t win and have been particularly poor away from home. United will be keen to get one over their rivals who beat them comfortably twice last year. For United to win they’ll need a much better performance from the entire back four. Shaw and Rafael need to offer some attacking threat but most importantly need to provide the platform from which Di Maria and Co can prosper further up the field. The time may just be right for Falcao to finally put his mark on his United career. For City, they will be relying on Sergio Aguero upfront to score the goals. And against a United defence that has looked far from convincing he could well prosper.

Tip – Earlier this week I had City winning comfortably. But after their mid-week defeat and with Silva joining Yaya Toure as a doubt I’m not so sure. I’ll stick with City to win 2-1, but no result would surprise here.

SUQ – 9 – One of the biggest games on the English calendar, a derby with more than just local bragging rights at stake.


  1. Tennis – WTA Tournament of Champions and ATP Paris Masters – The tennis season is almost at a close. For the women, it is the final engagement of the season at the Tournament of Champions in Sofia. But don’t be confused, this is not that lucrative end of season finals for the top players, which was in Singapore last week. There Serena Williams suffered a thrashing at the hands of Simona Halep in the group stages only to return the favour with an equally convincing victory. Andrea Petkovic is through to the semi-finals in Sofia and the likes of Dominika Cibulkova, and Alize Cornet will be looking to join her and take the title on Sunday. For the men, the Paris Masters is the final chance to qualify for the end of season money bonanza, with Roger Federer in pursuit of Novak Djokovic and the number one ranking. Federer takes on young Canadian Milos Raonic in his quarter-final while Djokovic plays Andy Murray.

Tips – Cornet to win the WTA event, Federer the ATP.

 SUQ – 7 – The timing of the women’s event seems a bit odd, with the season reaching its climax last week. Plenty to play for in Paris on the men’s circuit.

Mooney Valley played host to two great race meetings, with the two feature races the obvious highlights. Friday nights Manikato Stakes produced a jaw dropping finale. Inside the final 100 metres Lakan Rupee held a handy lead from Buffering with the rest of the field closing in and as they hit the line there was almost nothing to choose between more than half a dozen horses. Lankan Rupee held on for a memorable front running win while Angelic Light and a flying Famous Shamus snatched the minor placing’s. Famous Shamus’s run was particularly eye-catching and had the race been a further 10 metres then Shamus might well have snatched the win.

Saturday’s Cox Plate had plenty to live up to. Criterion was the big pre-race market mover, and was heavily supported all week. Fawkner maintained favouritism while The Cleaner was also popular with the punters. As expected The Cleaner set a furious pace but ultimately paid for his efforts as he wilted in the final furlong to finish ninth. Had he drawn a closer barrier he may not have had to work so hard to get across and maybe the result would have been different. But what his forcing did do was turn it into a much harder slog than previous editions: the winning time only just shy of Might and Powers’ famous and dominant victory.

Irish raider Adelaide started next to The Cleaner in barrier 13 but went straight to the back of the field. The much travelled three year old started rounding the field a long way from home and travelled the last turn four or five wide. Upon straightening he was still more than a length off Fawkner, who in comparison had enjoyed a dream run. But Adelaide proved too powerful in the straight, overpowering Fawkner who held off the fast finishing Silent Achiever, and Side Glance following in fourth and Foreteller in fifth. It was a phenomenal run from Adelaide, who covered more ground than anyone else in the run and won in the most impressive of fashions. Criterion was one of those to disappoint as he never featured in the running and the same can be said of Sacred Falls. The focus now shifts to Flemington with the Melbourne Cup only eight days away.

Real Madrid played host to Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday. The visitors were lively right from the off and Neymar gave them the lead midway through the first as he cut inside from the left flank and curled a beautiful finish into the bottom right hand corner. Neymar continued to dazzle with his skill but Madrid began to settle and create chances of their own. Lionel Messi missed a great chance to give Barcelona a two goal advantage, but in truth the credit should really go to Iker Casillas who produced a quite outstanding save. Despite being behind, Real Madrid looked the more likely to score and eventually made their pressure pay with Marcelo earning his side a penalty after Pique went to ground and handled the ball. Cristiano Ronaldo calmly converted from the spot as Barcelona conceded their first La Liga goal of the season. The second half saw more of the same with Madrids high tempo game continuing to create chances. Eventually it was Pepe who scored the decisive third goal of the match, converting a relatively free header form a corner. Real continued to press and were rewarded with a late third goal of their own as Karim Benzema capped a flowing team move.

