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The big guns are back

Date

RACE OF THE DAY

OAKLEIGH PLATE

And we're back. After toiling away through summer, this weekend's racing signals the start of the autumn features with three group 1s at Caulfield. The first - the Futurity Stakes over 1400 metres - looks a sure thing with All Too Hard going for his second group 1 of the season after taking out the CF Orr last start.

He's at prohibitive odds but it's hard to see him losing. We then take on the two-year-olds in Melbourne's premier juvenile race the Blue Diamond Stakes.

This is much harder, with the youngsters always unpredictable. South Australian Miracles Of Life is a deserved favourite after winning her three lead-up races by a combined margin of 18 lengths.

But for mine, we save the best for last - the Oakleigh Plate. Always a tight and tactical sprint over 1100 metres, we could see the continuation of something special with Perth sprinter Barakey having his first start on the eastern seaboard.

He's unbeaten, winning 11 from 11, but this is his first real test. He won the group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth last start and is the one to beat.

World-beating mare Ortensia need only produce her overseas form to feature prominently here, while Sea Lord, last year's winner Woorim and three-year-old Shamal Wind all look chances. It's a cracker.

BET OF THE DAY

DANLEIGH

The grand old-timer Danleigh is going to be fitter after his first-up fifth in the Expressway Stakes and should enjoy the Apollo Stakes at weight-for-age. He'll strip fitter for that run and he's got a handy record second-up, winning at the same stage last preparation in the group 2 Chelmsford against very good opposition. He's got no issues with 59 kilograms on his back and from barrier three Jimmy Cassidy will be able to sit off the speed and be patient on the nine-year-old.

LAY DOWN YOUR LOBSTER

$10 win Warwick Farm race 6, No.2 Danleigh

He pushes out to a more favourable distance here after doing some impressive work at the end of the 1200 metres of the Expressway. Against several horses at the start of their preparation, having one run under his belt could prove invaluable for Danleigh. He's a knockout chance here.

$5 win Caulfield race 8, No.10 Mrs Onassis

Seems a pretty open race and although Barakey looms as a serious horse, I'm prepared to wait and see how he goes against Melbourne opposition. Mrs Onassis was outstanding in a trial at Rosehill earlier this month, beating Ortensia by four lengths over 900 metres. She loves the 1100 trip and gets in perfectly with the weights. She's massive overs and can surprise.

$5 win Warwick Farm race 7, No.2 Skytrain

He's come back brilliantly this preparation and has fitness on his side against a pretty handy field. Was beaten a length behind a very good one, Happy Galaxy, last start and hasn't been far off Mrs Onassis and Adebisi - both are contesting the Oakleigh Plate on Saturday.

LAST WEEK’S COLLECT: $0
2013 COLLECT: $144.50

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