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Caulfield Cup Horse Race

Caulfield Cup: Your Ultimate Guide To The BMW Caulfield Cup

​Your guide to the 138th edition of the BMW Caulfield Cup

With prizemoney sitting at $3 million, the Caulfield Cup is the world’s richest turf handicap over 2400 m. It is also one of Australia’s oldest races, starting way back in 1879.

Since 1998, the Caulfield Cup continues to pull in a suite of international horses to compete. Many of them with plans towards the Melbourne Cup, with the two being the major double of the season.

It can be a hard race to match up due to its global drawcard, and international horses have been the victor 4 times since 2006. In fact, the Caulfield Cup was taken out by British horse Taufan’s Melody in 1998, the first year it was open to international horses.

So, what do connections of each horse actually stand to win?

(1st) $1,800,000

(2nd) $540,000

(3rd) $270,000

(4th) $135,000

(5th) $75,000

(6-8th) $60,000

​How to find the winner of the caulfield cup

When it comes to major Caulfield Cup races, aligning form between trans-Tasman horses and international horses, can be a nightmare for most recreational punters.

The fact is that they can be analysed in the same fashion as any race, and standout horses, or horses that provide value CAN be found.

​There's many great horse racing tips out there, and while nothing is 100% accurate, there are some very good and reliable ways to maximise your winning chance in the big races. 

To get the best information, grab a copy of our Guide to Making a Small Fortune in Horse Racing.

​We have run the form eye over each runner to tease out what we think are the best contenders and the value prices, and who we think may fall short.

PICK MORE WINNERS.

Get This eBook Today!

Guide to betting on The Caulfield Cup
  • PDF eBook WITH CHECKLIST
  • ​The Exact Tools, Tips and Resources that have made $134,310.00
  • ​The OVERLOOKED FORM SECRETS that will help you easily find the gems in the rough
  • ​And Much Much Much More that will guide you to making a fortune on the horses

​the caulfiel cup final field

​Humidor
Barrier: 7
Jockey: Damien Lane
Trainer: Darren Weir
Odds: $9.00 / $3.10 on Bet365

This is one very good horse, that could become something pretty special. I have known about Humidorís talent and hype since he first set foot in Australia thanks to some inside mail.

He is a pretty unknown quantity to those outside of racing circles, but he has some enormous wraps inside, especially in the Weir stable.

Last prep we got a nice glimpse of where this horse is headed when he won the Australian Cup. His following race saw a solid 2nd place in the BMW at Rosehill.

Our best look at what he could be was two starts back when he absolutely demolished the Makybe Diva field, which included the likes of Hartnell, Black Heart Bart, Jon Snow, Gailo Chop, Ventura Storm and so on. You will notice a few of those names in this Caulfield Cup list.

Last start wasn't as bad as it looked, and although under pressure he kept coming. That was always a hit-out on his way here, and it seemed like a good one.

He is a Group 1 winner, and a winner at 59 kg. He gets in here with just 56 kg on his back, and my personal opinion is Damien Lane is one of the best jockeys in the country.

He is drawn perfectly to sit one out and mid-field or worse. Providing the track doesn't favour the front runners, he will be powering home and look a big chance at some point.

My only concern, and it may well happen, is the Caulfield Cup race tempo. There really doesn't look like much speed in the race, and if that happens, he may struggle to make up the ground. Ditto if it is leader bias.

Unfortunately, we won't know that until after some races, so for now we must go on what we know.

Verdict
Never underestimate Darren Weir in these races. He will have this horse cherry ripe, and word is he put in his best trackwork this week. I have had this fella on top for this for a while now, and really there are no reasons to change yet. The one to beat for me.

Marmelo
Barrier: 10
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Odds: $19.00 / $5.50 on Ladbrokes

Be prepared for an introduction to some horses you may never have heard of. The international raiders are here, and on paper they must be taken seriously for the next few weeks.

Marmelo is a UK horse that is a Group 2 and 3 winner over distances up to 3000 m. This is his first start in Australia, and while the talent is undeniable, I know this isn't the target.

He will stay all day, and based on that has to be a chance. However, he is drawn very poorly and could do a little extra work than Bowman would like.

Watch for him late, but over the ​Caulfield Cup he may be found a tiny bit short.

Verdict
The Melbourne Cup is the target, and you heard it here first, he is a genuine winning chance. I think he runs ​the Caulfield Cup for a big hit-out, and while a win won't surprise, I get the feeling he falls a bit short.