Elsewhere in Spain Sevilla left it late but two goals in the last five minutes secured them the victory over Villareal as they stayed second on the table. Valencia were comfortable 3-0 winners over Elche as they continued their solid start to the season. They now sit fourth in an increasingly congested top half. Malaga were the weeks most impressive winners with a 4-0 hammering of Rayo Vallecano as they secured their third win on the trot.

In the English Premier League Chelsea entered their Sunday encounter with Manchester United knowing that a win would lift them six points clear at the top after the previously second placed Manchester City suffered a surprise 2-1 loss at West Ham. ManCity were replaced as Chelsea’s closest challengers by Southampton. Although the (Southampton) Saints were unable to match last weeks eight-goal performance they secured the three points with a 1-0 win over Stoke. They continue to impress, seemingly creating chances at will. On this occasion it was only poor finishing and the woodwork that kept the score at 1-0. Elsewhere there were wins for Arsenal, Everton and Swansea, while Liverpool’s poor start to the season continued in a goalless draw with Hull City.

Anyway, back to Chelsea versus Manchester United. Both sides were missing star strikers but Didier Drogba wound back the years to score at the near post from a corner. Eden Hazard was the most lively attacker on the field and while he earned the corner with a typically mazy run he would have been thankful that Drogba scored from the resulting corner. Hazard really should have found the back of the net when he was through one on one with David De Gea. United pressed but lacked the cutting edge in the final third. They had more possession and more chances than Chelsea but as the match entered added time it looked like their efforts would be in vain. Angel Di Maria broke down the left and drew a foul from Chelsea’s right back Branislav Ivanovic that resulted in the Serbians dismissal. From the resulting free kick Di Maria whipped in a fine cross that the impressive Maroune Fellani powered toward goal. Although he couldn’t beat the Chelsea keeper Robin Van Persie was on hand to power the rebound home and secure United a point (score: 1-all). It wasn’t Di Maria’s best performance in a United shirt but what it did do was prove that he posses the X-factor and can impact the outcome of a game even when not at his best. Had he, or even his crossing, been at his best, United may well have inflicted Chelsea’s first defeat of the year.

It’s time (a quote that has been mentioned once or twice this week, if you are superstitious there is a horse with the same name running at Mooney Valley tomorrow) to look forward to the weekends sporting action.

  1. Horse Racing – Cox Plate – Mooney Valley plays host to a huge double header with racing on both Friday night and Saturday. Friday sees the best sprinters in the land lining up at the Manikato Stakes. There are plenty of chances in this one. Lankan Rupee will be looking to turn the tables on Buffering, while Terravista has those from over the border in NSW purring after some dominant recent displays. Buffering will probably lead them into the straight and try and hold on. But there are plenty of others in the race who can win and some at very juicy odds, such as number 6 Famous Seamus, a last start winner who likes the wet.

Saturday’s feature is Australia’s premier Weight for Age race, the Cox Plate. Some have questioned the quality of the field, specifically the final few inclusions, and called for a return to the old days when it was a race reserved for only the elite, and a full field was not a necessity. But it remains a race full of quality horses and as difficult a race to predict as any. It brings together different form lines and a winning case can be made for more than half the horses in the field. Fawkner however deserves to be favourite. His preparation has been faultless and he is a proven group 1 winner. The Cleaner will be the sentimental favourite, the horse from Tasmania has captured the imagination of the public this spring. He received a hero’s send off from the Longford community and then a police escort to the Spirit of Tasmania for the crossing last night. Irish stallion Adelaide leads the international charge and the jet-setting three year old has plenty of admirers. The Kiwi born Sydney based Sacred Falls is another with a great chance. He flashed home for fourth last start after being last at the turn and will certainly be in contention. It will be key to watch how the track is running and whether back markers have a chance, if not then The Cleaner has a great chance of causing a famous upset.

