The Melbourne Mail: Caulfield - 26th November 2022

After two weeks on the road, top racing returns to Melbourne with Sandown's big day - at Caulfield.


Zipping made the Classic his own with four wins between 2007 and 2010, and now Sound takes aim at what would be a third straight win, having won the last edition at Sandown and followed up last year in a race run at a pace that was ridiculously slow - even by Melbourne staying race standards. 

That farce was compounded by the strong-staying 2/5 shot Spanish Mission being waited with and then done for pace as they ripped home in 33.5 seconds. 

Now, 12 months the Spanish Mission role is played by Without A Fight - down from the UK for the Melbourne Cup before taking his chance from the front of the betting in the Zipping.  

There are some key differences. Without A Fight has a simlarly consistent ratings profile to Spanish Mission but at a lower level (120 v 116 by Racing and Sports' measure) and their Cup runs were fairly chalk and cheese - Without A Fight 21 lengths away and 13th as opposed to 3rd in a much stronger Cup for Spanish Mission.

The other key difference is of more interest though. Without A Fight is 5/2 not 2/5.  

Six prior runs this season were all up at a level that marks him down as potentially good winner of the Zipping and his new stable, long out of sorts, knocked in a double last week. 

Vow and Declare was ahead of Without A Fight in the Cup and had been a bit better than that in the Caulfield Cup where Sound also ran reasonably. The pace of course was rubbish which meant that the 12th placed Chapada wasn't miles away at the finish and both he and Persan have some shot at this based on their respective Turnbull and Caulfield Cup runs from last spring. But that is fairly old form and they have been below that level in 2022. Great House started this spring brightly but has dimmed at his last couple and Luncies appears to have ridden his luck into good finishes of late. 

All this points to Without A Fight have a strong favourites chance despite the Cup run and a fair price is served up because of it. 

The Heffernan goes as race five, two races prior to the Zipping, and features a neat little spot for each-way thieves. 

An early scratching leaves a field of eight and a short-priced favourite. Better yet, a short-priced favourite who looks plenty short enough for one facing a steep rise. 

That favourite is Norwegian Bliss, unbeaten in seven and undoubtedly impressive for that fact alone, but this will surely take a bigger performance than what she has produced to date and a couple of others appeal as being overpriced - Poland chief among them. 

While Norwegian Bliss has won each of his seven tries, Poland arrives having won none of his past but he rattled the crossbar at Flemington last time, making a nice winner work to stitch him up having done plenty of work himself off the front. 

That form has worked out well and similar tactics here look likely to see Poland at an advantage. A repeat would make him the horse to beat and each-way odds are being bet with the potential for smart place terms for eager shoppers.  



Bet Of The Day: Race 7 #10 Without A Fight @ $3.50

Each Way Play: Race 5 #5 Poland @ $8.50

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