Johannes Vermeer
Barrier: 2
Jockey: Ben Melham
Trainer: Aiden OíBrien
Odds: $4.20 / $1.91 on Bet365

Irish horse that has plenty of ability, and last start behind Gailo Chop was exceptional for his first run in Australia.

He has never won over 2000 m but has run some ripping races at 2400 m, so the distance of the ​Caulfield Cup looks almost ideal right now.

He is drawn very handy in 2, and will likely settle 3 back on the rail.  He is also use to carrying near 60 kgs or more, so won't know himself with just 54.5 kgs.

I am also a fan of the quick weekly back-up. I think the edge will be off and he will be cherry ripe.

If the speed is moderate to slow up front, and if he can find that split late, he is a massive danger in this.

Verdict
Like most people I don't know that much about this horse. You can never ignore Aiden O'Brien when he brings stayers here, and you sure as hell canít ignore this horse's first run here.

Jon Snow
Barrier: 6
Jockey: Stephen Baster
Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Odds: $12.00 / $3.90 on Ladbrokes

Boy if there is one trainer we can't ignore, then that's Murray Baker. He always delivers when he comes to Australia, and has already done so this Spring.

Jon Snow looks like the only genuine leader in the race, and this could be the story. He ran out of steam last start, but if he is left up front to dictate, they may not run him down.

He is clearly talented, and Baker will have him ready. Another horse on a quick back-up, which should sharpen him up. I can't help but think his race is won or lost in the tempo.

If they leave him along then he either wins or finishes top 4. If there is more pressure than expected, or if leaders are at a disadvantage, then he will probably get swamped.  

Verdict
Very hard to put a line through him, and likewise very hard to tick the box. Without the benefit of hindsight, I will say he might fade in the final 100m, but could sneak a place.

He's Our Rokkii
Barrier: 15
Jockey: Luke Nolen
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: $151.00 / $26.00 on Bet365

Drawn an absolute shocker, seems to be a bit out of form, and has never won over 2000m.

I have a lot of time for this horse, but picking him isn't realistic.

Verdict
A few preps ago maybe, but he doesn't tick any boxes for me. Will be hard pressed to finish in the first 8 of this Caulfield Cup I would think.

Sir Isaac Newton
Barrier: 17
Jockey: Katelyn Mallyon
Trainer: Robert Hickmont
Odds: : $67.00 / $13.00 on Bet365

Another UK horse, but he has been here for one year exactly. In fact, his first start in Australia was the Caulfield Cup in 2016. He did run OK in that race without ever looking a genuine threat.

Since then, he has had 4 starts in Australia, and hasn't looked likely at all.

The concerning thing for me is that he has faded noticeably late in races over less distance. Add in barrier 17, and I really think he is making up some numbers.

Verdict
I suspect he is not going near well enough at all to get close to some of these.

Ventura Storm
Barrier: 4
Jockey: Damien Oliver
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: : $12.00 / $3.90 on Ladbrokes

Yep you guessed it, another international raider. This Irish horse is no doubt targeted at the Melbourne Cup, but his four runs in Australia since May suggest he could very well surprise us ​this Caulfield Cup.

He is a Group 1 winner over the 2400 m, and came a close second in the Group 1 St Legger at Doncaster.

Fourth up this prep, he will be rock hard fit, and some may say the Oliver booking is a plus. I am not quite sure, but from barrier 4 he will have a perfect run in transit and this means no excuses at all.

Very hard to say yes or no here. He is a grinder, and that may be very good if the race is run at a slow tempo. If not, then I think he gets out-sprinted to the line.

He will run a good ​Caulfield Cup race, but this isn't his target. I wouldn't leave him out of the exotics, but I think some of the other horses may just have a little too much zip late.

Verdict
Not convinced he wins (but wouldn't be surprised), but could sneak a place if the race is run to suit.

Wicklow Brave
Barrier: 16
Jockey: Joao Moreira
Trainer: William Mullins
Odds: $51.00 / $14.00 on William Hill

One of four UK horses in the race, but he is having his first start in Australia since last years Melbourne Cup. He came last in that race last year, and no doubt connections are trying a lead up race this time round.

I do think he is much better than last year suggested. He is a Group 1 winner over the flat course (including the Irish St Legger), and also over the hurdles. The latter race saw him carry 75.5 kg to victory after showing no interest in running at the start.