Tips – As noted above, there are plenty of winning hopes and tipping the winner is no easy task. I’ll stick with Fawkner to win from The Cleaner and Sacred Falls.

SUQ – 9.5 – The only race bigger on the calendar is the Melbourne Cup. Tune in for as much of Saturday afternoon as you can afford to.


  1. Football – El Clasico – Real Madrid versus Barcelona – There might be other games on but they all take a back seat as El Clasico takes centre stage in La Liga this weekend. It is the most anticipated fixture on the La Liga calendar and this year it comes early in the season. Barcelona has opened a gap at the top and a win here would put them well on the way to regaining the title they lost to Athletico Madrid last season. Cristiano Ronaldo has been in phenomenal goal scoring form, averaging almost two goals a league game (15 in eight games) so far this season. For Barcelona, who are yet to concede in the league this season, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi who will be looking to break the La Liga goal scoring record. Luis Suarez will also be chomping at the bit to get his Barcelona career off to a successful start. Let’s hope he settles for sinking his teeth into football and not any of the opposition.

Tip – Real Madrid took a while to get going but they have been outstanding over the last month. Gareth Bale is under an injury cloud but even without him they have enough quality and depth to win. Real Madrid 3 – Barcelona 1.

SUQ – 9 – So many sub plots. Anything like last season’s 4-3 classic would be a treat for viewers who rarely get the chance to see such quality on the one field.


  1. Cricket – Australia versus Pakistan (in Dubai) – It’s been a while since cricket featured on these pages, though that is about to change with summer just around the corner. The rarely watched or talked about domestic one day competition has almost reached its finale (Western Australia will play either Queensland or NSW in the final). These days it is a competition that has a pre-season vibe, with Twenty-20 and the Sheffield Shield the primary focuses. On the international stage the first test between Australia and Pakistan is two days old and evenly poised. A slow first day was followed by a more enterprising second. Pakistan reached 454 thanks to hundreds from Sarfraz Ahmed and Younus Kahn while in reply Australia has reached none for 113, with Warner on 75. It’s a typical Dubai dust bowl of a wicket that is already taking plenty of spin. So while a draw might look likely wickets are likely to start to fall at far more regular intervals. Any chase of more than 150 on the final day will be difficult for Australia.

Tips – Australia to take a first innings lead that is big enough to allow a successful, relatively small, final innings chase.

SUQ – 5 – Worth seeing what sort of form the players are in as summer approaches but there is much better to look forward to.


The 2015 Tour de France route was unveiled in Paris on Wednesday. Unfortunately work got in the way of a good story yesterday so a comprehensive look at the route and major obstacles will have to wait a week or two. It looks like a mountainous route with almost no time trialling. A route to suit some (Quintana, Nibali, Contador, Bardet, Pinot etc.) more than others (Froome).

No Monday Musings piece this week as my recent travels took me back to the World Before Mobile Phone Coverage, The Internet and even Televisions. While enjoyable in their own right such adventures are also beneficial because they make us realise just how lucky we are. Today most of us can sit at home and with the flick of a switch or press of a button tune in to almost any live sporting event we please.

Watching sport on delay when you know the result isn’t quite the same. But I still watched a replay of the Caulfield Cup just to see how close Rising Romance got to holding off the charging field. In the days before the race there were a number of high-profile scratching’s and while one of the Japanese visitors was a pre-race casualty Admire Rakti stepped up to the plate with a storming run down the middle of the track. Midfield at the turn Admire Rakti finally caught Rising Romance in the last fifty metres to claim the win. The favourite, Lucia Valentina, was a fast finishing third. Immediately after the finish the mind games started, with Admire Rakti’s owners claiming that if the horse was penalised for the win and given a greater weight for the upcoming Melbourne Cup then he would have no hesitation in skipping the race and taking his prized asset home. In the end the handicapper reached some sort of compromise, with the 0.5kg penalty the lowest for a Caulfield Cup winner since 1980 but not too much to scare off owner Riichi Kondo who has since confirmed the horse will run. Admire Rakti is now the favourite for the Melbourne Cup ahead of Protectionist and Lucia Valentina.

