C.F Orr Stakes 2023
Distance: 1400m | Conditions: WFA | Rail Position: 10m | Track Condition: Good 4
Group 1 Racing in Victoria kicks off this Saturday with the running of the C.F Orr Stakes. Despite it not being at its usual track of Caulfield, this Sandown edition has produced one of the best fields we’ve seen for this race in a long time. It’s going to be warm and sunny, and the track should play perfectly. Let’s try and find the winner.
We can easily split this field into three sections. Tuvalu, Gentleman Roy, Callsign Mav and Nugget should all be fighting for the lead and on speed. Turaath, Mr Brightside and Western Empire should all be somewhere midfield. And at the rear of the field, I’m Thunderstruck, Aegon and Jacquinot will be rounding them up. It’s hard to see any runner not having their chance to win this based on their maps.
1: I’m Thunderstruck
Jamie Kah gets the ride here over Zahra and will for the rest of the prep. Sign of intent, perhaps instead of constantly sitting back? First up though, this doesn’t look easy at all, even if he settles closer. Looks way too short at $4, and happy to risk at the price.
2: Mr Brightside
Was an ok Spring, with no shame not striking any wins against Anamoe or Alligator Blood. Never really looked likely in any race though, so we’re hoping to see something here. $10 does seem like slight overs, but I’m happy to leave him alone and watch the betting here.
Never missed a place in his career 14 runs. Pretty incredible. J Fry takes him straight to the front again or finds a spot, and will be in it for a long way. Just not sure he’s tough enough to hold them all out first up, but you’re getting a fair price. A very good winning chance and looks to be in for a big Autumn.
4: Callsign Mav
Has a good first up record of three wins from five starts. It’s pretty rare I’ll find him as value in any race with just a lack of serious acceleration late. I haven’t found him here either.
5: Western Empire
Has jumped out well for this. We’ve just seen absolutely nothing from him for so long, so while the $50 on paper looks ridiculously high, there’s been little to suggest he can turn it around again. Happy to watch, and if he wins, so be it.
Back in Aus again. Slight jockey downgrade compared to Kah and Shinn, who rode him in the Spring. Loves the distance, though and should get every chance to wind up late. Happy to just follow him for now with no bets.
7: Gentleman Roy
Was too strong in front last start in a good return. Will be even fitter here, against a lot of vulnerable horses. Likely leader and will be the one they all need to catch. $7 each way seemed great value and he looks a top winning chance.
Three wins on the trot now but up to WFA now, this looks tricky. No wins at anything under 1600m as well. Maps well enough but thought the $11 was slight unders until we see him make the leap in this grade.
Was a fair enough run behind Jigsaw last start. Fitter now and on speed. Just lacks the class perhaps to beat a few of these? Decent price to place but I’ll be risking.
Went up at $5 and was immediately smashed into $3.40. Hard to know what to make of the previous run? Found the line very hard, but who did he beat? Began awkwardly once again. If we saw a drift in price, I could potentially save but there doesn’t look much value in backing him here.
With so many runners here first up and with bigger goals, I’m leaning towards the fit horses, and Gentleman Roy is going to be leading here or on speed with Zahra sticking and will be very hard to run down late.