Almanac Racing: Sal’s Preview – Caulfield Cup: Going for gold!


Sunny Crowd at Caulfield by Kate Birrell


Greetings All,


Another trade period finished with the scribes competing to decide who were the winners and who were the losers.  The only judge will ultimately be performance but there are column inches to fill.  A couple of clubs may lost players they would have preferred to keep but such is the way now players generally get to their desired destination, overall though every club achieved its aim from this trade period  some with big changes and others simply trading around the edges.  The draft comes up next while the Caulfield Cup is on the agenda tomorrow.


One of the better Caulfield Cup fields of recent times with a handy support program.  With the fine weather last week we saw fast times which made it difficult for the backmarkers to make ground, this should be taken into account when assessing form from the meeting going forward.  We could easily have similar conditions tomorrow with fine weather predicted although the potential for a change late in the day.  The Cup is being run at 5:15!


We open proceedings with a short priced favourite in Brave Mead (R1, #2) who does look hard to beat, at a longer price reckon Kandinsky Extract (R1, #6) might be worth an each way ticket.  Form is sound if you give it a mulligan last start.


Race 2 – Norman Robinson Stakes (G3, 2000m, 3yo SW)


Now known as The Classic it will always be The Norm for me as the boys are on trial for the Derby.  Riff Rocket (2) could not have been more impressive at Flemington and as the price suggests will be very hard to beat here and probably for the Derby too.  Thought the run of Sunsets (5) in the same race had merit and will appreciate the extra distance, Gates (6) steps up in class after a win last start for Moody-Coleman they place them well.  As does Maher-Eustace who are stepping To be Frank (7) up in grade.


Selections – 2-5-6-7



Race 3 – Ethereal Stakes (G3, 2000m, 3yo Fillies SWP)


It’s the fillies turn here on trial for the Oaks with Tropical Squall (1) a short priced favourite, lead all the way in the Flight Stakes but needs to hold on for another 400m here.  Can win but too short a price.  If not her then who? Autumn Angel (4) ran third to Griff in the Stutt which is good form especially returning to fillies only.  Konasana (5) for CJW is very consistent and should relish the extra trip and Everlasting Kiss (12) was not far behind her last start at Flemington.


Selections – 4-5-1-12


The Gothic Stakes is the 4th on the program Dark Halo (7) was impressive on debut and might be too quick here.



Race 5 – Thousand Guineas Prelude (G2, 1400m, 3yo Fillies SWP)


The next trial is for the fillies looking to go to the Thousand Guineas now being run later in November.  GSOB and JMac combine with Inhibitions (8) who ran well last start and meets her conqueror Coeur Volante (3) with a 2kg advantage.  Putting the Waterhouse-Bott trained Azula (7) in between them should run on-pace and no better front-running rider than T Clark.  Wary of Adelaide form but Lovely Lookin’ (12) has been winning well and they don’t bring them over for a holiday.


Selections – 8-7-3-12



Race 6 – Caulfield Sprint (G2, 1000m, HCP)


Great to see the return of Lofty Strike (1), can he give this lot so much weight?  With a 6kg differential just thinkSpacewalk (6) might have the advantage.  Doull (7) put in a good run for his first in the hands on Annabel Neasham can he continue and General Beau (4) is used to carrying the load that the toppie has so must be a chance here.


Selections – 6-1-4-7



Race 7 – Tristarc Stakes (G2, 1400m, Mares SWP)


The competition from Sydney sees a pretty small field here but nonetheless challenging.  The New Zealand mareSkew Wiff (2) was well supported at Flemington before being scratched at the barriers, she gets a crack here and looks well placed.  When in doubt you can always throw Wrote to Aratiki (5) in the numbers, she is just so consistent.  C’est Magique (8) might be just that and blow them away just dropping her back in selections with doubts around getting the 1400m.  Madame Pommery (1) has been running in group one company, back to mare’s grade gives her a chance here.


Selections – 2-5-8-1



Race 8 – Moonga Stakes (G3, 1400m, 4YO+ SWP)


With Buffalo River (3) in the field we will get a truly run race, not sure he can hang on.  Liked the confidence of the jockey in the French mare Times Square (9) and trusting the Maher-Eustace placement here.    Climbing Star (11)had little more than a track gallop last start and can improve and Nunthorpe (10) just keeps on winning and must be a chance again.  Umgawa (5) fits the consistency model and goes in the numbers.


Selections – 9-11-10-5



Race 9 – Caulfield Cup (G1, 2400m, HCP)


A ripping renewal of the Cup headlined with the confirmation that Gold Trip (1) will run.  An incredible effort in the Turnbull is well drawn and a deserved favourite.  Who and what could beat him?  What we know, he probably has most of the locals covered if the conditions are right and runs to his best he beats them.  The unknowns are the Japanese and Irish charges.  Breakup (3) lead up last start in Japan before being swamped late, prior to that fourth in the Tenno Sho is very good form for this.  With the likelihood of a good surface the challenger most likely.  Of the Irish pair siding with Valiant King (18) gets in on the minimum with a last start second to the ruling Melbourne Cup favourite must also be some chance.  The other international West Wind Blows (6) got wind burn from Gold Trip (1) last start but did plenty of the donkey work in the race, still held on for second and has 3kg weight swing. Without a Fight (2) was steaming home in the Underwood and M Zahra chose to stick with him over the favourite, Soulcombe (8) also gets a big weight swing here always thought more suited at Flemington but has won here also.  The two outsiders of interest are Right You Are (11) good strike rate pluse form OK with a mulligan last start and Emmisary (12) Melbourne Cup runner up who loves it dry expecting an improvement if we get to a Good-3.  The other caveat if it gets to a Good-3 there is every chance Gold Trip (1) will be withdrawn.


Selections – 1-6-3-2-18-8



We close out the card where Vivianne (5) is looking to add another paling to the picket fence.  Ghanati (11) might be the each way play if the favourite is too short.


Quaddie Time


It’s Caulfield Cup so we will have a few there and maybe skinny up the others and hope we stay alive.


Leg 1 – 2, 5, 8

Leg 2 – 9, 10, 11

Leg 3 – 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 11, 12, 18

Leg 4 – 5, 11


Represents 144 combinations, a $30 investment returns 20.83% of the dividend.


All that glitters!


Cheers, Sal


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