He won't know himself with 54 kgs, and lets not forget who saddles up.

The Magic Man himself is booked, so that alone makes this horse a big consideration for ​this Caulfield Cup race.

Lets not get too carried away though. He is a classy horse, but clearly this is a lead up to the Melbourne Cup. He is drawn a shocker in 16, so will have to either sit wide or drift back to the rear because he has no early speed.

Don't be surprised if Moreira is told to stay wide and run the edge off him.

He has never won a race under 2800 m, and I don't think he will now. Watch for later though.

Verdict
Not in this race, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is given a tough run and finished near the back few.

Inference
Barrier: 11
Jockey: Dwayne Dunn
Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
Odds: $14.00 / $4.30 on Ladbrokes

Inference showed last prep that he can run a strong 2400 m, despite never winning over the mile (1600 m).

He was 2nd in the Rosehill Guineas over 2000 m, and 6th in the Group 1 ATC Derby over 2400 m. Both times he was doing his best work late.

He is a Group 1 winner over the mile, and he has been good recently behind many of the favourites here.

The barrier concerns me, and he really can't afford to be caught wide. He will need luck to get any kind of decent run, but if he can then I give him more a chance than most to win the Caulfield Cup.

More likely a place chance, but I wouldn't be surprised if he let down one big win.

Verdict
I am not 100% convinced that he has the edge that some of these do, but I can't leave him out.

Single Gaze
Barrier: 12
Jockey: Kathy OíHara
Trainer: Nick Olive
Odds: $41.00 / $9.50 on Bet365

Has some good early speed, so might be able to push forward from the wide barrier.

Last start was great on paper, but he did have the dream run and every favour in the run. Still, he just looked like he wasn't quite up to some of these.

He is a Group 1 winner, and looks like he could run the trip out well, but this field look a little too tough compared to those previous wins. I could be wrong, but I am willing to leave him out, and say the extra energy burned early will cost him late.

His only chance is an easy cross and slow tempo. Otherwise he will finish mid-field.

Verdict
Knockout top 4 chance, but I am happy to risk him against some of these.

Bonneval
Barrier: 14
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Odds: $8.50 / $3.10 on Bet365

Very smart horse that has won 7 of 11 career starts. This includes three Group 1 wins, one of which was the ATC Oaks over 2400m.

More recently, she won the Group 1 Underwood in dominant fashion, and then last start looked solid at the turn but struck interference too many times.

The barrier is a big concern, and McEvoy will need to pull a rabbit to ensure no wide run in transit. My other concern was that she pulled up lame one week ago.

I am torn here. I simply can't leave her out because she is clearly one of the best horses in this race. BUT, the barrier really concerns me.

I am not concerned about the lame aspect, because I have it on good authority that she is perfectly fine.

I can never discount Murray Baker in these races, but more importantly this horse is a star.

Verdict
Can win, especially with a little luck from the wide barrier.

Hardham
Barrier: 8
Jockey: Craig Newitt
Trainer: David Brideoake
Odds: $41.00 / $11.00 on William Hill

Hardham is above average talent wise, but is yet to win at Group 1 level, or over 2040 m.

I really can't find any reason to suggest he can match it with many of these ​in this Caulfield Cup race. Not yet anyway.

Verdict
Not for me.

Boom Time
Barrier: 3
Jockey: Cory Parish
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: $67.00 / $13.00 on Bet365

I have a lot of time for this horse, and he is definitely a talented stayer. I am just not quite sure he is up to this level.

He has won at Listed level and placed at Group 3, but this is a huge step. The one thing he has going for him is the barrier. He will get the softest of runs just behind the speed, and depending how the tempo goes, he could sneak a place.

I am willing to say it won't happen though, and he may find himself wanting late. Mid-field at best based on all exposed form.

Verdict
Just not up to these I wouldn't think.

Abbey Marie
Barrier: 5
Jockey: Beau Mertens
Trainer: Michael Kent
Odds: $21.00 / $5.90 on Ladbrokes

One of her only 3 career wins was at Group 1 level. I am not sure that race at Morphettville is up to this standard, but you can only beat who you race.

Second up this prep she ran a ripper race that nearly knocked off Bonneval, then her two subsequent runs have been ​OK at best.

She is drawn a dream in 5, but she has no early speed and will likely find herself right back on the fence.

