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Turf Deli Free Form Guides and Tips - Caulfield Cup 2015

Track: GOOD(3) - Weather: CLEARING - Rail: OUT 6M

Betting Portfolio ($100):
It is hot and sunny weather heading into the weekend, with storms coming through Friday night and a clearing mild day forecast for Saturday. Despite all this there is not a huge amount of rain forecast, only a few mms. There has been a lot of chatter about how firm this track was last Saturday, so you would think they will put a bit more water on it regardless, especially with a lot of potentially whiny international horses running this weekend. So expect a firm track with some give, and still but pretty close to a GOOD(4).

Last Saturday for the Caulfield Guineas the rails were off and the races were mainly won by those running on late out wide. The racing pattern on Wednesday was perfect, they could lead and win, or run on and win and it was one of the fairest tracks we have seen for ages. Rail moves out to the 6M position here, and can’t see any reason why there would be any distinct pattern, but they have been running on well all week so that pattern will probably continue.

Looks a really good betting program and although there are clear favourites in most races we have managed to find some solid each way bets at around the $10 mark. Back each way and take some quinellas seems to be the way to go for the day. We are doubling up to $100 again, which is a brave/foolish move seeing we did the same last weekend and lost the lot.

RESULTS: Track ends up strongly favouring those racing on speed and the first two races are won by the leaders, with those leading or racing close to the rails featuring in most races. We can't get a decent break in the Betting Portfolio at the moment, all around the money in quinellas and doubles, but not putting the cash in the bank.

BEST BET: Race 3: 1-BALL OF MUSCLE $15 WIN 3rd W=$3.80
This one has been racing extremely well, and has yet to miss the place in 16 career starts (but making him the Best Bet of the Day should probably sort that out!). That makes him the BLACK CAVIAR of the placings world? Three runs in have all been excellent, and was especially good at MV last start in a Group 1 when he was waiting on runs back on the rails on the home turn and probably should have finished even closer or challenged the winner. Small field here and he should lead without too much pressure and be the one to beat. Only danger is probably the 6-KINGLIKE who was very impressive winning 1st up and was scratched from a weaker race on Wednesday for this. Back the (1) straight out at around $3.10, and save on the quinella with the (6).
RESULTS: Gets the lead without too much pressure but just seems to struggle giving weight to a few of these. Keeps his perfect place record intact, but is a bit disappointing.

BEST WIN: Race 5: 1-LIZARD ISLAND $8 WIN 2nd W=$3.80
QUINELLA: Race 5: 1-LIZARD ISLAND, 13-SACRED EYE x $2.50 2nd 1-LIZARD ISLAND W=$3.80, 1st 13-SACRED EYE W=$4.30 Quinella=$7.60 = $19.00
QUINELLA: Race 5: 1-LIZARD ISLAND, 6-TIVACI x $2.50 2nd 1-LIZARD ISLAND W=$3.80, X
This one has been racing really well and his run last week here in the Caulfield Guineas was excellent, when he finished 2nd, making good ground along the inside on a day where the inside going was not the place to be. Big loping type who can sit on speed here and stay on , and should get a perfect run in this sitting outside the leader the (3). Back straight out to win at around $5, and take some quinellas with the (4) who was really good at MV last start when had to make a long, hard and wide run and fought on well, the up and coming favourite the (13), and the progressing stayer the (6).
RESULTS: Honest run as always form this one. Just got used up a bit early when had to go forward and caught wide, but kicked and led into the straight before just finding one better. Keep following him and the 4th horse 4-GET THE PICTURE.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 6: 9-VELOX $7.50 EW X
This one is racing in great form and is fitter for the 3 runs in and the run over the 2000M. Import who has had the two preparations here in Australia and has raced well in both, and unlike many imports doesn’t suddenly go into short priced favourite just because there is an exotic country suffix next to its name (AUS). Beat a handy field two starts back at Pakenham, and then last start at MV was held up for clear running in the straight when had plenty to give. Form from that race has held up too. Should roll forward here in a race with not much speed and give you a pretty good run for your money at around $13.
RESULTS: Track is favouring on pacers, but this one ends up out the back which was not the place to be. Ran on OK to finish 5th and wasn't too bad a run. Give another chance next start.

