Australian Spring Racing
There are several Group weight-for-age races such as the Turnbull Stakes, Caulfield Stakes, Cox Plate, and McKinnon Stakes. The Cox Plate at Moonee Valley is the most important of all the Spring weight-for-age races and it is the race trainers want to win most apart from the Melbourne Cup. Many of the other WFA races are used by trainers as lead-up races for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, the two major Spring handicap races in Australia. Therefore it pays not to take all form on its face value because horses do improve out of sight when the big money is on offer. The factor which is the common denominator of most of the feature race winners is that they have won a previous group one race or at least been placed previously in a group one race. Class is an important consideration when finding winners on the race course so what a horse has done in the past is just as important as its recent form.
When assessing form in weight-for-age events, previous form in similar races are the best guide. Horses which have competed in the Cox Plate will usually perform well in their following starts as they find more modest competition to race against.
The Victorian Derby held on the first day of the Melbourne Cup meeting is the biggest 3-year-old race on the Victorian calander. Horses which raced at the Moonee Valley and Geelong meetings tend to be the ones that win the Derby.
Flemington, Caulfield, and Moonee Valley are in Melbourne. There is also some great racing in Sydney with the Epsom and Toobrak Handicaps Group one features run at a mile. in October. The Metropolitan Handicap for the stayers is also a group one event. Some of the horses which contested the major Sydney races will line up in one of the Major Melbourne races.
The Melbourne Cup carnival is without a doubt the best in Australasia. The trick is for punters to compare the form from various parts of Australia not to mention those horses that come from Europe. Horses which are proven Group one performers are the ones to watch for as they have a knack of striking form at these major carnivals.