CAULFIELD: CAULFIELD CUP - 15th October 2022
Track: HEAVY(9) - Weather: SHOWERS - Rail: OUT 6M

Betting Portfolio ($50):
Absolute stack of rain going into the weekend and messy meeting here on Weds when the rain came early, there were plenty of late scratchings and they came well off the rail. Rail was TRUE for that meeting and goes out to 6M here, but will be interesting to see where they go in the straight today as they didnít really use the inside much on Weds. But most likely scenario is that off rails is best, which might mean they open large gaps along the inside for horses to sneak through in the Caulfield Cup. Few showers Friday means track probably doesnít improve probably quite as quickly, especially at the tail end of three meetings and we should be racing on a genuine heavy track.

From a punting point of view, Caulfield Cup day often isnít the best betting day just due to the mix of races, and it is often a day when Sydney horses win. So maybe head for Sydney horses and outside barriers, and we might find there are a lot of scratchings in some of these races and little in the way of value.

Caulfield Cup Preview

As always a lot of talk about the quality of the Caulfield Cup field, and it does seem a pretty even staying field so itís hard to definitively rule any of them in or out. Traditionally the Turnbull and Caulfield (Might and Power) Stakes are the best guide for this race, and to win these feature Group 1s you need to be in winning form, either a last start winner or a win this preparation. Normally itís the Turnbull that is a good form line, this year it was basically a Caulfield Cup heat with 9 runners from that race going around again here today. That race was dominated by those on-speed with the first four in running being the first four home, on weights 1-GOLD TRIP +3kgs (beaten 1.9L), 2-DUAIS -1.5 kgs (beaten 2.7L), 3-KNIGHTíS ORDER -2kgs (beaten 1.7L), 11-GREAT HOUSE -3kgs (beaten 3.7L), 12-INSPIRATIONAL GIRL -1.5kgs (beaten 2.5L), 13-MAXIMAL -1.5 kgs (beaten 1.5L), 15-CHAPADA -2kgs (beaten 4.9L), 16-CRYSTAL PEGASUS -2.5kgs (beaten 6.6L) and the winner 17-SMOKINí ROMANS drops a sensational 4 kgs after beating all of them home last start, so it looks tough for anything from that race to turn the margin around.

Going to be a very messy race to line up at the end of the day with track conditions and racing pattern a major variable, but on the plus side we have no international runners so we can line these up confidentially and we know their form. Speed should be even with the
3-KNIGHTíS ORDER (drawn wide) and 17-SMOKINí ROMANS going forward from the 5-NUMERIAN and 16-CRYSTAL PEGASUS and maybe the 11-GREAT HOUSE ridden more forward from a good barrier. But outside the first few in running these doesnít seem to be much pressure here and suspect it is going to be hard work for those well back in the field to get into the race today.

Runner By Runner Comments

1-GOLD TRIP has been promising to do something this time in, but not quite producing. Ran home really well first up, loomed into the race like the winner at Caulfield and then worked home well against a leader dominated race in the Turnbull. Does look a very solid staying type and an import who could easily outstay these and maybe he has been looking for the increase in distance? Some give in the ground definitely suits and drawn to be running home out wide should be an advantage. Main issue is that he is really poorly weighted here from the Turnbull, going up 3kgs, whilst most of those around him drop in weight meaning he is meeting most of the field around 5kgs worse off from the last run. Despite that wouldnít write him off, most of this field is well exposed as to how good they are, this one we are not quite sure yet and the increase in distance could make the difference.

2-DUAIS has been flying in her last few preparations and looked to be going places with Australian Cup win in March, but has to be question marks over how she has come up this time in. Wasnít really in the market first two starts, but both efforts were only fair and thought she was poor value in the Turnbull and ran accordingly. She settled handy in that race and was poised to present on the turn but only really just battled away (although those on-speed did dominate). Well drawn and has the class to win this, but looks a query on a genuinely heavy track and just not totally convinced how she is going. Passing.