QUINELLA: Race 8: 5-HAZARD, 2-CATKINS x $2.50 X
QUINELLA: Race 8: 5-HAZARD, 12-JESSY BELLE x $2.50 X, 3rd 12-JESSY BELLE W=$8.50
This one has actually been racing pretty well, but we have been patiently waiting for her to draw a decent barrier. She has drawn barriers 16, 14 and 14 the last three starts and draws barrier 3 today. Hoorah! Finally! Which is perfect as she can race on speed. Pushed forward last start from an outside barrier and got to the lead easily enough, and she gave a good kick in the straight before getting swamped. Ridden on speed here from a good barrier should make a big difference and she is a 3 times winner this track. Back each way and plenty of value in the quinella here with the main dangers the classy and consistent (2) and the tough trying (12), who really deserves to win a Group race sometime Nice each way bet at around $13.
RESULTS: With the track favouring on pacers we were pretty confident on this one coming into the race. Jumps and sits handy, but then gets held up badly for runs most of the straight and fades. Doubt she would have won, but definitely should have finished a lot closer.

QUINELLA: Race 10: 2,6,7,11,12 boxed x $5 = 50% 1st 12-VEZELAY 1st W=$5.10, 2nd 2-MISS PROMISCUITY W=$14.10 Quinella = $30.10 x 0.50 = $15.05
The (7) was initially going to be our best rough, but think she has been backed and is now into more like $10, though you might get better odds on the tote come race time. Her 1st up run was excellent when she was making good ground along the rails and she won 2nd up last time in down the straight beating some good horses. Coming to the end of the day they should be running on OK, and she is drawn out to sit back and run on off a good speed. Looks a solid each way (no longer rough), bet at around $10. We are actually going to have a 2nd bet here then to try and find a roughie in the (11) who is talented but has a history of finding trouble in her races. Don’t think she stays and prefer her over the 1100M to the 1400M and think she might do something here running on 1st up at around $26, and note she won on this day last year. Let’s go again with a box quinella which should pay well if these ones get into the finish in an open race.
RESULTS: We were in a bit of strife coming into the last on a leader's track when we had placed our bets on back markers, so happy to get out with the quinella at least.

QUINELLA: Race 1: 5-ANDRIOLI #2,6,8,9 x $8 = 200% 1st 5-ANDRIOLI W=$8.40, 3rd 9-SILENT SEDITION W=$3.50
Let’s try and get the day off to a flying start with a small quinella in the first race. Plenty of chances, but the (5) should sit on speed here and be in the finish at around $8, so anchor her in quinellas with the main dangers the (6), (9) and (2) and the quinella will pay very well if something away from the obvious gets into the finish, so throw the (8) in for the hell of it.
RESULTS: OK that is just plain annoying. We found the value winner of the first race, who led all the way, but didn't back it to win, and didn't get the quinella. Darn it.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 4: 2-AMBIENCE at around $2.30 3rd W=$2.70
Absolutely nothing wrong with the form of this one at all and she has been going along nicely in Sydney. Just this race is always a bit silly, it is a full field of staying 3YO fillies going up to the 2000M for the first time and often something can suddenly step up and improve with the extra distance. Sure she might win, but this is not a race to have a serious bet in anyway, and we suspect something at double figure odds just pops up coming out of a weaker race. Happy to go around this one at around $2.30. Even if it does win – don’t particular care!
RESULTS: Nice tactics here - take on the $2.70 favourite - and tip the $25 winner instead!

TURF DELI WONDER BET : Here we try and turn $5 into a whole lot more with a silly multiple bet.
RUNNING DOUBLE: Races 4,5: 5,8,9,10,15 /1, 4 x $5 = 50%
1st 9-DAWNIE PERFECT W=$25.70 / 2nd 1-LIZARD ISLAND W=$3.80, 4th 4-GET THE PICTURE W=$9.20
Think we just go random and hope for a big value winner in Race 4 in a big field (and note we have left out the (3) who is in our selections, but the running double won’t pay anything if it wins anyway). Just trying for roughies and a big result, and our main hopes are the 15-JEZZABBA and the 9-DAWNIE PERFECT. Go into the main chances in the Caulfield Classic the 1-LIZARD ISLAND and the 4-GET THE PICTURE and that is a pretty even betting race so if we can fluke a long odds winner in the first leg there is a nice double to be had. Not a serious bet – but looking for a serious collect.
RESULTS: The plan almost comes off - we find the value $25 winner 9-DAWNIE PERFECT in the first leg and are right in the finish in the 2nd leg but fail to turn it into a collect.

