Caulfield Cup Preview: The Cats that got the cream

Check out Ladbrokes for all promarkets on the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, as well as all the action at Caulfield, Royal Randwick and Doomben.

Ladbrokes have the full range of betting options now – quaddies, trifectas, first fours etc as well as fixed price win and place.



Happy Caulfield Cup Day to all,


But the lead up to the cup has really been about the AFL Trades (or lack thereof), in reaching my own self-imposed deadline means lack of commentary on most of trade week as 80% of the action will occur in the last hour before their deadline on Friday.  But there is room for comments on the Cats and what an accommodating bunch of souls the Crows and the Blues have been.  As suggested lining up the Chris Judd trade with the Patrick Dangerfield trade, he should have been delivered for two top ten picks rather than 9 and 28.  The Blues can now feel dudded on the Judd trade!  Adding more insult is the deal for Henderson and getting the Cats first rounder next year, given Geelong’s efforts and posturing this trade season would have them thinking it is likely to be pick 18!  All will be known Friday afternoon but will we know enough to follow our fortunes at The Heath on Saturday.


Plenty of conjecture on the firmness of the Caulfield track last week, horses were able to run on their merits makes it even harder for punters.  Aiming for a Good 3 is honourable but I can’t see an issue beginning the program at a Dead 4 either.  The rating was still a good 3 at the end of last week, but not sure all the jockeys would have agreed.  For this week’s selections I am steering away from horses backing up from last week.  Also concern that the inside was “off” with winners coming from out wide and off the speed, let’s hope we have fair tracks presented for the next few weeks.  Not that I can really complain when we take a look my selections from last week in the accountability section.  Now let’s take a look at all the group racing starting with the Caulfield Cup.



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

A terrific field gathers for this year’s renewal of the Caulfield Cup with most of the runners having good form and credentials, but interestingly only two of the field are last start winners and they are both emergencies!

Again have to make assessments of the internationals, but we are getting better at that.  Snow Sky (2) won at Ascot and has a few other good results, hasn’t seen field of more than 13.  Could win but needs his best.  Fame Game (3) is the first of the Japanese runners that do very well here, his run in the Tenno Sho was incredible and just missed.  First run since then and hasn’t had a first up win, suspect might be better suited 17 days on.  Hokko Brave (5) was also a good run in that race and has stats in its favour – good first up record and good record over the distance.  A great chance.  Trip to Paris (7) is going via Melbourne.  Winner of the Ascot Gold Cup possibly makes the mile and a half a mere warm up, suspect looking for 3200m.  If Quest for More (19 em) gets a start then has a serious chance down in the weights was fantastic in the Goodwood Cup.

Then there are a couple that we have seen here including the Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist (1) who at his best can win here, but there is little to suggest that form is close.  The other is Our Ivanhowe (4) who has been running in lesser races but running well and carrying big weights.  Was a great run in the Bart and looks well weighted here.  Grand Marshal (9) is a Waller runner, won the Sydney Cup but that is not usually a guide here – others have better form.

We don’t call them internationals but the raiders from a across the ditch plundered the Sydney Autumn and are looking for a repeat performance here.  Many have run well without winning so far, but after a big run last week Mongolian Khan (6) is well fancied.  Agree it was a great run, but I am happy to say Mongolian Kahn’t because the run was on that hard track.  Could be proven wrong, but at the odds pretty poor value.  Volkstok’n’barrrell (11) has been running own those same races and not going quite as well, Gust of Wind (16) was 11th in the Turnbull but was not a bad effort and the lightweight makes her a sneaky hope.

A few other mares make the field including the incredible Royal Descent (10) great that G Boss stays on and no doubt she will try her heart out.  Always seems to find one better and there are plenty of good ones in this lot and she has the very outside barrier.  Lucia Valentina (13) returns after her 3rd placing last year but has drawn in the car park also, tickling over nicely but everything needs to go right.  The runner up from last year Rising Romance (14) now entrusted to the Hayes-Dabernig camp has also been running well but not as well as last year in my opinion.  But the mare that is going well is Set Square (17), will jump from 12, is well weighted and was fantastic in the Turnbull – a massive chance here.

Who Shot Thebarman (8) was flying at this time last year, going as well this year but is running in better races.    Magicool (15) brings the Audi form line into the Caulfield Cup, a trier but not up to this.  Queensland Derby win gets him a start but some better talent in the emergencies.  Magnapal (18) got the free ticket with the win in the Naturalism – no issue with those conditions and form is terrific.  The weight makes him a danger, but the barrier does not help.

Finish up the 18 in the field with Hauraki (12) – runner up to Mongolian Khan (6) in the ATC Derby but gets 2kg off him and James McDonald on board.  Was fantastic behind Complacent (20 em) in the Craven Plate and looks to be hitting form at the right time.  Is my top selection.  Goldolphin have emergencies for the race Complacent (20 em) and Magic Hurricane (22 em), both would have excellent chances if they got in and are the only two last start winners in the 22.  The other emergency Dibiyani (21 em) is also in good form but finding better ones.

