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Caulfield Cup Tips - Who our experts are backing

  • Selections from the Racingbase writers
  • Who are the value bets?
Who will be kissing the Caulfield Cup? (PA Images)

The first of the Spring Carnival features takes place on Saturday and the experts have made their verdicts on the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Finche looks set to be the favourite for Chris Waller, and he will face up to some serious challengers including Japan's Mer De Glace, one of three internationals in the line-up.

Read who our experts are backing in the 2019 Caulfield Cup.

Aaron Hamilton

VOW AND DECLARE will be aiming to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup by winning the Caulfield Cup. Currently 36th in order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, he 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). 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. He maps extremely well from barrier 9 and should have no trouble slotting in one off the fence with cover just forward of midfield. Leading jockey Craig Williams is no stranger to Caulfield Cup success, and the in-form hoop takes aim at his third win in the race on Vow And Declare.

Jackson Oldham

CONSTANTINOPLE finished second behind South Pacific three starts ago, that horse wasn't awful behind Stradivarius in a Goodwood. He then went to the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2412m) and was all over the place in the straight and cost himself the race really behind Nayef Road. Last start in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2385m) he finished second behind the unbeaten Logician who franked that form winning the Group 1 English St Leger (2921m) at his next start. Lindsay Park have put winkers on, he maps to get a good run from barrier 7 and with Timeform rating of 120 he gets in really well at the weights here and is my tip in the Caulfield Cup.

Adam Cusworth

I may very well be going with my heart and not my head in the first of the spring majors but we can make a serious case for the old warrior, HARTNELL, to take out the $5 million feature. In what would be a memorable win, the nine-year-old comes into this with some excellent form having run in the top four in his past nine races. They include a 3rd to the mighty Winx in her farewell in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in the autumn as well as a recent 3rd in the traditional lead up to the Caulfield Cup, the Turnbull Stakes (2000m), earlier this month. The obvious downside is that he meets the likes of Finche and Vow And Declare worse at the weights but he has handled that in the past with his 2018 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) win a recent example. The likes of Best Solution, Dunaden and Viewed are others that have carried similar weights to victory in the past 10 years. The versatile galloper is one from two over the 2400m with that win coming way back in the 2015 The BMW (the Tancred Stakes). He will need an ounce of luck from the barrier but it is very hard to leave him out. 

Trent Orwin

This year’s Caulfield Cup looks wide open and the Japanese visitor MER DE GLACE looks to have strong claims. Trained by Hisashi Shimizu, the five-year-old entire has raced 17 times for seven wins and seven minor placings. Mer De Glace has won his last five starts with the past three coming at Group 3 level. All three have been run at a strong tempo in the 1:58 and 1:59-range for the 2000m trip. Mer De Glace won’t be afraid if the Caulfield Cup is run at a good clip, and should make his presence felt.

Gary Emmerson

I'm willing to take a chance on RED VERDON at big odds each-way. He will be carrying the familiar colours which Red Cadeaux wore during successful Australian raids, and his trainer Ed Dunlop certainly knows how to get one ready for a big race Down Under. He also has last year's winning jockey Pat Cosgrave on board. Whether Red Verdon is up to the task of winning the Caulfield Cup first up in Australia, and having had some setbacks in his preparation, is the big question mark. He beat Gold Mount, who is half the price for Saturday's race, two starts back in the Group 3 Silver Cup (2816m) before disappointing in the Ebor Handicap (2787m) won by Mustajeer. Expect Red Verdon to be staying on late in the race and he can sneak a place or better and secure a nice return.

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Caulfield Cup Tips - Who our experts are backing

The first of the Spring Carnival features takes place on Saturday and the experts have made their verdicts on the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

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