RETURN: $34.05
NET: $-65.95

The Tips:


5-ANDRIOLI 1st W=$8.40


1-BALL OF MUSCLE 3rd W=$3.80

3-HONESTA 2nd W=$3.50
9-DAWNIE PERFECT 1st W=$25.70 *** Nice value winner ***


1-LIZARD ISLAND 2nd W=$3.80
13-SACRED EYE 1st W=$4.30



8-UNDER THE LOURVE 2nd W=$2.20
4-VASHKA 1st W=$7.90


12-JESSY BELLE 3rd W=$8.50

6-MONGOLIAN KHAN 1st W=$4.70


6-MONGOLIAN KHAN 1st W=$4.70

Others: 20, 22, 17

Pace: EVEN

6-MONGOLIAN KHAN is ticking of all the boxes and appears to be the model Caulfield Cup chance. What a total suck! Lightly raced 4 year old with classic 3YO staying form. Tick. Fitter for the 3 runs in. Tick. Ran in all the traditional lead up races and competitive and making ground in every run. Tick. Placed in the Caulfield Stakes. Tick. Good barrier. Tick. Total and utter grade grub. It is not hard to see why he is the favourite here. His win strike rate is very impressive. Three runs back have all been good, it was a bunched finished in the Makybe Diva, and then he was diving up on the rails and made good ground here in the Underwood. Last start here last weekend was excellent, he was actually held up for runs coming to the home turn and the others were off and running, so he had to peel around them and come on – so he probably should have gone close to winning. Was closing on them on the line too. Great run. Big plus is also that he can race on speed and make his own luck. Guess the only issue is that he hasn’t won one this time in (then again, it is not like any of the others have either), and winning form is often really important for these races. Fit, ready to win, good lead up form, sitting on speed, he pretty much goes into the finish by default. Just not sure he actually represents value as current favourite in this race. Strong chance. 1st W=$4.70

8-WHO SHOT THEBARMAN is a pretty genuine stayer on his day and he has been taking things nice and slow this spring and cruising till the big races come up. Last spring he was up and running and winning races early in the spring, but he had to make sure he qualified for the Cups. This spring he is already qualified so they can set him specifically for those races. Form last spring was excellent, and he topped it off with a great 3rd in the Melbourne Cup. He did flop in this race though last spring, which was a run out of character – but he did have a bit of a cough after. Continued his great form during the Autumn and really looked the winner when he went up on the rails in the Sydney Cup, only to be nabbed on the line by the (9). He has been taking it easy this time back in, fitter for the 3 runs in, and worked home really well in the Hill Stakes. Thought he might be a chance in the Turnbull, and he was well supported, and not beaten that far, but never really challenged. He did drop back and made a wide run that day, and nothing really made much ground out that wide so think it was a better effort than it looked. He has a very nice tactical turn of foot which is good to have in this race. Firm track suits. The wide, wide barrier is the main issue here, he is great with a smother and a quick turn of foot, but likely to drop well back here. Wouldn’t write him off, as he has the form and the ability to win this, just a matter of where they go from the barrier, and if the breaks come his way. Rough chance.

12-HAURAKI is a lightly raced Godolphin runner who is one of the main chances in betting in this race. Competitive with the (6) in their 3YO season, and gets a handy 2kgs off him today. Has been running into form this time in, like many of these, fitter for the 3 runs in, but at least he genuinely got into the finish at his last run. Ticks a lot of boxes here, classic staying 3YO form, 4YO, actually shown form this time in. There probably isn’t a huge amount between a lot of the 4YOs in this. Really liked the last start, the way he loomed up and ran into the race and did look the winner, but the (20) fought back – but they did space the rest which is a good sign. Drawn a little wide, and will probably settle back, and you would expect the Sydney money will come for this one and there will be a solid push for him. Think he has the turn of foot to win this. Strong chance.