Selections 12-17-3-4-14-6-2-5


Now for the remainder of the Group races on a monster program.


Caulfield Race 3 – The Caulfield Sprint (G2, 1000m, HCP)

None of the superstars here, but Ball of Muscle (1) might not be far off being one.  A win here would stake those superstar claims as he gives the rest of the field at least 3kg.  Kinglike (6) is fresh on the scene with a good record against his own age group, PG Moody might just have another beauty.  Kuro (2) is good over the distance and up to this and Lumosty (3) has a good first up record.  The Adelaide raiders Eclair Choice (7) and Last Day (8) should be respected and may present good value, but can’t pick them all.

Selections 6-1-2-3


Caulfield Race 4 – Ethereal Stakes (G3, 2000m, 3yo Fillies SWP)

A full field of fillies line up to trial for the Oaks.  Ambience (2) has terrific form winning The Dulcify at Randwick in good style – aside from the usual Caulfield/Sydney reservations she looks a great chance.  Honesta (3) was not far off Speak Fondly so must also be a great hope.  Not much value in those two.  A Little Loose (6) was a barnstorming winner last start at Ballarat and should get the trip and the Uncle-Nephew team have Dawn of Hope (10) who also won last start at a provincial track.

Selections 2-3-6-10


Caulfield Race 5 – Caulfield Classic (G3, 2000m, 3yo Set Weights)

A classic in its second year, not for me – this will always be the time-honoured Norman Robinson Stakes for me!  Loved the effort of Lizard Island (1) in the Guineas last week and good enough to win this, but steering away from last week’s runners.  The Uncle-Nephew team bring the only filly into the race in Sacred Eye (13) and she has been running extremely well, reckon she can win The Norman and present a dilemna as to whether to take on the boys in the Derby in two weeks.  Ayer’s Rock (3) ran them ragged in the UCI, if there is any hint of leader bias not sure they could pass him again.  Tivaci (6) was closest and a better draw could help turn the tables and suspect Etymology (9) will be better for the run.

Selections 13–6-3-9


Caulfield Race 6 – The David Jones Cup (G3, 2000m, HCP)

Stratum Star (1) is fancied, but ran last week and goes up 2kg from the Toorak.  A chance but not great value.  Fenway (5) gets the nod coming off a strong win at the Valley ahead of another mare Thunder Lady (7) who was terrific in the Benalla Cup.  Have to respect the Waller yard so Sadler’s Lake (6) must have a chance as must Dibiyani (2) who is an emergency for the cup.

Selections 5-7-6-1


Caulfield Race 7 – Moonga Stakes (G3, 1400m, SWP)

Group One form is handy for this and Under the Louvre (8) has that, but of concern is that he always runs into a couple better and the wide draw.  Setinum (9) grew wings and flew home last start and could represent good value.  Vashka (4) won the G2 Shannon so is up to this, but concerned about the impost and similar concerns for Charlie Boy (3) who has also been running against better animals.

Selections 9-8-4-3


Caulfield Race 8 – The Tristarc Stakes (G2, 1400m, Mares SWP)

The Queen of Sydney hits Melbourne!  Catkins (2) rarely runs a bad race – more rarely two in a row.  Weight might be a challenge, but she will give her all.  Biggest danger for mine is Sabatini (6) who might not be consistent but her best is very, very good!  Solicit (4) has a couple of big kills first up and Amicus (1) has the class but also the weight.  But plenty of other chances.

Selections 2-6-4-1


Quaddie Time

Hoping for a bank by the time we get to race 7 and typically a tough quaddie for a big meeting.  We open up with the Moonga, favourite punters might go one out with Under the Louvre.  I will stick with the four chosen but could entertain 2, 5 and 6 also.  In the second leg happy to go skinny here on my top two, otherwise too many to put in.  Need to go wide in the cup, putting in the top 8 but still might not have it.  Pretty open in the last leg and taking three, but there are plenty of other hopes.

Leg 1 – 3,4,8,9

Leg 2 – 2,6

Leg 3 – 2,3,4,5,6,12,14,17

Leg 4 – 4,6,12

With some luck it might be one of these 192 combinations and that $30 investment would return 15.6% of the dividend.



Some handy results last week even though the track suited the back markers.  Managed to get the winner in the top 4 for all races selected but one, and nailed winner with the top pick in three of them (all Group 1s) with Vanbrugh, Lucky Hussler and Stay With Me.  Then add four quinellas and three trifectas and five Running Doubles and a fair day would have been had, haven’t worked out what it would have cost though.  Another tripod for the quaddie, but should have had Politeness in the last with how the track played.  Hard to pick that on a Thursday Night!  As stated will be wary of runners backing up this week with the firmness of the track last week.


Enjoy the rest of the trade period,

Go Hauraki!

Cheers, Sal

The racing banter is happening at Crio’s preview. Add your selections and commenary.


Check out Ladbrokes for all promarkets on the AFL and NRL Grand Finals, as well as all the action at Caulfield, Royal Randwick and Doomben.

Ladbrokes have the full range of betting options now – quaddies, trifectas, first fours etc as well as fixed price win and place.


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