Darren Weir has previously only ever saddled three Caulfield Cup runners. The master trainer doubles those numbers in 2018 with three runners going to the post with the Weir polish. After drawing favourably in gate 6, Kings Will Dream was installed as the UBET favourite. On a path towards the Melbourne Cup, the Irish import has missed a placing just once in 12 career starts. That ‘miss’ came at his first-up run this campaign in the G2 PB Lawrence when finishing just 0.7 lengths from the winner Showtime. Following the Lawrence, he tackled the Memsie when beaten a neck behind the winner Humidor. Third-up to the Makybe Diva, once again he was flashing home in the closing stages to grab 2nd behind Grunt. His first 3 runs for the prep were at WFA before tackling the Turnbull with 56.5kg at SW+P. Settling close to the speed, he ran to the line strongly to be under two lengths from the mighty Winx. A winner at his only 2400m run in the Listed Mornington Cup, he gets in here with 53kg and dual-winner Craig Williams will take the ride.
The Godolphin internationals have already had good success this Spring, claiming the Rupert Clarke and the Caulfield Stakes. Another of their highly-credentialed performers will step out for the first time with the Saeed Bin Suroor entire Best Solution coming into the Cup as the top-weight. Following a similar schedule to both their other G1 winner this carnival Benbatl and Jungle Cat, Best Solution had a four-start campaign in Dubai that returned a 2435m handicap victory and then a mid-field finish behind Hawkbill in the G1 Sheema Classic. Returning to his English base, the entire scored a first-up win at 2400m in the G2 Princess Of Wales Stakes with fellow Caulfield Cup entrant Duretto finishing 3rd. Taken to Germany second-up he claimed the G1 Grosser Preis Von Berlin, again at 2400m defeating the local Sound Check. His last run prior to coming ‘down-under’ was again at the mile and a half in the G1 Preis Von Baden. Pat Cosgrave has ridden in each of his past 3 victories where he has carried 60kg on each occasion. Back to 57.5kg, Suroor will be looking for his 2nd Caulfield Cup after winning the 2008 Cup with All The Good.
Not the longest priced smokey in an open market, Ace High will enter the Caulfield Cup as a last start winner after claiming the G2 Hill Stakes at 2000m. The stylish entire was sitting mid-field and when asked to let down, Ace High really ran through the line strongly to claim a two length victory. That was his 4th run for the campaign after slowly getting the miles in his legs. The 1400m first-up in the Winx Stakes was too sharp and then his second-up run was an eye-catcher at the mile when 2nd to Unforgotten in the Chelmsford. Ridden on the speed in the George Main, the effort was strong against his usual pattern when 4th behind Winx. The VRC Derby winner from 2017, he will be looking to emulate the feats of Elvstroem as a Derby winner and then a Caulfield Cup winner at 4YO. The son of High Chaparral has stepped over the mile and a half twice, with the 2500m VRC Derby victory and the narrowest of 2nds in the ATC Derby over 2400m against his name. Four-time Caulfield Cup winner Damien Oliver takes the ride for the first time.
5YO gelding Nights Watch is on the one-week week-back-up after taking on the Caulfield Stakes at 2000m last week. Jumping in the second-half of the field from gate 3, Ben Allen was looking to improve position 4 and 5 wide on the home turn and then flattening for the run to the judge he ended up only 1 off the fence and ended 3.4 lengths from the winner Benbatl. The gelding secured a ballot exemption for the Cup by taking out the G3 Naturalism Stakes prior to his Caulfield Stakes run. Carrying 55kg in that, he did incur a 1kg penalty as a result but should relish returning to handicap conditions for the Cup after the WFA conditions last week. With the penalty, Ben Allen will take the ride with just 52kg. Carrying 1kg above the minimum in the Naturalism he was still a long way off them at the 400m but steam-rolled his opponents in the closing stages to take a classy victory. The Stakes run was the first time he had tasted defeat at Caulfield with his record now 4: 3-0-0. This will be the first time the Redwood gelding gets out beyond 2000m.
The Caulfield Cup is one of the ‘Big Four’ of the Australian turf that is held over 2400m at Caulfield. Run under open handicap conditions, there are more than a dozen different races that offer ballot exemptions into the field including the Underwood and Turnbull Stakes as well as international races such as the QEII Cup from Hong Kong, the Sheema Classic from the UAE and the Hardwicke Stakes from the UK.
In 2018 $5m in total prize money will be offered with the winner to receive $3m. The race dates back to 1879 when taken out by Newminster and has been run at 2400m (one and a half miles or 12 furlongs) since the inaugural edition.
The partnership of David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained the 2017 winner Boom Time ridden by jockey Cory Parish. Other past winners include internationals such as Admire Ratki and Dunaden and the locals including Mongolian Khan, Master O’Reilly, Ethereal, Might And Power, Lets Elope and Gurners Lane.
Punters keep a keen on the Caulfield Cup as the race in considered to be a major lead up event to the Melbourne Cup.
|Date:||Saturday 20th October 2018|
|Race Time:||15:40 AEST|
|2017 Winner:||Boom Time|
|2018 Caulfield Cup Odds|