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2018 Caulfield Cup Runners - Runner-by-Runner guide for the Caulfield Cup

  • Runner-by-runner guide to the 2018 Caulfield Cup
  • How do the form guides stack up?
  • Who will win the Group 1?
Kings Will Dream.

A high-class field of 18 runners will line up for the 2018 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday, but how do the various form guides stack up?

Here is the final field, including barriers and betting, with a brief synopsis of all the runners. 

1. BEST SOLUTION (17) - Saeed Bin Suroor, Pat Cosgrave, 57.5kg 
The Godolphin runner Best Solution is the best international in the race in my opinion. He has won his last two races at Group 1 level over 2400m and is a terrific style of horse for Australian racing. The two obvious knocks are the barrier and weight. Only two horses have carried over 57kg to win the Caulfield Cup in the last 15 years. Those horses were Admire Rakti and Dunaden. Dunaden had a timeform rating of 130 while Admire Rakti had a timeform rating of 125. Best Solution comes into this with a timeform rating of 125, which says to me that he can measure up.
Odds: $18.00 (Unibet)

2. THE CLIFFSOFMOHER (3) - Aidan O’Brien, Hugh Bowman, 56.5kg 
The Cliffsofmoher has been well-backed after his slashing fourth in the Caulfield Stakes behind Benbatl and Blair House. He flew home late, running the seventh fastest last 600m of the meeting and the 11th fastest last 400m. He doesn’t boast a win past 2075m but does have solid 2400m form. The two issues for me are the Jockey and the map. The fact is, Bowman struggles riding in Melbourne. In the last two years, riding horses under $6 in Melbourne (excluding Winx) he is 2 from 46. The map is sticky from barrier three and he will need luck in the straight.
Odds: $8.00 (Sportsbet

3. CHESTNUT COAT (13) - Yoshito Yahagi, Yuga Kawada, 55.5kg 
Chestnut Coat is an interesting runner. He is a lightly-raced five-year-old, with only 16 career starts. He did beat Tosen Basil twice, including in the Group 2 Nikkei Sho (2500m). That form can be tied in easily with Homesman who is well in the market. A dry track would be advantageous to his chances. I expect him to be running home late off a fast tempo, but he does look more suited to the 3200m trip. 
Odds: $19.00 (Beteasy

4. JON SNOW (15) - Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, Damian Lane, 55.5kg 
I have too many question marks around Jon Snow to have him in my numbers. I thought his run second-up in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) was terrific. I blackbooked him off that run. He was third-up in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and just looked outclassed by the likes of Kings Will Dream, Youngstar and even Ventura Storm. He was fifth-up in this race last year. He comes in fourth-up on Saturday and I can’t have him.
Odds: $41.00 (Sportsbet)

5. SOUND CHECK (16) - Michael Moroney, Jordan Childs, 55.5kg 
There are plenty of positives with Sound Check. He was only 0.3 lengths behind Best Solution in the GP Von Berlin (2400m) last start. He gets a 2kg weight advantage on Best Solution here and has three wins from for first-up runs. My small knock is, he was purchased for one race, the Melbourne Cup. This suggests that he will be better over two miles and from barrier 16, they may treat this as a lead-up run only. 
Odds: $27.00 (Sportsbet

6. ACE HIGH (8) - David Payne, Damien Oliver, 55kg 
The David Payne-trained Ace High has strong form over 2400m. He boasts a victory in the Victoria Derby (2500m) and a second behind Levendi in the ATC Derby (2400m). The class at the elite level is my query. He is an honest stayer who hardly ever runs a bad race but I think he might be two lengths off these top-line stayers. Having said that, barrier eight and D.Oliver on are two big positives. I win wouldn’t surprise but I couldn’t get him down as low as $11. 
Odds: $14.00 (Unibet)

7. THE TAJ MAHAL (19) - Liam Howley, James McDonald, 55kg 
Another interesting runner is The Taj Mahal. His last run over 2400m was a victory in the Zipping Classic, defeating Almandin and Big Duke. He went 7.2 lengths above benchmark on occasion and a repeat of that run has in the race. Barrier 19 isn’t a worry for him. He will go forward and more than likely take up the lead. James McDonald on is a positive. The negative are, he has had a strange preparation and the JRA Cup form is questionable. 
Odds: $18.00 (Unibet)

8. DURETTO (1) - Andrew Balding, Dwayne Dunn, 54.5kg 
This looks a Melbourne Cup trial for him. Barrier 1 is horrible for him. First time at Caulfield he maps midfield or worse. I thought the $21 for him was unders. 
Odds: $23.00 (Beteasy)

9. RED VERDON (9) - Ed Dunlop, Zac Purton, 54kg 
Red Verdon has some terrific international form. He finished second to Crystal Ocean and beat home The Cliffsofmoher in the Hardwicke Stakes (2405m) at Ascot. Ed Dunlop is elite at bringing horses to Australia. Most notably he had Red Cadeaux who finished runner-up in the Melbourne Cup three times. He also trained Trip To Paris who finished second in the Caulfield Cup. Blinkers go on first time and Zac Purton is booked to ride. He is the value in the race for mine.
Odds: $23.00 (Unibet)