This morning (Australian time) Manchester United travelled to West Bromwich Albion looking to secure a third league win in a row for the first time in more than 18 months. That is far too long for a side of United’s stature and still the wait continues. United bossed the majority of the game but were forced to come from behind twice just to secure a point. West Bromwich Albion started brightly and had the ball in the back of the net inside ten minutes courtesy of a fine strike from Stephane Sessegnon. Thereafter United controlled the tempo but a few half chances for Angel Di Maria and Robin Van Persie aside they never really threatened. The half time introduction of Marouane Fellaini added an extra dimension to United’s attack and, after almost 15 months waiting, he finally scored his first goal for Manchester United.

United looked the most likely to press on but another defensive lapse was yet again costly as young striker Saido Berahino exploited a gaping chasm in the heart of United defence to stroll in and easily beat David De Gea and restore the Baggies one goal lead. United pressed and were rewarded for a committed performance when Danny Blind stroked in a late equaliser. But there was not the same level of late drama as Liverpool’s clash with QPR the previous day (which finished 3-2 to Liverpool after there were four goals from the 87th minute on) as the sides settled for a point each.

And to finish, a word on Manchester United. They controlled the ball well and moved it at pace but were found lacking in two critical errors. Their defensive errors are being ruthlessly punished and yet again that was the case here. West Brom only had a couple of chances but took both and until United stop conceding on such a regular basis they are going to find climbing the table a tough ask. The second area they fell down in was the attacking third. Van Persie seems to have lost not only his goal scoring touch but his appetite. United swung in plenty of crosses all to no avail. And while Fellaini gave them another target he was also unable to get his head to any. Van Persie had one shot that hit the post but that moment aside he looked off the pace, one-dimensional and unaware of the players around him. Adnan Januzaj was another to disappoint. Given a chance from the start he regularly chose the wrong option. The site of him racing past opponents was one of the few highlights for United fan’s last season but on this occasion he failed to beat his man once and is likely to return to the bench against Chelsea. United will be sweating on the fitness of Di Maria, who while not at his best still looked the most likely to create a goal. United’s next two fixtures are against the two sides most likely to fight out this year’s title, Chelsea and Manchester City. Lois Van Gaal’s task is not getting easier any time soon.

I’ll be on the road and without much technology so sadly I’ll miss much of the weekend’s sport. But the action continues in my absence and the Spring Racing Carnival moves into full swing and takes centre stage.

  1. Horse Racing – Caulfield Cup – On Saturday 18 horses will tackle the 2400 metre long Caulfield Cup, a handicap race and one of Australia’s three premier horse races. This year sees more international entries than normal and one in particular, Japanese colt Bande, is likely to shape the race. Bande, one of two Japanese runners, is likely to set the pace and to try and run the rest off his heels. History shows that this is unlikely but don’t discount it. For many of the overseas runners it is their first race in Australia and this makes judging their pedigree and form difficult. Lucia Valentina, a four year old mare, is the clear favourite. She has the ideal barrier draw, is light on the weights and has winning group one form. But favourites have struggled in recent years and there are plenty of others with winning hopes. Trainer Chris Waller has strength in numbers with no less than four runners. Junoob is perhaps the best of them, and is another with good recent form. The eight year old Dandino returns after running second last year. He will have to overcome the second top weight and the very outside barrier but his connections are extremely confident. Rising Romance has been building towards this race since winning the Australian Oaks in the Autumn and should be right in the finish.

Tips – Rising Romance, Lucia Valentina and Junoob to fill the places.

SUQ – 9 – Caulfield’s day in the spotlight and a fascinating main race to look forward to.


  1. Football – English Premier League – Round 8 – Manchester City versus Tottenham is probably the biggest match of the round, with many of the big name teams facing lesser opposition. But Chelsea (Crystal Palace), Liverpool (Queens Park Rangers) and Manchester United (West Bromwich Albion) all face tricky road trips. The week after an international break is often a difficult one to predict and an upset or two certainly wouldn’t be a surprise. Southampton has a good opportunity to continue their great start to the season as they host Sunderland.