3-KNIGHTíS ORDER is the one who has been standing out pre-market as the in-form wet tracker. Fantastic win strike rate, proven at this level time and time again, and has been going pretty well this time in with leaderís track 1st up win over 1600M, tough on-speed 2nd up and didnít mind the Turnbull run leading on a firm track. Drops 2kgs from that race and is well weighted into this. Staying form last preparation was sensational with super tough lead all the way win in the Sydney Cup, and only ran down late in the Chairman, both on heavy tracks. Will definitely handle the going, question is maybe barrier 18 for a leader, but he should also be able to get to the best ground first and think he is going to be very hard to beat today. Top chance.

4-MONTEFILIA is a classy staying mare, but she has been struggling for form this time in. Really floundered last start in a small field and only the two runs into this race. Looks to handle it wet on form. She ran 4th in this race last year, but that was coming off a win in the Metropolitan, three runs in and much better form. Striking very though conditions today for an out of form horse and prefer to risk.

5-NUMERIAN has been racing really well in Sydney on wet tracks and likes to go forward and normally sticks on pretty well. Nice middle barrier so should be able to lead or take a sit on-speed without using up too much energy. Be interesting to see if the money comes for this one, canít knock its form, will make its own luck and handles it wet. Only the two runs in and concern is this may turn into a tough slog in the conditions but shouldnít be far off in the finish.

6-NONCONFORMIST basically runs around all year entirely for this race, and been given a perfect Caulfield Cup preparation with 4 runs in, all in unsuitable WFA races where he has finished off just well enough to keep you engaged. Did similar last year and ran 2nd in this race on a soft track chasing a dominant short priced favourite. Form last year was probably a bit better, has to carry 3kgs more this year, and the genuine heavy track has to be a concern for this one.

7-VOW AND DECLARE won the 2019 Melbourne Cup in the good olí pre-covid days and has only placed twice in 13 starts and 3 years since so has obviously had some issues and been struggling for form. It does look like he is running back into form this time in though, strong late finishing third two runs back with a big weight, and then last start he had no luck at all, when he was held up for room and had to squeeze between horses and would have been right in the finish with a clear run at them. Ran 2nd in this race in 2019 before winning the Melbourne Cup. Main issue is going to be the heavy track, he definitely needs it firmer, note the two soft track wins in the form guide were both SOFT(5) so thatís a long way from todayís conditions. Definitely one to follow this time in as he is close to being back to form, but wonder if they even risk running him today?

8-NO COMPROMISE toughed it out to win a blanket finish in the Metropolitan so handles it wet and importantly has winning form coming into this race. That was 4th run this time in, up to the 2400M so that makes him hard and fit for this race in trying conditions. Probably drops back a bit here from a middle barrier but can get to the middle of the track on the turn which is probably the best ground. Nearly all the field is coming through the Turnbull, he has a different form line, a winning form line and placed 10/13 on heavy tracks and won 4 from 7 at 2400M is about as good as you can get. Strong chance and looks definite value runner in this at $20.

9-ALEGRON was a pretty good staying 3YO who had a tragic ride in the SA Derby, so was surprised he went around at $20 in his Sydney win. Solid staying type coming off only the two runs in, but did beat quite a few going around here last start. Drawn out suits as needs space to grind home and he is probably more untapped than most of this field. Did run third beaten less than 1 length in an ATC Derby on a heavy track so conditions might be OK, definitely he goes at least OK in them. Tough galloper and he will be competitive in this as long as he handles the wet track.