While she has a brilliant finish, she will have a wall of horses right in front of her. Plus, I don't think she is as talented as many of ​the other horses in this Caulfield Cup race.

Verdict
Needs far too much luck and she still looks a few lengths off many of these horses.

Harlem
Barrier: 1
Jockey: Chad Schofield
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: $12.00 / $3.40 on Bet365

Clearly above average, and has won at Group 3 level. That win was two starts back at Caulfield Cup over 2000 m. While that race was nothing on this one, it was a very dominant win and deserved of consideration.

My biggest concerns are his class and the barrier.

Against horses of this caliber at Group 1 level he has basically had two attempts. Both times looks a mile off (6.40L and 19.9L). Like Abbey Marie, he is drawn very nice in 1 but has now early speed.

Could very easily end 3-4 back on the rail, and with no place to go late.

Verdict
Can't have him in this

Amelie's Star
Barrier: 13
Jockey: Craig Williams
Trainer: Darren Weir
Odds: $9.00 / $3.10 on Bet365

Another horse that is drawn a shocker out wide.

She has moderate speed out of the gates, and that could land her in a shocking 3-4 wide position.

She has won at Group 2 level, and last start was exceptional. The latter she had all the favours though, and I don't think she gets them here.

She ​earns her spot ​in the Caulfield Cup, but similar to a few in the race, I just can't see her being up to some of these.

With a lot of luck from the draw, she could run a cheeky race in the top 6, but you would be hard pressed to find a reason she wins.

Verdict
With a better barrier, then maybe a place chance. Just needs too much luck here for my liking.

Lord Fandango
Barrier: 9
Jockey: Ben Allen
Trainer: Archie Alexander
Odds: $23.00 / $5.75 on William Hill

What a story. Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander gets a horse in the Caulfield Cup. This is the fairy-tale story of the race.

He is an ex-German horse, who is clearly an above average stayer. Last start he won the Group 2 Herbert Power over 2400 m, and at ​the Caulfield Cup.

The race prior he won the Benalla Cup. While the competition in those races were nowhere near this field, he is clearly a horse on the improve.
Barrier 9 gives Allen a chance to squeeze forward and sit one out behind the speed. Under 50 kgs, he really looks like the question in this.

I am not sure his class matches many of these, but under the lack of weight, and from a good barrier, he may be in this for a long way.

I can't say no or yes, so I will leave him in the exotics as the roughy in the race.

Verdict
Improving horse that can clearly stay the trip. Class wise probably doesn't measure up, but does get plenty of favours here so I have to squeeze him in.

​Caulfield Cup Top Selections

​As always make sure you watch to see how the track is playing because this could impact the chances of a horse winning.
To assess how the track is playing, take note of where the earlier winners are coming from.

Are they leaders that kick easily, with no horses really making ground down the middle or from the back? if yes, the this is favouring the leaders.

Are horsed winning from behind constantly? Are the leaders fading away in the straight or does the inside of the track look slower than the middle?

Obviously make sure this a regular thing, and not just a $200-1 horse in one race. If yes, then this favours the horses coming from behind.

If these are no clear indications (e.g. horses running solidly in front, just off the speed and coming home strong), then we have ourselves a track playing fair.

Let's hope for the last one, but it isn't always the case and could impact the race considerably.


(1) Humidor
Had this guy penciled in for a while, and I see no reason to change. In my opinion Damien Lane is one of the country's best jockeys, and from the barrier Humidor should be positions worse than midfield and one out.

He gets some nice weight off his back, and his run behind Winx would have sharpened him right up for this.

Providing the track doesn't favour the leaders, he will be absolutely charging home.

Can he get them? Based on two starts ago, he is a very big chance.

Note: My confidence drops if the track clearly favours the leaders. He will still come home, but may fall short if this is the case.

(3) Johannes Vermeer
Ticks a lot of boxes for me, and is drawn perfectly to sit inside and just off the speed.

He will be close enough if the tempo is close, but well placed if it's hot. Must go in the top few.

Note: Happy to take him regardless of how the track plays

(11) Bonneval
Forget the lame note last race, she is fine. Her track-work this week has been very good, and Baker will have her primed for this.

I am happy to take on the little bit of risk with the shocking barrier, because with any luck at all she will be right in the finish.

Being stuck outside may end up giving her a clear passage late. Watch for her down the middle.

(9) Inference
Showed last prep he could run very strong races at this trip. He would have improved again here, and will be cherry ripe 5th up.

