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Caulfield Cup preview I 2014

2014 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup
2400m Group 1
Track- Good 3

Preview by Lachie Brown, @LBrownTweet

While not the strongest Caulfield Cup it’s sure to be an intriguing contest especially with so many planning to go onto the Melbourne Cup. Lucia Valentina is clear favourite at around $4 however it does look like a fairly even race.

Speed
Definitely won’t be the fastest edition of the Caulfield Cup. The runners yet to be seen in Australia are Bande, Admire Rakti and Seismos. Bande will lead from his middle gate, Seismos up there and Admire Rakti midfield. The early speed map suggested a wall of horses behind Bande, among them are Lidari, Gris Caro (now scratched) and Sydney horses Big Memory and The Offer (doubtful). From inside gates Green Moon and Stipulate are sure to get good runs while the likes of Junoob, Rising Romance and Who Shot Thebarman may be out very wide as they leave the straight. Lucia Valentina will also be midfield judging from her last run. Sea Moon and Dandino (now scratched) will go right back from their outside barriers.

Runners

1. Admire Rakti- Japanese runner carrying top weight. Fourth in the Japan cup over 2400 four starts back, finishing ahead of 2012 Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden (fifth). Classy galloper and for what it’s worth has reportedly been running well at Werribee. First up last campaign finished second over 3000m. Deserved topweight, but would prefer to back it in the Melbourne Cup. Can’t back at price.

2. Dandino- Scratched.

3. Green Moon- Was good late when resuming over 1600. Like many others in the race was very disappointing last start in the Turnbull. His second to Fiorente in the autumn tells me he can still run well. Has ran second in this race before and has a solid third up record, six starts for two wins and two seconds. Still has a good run left in him and is at the odds to find out whether Saturday is the day he produces it.

4. Sea Moon- Off International form would be going very close but has offered very little outside of the Bart Cummings stakes and the Herbert Power. Last start ran fifth of nine when first up was disappointing and being beaten home by the likes of Anudjawun and Waltzing To Win isn’t exactly Caulfield Cup form. Could pull out a big run… Probably won’t.

5. Bande- Last start won by five lengths when exploding around the turn. Hasn’t run poorly in a long time, his form especially over 2400 is exceptional, albeit below pattern class in Japan. Should get the lead with out doing to much work and is sure to give a massive sight. Has the better claims of the two Japanese horses and at his best will run a massive race. The $8 or $9 is very tempting in an even race.

6. The Offer- Has been disappointing this prep, all three runs have been overrated. The gelding does however get to 2400, a distance he prefers and one where he will be able to hit top gear. Three of his four Australian wins have been on Heavy 9s the other a Dead 5, so the Good 3 track he will face will not be to suit. His peak race is the Melbourne Cup and that’s the race I’d rather bet on him. Injury doubt at time of publication, vet inspection in the morning.

7. Seismos- Was a solid winner last start over 2700m. Will want every metre and some on Saturday. Trained by Marco Botti (trainer of Dandino) so knows which horses to take out, his first-up record is good, two wins and a second from five. Don’t think he will have the turn of foot to keep off the run on horses. Will be better suited to Melbourne Cup but don’t be surprised if he runs a big race.

8. Hawkspur- Good win in the Chelmsford when third-up. Has had the exact same prep as he did last year when running on strongly late for 7th (when drawn wide). Going well, but not quite as well as last year. If he gets luck in-running he is a big chance. Won’t be backing him unless his odds double ($15-$30)

9.Junoob- Chris Waller trained gelding who is unbeaten away from heavy tracks this campaign. Was impressive when beating Criterion in the Hill Stakes and followed it up with another win in the Metropolitan, albeit a weak edition of the race. From a wide barrier he won’t be getting any favours in the run. Don’t think the form from the Metropolitan will be overly good going forward. Happy to risk.

10. Moriarty- Previous attempt in the race, when tenth, was very solid making up good ground from the back while never looking like he was going to threaten the placings. Form has only been ok this prep until a good win in the Craven Plate last start. Won’t be winning and is only a small chance to be running into the placings.