Tips – Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Newcastle United, Southampton, Liverpool, Swansea and Manchester United to be on the winners list, with Burnley and West Ham United to play out a draw.  

SUQ – 7 – No marquee fixtures but still some interesting contests to keep an eye on.


  1. Football – German Bundesliga – Round 8 – Bayern Munich, predictably, lead the way after seven rounds and have a four point lead at the top. Behind them are a couple of surprise packets in Hoffenheim and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Borussia Dortmund were considered the most likely to challenge Bayern at the start of the year but injuries and poor form mean they are languishing in thirteenth position, 10 points back. They travel to Cologne (fourteenth) in what is a must win fixture. Dortmund will buoyed by the return of a number of stars, including possibly Ikay Gundogan who hasn’t played for 14 months, and this should be enough to get them over the line. Bayern take on cellar dwellers Werder Breman at home and anything other than a large victory would surprise. Mönchengladbach take on Hannover 96 in a tough away game while Hoffenheim will be confident of continuing their good form when they travel to Hamburg on Sunday.

Tips – Bayern, Dortmund, Mönchengladbach, Mainz, Freiburg, Stuttgart, Schalke, Hoffenheim and newly promoted SC Paderborn 07 to enjoy success.

SUQ – 7 – Harder to catch on TV in Australia but if you can then tune in. Usually has more goals than the typically favoured EPL and is of a similar quality – some might even say better.

I can’t proclaim to be a car racing fanatic or an avoid viewer. But yesterday’s Bathurst 1000 pretty much had it all. It started as the lights went out,with plenty of movement before the first corner, and continued until the very end, when Jamie Whincup’s car rolled over the line. So close to a famous victory yet so far. Scott McLaughlin didn’t start on the front row but his lightning quick start meant he led the field into the first corner. His Volvo had been strong all weekend and he was a contender right up until a slight error meant the rear of his car hit the wall. His accident was the cause of one of ten safety cars during the 1000km race, which lasted almost exactly eight hours. That time included a one hour delay as organisers scrambled to repair defects discovered in the newly laid track. The site of the cars assembled on the grid while being worked on by mechanics was just one of the more unusual mid race events.

Given the length of the race a full run down would take too long. One pre race prediction was that the first nine-tenths of the race was all about positioning for the inevitable final safety car – this was definitely the case on Sunday. There was plenty of movement in race order and drivers took more risks than usual resulting in plenty of excitement. One of the drawbacks of F1 in recent years has been the lack of overtaking but the same criticism certainly couldn’t be levelled at the V8’s in Bathurst. Shane Van Gisbergen had the lead when the final safety was car deployed and, along with a handful of other favourites, plunged for the pits for a quick fuel stop. However the long-time leader of the race never made it back out after his car suffered an electronic failure.

Mark Winterbottom, who had started from 23rd on the grid, led Jamie Whincup as the safety car exited. Whincup moved to the lead, then Winterbottom’s hopes were dashed by Craig Lowndes who sent him off course, ruining his own hopes in the process as he earned the rath of the officials and was issued with a drive through penalty. That left Chas Mostert in second and he was on hand to capitalise as Whincup amazingly ran out of fuel on the final lap. Mostert started from the very back of the grid and led the race for less than a lap. But he timed his run perfectly to secure the biggest win of his young career.

Behind Mostert were James Moffat, Nick Percat, Will Davison and then the labouring Jamie Whincup who had led until the final half-lap. It was an order that was almost incomprehensible 8 hours earlier when the drivers took to the start line.

The A League season was kicked off in style by Melbourne Victory who defeated Western Sydney 4-1 in the opening games of the season. The Victory raced into a three-goal lead before half time and were never really threatened afterwards. Besart Berisha opening his Victory account with a penalty, while Archie Thompson was also amongst the goals. Central Coast Mariners edged out a tight game with Newcastle Jets, while there were away wins for Perth Glory over Wellington Phoenix, and Adelaide United over defending champions the Brisbane Roar. The Adelaide versus Brisbane game was shrouded in controversy, including the second-half dismissal of Socceroo Matt McKay. Sydney FC and Melbourne City played out the only draw of the opening round, David Villa grabbing the equalizer of visiting City.

