2018 Sir John Monash Stakes Day Preview & Tips

The winter feature sprints are underway at Caulfield from Saturday when a small but talented field of horses step out in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m). Three-year-old Jukebox has not been seen at the races in 2018, but he has already received plenty of support in Sir John Monash Stakes betting and remains favourite to beat the likes of Voodoo Lad and Crystal Dreamer. In total, nine races will be run and won at Caulfield on Sir John Monash Stakes Day and a fine week in the greater Melbourne metropolitan area has led to the track being rated in the ‘Good’ range.

2YO Handicap (1200m)
No Bet

Twelve two-year-olds will step out in the first on Sir John Monash Stakes Day and of those runners, four are on debut. Of the juveniles with exposed form, Humma Humma will take winning form into the race and clearly has a decent amount of ability. The Denman filly debuted in March for second at Listed level and resumed from a freshen-up for an easy win at Sandown less than a fortnight ago. The two race favourites here have not stepped out competitively previously and I am happy to stay out from a betting perspective.

3YO Fillies Handicap (1200m)
No. 4 Josephine Sea

Twelve fillies remain in the field for Race 2 following the early scratching of Typhoon Rubi and it is an open race from a betting perspective. There’s a case to be made for more than half the fillies in this race finding their way into the winner’s stall, but Josephine Sea ($5) has found particularly good form this time and will be difficult to hold out. The Smart Missile filly stormed home to win with ease at Mornington two starts back, before just missing in a driving finish at Caulfield last time. She’s rock hard fit and are ready to fire. Depending on how the track is playing, if the outside rail is the place to be a horse like Blondie ($16) may be able to enjoy an easy run from the gates before unleashing a turn of foot late.

Benchmark 90 Handicap (1700m)
No. 14 Mantastic

With the exception of race favourite Mantastic ($2.30), there is massive value on offer in Race 3 and plenty of opportunities to place a potentially lucrative bet. Mantastic has finished second at each of his first two starts this time in and looks extremely well placed third-up here. Dean Yendall can go back from a wide draw and use the wide Flemington course to his advantage in the straight. A horse that appeals at double-figure odds is the Clinton McDonald-trained Rib Eye ($10), who has been strong and consistent this time without finding winning form. The Choisir gelding placed in each of his first three starts upon resuming in May and was last seen running on for fourth over 1400m at Caulfield. The increase in trip he gets here looks ideal. I’ll be backing Mantastic on the nose, but will also be happy to have a small each-way bet on Rib Eye at his current price.

each way
Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m)
No. 14 My Paisann

A capacity field has been taken for Race 4 including The Avenger, who has continued to receive plenty of early support in betting. The Avenger has been racing well in Sydney this time and won a 1250m race first-up, before worked home fairly to finish fourth and fifth at his two most-recent starts. This looks to be his ideal trip and he is proven at the Melbourne way of going previously. My Paisann ($11) failed to fire last time out, but he is a horse with immense talent and is worth consideration at an each-way price here. The Roc Dem Cambes rna on well at each of his starts prior to his most-recent effort, but will take wholesale improvement from his last start. This is his first look at HQ and he looks like a horse that could enjoy the conditions.

Mares Handicap (1200m)
No. 3 Rillito

There’s already been several scratchings from the field of the fifth and it has ultimately led to Godolphin mare Rillito firming into odds-on favouritism. The daughter of Street Cry has only missed a placing a couple of times through ten career starts and resumed this time for second over 1000m at Moonee Valley before posting a dominant win over 1200m at Caulfield. With Craig Williams aboard, she can go straight to the outside rail and probably just wins. It’s tough seeing anything beating Rillito but there is just no value left in her quote and I am therefore happy to watch.

3YO Handicap (2000m)
No. 3 Mount Kilcoy

The field for Race 6 also looks wide open from a betting perspective but early favourite Mount Kilcoy ($3.10) looks like he’ll be extremely difficult to beat. The High Chaparral colt has only made four appearances at the races since debuting in May, but is yet to finish worse than second and was last seen finishing off extremely well over a mile here. His breeding suggests that he’ll only improve at 2000m and from a good draw, he can find a position within the field before calling on a smart turn of foot.

Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m)
No. 6 Jukebox (FAT ODDS)

Only eight sprinters will step out for this year’s Sir John Monash Stakes, but the depth of talent confirmed suggests it’s going to be a great contest. Three-year-old Jukebox has not been seen at the races this year, but is a classy horse and will be tough to beat. In the lucrative Fat Odds market, he represents terrific value at $3.60. CLICK HERE FOR FULL 2018 SIR JOHN MONASH STAKES ODDS & BETTING UPDATE

each way
3YO Handicap (1400m)
No. 1 Summer Sham

The Patrick Payne-trained Street Sheik has placed at each of his five most-recent starts and remains the early favourite in betting for Race 8 at Flemington on Saturday. The son of Street Boss has continued to perform admirably as the bar has been lifted and he weathered a tough run over 1400m at Caulfield last time out before eventually finishing second. This is a tougher race and he’ll need to improve again. Summer Sham ($9) will take plenty of improvement into her second-up run here and will enjoy a weight relief from claiming apprentice Lachlan King. The Not A Single Doubt filly is  Group 2 winner at the distance of this race and is drawn to get a nice run from barrier 7. She has a class edge over the lion’s share of her rivals here and looks over the odds.

Ladbrokes Cash Out Handicap (1400m)
No. 3 Theanswermyfriend

Several quality sprinters will step out in the final race on Sir John Monash Stakes Day and there is plenty of value to be found in betting. Theanswermyfriend ($5.50) has been a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career so far and will have his first start for Darren Weir in this race. The High Chaparral gelding absolutely flies fresh and has reportedly responded well to a change in scenery. Widgee Turf ($6.50) is dependable runner and will be hard to beat here. The Turffontein gelding has missed a place only once this year and was last seen winning a 1200m race at Moonee Valley in mid-June.