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Sal’s Week in Sport: Caulfield Cup Day and the noise from the AFL

Happy Caulfield Cup Day to all,


Although not necessarily for the racing administrators with the dearth of entries for this year’s renewal.  They are further handicapped with the blanket noise of AFL trade week along with a few other sports poking their heads up when it is racing’s time to shine.  Throw in the cobalt saga, Peter’s moodiness, Sydney’s Eddie and Danny Nikolic – the sport of kings is crying out for another Michelle Payne and Prince of Penzance story.  That is yet another negative with the reigning Melbourne Cup winner breaking down last week and probably having run his last race – not bad though if the last win was the Melbourne Cup.  There has been discussion that the penalties the handicapper can enforce on the Caulfield Cup winner for the Melbourne Cup has been a deterrent for some of the higher rated horses.  That I suspect is the case for Hartnell who is on a WFA program (dodging any penalties) leading up the Melbourne Cup – he is the main challenger to Winx the Cox Plate – but would have been at least challenging for favouritism if Godolphin took on the Caulfield Cup.  In other years we see some of the lighter weighted horses trying to get the penalty that might lift them into the Melbourne Cup – a win in the Caulfield Cup can help them – although they do have other options to gain that penalty with the Moonee Valley, Geelong and Bendigo Cups.  Usually the Caulfield Cup has the full field and emergencies allotted, this year could just be an aberration or point to a trend – however a sample size of one is not what judgements should be made of.


We do have the AFL noise and trade week has seen some activity – but will become more frantic next week (That will excite the folks at Moonee Valley).  It has provided further proof of what the Hawks have over the rest of the competition.  Last year Jed Anderson cost North Melbourne pick 15 from the Hawks, this year pick 14 snares Tom Mitchell – I may be missing something but there is a chasm between these two players the Hawks again lead a merry dance.  They then exploited the rules around free agency to engineer a better deal for Richmond with Ty Vickery’s movement – good on them for doing it – but is shows what a joke the compensation system is.  Jarrad Waite was over 30 and went to North without any compensation provided to the Blues – Daniel Wells also on the senior side of 30 goes to the Pies and North get a second round pick.  If we are going to have free agency then get rid of compensation it pollutes the system.  Richmond decision not to match Hawthorn’s offer for Vickery should be based on whether they want him or not – not on what they will get in compensation.  Another week to go.


It is not the longest saga for the AFL though – with the Essendon cheating case finally coming to a close.  Or so we thought – Jobe’s Brownlow still has another month to run – at the minimum.  Surely the commission should have already formed their position to deal with this matter if the appeal was dismissed and could have acted immediately.  Did they not have time?  Ludicrous!  Then to find out Jobe and I believe Cotchin and Mitchell have been provided the choice to provide a  submission as to why they should take that 2012 Charlie – absurd!  I don’t really care whether Jobe keeps it or not – however I do think that it should be awarded.  If Jobe is disqualified then Mitchell and Cotchin share the honour.  But just make the decision and be done with it!


A huge week for the world game in Australia with a crowd of over 60,000 attending a domestic fixture – the game locally does means something to a lot of people.  On the national front 48,000 filled the loungeroom to watch Australia take on their nemesis Japan in a game of consequence – always an enthralling encounter although that first half was horrible.  Poor starts are hurting and something Ange needs to tidy up – something I think he might have tidied (or been responsible for) is the national anthem with every player and sideline staff singing.  The Melbourne Derby this week and another big crowd in the loungeroom to see Tim Cahill make his A-League debut.  Suspect he will make Melbourne City an even more entertaining team to watch – but they need to be stronger mentally so as not to lapse and give away goals and points as in years gone by.  Similar can be said for Victory their attack will be as exciting especially with the return of Rojas, but last week saw the fragility of their defence again conceding a soft late goal and missing out on a vital away win.


Meanwhile another of our national teams found themselves on the end of a 5-0 drubbing, fortunately though these games were of little consequence and I suspect of little viewing.  There may be consequences though for Australian cricket, certainly the South Africans will have gained plenty of confidence as they look to come here for three test matches.  The Australian bowling was always going to be weak, but just not sure about the depth in the attack after Starc and Hazelwood.  The batting this year has been a complete shambles – and it might come good back on home grounds – but it lacks any credibility till it performs on foreign soil.


Then again credibility can come into question for many – so let’s have look at last week’s tips before we crack into this Saturday’s offerings.  Guineas Day has often been one for the favourites and this was certainly the case last week.  An easy start nailing the order in the Caulfield Stakes, $1.25 for Winx was a steal, might not be quite the procession in the Cox Plate.  Global Glamour was well fancied but not my top four selections for the Thousand Guineas, but it did get a mention.  Found Divine Prophet as 4th pick so did not make a profit in the Caulfield Guineas while the favourite saluted in the Toorak as 2nd pick while the mile was too far for CounterattackTivaci paid nicely for the place.  For all that the Quaddie did come up – that hefty dividend did not eventuate and the $30 only returning about $17.50.  Yankee Rose (3rd Pick) was huge in the Spring Champion Stakes and top pick Prized Icon finished 3rd.  But it is on to this week with a look all the group races with a couple of them being key races in the lead up to the Derby and Oaks.


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

The fillies are on trial for the Oaks in a race with a collision of form lines.  The Sydney option would seem the easy way to go with Moqueen (1) a convincing winner of The Dulcify, Sebring Dream (2) stuck on well in the Thousand Guineas and looks like the extra distance will not be an issue and Bella Sorellastra (3) who was mighty running second in the Edward Manifold.  Going with the Sydney form and Moqueen (1) mainly because the other two have drawn the carpark, also like the engagement of Caulfield specialist D Dunne on Arohata (13) at longer odds.