The barrier is the concern, but any luck at all and something tells me he runs a huge race.

(4) Jon Snow
I can't ignore the fact that he looks like the only horse with genuine gate speed. He could lead dictate this race. If this happens, then he is good enough to make it a battle late. Especially if the track favours the leaders. I just can't leave out this Baker horse.

Note: If the track favours the leaders, then I will be more confident. I would still leave him in exotics.

(17) Lord Fandango (Roughie)
Better chance if the track is leader biased, but either way he will be near the front under a light weight.

He is in brilliant form, and while he may look a touch out of his depth, the price is worth a nibble.

PICK MORE WINNERS.

Get This eBook Today!

Guide to betting on The Caulfield Cup
  • PDF eBook WITH CHECKLIST
  • ​The Exact Tools, Tips and Resources that have made $134,310.00
  • ​The OVERLOOKED FORM SECRETS that will help you easily find the gems in the rough
  • ​And Much Much Much More that will guide you to making a fortune on the horses
As always make sure you watch to see how the track is playing because this could impact the chances of a horse winning.
To assess how the track is playing, take note of where the earlier winners are coming from.

Are they leaders that kick easily, with no horses really making ground down the middle or from the back? if yes, the this is favouring the leaders.

Are horsed winning from behind constantly? Are the leaders fading away in the straight or does the inside of the track look slower than the middle? Obviously make sure this a regular thing, and not just a $200-1 horse in one race. If yes, then this favours the horses coming from behind.

If these are no clear indications (e.g. horses running solidly in front, just off the speed and coming home strong), then we have ourselves a track playing fair.
Letís hope for the last one, but it isnít always the case and could impact the race considerably.


(1) Humidor
Had this guy pencilled in for a while, and I see no reason to change. In my opinion Damien Lane is one of the countryís best jockeyís, and from the barrier Humidor should be positions worse than midfield and one out. He getís some nice weight off his back, and his run behind Winx would have sharpened him right up for this. Providing the track doesnít favour the leaders, he will be absolutely charging home. Can he get them? Based on two starts ago, he is a very big chance.
Note: My confidence drops if the track clearly favours the leaders. He will still come home, but may fall short if this is the case.

(3) Johannes Vermeer
Ticks a lot of boxes for me, and is drawn perfectly to sit inside and just off the speed. He will be close enough if the tempo is close, but well placed if itís hot. Must go in the top few.
 Note: Happy to take him regardless of how the track plays

(11) Bonneval
Forget the ëlameí note last race, she is fine. Her track-work this week has been very good, and Baker will have her primed for this. I am happy to take on the little bit of risk with the shocking barrier, because with any luck at all she will be right in the finish. Being stuck outside may end up giving her a clear passage late. Watch for her down the middle.

(9) Inference
Showed last prep he could run very strong races at this trip. He would have improved again here, and will be cherry ripe 5th up.  The barrier is the concern, but any luck at all and something tells me he runs a huge race.

(4) Jon Snow
I canít ignore the fact that he looks like the only horse with genuine gate speed. He could lead dictate this race. If this happens, then he is good enough to make it a battle late. Especially if the track favours the leaders. I just canít leave out this Baker horse.
Note: If the track favours the leaders, then I will be more confident. I would still leave him in exotics.

(17) Lord Fandango (Roughie)
Better chance if the track is leader biased, but either way he will be near the front under a light weight. He is in brilliant form, and while he may look a touch out of his depth, the price is worth a nibble.
Humidor
Barrier: 7
Jockey: Damien Lane
Trainer: Darren Weir
Odds: $9.00 / $3.10 on Bet365

