The Festival of Racing, Victoria’s six-week-long summer and autumn racing showpiece, begins on Saturday with the running of the $500,000 Group 1 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield.
Run over 1400m at weight-for-age, the Orr Stakes has been won by winners of the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, Caulfield Guineas, Blue Diamond, Victoria Derby, VRC Oaks, Australian Cup and Newmarket Handicap, proving that it is not just a race for sprinters. It is a race for the very best.
The Orr has a final field of 16 acceptances including Godolphin four-year-old Kementari, to be ridden by James McDonald, who is the early favourite for the race won by his sire Lonhro in 2004. Godolphin’s James Cummings won the race last year with Hartnell and will also saddle up Group 1 Cantala Stakes winner Best Of Days, to be ridden by Craig Williams.
Other feature races on the nine-event program include the G2 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies), G2 Schweppes Rubiton Stakes, G2 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes, G3 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (Colts and Geldings), G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes, G3 Mypunter.com Bellmaine Stakes and the G3 JC Swift Hodges T.S. Carlyon Cup.
Racing.com will bring you all of the action of the start of the Festival Of Racing from Caulfield. The coverage begins with Brent Zerafa hosting Before The First live from the track before David Basheer takes over as host of Saturday Racing. Matthew Hill will call the races throughout the day.
Form analyst Clint Hutchison will give his detailed selections before each race, accompanied by Jayne Ivil assessing the horses in the mounting yard and BetEasy’s Matthew Campbell giving market updates.
Peter Moody, winner of the Orr Stakes on five occasions as a trainer, will give his views on runners before and after each race, while Shane Anderson will interview connections pre-race along with the winning trainer. Chris Symons will interview the winning jockeys on horseback.
Racing.com will also have Grace Ramage, Brent Zerafa, Carl Di Iorio and Andrew Eddy filing news throughout the day for broadcast, digital and social media coverage. Racing from Morphettville, with Adam McGrath and James Jordon trackside, and bet365 Yarra Valley, will also be broadcast.
Tune into the launch of the Festival of Racing as Caulfield hosts the G1 Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes meeting on Racing.com free-to-air channels 78 (metropolitan), 68 (regional), Foxtel 529, and streamed on Racing.com digital and app from 11:30am AEDT on Saturday February 9, 2019.