Form analyst, RIC CHAPMAN, looks at every runner in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup at Caulfield with horse racing tips for the first four. Read on to see how he maps and assesses the race. Good luck, punters!
T: Aidan O’Brien / J: Hugh Bowman (58.5kg)
European superstar who has been mixing it with the great Stradivarius in recent runs and did beat him last time out. Horror draw here so probably drifts right back early looking for a spot. No doubting his talents though, nor his preparation or his trainer and rider. Must be in your numbers.
T: James Cummings / J: John Allen (57kg)
This is one of the horses to beat. What a star. He has already won someGr 1 races and needs to be respected not dismissed. Bad draw means he drops out but his last start put the writing on the wall. If it is damp he improves even more. Many will look past him this year but they do at their peril.
T: Danny O’Brien / J: Damien Oliver (57kg)
Is getting better with every run this campaign and did place in this race last year. Not all that far away last start in Gr 1 at WFA. This will be his 3rd run back from a spell and over a trip he does very well at. Probably scoots out of the gates looking for a spot. Remember, he is tough – and did win the Gr 1 Melbourne Cup last year.
T: Joseph O’Brien / J: Ben Melham (55kg)
More than handy type from Europe who is tough. Not had as many starts as his rivals but did win at gr 3 at The curragh three starts back and can stay. This might be a bridge too far for him, however.
T: Trent Busuttin & Nat Young / J: Craig Newitt (55kg)
What a marvel. What grand old warhorse and he is still racing with tremendous zeal as he showed last start when bursting through late at Randwick to take the 2400m Gr 1 Metrop in fast time. This is a stronger field but good recent form is often rewarded in this race.
T: Kris Lees / J: Billy Egan (55kg)
By contrast to Mirage Dancer he isn’t racing well and was well beaten in the Gr 1 Metrop. On his best form he’s a main danger but is best form seems behind him.
T: Chris Waller/ J: Mark Zahra (55kg)
Champion mare and if it is wet will win this with a leg in the air. Should find a nice spot mid-field here and last start’s win at 2000m at Flemington in the Gr 1 Turnbull Stakes, was on a fast track and in super time. So she is fit, fast and fantastic. Big show.
T: Andrew Balding / J: Michael Walker (54.5kg)
This bloke is a very, very smart long-distance stayer here for the Melbourne Cup. But his most recent win was achieved at Newmarket, this trip in fast time. Does seems to struggle at the top level but saying that did beat former Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter easily, recently.
T: Chris Waller / J: Damian Lane (54.5kg)
This is a smart horse. And the timing of his preparation has been immaculate. Last year in this race, he raced wide but still dashed to the front as they turned only to be run down late placing 5th finishing alongside Vow And Declare who he meets 5kg better off. Last start 3rd in the Gr 1 Turnbull over 2000m was superb and achieved in fast time. Looks the winner.
T: Charlie Fellowes / J: Jamie Kah (54.5kg)
English horse who has won the bulk of his money from races in Australia. Just thrives when he comes here and was beaten a nose in the Melbourne Cup last year. Horror draw isn’t going to help but his love of Aussie racing and his talent will.
T: Team Hawkes / J: Craig Williams (53.5kg)
This could be the dark horse. He ran home brilliantly when 4th over a mile in the Gr 1 Makybe Diva then did the same last start when a fast closing 5th in the Gr 1 Turnbull beaten less than a length by Verry Elleegant and Finche. Carried a kilo more than them that day. So the weight scale favours him here.
T: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman / J: Dan Stackhouse (53.5kg)
Good solid staying handicapper who ran wide and a few lengths behind them in the race last year. Past two starts haven’t been good stepping stones into this though and he looks to get cluttered up on the fence all the way. Not keen.
13. WARNING (20) x755633x76
T: Team Freedman / J: Luke Currie (53kg)
What a pity he has drawn so wide. It means he has no option but to drift back through the field early looking for a spot with cover. And that means he gives some mighty stayers a start. Saying that, he is a pretty mighty stayer himself and he has come back in sparkling form. May surprise because he can stay.
14. DALASAN (14) 55112×2354
T: Leon McDonald & Andrew Gluyas / J: Willie Pike (52.5kg)
A smart racehorse who is in form and who is likely to be up on the speed all the way. Certainly because of the lightweight. Meets the likes of Verry Elleegant, Finche and Toffee Tongue well at the weights considering he can run fast time over any distance with them. True professional who will be in this finish.
T: Willie Mullins / J: Declan Bates (52kg)
Good strong staying mare from Europe who won’t know herself with this lightweight. Hasn’t been finding the line with much gusto in four runs this year but the great draw and lightweight bring her into this on her best form.
T: Michael Moroney / J: Daniel Moor (51kg)
Two runs this time up have been woeful and isn’t racing well enough to win this even if he had a headstart.
T: Chris Waller / J: Michael Dee (51kg)
What a fascinating mare. Has only ever won the one race, a Gr 1 in Adelaide earlier this year on a wet track. But she can stay and was 2nd in the Gr 1 Oaks in Sydney. Last start was beaten a nostril fast time when 2nd in the Gr 1 Turnbull Stakes behind Verry Elleegant. Drawn very well here. If she runs up to her last start she is a big player.
T: Michael Moroney / J: Jye McNeil (50.5kg)
This could be a better horse than we all think. He is genuine and tough and can accelerate at the end of a staying contest, as he showed last week in the Gr 2 Herbert Power here over this trip winning it easily. Harder field but he ran time and has dropped 4kgs on that run.
T: Kris Lees / J: – (56.5kg)
Going poorly, has bad draw. Not keen.
T: Matt Cumani / J: Fred Kersley (53.5kg)
Tough long-distance stayer from Europe. Trip not a worry but getting a run then beating some of these are.
T: Mick Price & Michael Kents / J: Zac Spain (51.5kg)
Solid staying mare who is a hope on her best form but has finished near last at her past three starts. No thanks.
T: Team Freedman / J: Craig Newitt (52.5kg)
Good handicapper from Europe who is in form. Can stay all day and was a Listed winner in a strong field last start in August.