14-RISING ROMANCE is a consistent staying mare who was unlucky not to win this race last year when she looked the winner half way down the straight after sneaking through on the inside and scooting for home (note for jockeys – that cutting the corner trick in the Caulfield Cup works really well, you should try it sometime). Autumn form was consistent and she got lumped with a big weight when narrowly beaten at Rosehill. She has been racing pretty well this time back in, and been slowly building to something – but again so have most of these and you would really prefer to be on something in winning form into this race. Worked home OK 1st up in the Memsie, and then was poking through into the finish in the Makybe Diva, before probably being a little disappointing in the Turnbull when caught wide. You can forgive them the one bad run though. She is going to get the perfect sit here on speed from the inside barrier, which means she will be in the hunt coming to the turn. Probably would have just liked to see her be more in the finish of her lead up runs, but she raced well in this race last year and should probably do the same again this year. Chance.

16-GUST OF WIND is a very promising 4YO staying mare and there was a period in the 1990s where the lightly raced, classic 3YO staying, 4YO mares were all the rage in this race. She rose rapidly through the grades in her 3YO season and won the ATC Oaks with a clever ride where they went forward which was against her normal racing pattern. Fitter for the 3 runs in and she really hasn’t had much of a chance in those WFA races – and is much better suited back to a handicap here with the light weight of 51kgs. Her last two runs actually haven’t been that bad – both times she has drawn inside barriers, they have been bunched finishes and she really hasn’t had much of a chance to unleash and had nowhere to go. She has drawn OK today so will be interesting to see where they ride her – could they go forward and sit handy? Her form on paper looks awful, and we really do prefer them to be in solid winning form coming into this race, but she does look well suited today and expect she is going to do something. Rough chance at odds – but she should be at odds based on her form, so you would want $20 or better. Think a lot of people will tip her as best rough and that might chip away at her odds. Rough. 4th W=$21.90

17-SET SQUARE is one we struggle to catch to be honest and she stung us during her 3YO season where she rapidly rose through the classes and just kept on winning. Didn’t keep up with her good form in the Autumn, but she seems to have come back very well this spring. Excellent run 1st up in a small field with a big weight when she was storming home late, and then she was a bit stop/start at Flemington. Strong on pace performance in the Turnbull and that is pretty much always the best form race for this one. Down to 51kgs, excellent career win/place strike rate, coming off a Turnbull placing, fitter for the 3 runs in –plenty to like about her today. Her barrier isn’t too bad once you take the emergencies out and the big plus with her is take she can go forward, so she should be up and racing just off the speed here in clear running and have every chance in the run. Suspect she is the one that will get backed here as she ticks a lot of boxes. We have never had a collect on her – but she has to go in today – not sure if that is a good sign for her chances. Strong chance.

20-COMPLACENT (emerg) is a well performed, lightly raced 5YO in winning form and the sort of horse we would just love to back in this race – except he won’t make the bloody field! Really frustrating to see several last start winners not making the final 18, and that leaves us having to sort out a bunch of out of form stayers and some internationals in The Left Overs Caulfield Cup. Fantastic 3YO staying preparation in 2013, culminating with tough 2nd from well back in the VRC Derby. Then had close to 2 years off the scene to do a bit of back packing and some casual work. Surprised when he managed to win 2nd up after such a long break, amazing effort and normally they would take a few runs to get back into the swing of things. He has consistently held his form since and probably has the best form of anything going into this race. The form through PREFERMENT holds up really well too who won the Turnbull. Likes to run along on speed and would be the obvious leader if he somehow got into this field. Strong chance, but highly unlikely to get a start. SCR

22-MAGIC HURRICANE (emerg) gets the token certificate as the 4th emergency which basically means he just gets a nice bit of paper to take home to mum and very little chance of an actual start. He has been racing extremely well and is in winning form, which is actually really important for this race. It is a bit rubbishy to see the Metropolitan winner not even making this field – especially when quite a few winners of that race have gone well in the Caulfield Cup. Fitter for the 4 runs in, for the step up to the 2400M and looks well suited as a last start 2400M winner into this race in a field which realistically has very little form. Good win strike rate too and drawn an excellent barrier and a light weight. His form is pretty much the best of any of the horses going into this race! Was only narrowly beaten by PREFERMENT two starts back, and that one came out and beat many of these in the Turnbull Stakes. How on earth is this one not in the field? Pretty much no way he is going to get a start, but should a sudden bout of gastro from dodgy Christmas turkey decimate this field and he somehow got in – would actually rate him a very strong chance. Strong chance – but unlikely starter. SCR