This is one very good horse, that could become something pretty special. I have known about Humidorís talent and hype since he first set foot in Australia thanks to some inside mail. He is a pretty unknown quantity to those outside of racing circles, but he has some enormous wraps inside, especially in the Weir stable.
Last prep we got a nice glimpse of where this horse is headed when he won the Australian Cup. His following race saw a solid 2nd place in the BMW at Rosehill. Our best look at what he could be was two starts back when he absolutely demolished the Makybe Diva field, which included the likes of Hartnell, Black Heart Bart, Jon Snow, Gailo Chop, Ventura Storm and so on. You will notice a few of those names in this list.
Last start wasnít as bad as it looked, and although under pressure he kept coming. That was always a hit-out on his way here, and it seemed like a good one.
He is a Group 1 winner, and a winner at 59 kg. He gets in here with just 56 kg on his back, and my personal opinion is Damien Lane is one of the best jockeyís in the country. He is drawn perfectly to sit one out and mid-field or worse. Providing the track doesnít favour the front runners, he will be powering home and look a big chance at some point.
My only concern, and it may well happen, is race tempo. There really doesnít look like much speed in the race, and if that happens, he ëmayí struggle to make up the ground. Ditto if it is leader bias. Unfortunately, we wonít know that until after some races, so for now we must go on what we know.
Verdict
Never underestimate Darren Weir in these races. He will have this horse cherry ripe, and word is he put in his best trackwork this week. I have had this fella on top for this for a while now, and really there are no reasons to change yet. The one to beat for me.

Marmelo
Barrier: 10
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Odds: $19.00 / $5.50 on Ladbrokes

Be prepared for an introduction to some horses you may never have heard of. The international raiders are here, and on paper they must be taken seriously for the next few weeks.
Marmelo is a UK horse that is a Group 2 and 3 winner over distances up to 3000 m. This is his first start in Australia, and while the talent is undeniable, I know this isnít the target.
He will stay all day, and based on that has to be a chance. However, he is drawn very poorly and could do a little extra work than Bowman would like. Watch for him late, but over the trip he may be found a tiny bit short.
Verdict
The Melbourne Cup is the target, and you heard it here first, he is a genuine winning chance. I think he runs this for a big hit-out, and while a win wonít surprise, I get the feeling he falls a bit short.

Johannes Vermeer
Barrier: 2
Jockey: Ben Melham
Trainer: Aiden OíBrien
Odds: $4.20 / $1.91 on Bet365

Irish horse that has plenty of ability, and last start behind Gailo Chop was exceptional for his first run in Australia. He has never won over 2000 m but has run some ripping races at 2400 m, so distance here looks almost ideal right now.

He is drawn very handy in 2, and will likely settle 3 back on the rail.  He is also use to carrying near 60 kgs or more, so wonít know himself with just 54.5 kgs. I am also a fan of the quick weekly back-up. I think the edge will be off and he will be cherry ripe.
If the speed is moderate to slow up front, and if he can find that split late, he is a massive danger in this.
Verdict
Like most people I donít know that much about this horse. You can never ignore Aiden OíBrien when he brings stayers here, and you sure as hell canít ignore this horseís first run here.

Jon Snow
Barrier: 6
Jockey: Stephen Baster
Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Odds: $12.00 / $3.90 on Ladbrokes

Boy if there is one trainer we canít ignore, then thatís Murray Baker. He always delivers when he comes to Australia, and has already done so this Spring.

Jon Snow looks like the only genuine leader in the race, and this could be the story. He ran out of steam last start, but if he is left up front to dictate, they may not run him down.
He is clearly talented, and Baker will have him ready. Another horse on a quick back-up, which should sharpen him up. I canít help but think his race is won or lost in the tempo. If they leave him along then he either wins or finishes top 4. If there is more pressure than expected, or if leaders are at a disadvantage, then he will probably get swamped.  
Verdict
Very hard to put a line through him, and likewise very hard to tick the box. Without the benefit of hindsight, I will say he might fade in the final 100 m, but could sneak a place.

Heís Our Rokkii
Barrier: 15
Jockey: Luke Nolen
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: $151.00 / $26.00 on Bet365

Drawn an absolute shocker, seems to be a bit out of form, and has never won over 2000 m. I have a lot of time for this horse, but picking him isnít realistic.
Verdict
A few preps ago maybe, but he doesnít tick any boxes for me. Will be hard pressed to finish in the first 8 I would think.

Sir Isaac Newton
Barrier: 17
Jockey: Katelyn Mallyon
Trainer: Robert Hickmont
Odds: : $67.00 / $13.00 on Bet365

Another UK horse, but he has been here for one year exactly. In fact, his first start in Australia was the Caulfield Cup in 2016. He did run ëokí in that race without ever looking a genuine threat.
Since then, he has had 4 starts in Australia, and hasnít looked likely at all. The concerning thing for me is that he has faded noticeably late in races over less distance. Add in barrier 17, and I really think he is making up some numbers.
Verdict
I suspect he is not going near well enough at all to get close to some of these.

