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Weekend racing recap - Who were the major players and where are they headed next?

Adam Cusworth in News 9 Feb 2019
  • Avilius to target the Australian Cup
  • Where to next for Fiesta and Estijaab?
  • Blue Diamond taking shape
Nature Strip spaced his rivals in the Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield

Racing was at Caulfield on Saturday February 9 for the running of the Group 1 C.F.Orr Stakes (1400m), while in Sydney, there were plenty of big names in action at Warwick Farm. 

Here is our recap of the day as we take a look at where the major players are headed next. 

The feature

It was a mini-boilover in the C.F.Orr Stakes with the unheralded Manuel digging deep to hold off a host of big names in the $500,000 race. 

Sent out a $21 chance, the Tony McEvoy-trianed galloper finished half a length ahead of the race favourite, Kementari, while the former Darren Weir-trained galloper in Land Of Plenty and Brave Smash were 3rd and 4th. 

A number of the contenders out of the Orr are out to secure starts in the All Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 16, including the winner, whose previous biggest win came in the Kilmore Cup (1600m) last year. 

Blue Diamond takes shape. 

Earlier at Caulfield the youngsters stepped out for the respective Blue Diamond Preludes and it was I Am Immortal that prevailed in the colts and geldings edition, while Lyre scored as a $26 chance in the fillies edition of the race. 

Both will head to the Blue Diamond (1200m) on February 23. Lyre firmed into $8 for the $1 million race, while I Am Immortal remained steady at $11. In an open betting affair, Loving Gaby heads the market with sportsbet at $3.80, while Athiri is at $5.50 after closing off well to grab 3rd behind her stablemate in the Prelude. 

Nature Strip and Avilius the other big winners at Caulfield.  

One of the biggest winners of the day at Caulfield was Nature Strip, who bounded away to a three length win in the Rubiton Stakes (1100m). Sent out as a $1.75 favourite, the addition to the Chris Waller stable clicked through the gears at the business end to win in quick time ahead of Jungle Edge. 

Nature Strip may tackle the Lightning Stakes (1000m) at his next start with a decision to be made about that early this week. 

Avilius resumed after an excellent spring campaign that concluded with an unlucky performance in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) after being taken out of it by The Cliffsofmoher. The Godolphin galloper claimed the Carlyon Cup (1600m) in his return and appears to have a stranglehold on next months Australian Cup (2000m). 

Warwick Farm

The major winners at Warwick Farm were Fiesta, who took out the $1 million Inglis Sprint (1100m), while Castlevecchio scored in the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1200m). 

Fiesta was able to edge out last year's Golden Slipper (1200m) winner, Estijaab, in a stirring edition of the race. She will head to the Surround Stakes (1400m) en route to the Coolmore Classic (1500m), while Estijaab's autumn campaign is yet to be mapped out. 

Winx watch

Finally, the champion mare Winx, stepped out for a gallop at Randwick on Saturday morning and looks to be on track for her return in the Apollo Stakes (1400m) next weekend. She will be looking to make it win number 30 on the trot in that race. 

Looking ahead

Racing heads to Flemington for the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) on Saturday February 16, while the Apollo and Light Fingers Stakes (1200m) are among the highlights at Randwick. 

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Weekend racing recap - Who were the major players and where are they headed next?

Round up of all the big race action from around Australia on Saturday February 9

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