The $5 million Caulfield Cup, one of Australia’s biggest races, is run this Saturday at Caulfield Racecourse. The race will be simulcast this Friday evening in the United States and is available at most U.S. ADWs for wagering.
The race for a spot in next week’s Cox Plate is at a premium, making the final 18 for Satuday’s Caulfield Cup significantly easier. Connections of several horses are swerving the $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) for various reasons.
SETBACK FOR KINGS WILL DREAM
Kings Will Dream gained ballot exemption from the Caulfield Cup after winning the G1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
It was expected that Kings Will Dream would contest the Caulfield Cup, however trainer Chris Waller advised Racing Victoria stewards on Monday morning that he wouldn’t run in the Cup.
From afar it appeared connections had chosen the Cox Plate over the Caulfield Cup but their hand was forced by an untimely minor setback.
“He’s had an elevated temperature which spiked on Saturday evening and has now come down,” said part-owner Brae Sokolski.
“He could probably run (in the Caulfield Cup) but Chris rightly is so cautious, especially with a horse of his calibre, so we want to be conservative with him and wait a week later for the Cox Plate.
“It was a borderline decision whether we ran in the Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate and now it’s come out of our control and he’ll head for the Cox Plate.”
Given Kings Will Dream is a last start winner of the Turnbull, connections expect to make the field for the $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 26.
ADVICE LEADS TO CAULFIELD ABSENCE
The Richard Hannon-trained Raymond Tusk is another that will be missing from the Caulfield Cup and instead head directly to the Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Melbourne Cup has always been the main priority for Raymond Tusk, the luckless last start fourth placegetter in the Ebor Handicap (2787m).
There’s a belief that Raymond Tusk is suited with time between runs but the temptation of running for $5m in the Caulfield Cup ahead of the $8m Melbourne Cup for a period of time appeared too great.
However the thoughts of his Melbourne Cup rider Jamie Spencer swayed connections away from the Caulfield Cup.
Spencer, who rode Raheen House in last Saturday’s G2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), cautioned that the quick ground and configuration of the Caulfield circuit would not suit Raymond Tusk.
BIG DUKE STAYS IN SYDNEY
Another to steer clear of Caulfield is Big Duke, he’ll instead race at Randwick this Saturday in the $500,000 Sydney St Leger (2600m).
“The Melbourne Cup is at the forefront of our mind,” said Australian Bloodstock’s co-director Jamie Lovett who race Big Duke.
“The Caulfield track can be quick and he may not pull up as well as he would after running at Randwick.
“He’s outside the Melbourne Cup field at the moment (31st in the elimination order) but I’m hopeful with attrition between now and then he’ll gain a spot in the field.”
PROMOTED INTO CUP CONTENTION
The absence of Kings Will Dream, Raymond Tusk and Big Duke has allowed for Youngstar, Sound and Neufbosc to slip into the final 18 for the Caulfield Cup.
Youngstar finished seventh in last year’s Caulfield Cup as a $7.50 chance but some are pondering whether the five-year-old mare, that’s winless since the 2018 Queensland Oaks (2200m) and beaten just one horse home at her past two starts, will travel to Melbourne for the Cup or remain in Sydney for their St Leger.
James Winks has been booked to ride Sound whilst Jye McNeil is aboard Neufbosc, the last horse into the field coming off a 30-length defeat in G1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) after striking trouble on the home turn.
Neither Sound nor Neufbosc, both Group 1 runners-up in Europe, have won a race since relocating to Australia.
True Self, Prince of Arran (should they desire to back up following the Herbert Power), and Red Galileo would be the next three horses into the Caulfield Cup.
The winner of Wednesday’s $200,000 G3 Coongy Cup is given ballot free exemption for the Caulfield Cup but the only Coongy runner who may opt to back up is Wolfe.
$5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (about 1 1/2 miles) – Saturday
** Wednesday’s Coongy Cup winner gains automatic entry
1. Mirage Dancer (Trent Busuttin/Natalie Young), Ben Melham, 56kg
2. Mustajeer (Kris Lees), Damien Oliver, 55.5kg
3. Mer De Glace (Hisashi Shimiu), Damian Lane, 55.5kg
4. Rostropovich (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Dwayne Dunn, 55.5kg
5. Finche (Chris Waller), Michael Walker, 54.5kg
6. Gold Mount (Ian Williams), Mark Du Plessis, 54.5kg
7. Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop), 54.5kg
8. Angel of Truth (Gwenda Markwell), Dean Yendall, 54kg
9. Sound (Michael Moroney), James Winks, 54kg
10. Nerfbosc (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Jye McNeil, 54kg
11. Constantinople (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Luke Nolen, 53kg
12. Mr Quickie (Phillip Stokes), John Allen, 53kg
13. Crown Prosecutor (Stephen Marsh), Craig Grylls, 52.5kg
14. Vow And Declare (Danny O’Brien), Craig Williams, 52.5kg
15. Youngstar (Chris Waller), 52.5kg
16. The Chosen One (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman), Stephen Baster, 52kg
17. Brimham Rocks (Chris Waller), Michael Dee, 52kg
18. Qafila (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Cory Parish, 51.5kg
– – – EMERGENCIES – – –
19. True Self (Willie Mullins), 52kg
20. Prince of Arran (Charlie Fellowes), 53.5kg
21. Red Galileo (Saeed bin Suroor), Pat Cosgrave, 53kg
22. Gallic Chieftain (Archie Alexander), 53kg
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