10-BENAUD is a grey horse in the wet Ė thatís about all you need to know isnít it? Given a definite Caulfield Cup preparation with the 4 runs this time in, and he ran on well in last few Sydney starts, before chasing hard here on Saturday behind the topliners in a classic WFA race. Presents a different form line to the Turnbull Stakes which is literally half this field. Outside draw is a bit of an issue as suspect it means he drops well back in the run, and might be coping a lot of muck at the back of the field here, in a big spread out field. Did run 2nd in an ATC Derby over 2400M on a wet track so should handle the conditions. Only the one win from 12 starts in a Nowra maiden is a bit of a worry, normally you would want those winning regularly into this race. Chance on form, would prefer he had drawn a better barrier.

11-GREAT HOUSE is another runner coming through the Turnbull and only the two runs in, but did surprise fresh with a placing (first three home in that race were last three on the home turn). Ran 5th in this race last year, coming off a Metropolitan run and Newcastle Cup win so a very different preparation this year. Seems to go through heavy going OK, not sure he really loves it looking at the form. Likely to drop back along the inside here, and probably he does the same thing he did last year in this race, cutting the corner when the field spreads wide on the turn. Not quite sure he is going well enough to be a factor.

12-INSPIRTATIONAL GIRL has a sensational win strike rate, but these colours have had a diabolical spring. Just the two runs in, they have both been fair and chased hard in the Feehan. Took a while to get into clear running last start and ran home OK in leader dominated race. Heavy track likely to be a real issue for this one, drawn barrier 1 and dropping back along the inside likely to be the worse going too.

13-MAXIMAL ran a very forward race in the Turnbull and that is always a good form line for this. Only the two runs this time in, and that last run was probably close to best Australian run since migrating. The 1 win from 15 starts is a bit of a concern, probably needs to work to go forward from a shocking barrier here and he is one where the heavy track looks to be a major issue, so have to risk.

14-SOUND is a very dour staying type who seems to have been around forever. Doesnít show form that often and tends to take a few runs in to find form.

15-CHAPADA is one of the biggest black book teasers going around, loves to loom into a race like the winner but he just doesnít seem to finish it off. Did that just two starts ago in the Naturalism, and ran on well in this race last year to finish 6th (coming off a Turnbull Stakes placing). Fitter for the three runs in, but hardly a reliable betting proposition and keeps popping into random finishes at long odds, normally at Flemington and normally on dry tracks, so not today.

16-CRYSTAL PEGASUS is struggling for form, three runs in are 9-0-0 and looks a massive query on wet tracks. Can settle handy from a good barrier but hard to see him being a factor here given the conditions.

17-SMOKINí ROMANS is in flying form and actually looks to be on a career improvement path. Four runs in is good for a hard slog Caulfield Cup 2400M, winner of his last two, handles it heavy just fine and although he was suited by slow on-speed tempo last start he did seem to have them well covered. Goes forward here from a good barrier and can make his own luck whilst the rest slog it out behind him. Light weight and drops 4kgs for winning the Turnbull is about as good as you can get going into this race, often Caulfield Cup winners are placegetters dropping in weight from that race. Critics might say he has had easy on-speed runs in his races, but maybe he is getting better later in his career and that win strike rate of 9 from 23 suggests he is probably well above average. Given his form and the races he has form lines in, actually think he is over the odds at $4.60 and deserves to be shorter. One to beat.

18-TRALEE ROSE is attempting to win the Caulfield Cup effectively 1st up having raced last in August, which would be some training feat. Pretty talented stayer on her day and has been chasing Cup dreams for a while now, and handles it wet, but do wonder if you would risk running your horse first up over 2400M on a heavy (10) track? Just faces too difficult a task here.

19-DURSTON (emerg) is well drawn and has been racing extremely well and unlike most years is probably a pretty good chance of getting into the field with some scratchings on a bog track. Has winning form this time in which is really important, and was quite dominant in Newcastle Cup win before looming up as widest runner before finishing on his run in the Metropolitian. He is probably the fittest runner in this race, and is in winning form, just the heavy track could be a query. With no weight though think he is a winning chance if he gets into the field.