3-FAME GAME is the Japanese visitor and it is astounding how different the record is in this race between the Japanese and European runners. The Japanese just seem to have what it takes, whether it is the breeding or the way they run these races, but they have been highly competitive in this race whenever they have turned up. Lightly raced, good win strike rate and tends to drop well back in his races with a very strong finishing burst. Watch that video of the last run and he needed to be hard ridden and drifted into clear running – and don’t think he can afford to do that here. Jockey won this race on a Japanese horse last year. Think he will get very well supported. The barrier is going to be the query and how far back he drops along the inside, think he is going to need a fair bit of luck in the run. Might get out a bit late and run home for a place, but would have preferred him drawn out to run on hard down the middle of the track like his country mate did last year. Place.

4-OUR IVANHOWE is a highly rated import who has been country shopping through France, Germany and Japan before landing in Australia. Sent out a short priced favourite during winter at first Australian run and flopped (and really, who on earth has the money to keep believing the hype and backing these imports at short odds). Been a spruik on him this spring and he definitely seems to be going in the right direction. Only the 2 runs back in, worked home nicely in the Naturalism, and then really an excellent run in the Bart Cummings when he loomed up like he was going to win but seemed to get bogged down by his 60kgs. He had to give most of the field 6kgs that day. Very promising run – though it was against a field of totally out of form stayers. Drawn wide here looks a bit of an issue initially, but he will jump from barrier 13 if the four emergencies don’t get a run, so that’s actually not that bad. Think he might be able to race handy too? Listen for riding tactics. He is lightly raced with a lot of upside and seems to be building towards something big this spring. Just wonder if he might just need one more run to peak? Prefer place, but should be in the finish somewhere. 3rd W=$25.60

9-GRAND MARSHAL is a genuine enough Sydney stayer who gets into this race courtesy of his win at odds in the Sydney Cup. Solid enough stayer who won the 2800M race on Cup Day a few years ago, but that race is normally for the B grade stayers. Fitter for the 3 runs back in, and has the benefit of 2 x 2000M runs, which many of these do not. Gets a nice weight drop from a solid enough effort in the Craven Plate, where he was making ground late, but was still beaten some distance. His win strike rate is still pretty good, so he might be a little under rated in this. Drawn a really good barrier and he could race handy last spring but has tended to drop well back in the run in his last two preparations. Extra distance will really suit. Hard to see him beating home the (12) on last run. Hard to really recommend him on form this time in, but reckon he is one to put into the first fours and trifectas if you want really want to win a blow out dividend. Rough place only.

10-ROYAL DESCENT is a really honest WFA mare who feels like she has been around forever. Ran 5th in this race in 2013, and wasn’t beaten very far – and her lead up form this time in is probably actually even better. Went to the Cox Plate instead last year. She has been consistently in the finish of feature WFA races for some 3 years now – just she doesn’t win that often. Her 1st up win this time in was actually her first win in 18 starts – and her first win in 2 years after her 3YO season. Has been racing very consistently this time in as always. Looked really well suited in the Turnbull Stakes with a light weight and good barrier and she was right in the finish and just got beaten on the line by one that could be a rising star. Turnbull Stakes is normally the best form line for this race too. She is probably better with some give in the ground, but her dry track form is just fine. Outside barrier is a bit of a concern as she normally goes forward and is likely to get posted wide here. Her only try past 2000M since her 3YO season was in this race in 2013 and some suspicions she may be better as a miler. She is fit and in form and that is a big tick in a pretty ordinary field, but just suspect she will find one better again today. Strong place chance though.