Selections – 1-3-2-13


Caulfield Race 5 – Norman Robinson Stakes (G3, 200m, 3yo SW)

They may call it the Caulfield Classic but it will always be the Norman to me!  A lead up to the Derby for most but taken out by a filly last year and we have Waterloo Sunset (14) from the Hayes yard as the lone filly here, her Edward Manifold run certainly puts her in this.  Seaburge (1) and Good Standing (2) backup from outstanding efforts in the Guineas they finished 2nd and 7th respectively but Good Standing (2) had a really tough run and did a great job to stay close.  Kent (8) was going better than anything at the end of 1800m at Flemington and has had an extra week off but is drawn poorly.  Plenty of other runners from that race including the four that finished ahead of Kent (8) are also engaged, however the one of interest that ran favourite but finished last was Throssel (3).  Stewards reported issues and has now passed the vets test to be allowed to run here.  I like Kent (8) to take the Norman if they can run on.


Selections – 8-2-1-14


Caulfield Race 6 – Coongy Hcp (G3, 2000m, HCP)

With The Cleaner (2) and Tom Melbourne (6) in the contest we can be pretty sure of a good tempo.  It’s Somewhat (1) has plenty to carry but is well drawn and is competitive against the best, Maurus (3) was very good at the Valley and Honorius (13) finished as well as anything else at his last start.


Selections – 1-3-6-13


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

The Mares kick off the Quaddie with Tycoon Tara (2) in great form, but with a very good field to beat.  First Seal (1) has beaten Winx if she finds her best she can win, but that has been a long time coming so I will be looking elsewhere.  Respecting Sydney form Danish Twist (6) ran 3rd in a good quality sprint, steps out to her pet distance here and gets Olly.  Telopea (11) ran well against the pattern at Flemington and meets her conqueror French Emotion (4) with a 2.5kg advantage.


Selections – 2-6-11-4


Caulfield Race 8 – Caulfield Cup (G1, 2400m, HCP)

Some disappointed with the field here, but there is plenty of intrigue with the clash between the locals and the imports.  The mares Jameka (11), Real Love (12) and Set Square (13) are very well placed at the weights and in looking at the form Jameka (11) is a well-deserved favourite and my top selection, of the other two I think the barrier draw favours Real Love (12) but there is a bit X-factor about Set Square (13).  Of the imports Articus(9) and Scottish (4) appear the best chances but if Aidan O’Brien can trifecta the Arc then he will know what he is doing with Sir Isaac Newton (5), but it is all relative.  The others at the top do not seem to be going well enough even if CJ Waller says Preferment (1) is his best chance – I will wait for Flemington for him.  Tally (10) followed Jameka (11) home in the Turnbull, but there was still a gap – he has drawn poorly and is only 0.5kg better weighted – could run well but think she has him covered.  Sacred Master (15) is down in the weights and finished the Metropolitan very strongly and I suspect is CJW’s better hope.  Not completely discounting Almoonqith (7) from running a big race – won the Geelong Cup last year off indifferent form and has been lugging much bigger weights than this.


Selections – 11-9-12-10-4-13-15-7


Caulfield Race 9 – Caulfield Sprint (G2, 1000m, HCP)

It’s 53 weeks since Lankan Rupee (1) stepped onto a track in anger, can he come back with the speed he possessed before the injury?  Even if he can I doubt he will salute in this one carrying 4kg more than any other rival and specifically 8kg more than the highly fancied Hellbent (5), suspect Lankan Rupee has a target race down the Flemington straight.  Hellbent (5) looks pretty special and is set for a big few weeks, he toyed with Sheidel last start and she was a strong winner last week.  Fatinaah (3) is drawn wide but if he can find the lead easily will make it tough to chase down while Wild Rain (4) and Our Boy Malachi (2) have some chance.


Selections – 5-3-4-2


Caulfield Race 10 – Moonga Stakes (G3, 1400m, SWP)

A Group One second for Voodoo Lad (12) looks like good form for this and will take some beating, we will find out how it rates with Sydney form with plenty of visitors to take him on.  At the top of that list is Takedown (4) stretching out to 1400m, if Our Boy Malachi runs well in the previous that will be a good sign.  Plenty of other chances including Hopfgarten (11) and Lucky Liberty (16).


Selections – 12-4-11-16


Quaddie Time


An interesting exercise given we have pretty short priced favourites in the first three legs and only a couple dominating the betting in the last.  With that being the case it is wise to look at a strategy to maximise the result if the favourites salute but still produce if it doesn’t go to plan.  So it will be a two quaddie strategy – one with all the favourites and another going wide in the cup but skinny in the other legs.


The Favoured Way


Leg 1 – 2

Leg 2 – 11

Leg 3 – 5

Leg 4 – 4,12


Only 2 combinations so $10 will get you 500% of the dividend if it gets up.


The Longer Way


Leg 1 – 2,4,6,11

Leg 2 – 1,4,5,7,9,10,11,12,13,15

Leg 3 – 3,5

Leg 4 – 4,12


160 Combinations so that $20 investment will return 12.5% of the dividend.




  1. Barkly St End says

    Re what should happen with the Brownlow medal, some observations:
    1. it’s a pretty unique scenario
    2. I can’t see what the problem is with giving the players involved an option to provide a point of view.

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