10. VENGEUR MASQUE (7) - Michael Moroney, Patrick Moloney, 54kg 
Put simply, I don’t think he’s good enough. He does improve through his preparation but his run in the Bart Cummings wasn’t that of a winning chance in the Caulfield Cup. 
Odds: $91.00 (Sportsbet)

11. VENTURA STORM (11) - David & B Hayes & T Dabernig, Regan Bayliss, 54kg
Ventura Storm seems to be everyone’s roughie and I see why. He flashed home behind Winx, Youngstar and Kings Will Dream in the Turnbull. With this being said, I do have my doubts. He finished a poor 13th in this race last year following a terrific second behind Winx in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m). He has had five starts at Caulfield for zero placings. I wouldn’t talk you out of backing him at $31 but I’ll be losing on the race if he wins. 
Odds: $31.00 (Ladbrokes)
12. MIGHTY BOSS (14) - Mick Price, Tim Clark, 53.5kg 
If he gets anywhere near these I’ll be shocked. 
Odds: $101 (Neds)

13. HOMESMAN (4) - Liam Howley, Ben Melham, 53kg 
I’m surprised Homesman is so short in the market. I rated stablemate The Taj Mahal higher than him. His victory in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) was full of merit but I’m concerned that form is no good. His run in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m) was poor. Night’s Watch ran past him whilst hanging in. He will get a cosy run on-speed but I couldn’t have him at $11. 
Odds: $11.00 (Sportsbet)

14. KINGS WILL DREAM (6) - Darren Weir, Craig Williams, 53kg
The Darren Weir-trained Kings Will Dream is a deserving favourite and my top pick. His last run over 2400m was an incredible win in the Mornington Cup. That victory got him a ticket into the Caulfield Cup and Darren Weir has been able to plan this preparation with one focus and one focus only. He got to the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and I thought he was too forward. The backed off him between that run and the Turnbull Stakes (2000m). It was noticeable in the mounting yard and I gave him no chance. He was still in front with 100m before being mowed down late by Winx and Youngstar. He will take improvement off that run and gets to his target race fifth-up. Barrier six is ideal and he will take a stack of beating. 
Odds: $6.00 (Pointsbet)

15. SOLE IMPACT (20) - Hirofumi Toda, Ryusei Sakai, 53kg 
This horse has no possible chance of winning in my humble opinion. He has barrier 20 and a jockey who has been riding averagely at Port Lincoln. 
Odds: $67.00 (Sportsbet)

16. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (2) - Darren Weir, Dean Yendall, 52.5kg 
I have no idea what to do with Gallic Chieftain. At first look he looks like a genuine $101 chance. His run in the JRA Cup (2040m) behind The Taj Mahal was terrific. His run last week in the Hebert Power was only average behind Yucatan who won like Phar Lap. He is fourth-up on the seven-day backup and he isn’t the worst. Barrier two is a sticky barrier for him. He will go back and need plenty of luck in the straight. If he gets everything go his way, he could run a good race at huge odds.
Odds: $67.00 (Bet365)

17. NIGHT’S WATCH (18) - Darren Weir, Ben Allen, 52kg 
I will try my best not to be biased here as I am on him at a massive price. He is building through his preparation nicely and his win in the Naturalism (2000m) was terrific. His first real Group 1 test was last start in the Caulfield Stakes (2000m). It was a pass mark, although the fact he was hanging in under pressure did worry me. I had him marked $12 so the price currently on offer is currently value in my opinion. Barrier 18 is scary and I hope he can find cover and get on the back of a horse that will take him into the race. 
Odds: $18.00 (Unibet)

18. YOUNGSTAR (10) - Chris Waller, Kerrin McEvoy, 51.5kg 
Youngstar catapulted her way into Caulfield Cup calculations with a terrific second behind Winx in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) a fortnight ago. She has never missed a placing third-up, however, her last third-up run was in a Benchmark 68 at Newcastle. My small concern is, that Turnbull Stakes was run at a very moderate tempo. This will be a fast run 2400m and that does pose a query. She is a major player and goes in everything.
Odds: $7.00 (Pointsbet)

19e. PATRICK ERIN (12) - Chris Waller, Corey Brown, 52kg
I think it’s clear that Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) hasn’t stacked up at all. If he gets a run he’s a genuine $101 shot for mine. 
Odds: $41.00 (Unibet)
20e. JAAMEH (5) - David & B Hayes & T Dabernig, Cory Parish, 50kg 
Plenty to like about Jaameh. He got within a half-head of Avilus in the Bart Cummings (2500m) last start. He if gets in the field, he’ll only have 50kg and has the Trainer/Jockey combination that won the race last year. He might just be a Flemington horse though.
Odds: $51.00 (Bet365

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2018 Caulfield Cup Runners - Runner-by-Runner guide for the Caulfield Cup

A high-class field of 18 runners will line up for the 2018 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday, but how do the various form guides stack up?

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