18-MAGNAPAL comes into this race fit and in winning form, and last start winners or winners this preparation are one of the key tick boxes to finding the winner of this race. He has had 37 starts and suddenly seems to have gone up a level this time in. He had been competitive around restricted races previously but now he is going up in grade, and up in grade and up in grade and suddenly he finds himself in the Caulfield Cup with no weight – an amazing turn around for a horse that had a decent amount of starts already. Caulfield form is excellent with 3 wins and 2 placings from 8 starts. Not sure about the quality of some of the horses he has been beating though. He probably should have won last start too when he loomed up like the winner, but the leader had the advantage of the MV rails on a dynamite leader’s track. His 2000M form was a bit suspect – and we didn’t like him in the Naturalism for that reason – but he just seems to be a different horse this time in, so maybe we need to throw the stats out the window. His 2400M form isn’t the best either, 4 starts for 1 second though guess you can take out the heavy track run. Can race handy and think he goes forward here and gets caught wide. Hard to see him winning this, but don’t think his Australian rivals are that spectacular, so maybe more the international runners might be his undoing. Light weight, winning form, don’t think you can totally write him off in this. Rough chance.

19-QUEST FOR MORE (emerg) is UK visitor who is going to start long odds in this race – and funny enough that probably makes him a better chance than most of his country mates! Only seems to be the unfancied UK internationals that win this race. Lightly raced, good win strike rate and he seems to be holding his form a lot better than most of the other internationals. Should be up and running handy in space too from a good barrier. Beat home the (7) at their most recent meeting. Actually probably prefer this one the most out of the UK lot, he is in form and seems to be on the improve and likely to get a better run than the others. Unlikely to make the field again as an emergency, but rough chance if he does. Rough. SCR

1-PROTECTIONIST is last year’s super impressive Melbourne Cup winner whose form since has been totally and utterly crap (no more excuses!). He really never got warm in four runs over the Autumn, though he did tend to make a little ground, but he simply just wasn’t competitive. And punters have totally deserted him – compare the odds on this first 3 runs in Autumn ($2.90, $4.20, $6.50) with his first 3 runs this time in ($26, $51, $51). Even his most strident supporters seemed to have moved on. Fitter for the 3 runs in , and of course, he is a very genuine stayer who wants a fast speed, distance and a big track. Up to 2400M today should help, and he did warm up over this distance last year in the Herbert Power which set the scene for his Flemington triumph. Since he has been trained in Australia though he simply has not been competitive. Most of his rivals from the Turnbull drop in weight into this – he goes up, and was well beaten. It would be good to see him get back to something like his own form, but doubt punters will go anywhere near him until he does. Wants a big track and a very genuine tempo and he might finally start running on today but suspect it will be for a well beaten sixth at very best. Not on form.

2-SNOW SKY is a lightly raced British 5 year old with the big plus of a local jockey on board. The Melbourne Cup pattern for the internationals is well entrenched, they really need to have the run here first. The Caulfield Cup is a bit different, even though we have had a few surprise results, it normally hasn’t been a race for the UK internationals – especially not those who are well fancied (and excluding the Japanese whose record is in stark contrast). This one has a fair bit of support. Hasn’t raced for 3 months, and form is more over the 2400M, which probably means he wants a 3200M Down Under. Drawn an inside barrier is the query here. Will probably go forward, but doubt he will have the speed to stop being crossed so will probably end up back on the fence in tight running just behind the leaders here. Caulfield Cups are hustle bustle affairs and you need a quick turn of foot, and think for internationals you would prefer to be drawn out and rolling in plenty of running room. Hate backing unknowns, so despite so little form amongst the Australian runners, still have to leave him out. Just the money always seems to be wrong on the UK internationals in this race. Suspect this one will get backed with Oliver on board. Risking.

5-HOKKO BRAVE is the second of the Japanese runners and is a bit older with a longer race record than his country mate. Win strike rate actually isn’t that flash and he hasn’t won a race since Oct 2013 – so almost 2 years, which makes his form not much better than a lot of the out of form Aussies in this race. Beaten home by the (3) last start. Drawn wide and likely to drop back, but at least he can get a clear run into the race and the Japanese winner last year launched a run down the middle of the track. Watch the betting, but hard to see how he is going to be a factor here on form. No