Ventura Storm
Barrier: 4
Jockey: Damien Oliver
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: : $12.00 / $3.90 on Ladbrokes

Yep you guessed it, another international raider. This Irish horse is no doubt targeted at the Melbourne Cup, but his four runs in Australia since May suggest he could very well surprise us here.
He is a Group 1 winner over the 2400 m, and came a close second in the Group 1 St Legger at Doncaster. Fourth up this prep, he will be rock hard fit, and some may say the Oliver booking is a plus. I am not quite sure, but from barrier 4 he will have a perfect run in transit and this means no excuses at all.
Very hard to say yes or no here. He is a grinder, and that may be very good if the race is run at a slow tempo. If not, then I think he gets out-sprinted to the line.
He will run a good race, but this isnít his target. I wouldnít leave him out of the exotics, but I think some of the other horses may just have a little too much zip late.
Verdict
Not convinced he wins (but wouldnít be surprised), but could sneak a place if the race is run to suit.

Wicklow Brave
Barrier: 16
Jockey: Joao Moreira
Trainer: William Mullins
Odds: $51.00 / $14.00 on William Hill

One of four UK horses in the race, but he is having his first start in Australia since last yearís Melbourne Cup. He came last in that race last year, and no doubt connections are trying a lead up race this time round.
I do think he is much better than last year suggested. He is a Group 1 winner over the flat course (including the Irish St Legger), and also over the hurdles. The latter race saw him carry 75.5 kg to victory after showing no interest in running at the start.
He wonít know himself with 54 kgs, and letís not forget who saddles up. The ëMagic Maní himself is booked, so that alone makes this horse a big consideration.
Letís not get too carried away though. He is a classy horse, but clearly this is a lead up to the Melbourne Cup. He is drawn a shocker in 16, so will have to either sit wide or drift back to the rear because he has no early speed. Donít be surprised if Moreira is told to stay wide and run the edge off him.
He has never won a race under 2800 m, and I donít think he will now. Watch for later though.
Verdict
Not in this race, and I wouldnít be surprised if he is given a tough run and finished near the back few.

Inference
Barrier: 11
Jockey: Dwayne Dunn
Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
Odds: $14.00 / $4.30 on Ladbrokes

Inference showed last prep that he can run a strong 2400 m, despite never winning over the mile (1600 m). He was 2nd in the Rosehill Guineas over 2000 m, and 6th in the Group 1 ATC Derby over 2400 m. Both times he was doing his best work late.
He is a Group 1 winner over the mile, and he has been good recently behind many of the favourites here.
The barrier concerns me, and he really canít afford to be caught wide. He will need luck to get any kind of decent run, but if he can then I give him more a chance than most.
More likely a place chance, but I wouldnít be surprised if he let down one big win.
Verdict
I am not 100% convinced that he has the edge that some of these do, but I canít leave him out.

Single Gaze
Barrier: 12
Jockey: Kathy OíHara
Trainer: Nick Olive
Odds: $41.00 / $9.50 on Bet365

Has some good early speed, so ëmightí be able to push forward from the wide barrier.
Last start was great on paper, but he did have the dream run and every favour in the run. Still, he just looked like he wasnít quite up to some of these.
He is a Group 1 winner, and looks like he could run the trip out well, but this field look a little too tough compared to those previous wins. I could be wrong, but I am willing to leave him out, and say the extra energy burned early will cost him late.
His only chance is an easy cross and slow tempo. Otherwise he will finish mid-field.
Verdict
Knockout top 4 chance, but I am happy to risk him against some of these.

Bonneval
Barrier: 14
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer: Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
Odds: $8.50 / $3.10 on Bet365

Very smart horse that has won 7 of 11 career starts. This includes three Group 1 wins, one of which was the ATC Oaks over 2400 m. More recently, she won the Group 1 Underwood in dominant fashion, and then last start looked solid at the turn but struck interference too many times.
The barrier is a big concern, and McEvoy will need to pull a rabbit to ensure no wide run in transit. My other concern was that she pulled up lame one week ago.
I am torn here. I simply canít leave her out because she is clearly one of the best horses in this race. BUT, the barrier really concerns me. I am not concerned about the ëlameí aspect, because I have it on good authority that she is perfectly fine.
I can never discount Murray Baker in these races, but more importantly this horse is a star.
Verdict
Can win, especially with a little luck from the wide barrier.