20-MAKRAM (emerg) is probably a decent chance of getting a run even as second emergency. Impressive win 1st up over 1700M , not suited in leaders race at MV and then chased hard as widest runner on the turn here last week in the Herbert Power. Should have plenty of improvement to come too with the 2400M run this time in. That race hasnít been a great form reference for a while, but this field is probably weaker than most years. Drawn well, we really donít know about the heavy track, but probably has more upside than most of these and you do get the impression he is improving this time in. Only 50kgs too! Really hope he gets into the field and think he is a great rough chance if he does.

Summary

Donít think there are many winning chances here at all, especially not on a HEAVY (10) track. Coming into the second last race of the week, on a badly rain affected track think it is going to be hard work for those back in the field. We have to put the 17-SMOKINí ROMANS on top, he just ticks all the form boxes and the odds might stay pretty decent thanks to the form doubters and think probably the only other genuine wining chance is the 3-KNIGHTíS ORDER who loves it wet, just a matter of how much work he has to do early to go forward. The one we really want to put in as a danger though is the 20-MAKRAM (second emergency) and unlike most years think he is a decent chance of getting a run. Looks to be one on the improve, well drawn and racing well and presents a different form line to most of these. Outside that the value roughie is the 8-NO COMPROMISE, with the 1-GOLD TRIP and 5-NUMERIAN probably there abouts in the finish. Will have something on the 20-MAKRAM if he makes the field, else this should be a good wide trifecta race with just the (3) and (17) to win and the others to run second from a wider third slot.

Suggested Bets

BEST WIN: Race 5: 12-ANGRY SKIES $5 WIN
QUINELLA: Race 5: 12-ANGRY SKIES, 9-SKETCHED x $2 = 200%
Some of these races are going to see the odds plummet on the runners you like because of scratchings so not sure what odds this one will end up at, but he is currently around $4. Handled the heavy track to win 1st up and then very forward showing up in class at Sandown when fought out the finish closer to the inside which was the worse going. Plenty of improvement to come and looks the one to beat and it is worth noting that almost the entire field here comes out of the MV race and he is the different form line. Back straight out and the best chance from the MV race is the 9-SKETCHED who was wide all the way on a leaderís track so take a confident quinella on these two who should fight out the finish.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 6: 11-A VERY FINE RED $3 EW
QUINELLA: Race 6: 11-A VERY FINE RED, 6-ROSE QUARTZ x $2 = 200%
QUINELLA: Race 6: 11-A VERY FINE RED#3,15,16,17 x $2 = 50%
Sydney visitor who has a great finishing burst and he ran on well from well back through the field first-up. Has gone well in Melbourne before, he will probably want the speed on and to be able to get to the middle of the track from the inside barrier, but letís leave that part up to the jockey. Back each way at around $6, and the main danger is the good sprinter 6-ROSE QUARTZ who has shown promise and probably wasnít suited around the MV 955M last start so take a confident quinella, and then one again with a stack of roughies for a lesser outlay.

BEST EACH WAY: Race 10: 5-BANDERSNATCH $4 EW
QUINELLA: Race 10: Race 10: 5-BANDERSNATCH#4,13,15,17 x $2 = 50%
Another where it looks like the odds are going to disappear with scratchings and odds are down to $5 now. Sensational heavy track form and flew home at odds 1st up behind two good ones. Excellent win strike rate and is going to be suited from an outside barrier at the end of the day coming widest down the straight. Back each way and anchor in a quinella with the 13-CATALYST who looks to be returning to form, the strong finishing 4-SINAWANN, the unlucky last week 15-OLD FLAME and the roughie 17-POLAND who doesnít show form often but needs to lope along on-speed without much pressure which might happen today.

BEST ROUGH: Race 2: 5-SEINERS EXPRESS $2 EW
Strong finisher who has struck a strong race here, but he should be suited pouncing down the middle of the track here and handles it wet. Fitter for the two runs in, and he does look like he is ready to win at around $14.

