2018 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup
Saturday 20th October 2018
Race 8: 4.40pm (AEST)
5X111 1. BEST SOLUTION (17), J: PAT COSGRAVE, W: 57.5 KGS, 16.00
433X4 2. THE CLIFFSOFMOHER (3), J: HUGH BOWMAN, W: 56.5 KGS, 7.00
1250X 3. CHESTNUT COAT (13), J: YUGA KAWADA, W: 55.5 KGS, 17.00
9X437 4. JON SNOW (15), J: DAMIAN LANE, W: 55.5 KGS, 34.00
X1132 5. SOUND CHECK (16), J: JORDAN CHILDS, W: 55.5 KGS, 21.00
X0241 6. ACE HIGH (8), J: DAMIEN OLIVER, W: 55 KGS, 11.00
8X791 7. THE TAJ MAHAL (19), J: JAMES MCDONALD, W: 55 KGS, 17.00
X5331 8. DURETTO (1), J: DWAYNE DUNN, W: 54.5 KGS, 21.00
22225 9. RED VERDON (9), J: ZAC PURTON, W: 54 KGS, 20.00
5X405 10. VENGEUR MASQUE (7), J: PATRICK MOLONEY, W: 54 KGS, 91.00
9X794 11. VENTURA STORM (11), J: REGAN BAYLISS, W: 54 KGS, 31.00
X0069 12. MIGHTY BOSS (14), J: TIM CLARK, W: 53.5 KGS, 101.00
6X217 13. HOMESMAN (4), J: BEN MELHAM, W: 53 KGS, 12.00
X4323 14. KINGS WILL DREAM (6), J: CRAIG WILLIAMS, W: 53 KGS, 5.00
3705X 15. SOLE IMPACT (20), J: RYUSEI SAKAI, W: 53 KGS, 51.00
5X024 16. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (2), J: DEAN YENDALL, W: 52.5 KGS, 51.00
21316 17. NIGHT’S WATCH (18), J: BEN ALLEN, W: 52 KGS, 14.00
13632 18. YOUNGSTAR (10), J: KERRIN MCEVOY, W: 51.5 KGS, 5.50
6X641 19. PATRICK ERIN (12), J: COREY BROWN, W: 52 KGS, 41.00 (e)
61812 20. JAAMEH (5), J: CORY PARISH, W: 50 KGS, 26.00 (e)
Form and Predictions
It’s an international field lining up for the 2018 running of the Caulfield Cup. 18 runners will present, there are 2 emergencies and barring any unfortunate incidents between now and Saturday, horses 19 and 20 will drop from the field.
There are 7 internationals that have entered for the race, with only The Cliffsofmoher running fourth last weekend in the Caulfield Stakes behind Benbatl. For the other 6: Best Solution, Duretto, Red Verdon from Britain/Ireland, Sound Check from Germany, and Chestnut Coat and Sole Impact from Japan – this will be their first start in Australia.
Notwithstanding, there are a further 6 horses that are ex Europeans but now resident Australians, being: The Taj Mahal, Kings Will Dream, Homesman, Ventura Storm, plus two former French gallopers Vangeur Masque and Gallic Chieftain.
Adding to the league of nations are 2 New Zealanders, entire Jon Snow who is trained over there plus former Kiwi galloper Night’s Watch who now resides with Darren Weir’s team in Victoria. This leaves 3 local Aussies: Mighty Boss, Youngstar and Ace High.
So, it’s clear the internationals lead the way, but there are two key considerations to be mindful of:
1) the expected good weather and firm track conditions
2) the weight differential of 6kgs between #1 Best Solution and #18 Youngstar.
Not in Contention
Let’s first discount some gallopers which I don’t think will come into calculations. These are:
MIGHTY BOSS – horribly out of form, he’s at 100/1 to win and rightfully so. However he did win a Group 1 at 100/1 this time last year, but still.
JON SNOW – a capable stayer, but far more effective on a soft/heavy track. He jarred up badly last year, and had to be withdrawn weeks out from the Melbourne Cup.
SOLE IMPACT – the second Japanese galloper here, I don’t think has the international class to foot it with this field. Only a sole Group 1 unplaced appearance, and from the widest barrier draw won’t attract any friends, but like a lot of Japanese horses, can handle a firm track.
The duo of VANGEUR MASQUE and VENTURA STORM haven’t really been racing well enough to present a challenge.
The Real Contenders
BEST SOLUTION brings some cracking form into the race, a last start Group 1 winner at Hoppegarten (Berlin) where he bested rival SOUND CHECK. One can’t help wonder if a repeat one/two is on the cards? Both are drawn wide though, which can be a challenge from the 2400m start-point, plus the topweight has to carry more than any other horse.
THE CLIFFSOFMOHER has the Melbourne Cup as his main target. Last weekend’s run in the Caulfield Stakes was eye-catching. Hugh Bowman will have this bloke firing from a handy draw.
KINGS WILL DREAM may start favourite based on his recent Group 1 form, while Sydney mare YOUNGSTAR came to prominence running second to Winx in the Turnbull Stakes two weeks back. With a lightweight, reasonable draw and top jockey Kerrin McEvoy, she’ll be one to watch.
Two last start winners should not be forgotten. ACE HIGH won the Hill Stakes in Sydney three weeks back and is previous VRC Derby winner. THE TAJ MAHAL won impressively in the JR Cup at Moonee Valley on Moir Stakes night, and on that run, he definitely comes into the reckoning.
The Darren Weir pairing of HOMESMAN and NIGHT’S WATCH are well placed at the weights and should appreciate the 2400m journey. The former has a great barrier draw, the latter is drawn wide (18).
What About a Roughie?
I don’t know enough about English horses DURETTO and Ed Dunlop’s RED VERDON (who will be carrying the same colours as former staying hero Red Cadeaux), but at their price, you’d be silly not to throw some dosh on either. The real roughie for me is GALLIC CHIEFTAIN. Last two starts were pretty decent, even though Yucatan ran every horse off their feet in last weeks Herbert Power Stakes, where he ran fourth. At $51.00 for a win, that’s good money.
Overall, a very even race. Many chances. Good punting to you all.
Betting Gods Picks
Kings Will Dream – 2pt win @ 5.00 PaddyPower, Bet365
The Cliffsofmoher – 1pt win @ 7.00 PaddyPower, Bet365
The Taj Mahal – 0.5pt each way @ 17.00 PaddyPower, Bet365
Video Reference Guide
2018 Caulfield Stakes (Homesman, Cliffsofmoher, Nights Watch)
2018 Herbert Power Stakes (Gallic Chieftain)