Deane Lester’s Caulfield Best Bets


NATIONAL CHOICE made an impressive winning debut and looks the testing material again when he contests the 2YO Handicap (1200m). The son of Snitzel had trialled well prior to his strong finishing win over 1212 metres at Geelong on April 26. He recorded the best final 600 metres, 400 metres and 200 metres sectional times of the meeting which is very encouraging for a horse having his first start. The Mick Price and Michael Kent trained colt returns to his home track, should derive benefit from his raceday experience and champion jockey Damien Oliver retains the ride. Whilst there are some first starters that create interest, NATIONAL CHOICE is well placed to win again.


STRATEGIC PHIL looks a terrific hope at good each way odds when he contests the Benchmark 78 Handicap (1400m). The four year old resumed from a spell with a fast closing 4th behind MOOR WANTED over 1200 metres at Terang on April 19. He will be fitter for that run, should appreciate a step up in distance and handles all track conditions. There looks good speed in this race which suits STRATEGIC PHIL and he’s the best value bet at the Caulfield meeting.


EXCELMAN has yet to run a poor race during his short career to date and looks a solid winning chance when he contests the 3YO Handicap (1600m). The Richard Laming trained gelding should be at peak fitness following three runs back from a spell and comes off a solid third behind BETCHA FLYING over 1700 metres at Flemington on April 25. He faces a similar field again however the significant change is that EXCELMAN will be wearing blinkers for the first time. Elite rider Dwayne Dunn sticks with EXCELMAN and he’s ideally placed to run well again.

Market Market