BEST ROUGH: Race 4: 9-LETíSBEFRANKBABY $2.50 EW
QUINELLA: Race 4: 3,8,9,10,14 boxed x $5 = 50%
Quite surprised at the $20 odds on offer on this one as thought the last run was excellent, dashed through on the inside and showed a turn of foot, but that was the worse going and probably just wants the track a little firmer which she might get here. Likely to get a perfect on-speed sit here again, might just be a matter of if they can win on the inside. Great roughie at around $20 and a value quinella here boxed with the 8-WHAKAMAMA who looks a solid staying type, the 14-WHISPERING LADY who is lightly raced and thrown into a strong race last start, the Sydney filly the 3-PAVITRA and the roughie 10-MAKRANA who ran on well out wide last start.

BEST ROUGH: Race 9: 20-MAKRAM (emerg) $2 EW
Not often you tip the second emergency in the Caulfield Cup, and usually in these feature races the emergencies have next to no chance of getting start, but there are one or two who might drop out if this track comes up a genuine heavy. Looks to be a stayer on the improve, impressive win from well back 1st up, not suited on the leaderís track at MV and then ran home well when widest in the straight here last week and up in distance. Should be better for that 2400M run and looks to be on the improve so he could give this a shake, but needs to get into the field as the first step! Rough chance at $25 if he gets a run in a pretty even Caulfield Cup field.

LAY OF THE DAY: Race 6: 1-MILEVA at around $5
She has been racing well, and handles it wet, but ends up giving weight here to quite a few solid chances and the 1100M is as far as she wants and she might get pressured out of the finish here. Prefer to back others.

TURF DELI WONDER BET: Here we try and turn $5 into a ticket to a fancy Caulfield marquee.
CAULFIELD CUP TRIFECTA: 3,17 / 1,3,5,8,17,20 / 1,3,5,8,9,11,17,19,20 x $5 = 7.2%
Always fun to try a Caulfield Cup trifecta and the betting market also seems to be gearing towards 17-SMOKINí ROMANS, 3-KNIGHTS ORDER as the main winning chances. Best rough place chances are the 20-MAKRAM (emerg), 8-NO COMPROMISE and although this is only 7% we might lost some runners through scratchings.


SUGGESTED QUADDIE:
Races 7,8,9,10: 2,5,8,9,11 / 1,5,15 / 3,17,20 / 5,13,15,17 x $20 = 11.11%
Again had to work out a strategy with scratchings but looks a few chances in the first leg, stick with the class mares in the second, run with just the 17-SMOKINí ROMANS, 3-KNIGHTS ORDER in the Caulfield Cup and if the emergency doesnít get in substitute in the 8-NO COMPROMISE,
and probably not a huge amount of value in the last leg where the obvious chances should fight out the race.

The Tips:

Race 1: 1-QUANG TRI, 3-HELL HATH NO FURY, 2-BERRY BUBBLY
Race 2: 6-SAINT BATHANS, 5-SEINERS EXPRESS, 11-CAP DE JOIE
Race 3: 1-MR MAESTRO, 6-DISTRUSTFUL AWARD, 2-RED SUN SENSATION
Race 4: 9-LETíSBEFRANKBABY, 8-WHAKAMAMA, 14-WHISPERING LADY
Race 5: 12-ANGRY SKIES, 9-SKETCHED, 3-LINCOLN SQUARE
Race 6: 11-A VERY FINE RED, 6-ROSE QUARTZ, 3-JUAN DIVA
Race 7: 8-ASHFORD STREET, 9-DRAGONSTONE, 5-FREE OF DEBT
Race 8: 1-KISSONALLFORCHEEKS, 15-FORTUNATE KISS, 5-MIRRA VISION
Race 9: 17-SMOKINí ROMANS, 3-KNIGHTS ORDER, 20-MAKRAM (emerg), 8-NO COMPROMISE
Race 10: 5-BANDERSNATCH, 13-CATALYST, 17-POLAND