Futurity Stakes Tips – $27 chance is the one to beat
Looking for Futurity Stakes Tips on Saturday February 22. Our form expert has previewed the race and given his top selection.
FUTURITY STAKES TIPS AND PREVIEW
Saturday’s Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield looks a tough race to decipher with three horses resuming from a spell and others open to improvement.
Firstly, Black Heart Bart has never won on anything worse than Good, and his best is on a firm Good 3, so I want to reluctantly knock him out if the track is on the Soft side.
Cape Of Good Hope has won first-up in his last two campaigns, but that was over 2000m, and although he’s been runner-up over 1400m at Group 2 level early in his career, he might find Saturday’s assignment a bit short.
Kazio is yet to win in six attempts at Caulfield and couldn’t beat Sure Knee home with 56kg last time so it’s hard to see him winning with 59kg against this lot.
As for the other five, it’s open to interpretation.
ASSESSING THE FUTURITY STAKES FAVOURITES
The $2.80 equal favourite, Melody Belle, is a 10-time Group 1 winner and has won five from six attempts at 1400m.
However, there are a couple of concerns around her and I think she’s under the odds.
The daughter of Commands usually resumes over 1200m before producing a first-class run over this trip, and I’m worried 1400m first-up may put her out of her comfort zone.
She’s also never raced at Caulfield before, and Caulfield can be a specialist track that favours on pace runners.
Super Seth shares favouritism with Melody Belle, and he’s a three-year-old taking on the older horses for the first time.
He’s won four from five at Caulfield and ticks the track specialist box, but his only failure at the track was his only attempt at the track and distance.
He also failed over 1400m at Flemington when ridden upside down as he tried to lead all the way in the ANZAC Day Stakes.
Super Seth looked impressive winning first-up over 1200m, but that race was run at a ‘Very Slow’ early speed and he enjoyed the run of the race before claiming Free Of Debt late.
I can see him settling at the rear on Saturday, and to overhaul this field, he’ll need to go to a whole new level.
Kolding is next in betting at around the $3.20 mark, and while I think he’s a star in the making, I’m not sure he’s ready for this.
Glen Boss has stated Kolding is carrying a lot more condition than he did last campaign, and he may need this run to bring him near his top.
However, he matched motors with Alizee first-up in the Expressway Stakes (1200m) and Alizee came out and won the Apollo Stakes (1400m) next start defeating Dreamforce and Happy Clapper.
Of the favoured trio, Kolding is the one I want to be with.
COULD A ROUGHIE SURPRISE?
Wild Planet and Streets Of Avalon are the two remaining horses, and I don’t think either are without a hope.
Wild Planet was resuming from a 39-week spell when beaten 2.8 lengths by Anaheed in the Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
He went 12 lengths quicker than standard BM which was a personal best and is only a couple of lengths off the best career performances of Kolding, Black Heart Bart, Streets Of Avalon and Melody Belle.
He really attacked the line late and had to be eased as he got onto heels, and considering he generally improves second-up, he’s a knockout hope for sure.
From the inside gate, he’s likely to land one or two pairs back, and he’ll just need luck getting clear at the right time.
It’s hard to believe in a field of this quality that Streets Of Avalon possesses the strongest BM performance, but he went 15.2 lengths above BM when third-up at this track and distance last campaign.
That was in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes where the winner, Begood Toya Mother, ran 1:21.98 with 52kg as he defeated Age Of Chivalry (52kg), Widgee Turf (56kg) and Streets Of Avalon (54.5kg).
Streets Of Avalon defeated the likes of So Si Bon, Cliff’s Edge, Deprive, Best Of Days and Black Heart Bart, and I don’t think he was suited in that race.
He lacks a real turn of foot and does his best work when he can build momentum without being interrupted.
FUTURITY STAKES VERDICT & BEST BET
While I’m weary of Kolding and think Wild Planet is a nice each-way chance, STREETS OF AVALON maps well here and looks ready to peak third-up.
His best runs in his last two campaigns have been third-up and fourth-up over 1400m, and in both third-up runs, he’s improved his BM performance by around five lengths.
Last start he went to 1400m second-up and sat outside the leader before taking over early in the straight and being collared just before the line.
That performance rated 12.7 lengths quicker than BM which is his best ever second-up run, and if he can spike again third-up and improve by around four or five lengths as he usually does, he can post a new personal best.
His best is already the highest rated BM performance in this field, and if he goes to a new level on Saturday, nothing will be able to match motors with him.
Jockey Ben Melham is great at rating horses from the front, and Streets Of Avalon looks like leading this field which should suit at Caulfield.
Futurity Stakes Tips:
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