2023 CF Orr Stakes Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Fri 10th February 2023


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It may have seemed like an eternity for diehard racing fans but Group 1 racing returns to Australian tracks this Saturday with the running of the CF Orr Stakes at Sandown Hillside.

The $750k weight-for-age contest has been run and won at a number of different tracks since its inaugural running in 1925 and with renovations currently taking place at Caulfield it returns to Sandown, where it was held between 1966-1985 and 1987-1996.

Some absolute champions of the turf have saluted in the 1400m feature in recent years, none more notable than Black Caviar in 2012. Remarkably her trainer Peter Moody won the race five times between 2010 and 2016. The Mike Moroney trained Tofane was too good for her rivals last year after leading from barrier to box.

Looking ahead to this year’s market, Dabble has Golden Rose winning three-year-old Jacquinot favourite at $3.30, after a super first up win here at Sandown. His stablemate, I’m Thunderstruck, is hot on his heels at $4.20 and consistent gallopers Tuvalu, $6.00, and Gentleman Roy, $6.00, are right in the mix as well. In-form gelding Nugget heads the rest at $9.00.

With half of the field in single figures, it’s not hard to work out that this year’s CF Orr is a very open affair. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of the 2023 CF Orr Stakes along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. I’m Thunderstruck (9) – $4.20
Jockey – Jamie Kah 59kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Class horse of the field who was fifth in this race first up last year. His recent barrier trial at Geelong was impressive and he comes off the back of a solid preparation which saw him victorious at G1 level and finish a close up second in the Cox Plate. The map looks the query as he is a noted back marker but if the speed is put on for him he will be hard to hold out.

2. Mr Brightside (10) – $10
Jockey – Craig Williams 59kg
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes

Resumes here off the back of a solid trial where he ran similar time to I’m Thunderstruck on the morning. Won the G2 PB Lawrence first up last prep in good style over this trip. Comes up with the outside barrier here in the small field which isn’t a huge concern as he’s tactically versatile and his best form is certainly good enough.

3. Tuvalu (1) – $6.00
Jockey – Jarrod Fry 59kg
Trainer – Lindsey Smith

Ultra consistent galloper who is yet to miss a place from fourteen goes. Got the illustrious G1 win last prep in the Toorak Handicap before splitting Alligator Blood and Mr Brightside in the G1 Cantala Stakes. He’s a three time winner first up and looked good in a recent trial. Should get a nice run from the rails draw and you’d be a brave soul to say he won’t run top three again here.

4. Callsign Mav (8) – $31
Jockey – Jamie Mott 59kg
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

Former Kiwi galloper who made it G1 win number four in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes last prep at Caulfield. He looked good in a recent hitout behind Mr Brightside and has a good fresh record. Will be sent around at big odds and can fly under the radar at times. Monitor betting.

5. Western Empire (5) – $41
Jockey – Aaron Lynch 59kg
Trainer – John Leek Jnr

Railway Stakes winner who has missed the start hopelessly both starts this time in. His runs have been better than the form guide reads but he can’t afford to be slow away in a race like this. He’s had a jump out since his last run, where he jumped away cleanly and won well. His best form is good enough to be competitive but has to be taken on trust.

6. Aegon (7) – $26
Jockey – Michael Dee 59kg
Trainer – Andrew Forsman

Kiwi trained galloper who resumes here after a handy prep which saw him win the G3 Moonga Stakes and run a cracking fourth in the G1 Cantala. He’s a two time winner first up and has won three times at 1400m from four runs. The stable has a brilliant strike rate in Australia and he maps well enough in the small field. Capable of causing an upset.

7. Gentleman Roy (3) – $6.00
Jockey – Mark Zahra 59kg
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes

Led first up and toughed out what was a very strong win at Listed level. He stays at 1400m and Sandown, comes up with a nice low draw and should present fitter here second up. This is no doubt his toughest test to date but he knows how to win and the booking of Mark Zahra is a big plus. One of the main hopes.

8. Nugget (6) – $9.00
Jockey – John Allen 59kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Lightly raced 6YO who continues to improve on Australian soil. This is clearly the strongest field he’s met, after coming through benchmark and Listed grade races, but the style in which he’s been victorious cannot be overlooked. He coasted to the line in a recent jumpout behind stablemate Smokin’ Romans and looks ready to fire here. Big watch.

9. Turaath (2) – $21
Jockey – Damien Oliver 57kg
Trainer – Maddie Raymond

Resumed her prep with a nice effort behind the in-form Jigsaw at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago. Was able to get the chocolates second up last prep and is a five time winner at 1400m. She will race handy from the inside gate and should be competitive providing she can repeat something similar to her fresh run.

10. Jacquinot (4) – $3.30F
Jockey – Damian Lane 55.5kg
Trainer – Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr

Had to do it the hard way first up here at Sandown but his class prevailed with a fantastic win in the G3 Manfred Stakes. His win in the G1 Golden Rose at 1400m second up last prep had to be seen to be believed and he looks to be back in just as good, if not better, order this time round. Like his stablemate I’m Thunderstruck, the map looks the biggest concern, as the race doesn’t look like it’ll be run at any breakneck pace, but if he can sit close enough in the run he should be extremely hard to hold out late.

Final Word

Feature racing returns in style at Sandown on Saturday with a quality field of gallopers lining up in the CF Orr. Seven of the ten runners are already Group 1 winners and some of the country’s leading riders will be legged aboard in what will be a tactical contest.

The Price/ Kent Jnr stable have a strong hand in the race and will saddle up the top two in the market. Leaning towards the three-year-old Jacquinot simply because he will most likely land a pair closer to the speed and have less to do in the straight. His first up win was excellent and he’s a G1 winner second up. He was excellent in The Everest against the older horses and gets a bit of weight relief under the conditions in this.

There is no doubt his stablemate I’m Thunderstruck is the danger and best performed horse in the race. If jockey Jamie Kah can have him close enough in the run, without putting him out of his comfort zone, he will be mighty hard to hold out. He’s a two time winner first up and looks ready to fire off the back of a nice trial.

Likely leader Gentleman Roy rarely runs a bad race and looks as though he’ll get control of the race early. His first up win was tough and he has great stats at 1400m and here at Sandown. Yes, this is tougher but he wasn’t far away at G1 level last prep and should be greatly respected.

Tuvalu is honest as the day is long and is yet to be unplaced in fourteen career starts. From the rails draw he will get a cosy run and should be in it for a long way. Nugget keeps improving and deserves a crack at G1 level and Turaath isn’t hopeless, after a nice first up effort behind Jigsaw who was race fit and in flying form.

CF Orr Stakes TipLogo

10. Jacquinot – Win ($3.30)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.