Trading Places – and the Caulfield Cup Preview

Greetings All,


It’s finally over and for all the dancing and dodging in the last couple of weeks, the clubs finally got down to either satisfying individual requests or looking to improve their teams.  I am not sure the trend of wanting out before the end of a contract is really what we want to see in the game, it is an advent of player power but it is all a little tawdry for mine.  But the clubs have been doing it for years I hear you cry!  Yes they have, but there are costs and consequences for them.  They have to pay those sacked coaches contracts out and often are left paying a portion of a player’s salary after they have been moved on.


What is heartening is that a couple of the weaker clubs over the last couple of years have become desirable destinations, everyone was aware that Port Adelaide is attractive but the popularity of Brisbane looks like a great sign for their future.  Here is a look at how they all went


Adelaide – Can a couple of unnecessary Hawks improve them?  Not sure either Cheney or Lowden will be in their best 22, but they will add depth to the list.


Brisbane – Beams and Christensen are outstanding gets but is tempered by the loss of Patfull and their first open selection in the draft is not till 67.  They have plenty of young talent and they seem to be happy to stay now!


Carlton – Had challenges due to their public desire to trade Garlett and Robinson, but did land a couple of key position players of which the Blues have lacked in recent times.  No selection till 19 is not ideal, but Jaksch is a good investment.


Collingwood – had the toughest assignment with moving Lumumba out and then having to deal with Dayne Beams.  I was salivating – but whilst Beams is a loss they recovered beautifully picking up Greenwood, Varcoe and Crisp and pick 5.


Essendon – For all the doom and gloom there are more ins than outs.  The loss of Paddy Ryder will hurt; the pick-ups in Giles, Gwilt and Cooney might not be long term investments but the Bombers have other short term issues to deal with.


Fremantle – not sure what their strategy was in not trading, clearly the premiership window must be wide open!


Geelong – A busy time in Moorabool St!  Stanley and Clark provide even more tall timber, their list is at risk of becoming top heavy.  Especially in losing Christensen and Varcoe who provided pace and flair.  Bumping their first pick up to 10 was a good move.


Gold Coast – Another club believing a Hawk second-rater will improve them!  I suspect Hallahan will be in the best 22, but not how much he improves them.  Malceski will add experience and leadership which was sadly lacking when Gazza went amiss.


GWS – too many trades to fit on one page.  Great to attract Griffen and Patfull, but it is alarming the number of players that are leaving.  Probably not an immediate issue as they develop their list, but the trend would want to wane in 2015.  No good being everyone else’s nursery.


Hawthorn – they don’t get a pick till 31, but with free agents lining up to come in they won’t be complaining.  They get James Frawley who might not even get a game and got a ripping deal for O’Rourke.  Their losses were minimal but they are sad to lose members of the family….blah, blah, blah.


Melbourne – they need players and they got a few.  Lumumba, Frost and Garlett will assist in the immediate future, although Roos will have to teach Jeffy to run straight!  But holding onto Picks 2 and 3 are what really counts.


North Melbourne – hmmmm.  Maybe Jarrad Waite can be more consistent, but for a team “in the window” his record against the best teams is pretty poor.  Then they get Higgins only to lose Greenwood – Higgins is clever and talented but not much different to Dal Santo, do they need another?


Port Adelaide – only wanted one and they got him in Ryder.


Richmond – must be right in the window!


St Kilda – loss of Stanley will not cause too much heartburn, but the Number 1 selection is a reason to be cheerful


Sydney – not sure they were doing much but the “Sydney is too good” stopped any effective trading.  Malceski’s composure and delivery out of defence will be missed.


West Coast – what is going on in Perth?


Western Bulldogs – they have managed to make a purse from a pig’s ear!  It probably needs to be a pretty big purse for Tom Boyd.  An extraordinary contract, but a bold move that the Dogs have needed to make for a while now.  Losing older players is of no consequence, but really have to set their culture right after they panicked on the coach.


Enough footy – it is Caulfield Cup Day this week.  A fair week last week with most winners noted somewhere in my dialogue, but ultimately only Rubick saluting as the outright selection.  Another couple of Quinellas including the Guineas was nice, but let’s see what we can do this weekend.


Caulfield Classic (G3, 2000m, 3yo SW)


A new race for the three year olds is on the program to replace the Norman Robinson Stakes, we now have the astutely named Caulfield Classic.  I would have thought an event needs to stand the test of time before it called a classic – so I am going to stick with Norm!  There are many with chances of taking Norm home with a variety of form lines.  Bachman (3) was only 2 lengths off Hampton Court who was brilliant in the Spring Champion last week and tops my picks.  Kumaon (1) and Merion (2) were terrific in the Guineas, Kumaon (1) has the better draw but Merion (2) greets the judge often.  Magicool (4) and the filly Fontein Ruby (12) won at Flemington but not 100% sure about the quality of those event.