7-TRIP TO PARIS (don’t mind if we do) and is sure to start unders on the tote with the attracted to the name $1 each way bets. 5YO UK visitor with a good win strike rate, but he has been winning over 4000M over there, which means he wants about 52 km races in Australian terms. Drawn right in the middle as well and think these internationals don’t appreciate the hustle bustle of the Caulfield Cup. He will probably work to the line OK and finish in the first 6th, so maybe throw him in wide trifectas, but not really a betting proposition for us. No 2nd W=$29.20

11-VOLKSTOK'N'BARRELL should be coming into this race as a live chance, as a 4YO with good 3YO classic staying form. But we are not really sure how he is going this time in. He staged a head to head battle with his NZ country mate the (6) in the 3YO races, but that one had his measure more often than not. He has had the 4 runs back in this time, so one more run than many of these, which is a plus. Wasn’t beaten far 1st up in the Memsie. He dropped out in the blanket finish of the Makybe Diva, and that run looked disappointing as he was up and running on the speed, but the jockey said he ran out of room and had something to give (we are not so sure though). Not beaten far in the Underwood and again in the Turnbull when he set the speed, but he keeps racing on speed and really not finishing off his races – and that is a major concern. He can go forward and is a possible leader here. Still has a good win strike rate and if he got back to his 3YO form then he would be right in this, but we are struggling to be convinced this time in. No.

13-LUCIA VALENTINA is a smart staying mare who was sent out favourite in this race last year at around $4, and likely to go around at about $30 this year. She has a flying finish and was in peak form last year, bursting through to win the Turnbull Stakes, and run in this race last year was excellent when she probably just got out stayed to the line. Mediocre Autumn campaign earlier this year. Her form in the 3 runs back this time in haven’t been too bad, she has threatened to run on a few times before running out of puff, and was especially good making ground in the George Main. Her best form is definitely on wet tracks though. Unusual preparation into this race, just the 3 runs in and up to the 2400M and her form this time in hasn’t been anywhere near as good as last year. Drawn a wide barrier and think that means she will be at the back of the field again. Guess you could throw her in as a place chance based on her run last year, but she just doesn’t seem to be going as well this year so prefer to look to others. No

15-MAGICOOL is one of those annoying horses who gets into these fields every year and you think “How the heck did he make the cut”? Very difficult horse to follow and very rarely shows any form. Showed a lot of promise in his spring 3YO season, but then he didn’t quite go on with it early on in the Autumn this year and was disappointing. He seemed to thrive on hard racing though and he suddenly found form at the end of his 8 run, 3 state, 5 month preparation. His win strike rate is actually still pretty good. He has had the 4 runs back in – and he hasn’t shown anything at all. He hasn’t been suited over the shorter distances, and under the WFA conditions, so they probably were not winnable races anyway – but it would have been good for him just to run on just a little to tease us at least! Drawn wide, likely to drop back here and simply no form to recommend him. No SCR

21-DIBAYANI (emerg) is an import in the Hayes stable who was looking promising earlier on in the spring. He has form in some good 2400M races in Hong Kong. He has had the 3 runs back in and they have all been pretty similar. 1st up here in the Lawrence he presented on the turn and chased really hard but was out sprinted to the line. Pretty similar run again in the Dato Tan. He was a bit disappointing in the Underwood when he didn’t really get into the contest and away from the main chances he should have been competing for the placings there. Up 600M here, and off a 3 week break is an unusual preparation for this race and think others might have a fitness edge on him here today. Drawn well and can race handy. The main issue is going to be getting into the field as the 3rd emergency, which is highly unlikely, so we can talk about him all you want – but he is unlikely to start anyway. On form don’t think he is going quite well enough for this race. No

Summary: We think this is probably the most uninspiring Caulfield Cup we have covered. We have always been really big on dispelling the fallacy of the “good Melbourne Cup trial” and the same thing goes for Caulfield Cup lead up form. You can run on and look promising all you want, but really it is winning form that counts going into these feature races and you really want to be on a horse that is in winning form, or at least has won a race this time in.

Although in the last 6 years there has not been a last start winner win this race (and a couple of winners came off pretty poor runs), prior to that between 1999 and 2009, 7 Caulfield Cup winners were last start winners and the other three were last start place getters. You can guess on improvement all you want – but horses need to be in peak form to win this race.

And this year – these is not a single last start winner in the field! That is ridiculous, especially when there are two in form, last start winners sitting in the emergencies who are unlikely to get a run.