Hardham
Barrier: 8
Jockey: Craig Newitt
Trainer: David Brideoake
Odds: $41.00 / $11.00 on William Hill

Hardham is above average talent wise, but is yet to win at Group 1 level, or over 2040 m. I really canít find any reason to suggest he can match it with many of these on this stage. Not yet anyway.
Verdict
Not for me.

Boom Time
Barrier: 3
Jockey: Cory Parish
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: $67.00 / $13.00 on Bet365

I have a lot of time for this horse, and he is definitely a talented stayer. I am just not quite sure he is up to this level.
He has won at Listed level and placed at Group 3, but this is a huge step. The one thing he has going for him is the barrier. He will get the softest of runs just behind the speed, and depending how the tempo goes, he ëcouldí sneak a place.
I am willing to say it wonít happen though, and he may find himself wanting late. Mid-field at best based on all exposed form.
Verdict
Just not up to these I wouldnít think.

Abbey Marie
Barrier: 5
Jockey: Beau Mertens
Trainer: Michael Kent
Odds: $21.00 / $5.90 on Ladbrokes

One of her only 3 career wins was at Group 1 level. I am not sure that race at Morphettville is up to this standard, but you can only beat who you race.
Second up this prep she ran a ripper race that nearly knocked off Bonneval, then her two subsequent runs have been ëokí at best.
She is drawn a dream in 5, but she has no early speed and will likely find herself right back on the fence. While she has a brilliant finish, she will have a wall of horses right in front of her. Plus, I donít think she is as talented as many of these.
Verdict
Needs far too much luck and she still looks a few lengths off many of these horses.

Harlem
Barrier: 1
Jockey: Chad Schofield
Trainer: David & B Hayes & T Dabernig
Odds: $12.00 / $3.40 on Bet365

Clearly above average, and has won at Group 3 level. That win was two starts back at Caulfield over 2000 m. While that race was nothing on this one, it was a very dominant win and deserved of consideration.
My biggest concerns are his class and the barrier.
Against horses of this calibre at Group 1 level he has basically had two attempts. Both times looks a mile off (6.40L and 19.9L). Like Abbey Marie, he is drawn very nice in 1 but has now early speed. Could very easily end 3-4 back on the rail, and with no place to go late.
Verdict
Canít have him in this

Amelieís Star
Barrier: 13
Jockey: Craig Williams
Trainer: Darren Weir
Odds: $9.00 / $3.10 on Bet365

Another horse that is drawn a shocker out wide. She has moderate speed out of the gates, and that could land her in a shocking 3-4 wide position.
She has won at Group 2 level, and last start was exceptional. The latter she had all the favours though, and I donít think she gets them here.
She has earnt her spot here, but similar to a few in the race, I just canít see her being up to some of these. With a lot of luck from the draw, she could run a cheeky race in the top 6, but you would be hard pressed to find a reason she wins.
Verdict
With a better barrier, then maybe a place chance. Just needs too much luck here for my liking.

Lord Fandango
Barrier: 9
Jockey: Ben Allen
Trainer: Archie Alexander
Odds: $23.00 / $5.75 on William Hill

What a story. Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander gets a horse in the Caulfield Cup. This is the fairy-tale story of the race.
He is an ex-German horse, who is clearly an above average stayer. Last start he won the Group 2 Herbert Power over 2400 m, and at Caulfield. The race prior he won the Benalla Cup. While the competition in those races were nowhere near this field, he is clearly a horse on the improve.
Barrier 9 gives Allen a chance to squeeze forward and sit one out behind the speed. Under 50 kgs, he really looks like the question in this.
I am not sure his class matches many of these, but under the lack of weight, and from a good barrier, he may be in this for a long way. I canít say no or yes, so I will leave him in the exotics as the roughy in the race.
Verdict
Improving horse that can clearly stay the trip. Class wise probably doesnít measure up, but does get plenty of favours here so I have to squeeze him in.

About the Author Grant

Grant is an elite sporting enthusiast. His knowledge stems from the fact that he 'could have' played at the top level in no less than 5 sports, including 2 that he has never played but assures us he would have dominated. His primary loves are the AFL and Horse Racing, and to this day he insists that his lunchtime pack-mark in Year 9 remains the greatest of all time. Beyond the Dreamtime stories and the 'shoulda', 'coulda' sporting legends claims, one thing that remains true is Grant's keen eye for analysis and his stable of reliable contacts that see him deliver consistent and accurate information on many sports and our four-legged friends.

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