THE RATING BUREAU
Caulfield Guineas – 1600m 3YO G1 Set Weights $1,000,000
The track is forecast to be a Good 3 with the rail in the True position and fine weather throughout the day. Under those conditions recent history shows that horses settling on pace or handy have a winning advantage, subject to race pace.
Since January 2014 – Caulfield Good 3 – Rail Normal – Genuine chances up to $10 SP
- Settled 1st to 4th: 26.4% strike rate
- Settled 5th to 8th: 14.4% strike rate
- Settled 9th or worse: 11.1% strike rate
These results are worth keeping in mind when considering your bets throughout the day. When it comes to The Caulfield Guineas though, it seems the race may be set up to give off pace runners a better than average chance.
SPEED & TACTICS
Dal Cielo (8) is likely to comfortably cross and take up the lead, with Bassett (9) following him to sit outside in the early stages. There’s no shortage of potential pace pressure outside those two with the riders on of Snoopy (11), Shards (12) and Press Statement (14) all facing key tactical choices about whether they press forward or look to ride more conservatively. Bon Aurum (10) is the other possible go forward horse, although he’s been most effective in his last two ridden more conservatively so he may adopt similar tactics here. It also seems likely that Rageese (15) and Mr Individual (17) will be ridden quietly in the early stages.
Dal Cielo went fast over 1400m last start and with the likelihood of some outside pressure in this race he should run along in at least a genuine pace in this race, if not faster. That should ensure the Caulfield Guineas is run in good to fast overall time, making it a true test of quality over 1600m.
Early Pace Rating: Genuine to solid
Late Pace Rating: Moderate to slow
Best Suited: Off pace horses
WFA Performance Ratings of previous Caulfield Guineas winners:
- 2014 – Shooting to Win – 105.2
- 2013 – Long John – 105
- 2012 – All Too Hard – 108
- 2011 – Helmet – 107
- 2010 – Anacheeva – 102
- 2009 – Starspangledbanner – 107
- 2008 – Whobegotyou – 108
Press Statement is a clear standout in this year’s race with two runs this preparation at 103.4 & 103. If he can run to those levels or better, it’s hard to see any other horse matching him. He’s the only one that presents in this race with the type of profile that could see a winning rating consistent with expected Caulfield Guineas quality.
Outside of Press Statement there is a clear gap to Rageese 101.8 (2 runs ago in the Golden Rose, but much lower last start), Bassett 99.5 last start but 1100m to 1600m and Bon Aurum 98 in the Guineas Prelude.
We normally see at least a couple of in-form contenders present in this race with last start performance ratings of 100 or better. In fact, every winner from the last 7 years has come into the race off a last start rating of 100+. Many of them had lead up ratings very similar to those achieved in the Caulfield Guineas.
This year by comparison is highlighted by a notable lack of depth. A study of our WFA Performance Ratings for this year’s race suggests that if Press Statement does not run up to his best, a mark as low as 100 could end up good enough to win the race. While much of the lead up form is below that level, it’s very likely at least one runner will peak on the day to push the winning rating into three figures… anything lower would be unheard of for a Caulfield Guineas.
Assessing this race outside of Press Statement largely becomes about speculating on the improvement potential of the others.
Runner by Runner
Standout top chance and the only contender that comes into this race with the ratings profile of a Caulfield Guineas winner. He’s produced a 103 and 103.4 rating in two of his 3 runs this preparation, with the other being a 101.4 when very unlucky behind Exosphere in the Golden Rose. With clear running he would have almost certainly reached at least a 103+ rating in that race. Those performance figures give him a clear and dominant edge in quality over the opposition in this race.
Press Statement has proven himself over 1600m winning the JJ Atkins in the Brisbane Winter and there is no better in-form stable at the moment than Chris Waller’s. The list of horses Waller has produced this season that have run either to new peaks or up to old peaks is endless, especially in Group level races. That provides excellent confidence in Press Statement coming to this target race ready to peak.
Much has been made of the fact the he is a Sydney horse coming to Melbourne to race for the first time around Caulfield, but that factor is largely overrated (see article on the TRB web site for full facts.) We shouldn’t forget that Shooting To Win came from Sydney to win this race last year at his first Melbourne start.
The one potential problem for Press Statement is his barrier draw 14. He has a number of similarly paced horses drawn inside him, so Hugh Bowman will need to make an early and confident decision on whether to press forward to go back and ride conservatively. Even if he does head back to find a position, the expected pace in the race and subsequent sectional demands that will be placed on horses running on from back in the field are well within Press Statement’s capabilities.
Of course there is a risk he may get trapped wide, but one of the fundamental mistakes we can make as punters is talking ourselves out of good betting opportunities due to the “risk” of one factor alone, especially when it comes to barriers. The strike rate of wide draws over 1600m at Caulfield is only marginally less than inside draws, but the returns are much greater, due to the market’s tendency to overreact.
There are no certainties with any bet, but Press Statement comes into this race with a dominant profile and there is a great reward in his current price to gamble on the barrier. When the betting gets serious, it’s highly likely Press Statement will be the target.
Not far away in lead up races behind Bon Aurum in his last 2, but his ratings are around 3.5 lengths below the minimum level that will be needed win this and its seems terribly unlikely that he can suddenly spike to that level from what looks an awkward draw for him.
