It is still too early to be talking about spring form but the feature does have the 115-rated (by Timeform) Viridine and the 113-rated Order Of Command. The former was runner up in this last year and has won a Bletchingly and a Regal Roller at the course among other good efforts, while the latter has been second in the Linlithgow and the Galaxy this season. Red Can Man, rated 112, put up a string of good efforts in the best races in Perth and Malkovich posted a career best rating of 111 at his first look at Caulfield last time and a three-year-old always adds some spice.
For all that, the market looks about right and we head to a much weaker race for our play of the day.
The three-year-olds as a group have been very ordinary this season and that filters right down through to the off-season handicappers who have hardly been lighting things up over middle distances of late.
That leaves race six looking set to take very little winning and Red Santa, despite apparent limitations, should just have to match reasonable recent Sydney efforts to get away with it.
From much too far back he stayed on well behind the very talented Wicklow in a race that produced four winners before chasing that same horse home last time in a small field. Nothing about that run suggested that he was any better than the result but that result leaves him looking a bit better than very basic rivals here and he can be backed.
The race prior is a 2000m handicap for the older horses and has a fairly ordinary look about it as well - but it is July!
There are good betting angles here and one we like the look of at double figure quotes is the thoroughly unreliable Relucent.
Unreliable may be unfair. Relucent is two from 23. So he hasn't done much winning, but his ratings have been more reliable than that record would suggest and he has tended to run his race when the situation has allowed for it. This can be one of those spots. A record of 0/5 at 2000m is misleading. He has run well at just about every one of those five starts and invariably against much better horses than he faces here.
Off a couple of runs where he had little-to-no-hope this looks a good chance for him to run his race and that can have him right in the thick of things.
THE MELBOURNE MAIL
Bet Of The Day: Race 6 #7 Red Santa @ $4.00
Each Way Play: Race 5 #15 Relucent @ $16.00