Selections Race 4 – 3-2-12-1


Moonga Stakes (G3, 1400m, SWP)


The extra form to be considered from Japan makes this a challenge, however Leebaz (6) brings a great record into the race and has the Caulfield specialist in D Dunn aboard.  Under the Louvre (9) gets in well on weights after a last start victory and unbeaten at the Heath, impossible to ignore the form of Admire Inazuma (10) he may make it academic and blow the field away.  A few others were blown away by Chautauqua at Flemington, but could fare better here of those my best is Final Crescendo (12) who finished third in that race.

Selections Race 5 –  6-9-10-12


Tristarc Stakes (G2, 1400m, Mares SWP)


For race named after a great mare, there is plenty of quality here to race in her honour.  But none that try harder than Catkins (4) who was not disgraced going down to Arabian Gold.  The Waterhouse pair Diamond Drille (1) and Sweet Idea (3) have been successful in the best of company, but I suspect the latter is further forward and has the better chance.  May’s Dream (2) looks harshly treated on the weights but rarely runs a bad race and Politeness (7) continues to close hard.

Selections Race 6 – 4-3-2-7


David Jones Cup (G3, 2000m, HCP)


Sign Off (9) did not quite get the job done last week to be running in the main event, but as a result looks well suited here.  Coming back to 2000m is a query but was always scheduled to be running at this meeting.  Vilanova (7) should be reaching his peak as part of the CJ Waller assault on Melbourne.  Midsummer Sun (11) has drawn poorly but is good second up and has won over this journey.  A couple of international debuts for their new stables, prefer to watch but Noble Protector (12) looks well weighted and C Williams a handy pilot.

Selections Race 7 – 9-7-11-12


Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint (G2, 1100m, HCP)


A field full of question marks, a number of these have great records at lower levels while there a few that have succeeded at Group 1 level but lack consistency.  Miracles of Life (4) has one of the larger question marks – a gun 2yo but only one victory since her Blue Diamond win.  This is her first run for Team Snowden, I doubt they would be running her if she wasn’t ready.  Big Money (5) has been dominating at lower levels but to come from Scone would indicate a fair degree of confidence.  Shamal Wind (7) is probably the most consistent at this level, but can’t afford to get as far back as she did last week.  Unpretentious (3) has a huge finish if they are running on and I will not let Facile Tigre (10) knock me out of the Quaddie again, but overall nothing would shock here.

Selections Race 8 – 4-7-5-3


Caulfield Cup (G1, 2400m, HCP)


The richest mile and half handicap in the world is getting a worldly look with a range of internationals targeting the event.  The Turnbull Stakes was a great form race for last year and it looks like being the same here.  Lucia Valentina (15) won that race, has K McEvoy on board, is well drawn and 4yo mares have a great record in this race – very hard to think that the vanquished could beat her.  But a couple of them may provide better value, scratchings have got Brambles (19) into the field and meets LV 1 kg better, Luke Nolen could not claim the ride fast enough.  This puts him ahead of the stablemate that he jumped off in Lidari (14) who also was terrific in the Turnbull.  The Japanese raider Bande (5) leads the internationals from my perspective, although certainly wary of the toppy Admire Rakti (1) and Seismos’ (7) form reads well.  CJW has a four pronged attack of which Who Shot Thebarman (11) has been winning well and Junoob (9)  is aiming for the Metropolitan-Caulfield Cup double last completed by Tawqeet in 2006.   The last time LV ran this distance in the ATC Oaks she went out in the tomato sauce and was rolled by Rising Romance (16) – concerned about her first run at Caulfield but must be a chance.

Selections Race 9 – 19-15-5-16





Taking a few in the cup, so hoping the other skinny legs can get up


1st Leg – 7-9-11-12

2nd Leg – 4-5-7

3rd Leg – 5-9-11-14-15-16-19

4th Leg – 3-4

168 Combinations, $30 Investment, 18% of dividend – and put a little saver of Facile Tigre!


Wishing all a great weekend,


Cheers, Sal




  1. Thanks for the AFL Trades summary, Sal. Gives me a clear idea of where everyone is at now that the music has stopped.
    The whole thing reminds me of the criticism of Americans for confusing “activity with achievement”. Looking down the list every winning trade has an equal an opposite loss (such is the inevitable nature of trading).
    I was dreading the Eagles getting Garlett or Varcoe. Who wants someone else’s messes? My guess is that the WA teams lack of trade activity largely reflects being happy with their culture (more than their lists) and Victorian players reluctance to fly 3 and a half hours every fortnight.
    We need a COLA (Cost of Air Lines Adjustment).

  2. Sal Ciardulli says

    Yes PB,

    It would appear the laws of physics apply to the horse trading – for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction! At least at the time of trade.

    They might look pretty ordinary once some of those picks succeed or fail. How do Freo really feel about getting Trent Croad while the Hawks used the pick for Luke Hodge?

    As for the teams out West, I suspect they might get a little involved once a few are off-loaded.

  3. Great summary of events Sal. I like Lidari for the Gup and you’ve talked me into Brambles.

    The Cats have plenty of tall timber but not much of it is any good.

  4. Sal Ciardulli says

    For anyone following the Quaddie selections – Should read 3-4 in the final leg.

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