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Caulfield Cup Tips - Williams’ Vow to claim another Cup

Jockey Damien Oliver rides Vow And Declare to victory at Flemington (PA Images)

Leading jockey Craig Williams is no stranger to Caulfield Cup success, and at Caulfield on Saturday, the in-form hoop takes aim at his third win in the race.

Williams won back-to-back Caulfield Cups aboard Southern Speed (2011) and Dunaden (2012) before finishing runner-up in 2013 with Dandino. 

Since then, Williams has finished 5th on Araldo (2014), 10th on Hokko Brave (2015), 5th on Real Love (2016), 11th on Amelie’s Star (2017) and 6th on Kings Will Dream last year. 

Williams now jumps aboard the Danny O’Brien-prepared Vow And Declare who will be aiming to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup by winning Saturday’s $5 million contest. 

Currently 36th in order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, Vow And Declare needs to win on Saturday to guarantee a start on the first Tuesday in November, so there’s no chance this is simply a lead-up run to build fitness and dodge a weight penalty. 



The four-year-old Declaration Of War gelding was runner-up to Mr Quickie in the QLD Derby (2400m) before a dominant win over Big Duke in the Tatt’s Cup (3000m).

He was caught wide in the Derby while Mr Quickie enjoyed a rails run, and Mr Quickie also ran out on Vow And Declare in the straight and probably cost him his winning chance as he surged again late. 

Vow And Declare was clearly strongest at the end of 3000m as he cruised to a soft 3.25-length victory over Big Duke, but in fairness to the latter, he did carry 60kg while Vow And Declare had 54kg on his back. 

Regardless, it was a strong effort for a then three-year-old to towel up a seasoned seven-year-old like Big Duke who was 3rd in a Sydney Cup behind Polarisation and 4th in a Melbourne Cup behind Rekindling. 

First-up this time in, Vow And Declare was tested against elite company in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) where he was arguably the run of the race finishing 1.6 lengths behind Kings Will Dream. 

Finche (2nd) and Hartnell (3rd) were the only other two to finish in front of Vow And Declare, and the first three home had a clear fitness advantage on Vow And Declare who was first-up with one trial under his belt. 

He maps extremely well from barrier 9 and should have no trouble slotting in one off the fence with cover just forward of midfield.

He now meets Finche 1.5kg better at the weights which will equate to something at the end of 2400m.

Fitness clearly won’t be an issue as Williams was extremely happy with his final gallop ahead of Saturday and said the horse was fitter than he is. 

Check out Vow And Declare’s trackwork gallop on the Flemington course proper:




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Caulfield Cup Tips - Williams’ Vow to claim another Cup

Leading jockey Craig Williams is no stranger to Caulfield Cup success, and at Caulfield on Saturday, the in-form hoop takes aim at his third win in the race.

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