Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield Closes out Group Racing Season

After a month of July that nearly had us so desperate for racing news that we very nearly resorted to writing about greyhound racing, the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield Saturday coming is the final Group race of the 2017 – 2018 Australian thoroughbred racing season.

The 1200 metre sprint is run under weight-for age conditions.

The race is well-suited for a spring campaign kickoff for many. It is in a good place for either a first-up from a quality horse that has been spelling, or one of the winter horses that has good racing fitness from competing in races in the latter part of May or the entire month of June.

Look for at least a few of the horses in the field to be coming in from the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes a fortnight earlier, although it has been not since 2002 when Rubitano completed a Monash Stakes – Bletchingly Stakes double.

From 1994, when the race was inaugurated in honour of champion racer and sire Bletchingly, it has been held at Caulfield, save last year when the race was run at Sandown. There has only been one multiple winner, with You Remember winning in 1995 and 1996, the second and third times the race was contested.

The most famous winner was Apache Cat in 2007.

Ability won last year with Dwayne Dunn aboard. Robert Smerdon prepared the horse and the win came at the expense of Lankan Rupee and Duke Of Brunswick. Ability is now trained by Henry Dwyer.

Ability jumped at $5 as the second favourite, so it was no real shock that he won. After that race, however, he fell off a bit, running sixth in his next race, and then spending a lot of time on trialing, only to produce a desultory eighth at Flemington in early June, so it would appear doubtful that his connections are willing to make the investment to book him for a defense.

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