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Sir John Monash Stakes Tips and Preview - Fitness no concern first-up

Aaron Hamilton in Latest News 11 Jul 2018
  • Very open contest.
  • Showpero looks over the odds at a good each-way price.
  • Jukebox the top pick.
Craig Williams riding Jukebox

A small but classy field of eight are set to line up in Saturday’s Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield where a couple of three-year-olds take on the older horses. 

Wild Rain was the last three-year-old to contest the $150,000 feature, and following her gallant 3rd placing in 2015, she returned the following year to record a dominant win. 

In 2018, Darren Weir’s Snitzel colt, Ducimus, and the Ciaron Maher-trained Jukebox tackle the weight-for-age contest with just half a kilogram separating them from the older horses. 

Weir also saddles up Voodoo Lad who is the class runner in the race and has contested seven Group 1 races in his past 10 starts. 

But he has been disappointing in both runs this campaign, and although he excels at Caulfield and will find this much easier, it’s hard to recommend him on his form this preparation. 

Sunday Escape is the outsider of the field at $34, and deservedly so. 

His first two runs from a spell have been average, and while he’s open to improvement and hasn’t missed the placings in four third-up runs, he has to carry more weight here against tougher opposition. 

Crystal Dreamer resumes from a spell and previously chased hard to finish 3rd behind Voodoo Lad in The Heath (1100m) last campaign when fresh, but he ran six lengths quicker than that later in his campaign so I think he’ll be the big improver out of the race.

Ashlor was unbelievable last start when winning over 1200m at Caulfield with 63kg on his back. 

He did run three lengths slower than Rilito in an earlier race and that galloper was previously runner-up to Showpero who also goes around in Saturday’s feature, but with a big weight drop and likely soft run behind the speed, he’ll go close. 

Showpero did beat Rilito and Belwazi last start, and that pair have subsequently won and also line up in Race 5 on Saturday, and with a weight pull on the opposition and perfect barrier to sit up on the speed, she may take some catching and looks over the odds at $16.

Inn Keeper has won all four races this campaign, including a win at the track and trip in good time, but the main concern with him is the track drying out too much.

He maps to lead or sit just behind the speed if others declare war early, but this is his toughest test to date and a wet track would be preferable.

Jukebox comes into the race first-up from a lengthy spell, but he’s been in work for a long time and fitness should be no issue. 

He trialled impressively at Cranbourne two months ago and will be reunited with Craig Williams who has ridden him in each of his six starts.

After booting home six winners at Flemington last Saturday, Williams is at the top of his game and will give Jukebox every chance to remain undefeated first-up. 

As you would expect with a rising four-year-old, Jukebox has come back much bigger and stronger, and with plenty of tactical options from gate 6, he’s the one to beat.


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Sir John Monash Stakes Tips and Preview - Fitness no concern first-up

A small but classy field of eight are set to line up in Saturday’s Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield where a couple of three-year-olds take on the older horses.

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