So then do you turn to the internationals? We vigorously avoid the UK internationals in this race, sure they grind away and run good Melbourne Cup trials for 2nd to 6th, but the UK based winners have been TAUFAN’S MELOFY at $66, ALL THE GOOD at $41 (last start winner) and DUNADEN a few years back who was actually fancied. So the fancied UK runners actually have a really poor record in this race – you are better off backing the one at the longest odds.

The Japanese runners on the other hand, have an outstanding record from very few starters. They provided the winner last year and have provided placegetters a few times back in the mid 2000s, which was the last time they came out before last year. Whether it is the hard tracks that they are used to, or the tempo, or genes, or all the sushi, they just seem to have what it takes to win this race and have to be respected.

Note that the four emergencies are unlikely to get a run here and normally we are happy to put emergencies into the selections (and tip an extra runner), but in these feature races they rarely get a start. We would love to put the 20-COMPLACENT and 22-MAGIC HURRICANE in the tips, but doesn’t seem much point as their chances of starting are close to none. Take note that the four emergencies have all drawn inside barrier 10 too, so when they come out all the barriers will move in 4 spots – and many runners are not drawn as wide as you initially though.

Dot points for the Caulfield Cup
- winning form – not this year, but normally, yes please!
- you need to have a turn of foot to win this race. It always gets really messy coming around the home turn and there are plenty of hard luck stories, you want to be out in clear room and not trying to weave your way through the field. Look out for those rolling on speed who can make their run at the right time or can accelerate quickly down the middle of the track at the right time.
- this race is often won by a lightly raced 4YO or 5YO on the rise and there are plenty of options here this year, but so many of them aren’t going all that well.
- line up the weights from the Turnbull Stakes, 1-PROTECTIONIST goes up 0.5 kgs (ouch), 8-WHO SHOT THEBARMAN drops 2kgs (beaten 2L), 10-ROYAL DESCENT stays on the same weight (beaten 0.1 L), 11-VOLKSTOK’N’BARREL drops 3 kgs (beaten 2L), 14-RISING ROMANCE drops 2.5kgs (beaten 3.5L), 15-MAGICOOL drops 4.5kgs (beaten 6L), 16-GUST OF WIND drops 3.5kgs (beaten 2.5L, and had no room), 17-SET SQUARE drops 3.5 kgs (beaten 0.75L).

The speed here should be genuine, but don’t think it will be overly fast. The 11-VOLKSTOK'N'BARRELL, 14-RISING ROMANCE, 20-COMPLACENT (emerg) should all go forward and think one or more of them will cross from the outside barrier in front of the 2-SNOW SKY , with the 4-OUR IVANHOWE, 6-MONGOLIAN KHAN, 10-ROYAL DESCENT (wide), 17-SET SQUARE sitting behind the speed.

Actually only think there are two winning chances in this race. Quite keen now on the chances of the 12-HAURAKI, really liked the fast finishing burst last start and he should have more improvement to come. Can see him peeling into the middle of the track on the home turn and going for home here. The 6-MONGOLIAN KHAN is definitely the one to beat and has all the right form lines, just might not be much value (would prefer closer to $6). These are the only two we are interested in backing to win though. 16-GUST OF WIND probably the next best and she should do something today now she has drawn out a bit wider. Maybe go wide in quinellas and trifectas with these, and throw in the likes of the 8-WHO SHOT THEBARMAN, 9-GRAND MARSHAL to try and snare a tasty exotic dividend.

One to risk: 2-SNOW SKY 5th W=$8.60

The Key: A horse with some actual form – please!

RESULTS: We got another traditional Caulfield Cup! It is about time too. The only horse with some real form going into the race, 6-MONGOLIAN KHAN #RED 1st W=$4.70, starts a deserved favourite and wins in a perfect ride. Excellent Melbourne Cup lead up runs from the 7-TRIP TO PARIS, 4-OUR IVANHOWE and the controversial ride on the 3-FAME GAME. The run of the 8-WHO SHOT THEBARMAN wasn't too bad either, wide all the way. As suspected the 2-SNOW SKY got well backed into 2nd favourite, but didn't have the gears from an inside barrier - and the longest priced of the internationals ran the best yet again!
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