11. Who Shot Thebarman- Took a while to get past some horses who would struggle to do anything in this race before eventually getting clear to win comfortably as an odds-on pop last start. Start be. Won the Auckland Cup before racing in Australia. Has only had 14 career starts so with improvement still to come he has to be considered a chance.

12. Dear Demi- Has had a really good campaign, she flashed home first- and second-up before beating Commanding Jewel in the Stocks Stakes. Was only fair last start when seventh behind Fawkner, on the occasion failed to sprint like she had previously. If she brings her A-game she can definitely match her efforts in the race last year when third. $6 the place looks tempting.

13. Stipulate- Established himself as a Caulfield Cup player when winning the Heatherlie (now known as the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes) three starts back, following start was disappointing when beaten into seventh without making up ground better than any other runner. Really liked his run last start in the Turnbull when fourth to Lucia Valentina. Gets to 2400, a distance which he should appreciate for the first time in Australia and is at the right price. Should run very well.

14. Lidari- Has been super honest this prep and form guide says the same thing, fifth, fourth, fourth, second. Ran out of his skin last start in the Turnbull, the race was run to suit the horse, if given a similar run can match his performance, or maybe go one better. Does meet Lucia Valentina 1.5kgs better at the weights. Was super keen on the horse at 30 and 40 to 1, current price not so much. The way the race is run should benefit the horse but the price is too short. Luke Nolen jumping ship to Brambles isn’t exactly confidence boosting either.

15. Lucia Valentina- Sensational in winning the Tramway first up when she flew down the middle of the track, got home nicely second up when sixth. Pretty much the only horse to make up ground in the Turnbull, a race she won very impressively. Well weighted, having to carry 53kg. Deserves to be favourite but query is where she will be in running, midfield or better and she wins or goes thereabouts, but has to be a massive concern if she goes back. Huge chance but happy to risk her on the fact that she may go back and have to do much late.

16. Rising Romance- A Group 1 Oaks winner over this distance, but hasn’t been going so well this campaign. Was a decent fourth first-up in the Tramway, and OK second up she was disappointing last start when beaten by Moriarty as a short price favourite. The 4yo now gets to her preferred distance with her record standing at a win and a second from two starts. Wide barrier no help and fairly short. Won’t be carrying my money.

17. Big Memory- Has been racing really well in the last year. First up honest second to Brambles, settled midfield in the JRA Cup but still ran ok. Nothing wrong with his win last start to get into the race but is yet to face a field that has anywhere near the sort of class he faces on Saturday

18. Gris Caro- Scratched

19. Brambles- Gets into the field because of scratching, pre injury was a Queensland Derby winner, G1 2400m, who looked like one of the most exciting horses in the country. Was off the season for over a year and a half and it wasn’t until three starts ago where he showed anything running third in the Heatherlie (ATB Stakes), very good the following start when winning. Last start third in the Turnbull shows he truly is getting right back to his best. Should enjoy the extra distance and the race will be run to give him every chance.

20. Araldo- 7yo who has only had 14 starts who has been racing well. Last spring the horse won a Bart Cummings and placed in a Lexus. Was a very good third in the Metropolitan however he will be to far back around the turn to be in with a chance of winning this. Can’t see him turning the tables on Junoob and hence can’t encourage betting on him.

21. Unchain My Heart (EMG)- Good mare but won’t be figuring in the finish. Races best at 2 miles, a distance where her last two wins have been at. Completely outclassed and can’t imagine she’ll be going past many in the straight. 200 to 1 is unders.

22. Renew (EMG)- Leader with one Australian start which was terrible, sat right on the pace and was struggling a long way from home, dropping out from the 600. Overseas form is nothing special. Won’t matter if he gets a run or not, off his previous run he won’t be in the finish.

Suggested bet(s)- Not a high play race. The OTI pair (Brambles and Lidari) are big chances but are now very short. Back Bande, Hawkspur to win the same amount and have a penny on Green Moon at $40.

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