The European leagues took a break over the weekend with international fixtures taking centre stage. For many European nations that meant the start of qualifying for the 2016 European Championships. Spain’s difficulties continued as they were humbled by Slovakia 2-1. But that wasn’t even the biggest upset: Poland defeated Germany 2-0. Italy left it late before securing a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan, while there were wins for Iceland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic in Group A.

Saturday’s racing at Caulfield threw up plenty of surprises and upsets. Fawkner secured favouritism for the upcoming Cox Plate with a strong win in the Caulfield Stakes. He beat many of the horses he will face again in two weeks and trainer Lloyd Williams will be confident of securing a first Cox Plate. There are rumours of a Cox Plate/Melbourne Cup double……. In the feature races short priced favourite Rich Enuff was beaten into second by Shooting to Win. In the Thousand Guineas Go Indy Go, along with the pre race favourite Lumosty, settled near the rear of the field but the slow pace meant neither ever really had a chance. The race was won by front runner Amicus, who beat home Traveston Girl and Sabatini.

  1. V8 Racing – Bathurst 1000 – The Bathurst 1000 is a war of attrition. And it takes place at one of Australia’s most famous sporting venues, Mount Panorama. Practice started on Thursday and all the talk was on what impact the resealed track would have and whether records would be broken. The answer at this stage has been yes, and it’s likely to continue. Qualifying was held today (Friday), with the top 10 shoot-out to determine the grid positions to take place on Saturday, then the race on Sunday. Qualifying’s big losers were pre-race favourites Whincup/Dumbrell and the Reynolds/Canto combination, who both crashed out, causing significant damage to their cars in the process.
    Qualifying order:
    1. (14) Coulthard/Youlden (Holden)
    2. (97) Van Gisbergen/Webb (Holden)
    3. (21) Wood/Pither (Holden)
    4. (5) Winterbottom/Owen (Ford)
    5. (33) McLaughlin/Premat (Volvo)
    6. (8) Bright/Jones (Holden)
    7. (18) Perkins/Waters (Ford)
    8. (360) Moffat/Douglas (Nissan)
    9. (2) Tander/Luff (Holden)
    10. (888) Lowndes/Richards (Holden)

    Tip – Winterbottom or McLaughlin to take the chequered flag on Sunday.

    SUQ – 8 – But that depends entirely on how much you like motorsport and more specifically V8’s.

  2. Football – A League – Round 1 – With the AFL and NRL seasons finished another football code commences. Season 10 has plenty of hype, and organisers are optimistic that this season will break all previous records. David Villa will be the star attraction, for the first part of the season at least. He is on loan at Melbourne City and will be expected to both score goals and bring in the crowds. The Western Sydney Wanderers have the small matter of an Asian Champions League final on their minds but they will still want to make sure their season gets off to a steady start. The enigmatic Besart Berisha may have swapped Brisbane Roar for Melbourne Victory but he is still likely to be a key player in this season’s title race.
    Fixtures – Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers, Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC v Melbourne City FC, Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United.

    Tips – Draw, Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar

    SUQ – 8 – There is plenty of excitement associated with the first round but in an even competition tipping this early in the season is a nightmare.

  3. Horse Racing – Caulfield Guineas day – While the spring racing season may be well underway the first of the season’s big races in Melbourne takes place at Caulfield on Saturday. On a huge ten-race card there is plenty to look forward to early in the day, and a number of leading contenders for the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup continuing their preparation. The feature races of the day are races 8 and 9. Race 8, the Group 1 Thousand Guineas, is a wide open race with a number of horses battling for favouritism. Afleet Espirit has recent wins over a number of her rivals but they have been getting closer. Race 9 is the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, a three year old race at set weights over 1600m. Rich Enuff is the big favourite but has never run the distance.

Tips – Go Indy Go in Race 8. Rich Enuff deserves favouritism for the Caulfield Guineas, Almalad and Chivalry are my tips to be the best of the rest.

SUQ – 7 – Some key build up races followed by the main event.