Had a few excuses in his first two runs this preparation, but they were much weaker than the standard that will be needed to win this race. Last start in the Guineas Prelude behind Bon Aurum he seemed to race in patches, but did finish off okay over the last 100m. On the positive side the blinkers go on for the first time in this race, which look like they could really help him and he is drawn to get an ideal run around midfield or just forward. It wouldn’t be a great surprise if he won, but the reality is so far that he’s only produced one performance that puts him genuinely in the mix here and that was his 4th in the Golden Slipper behind Vancouver as a 2YO. All of this other ratings are comfortably below the standard needed to win this race, so there’s a significant amount of ‘potential’ factored into his current market price. History shows there is far more betting profit in horses with the exposed performance ratings to win, rather than betting on potential. For that reason I have to conclude he’s poor value.
He’s definitely in this race with a longshot chance. He was disappointing last start when 4.3 lengths behind Press Statement, but he was ridden upside down to lead with ear plugs in for the first time and did race a little keenly. Prior to that though he was 2.9L 4th behind Exosphere in the Golden Rose and that is by far the best 3YO form in Australia. He narrowly beat Press Statement home that day, who was unlucky, but there’s an argument to say he was just as good as Press Statement over the last 200m when both were clear. With a 101.8 rating from that run he’s the only other horse in this race besides Press Statement with a rating >100 this preparation.
He’s drawn poorly in 15 and there has to be a query about whether he can bounce back from last start, but with the ear plugs off and winkers off he looks set to be ridden quietly and run home strongly. The ratings clearly show he has the quality to be competitive in this race and those types of horses at big prices are good longshots to include.
A Kiwi galloper who went far too fast in front in the Guineas Prelude (1400m) but still had the audacity to kick on straightening and was only run down near the line. It was a terrific run in the circumstances that suggested he could make big improvement if able to run along at a more even speed in front. The query is whether he will get the opportunity to do that in a big field here with the prospect of some outside pace pressure. Steeping up to 1600m he will certainly need to back the pace off at some stage in the middle stages to have a chance… if he can do that, he can certainly prove hard to run down.
It’s hard to knock his form winning both lead up races including the Guineas Prelude last start, which historically has been a great form reference for this. He showed the ability in that race to cope with a high pressure pace scenario, but as discussed in the overview, this race is likely to be won in a level above the Guineas Prelude form. That leaves a question of whether he can improve again to a new level. This is his 7th run first preparation, so while you have to respect his form, it would seem others have perhaps more potential to go to a new level in this race.
Was 3L 2nd to Press Statement over 1500m last start but does not give the impression that he’s the type of horse to make significant improvement stepping up to 1600m. The prospect of doing work early in this race also increases the challenge.
Won the Stutt Stakes at MV well last start and after just 3 starts he does give the impression that he can continue to improve in his ratings. However he’ll need to be around 6 lengths better to have any chance in this race and that’s likely beyond his ability or at the least too much improvement to make in one run.
Comes into this race off an odd preparation with just one lead up run over 1100m, but it was the same path followed by Peter Moody in his debut preparation when he went from an 1100m Caulfield win to be 5th, beaten 2.4 lengths by Press Statement in the 1600m G1 JJ Atkins in the Brisbane Winter Carnival. He no doubt should have finished closer in that race, so there’s evidence to be optimistic that off a similar preparation here he can at least run up to his first up rating, if not improve. That level of performance will put him in this race with a very competitive chance. Ideally he’ll be able to cross with Dal Cielo early and then look to ease and let some of those wider drawn runners cross in front of him, ending up with a run one out and one or two pairs back. Outside of Press Statement he has the proven quality to beat everything else in this field and that presents some betting appeal at current price of $14
Ran home well in the Guineas Prelude last start, but was ideally suited by a fast pace and really only made significant ground in the last 200m when the leaders were really slowing. The step up to 1600m will definitely be suitable, as is the likelihood of a solid pace, but he needs to find more turn of foot to put himself into the race earlier here if he’s to elevate to the required level for this. I’m not sure if 1600m is far enough for him to do that. He looks more like a decent stayer in the making.
Racing consistently with solid ratings, but they are approximately 3.5L below the minimum level that will be needed to win this race… let alone the mark Press Statement could reach if he gets the right run. The prospect of an easy trip from barrier 2 will help, but there’s nothing there to suggest he could suddenly take a big step forward in his ratings.
Ratings are a long way below the standard that will be needed to be even competitive here, let alone win.
Came from a mile back at this track and distance last start to win a 3YO Open Handicap race but that race was many lengths below the standard needed to win this. Even making allowance for his potential to improvement here, it’s hard to get him any shorter than $41. He looks more a Derby rather than Caulfield Guineas type.
Finished off well in the Guineas Prelude to be beaten just 0.5 lengths, but as mentioned earlier the form needed to win this race is another level above. A tricky draw and the prospect of working early looks to make his task of improving enough to win this race far too much.
He’s definitely a talented horse and was very good in the Guineas Prelude, finishing off strongly over the last 200m to just miss running down Bon Aurum. That’s put him in the market here at around $13, but he’s likely to be near last again and faces a massive task to give near enough to every horse in this field a start and run them down. It’s not impossible that he can win this, but the betting value simply isn’t there for a horse with a clear negative in-run profile.
Ratings are significantly below the standard that will be needed to win this. It would be a big surprise if he was competitive.
Showed early promise, but seems to have hit a plateau this preparation at a level inferior to the standard for this race. Drawn barrier 17 certainly doesn’t help.
Happy to work betting around 3 horses here. For every $100 you want to invest on the race, stake in the following ratio:
- Press Statement – Win $85 (layers may be happy to risk him, but look for a late firm)
- Bassett – Win $10
- Rageese – Win $5 (could get to silly odds on the Exchange)