Caulfield Race 8 | The Caulfield Cup| 2400m G1 Hcp | 4.30pm

The Track

The track is currently a Good 3 (rail +6m), with 16c forecast on Saturday.

Expect the track to race very evenly, with ground on the fence to 5-6 horses out perfectly fine. Race pace / position will be far more influential in results than the track itself.


Speed and Tactics

This looks likely to be a genuine (or faster) run Caulfield Cup. Sir Isaac Newton (17) has been noted as going forward by team Williams and that looks the key to a genuine speed. Marmelo (10) is likely to also press forward with Jon Snow (6) and possibly Single Gaze (12). The likes of Boom Time (3), Johannes Vermeer (2) and Ventura Storm (4) will look to hold positions in the first 4-6.

Early Pace Rating: Between above average and just above average
Late Pace Rating: Average
Best Suited: Lead to 5L off lead.


WFA Performance Ratings - Winning Benchmark

A few of the key contenders here are coming off moderate last start run, but that aside, it looks a very solid Caulfield Cup. The winner will need to rate at least 107 at the weights and more likely in the 108-110 range, which fits right with the 10-year average for the race of 108.7


Race Assessment

3. Johannes Vermeer: Forecast 107 - 110. Assessed $3.50

He burst onto the scene as a Cup contender with an outstanding 2nd last Saturday behind Gailo Chop in the Caulfield Stakes. With other top chances coming off moderate last start run, Johannes Vermeer brings clearly the best last start rating into this field and it’s reasonable to expect he can improve with the benefit of that run last week. He comes into this race with a last start figure of 108.2 at the weights, comparing well with Jameka in 2016 who came into the race with a 108.6 last start figure and Mongolian Khan in 2015 who came in with a 107.6. Like Johannes Vermeer, both of those Caulfield Cup winners had clearly the best last start rating for the race. It’s interesting to see the similarities with Mongolian Khan who came off the Caulfield Stakes on the 7-day back up with a very similar overall rating and final 200m sectional profile to Johannes Vermeer. While his last start run may have come as a surprise, the quality of the figures, 7-day back up and prospect of an ideal run just off the lead present Johannes Vermeer with imposing credentials for the Caulfield Cup. He’s clearly the one to beat.

15. Harlem: Forecast 103 - 110. Assessed $7.50

He was plain last start behind Amelies Star, but his prior win over 2000m at Caulfield returned a figure that can definitely win this race with just 51.5kg. There has to be a query if he can get back to that form, but there was no fluke in the quality of the win and Hayes has an outstanding record putting the blinkers on in staying races, like he has with Harlem here. He’ll need some luck in the run from barrier 1, but could end up following Johannes Vermeer.

1. Humidor: Forecast 104.5 - 109 Assessed $8.00

Another that looked right on track to win this before putting in a well below par run behind Winx last start. He’s been set for this race all along so if Weir can get him back to his best then there is absolutely no doubt he can win. I do have a concern though about his tendency to hang in, which was there again last start.

11. Bonneval: Forecast 103 - 109. Assessed $12.00

She looked very hard to beat in this after winning the G1 WFA Underwood, but was then plain behind Gailo Chop in the Caulfield Stakes. She’s also had a cloud over her about lameness, but she’s been passed fit, so I’m not factoring that in at all. The biggest worry is how far back she’ll get in this field. Working through her figures, she’s going to need to improve a few lengths to give some of these a decent head start and run them down. Even allowing for some improvement, I can’t assess her any better than a $12 chance (currently $8.)

2. Marmelo: Forecast 102 - 108. Assessed $14.00

Overseas visitor targeting the Melbourne Cup and his best figures are clearly in the 2800-3000m distance range. However, he can race forward and has staying talent so it would not surprise one bit if he was very competitive.

16. Amelies Star: Forecast 103 - 107 Assessed $15.00

Has been building perfectly this preparation, which led to a good win in the Bart Cummings last start. Her rating from that run though is still around 1.5L below the standard needed to win this and she did enjoy a perfect trip. Barrier 13 and her likely position in the run is more challenging here, but the Weir factor could also see her improve a little more. She’s not hopeless but I can’t get her any shorter than $15 and the market is currently $9

4. Jon Snow: Forecast 103.5 - 105.5. Assessed $18.00

He’s racing well, but recent figures are still around 3L below the standard needed here. I’ve been optimistic with improvement for this race which he’s been set for all along and I still can’t mark him any better than an $18 chance. That’s much longer than the $11 currently on offer.

7. Ventura Storm: Forecast 102-107. Assessed $23.00

He’s been racing okay this preparation and on his overseas peaks he could be right in the finish. However, he hasn’t done quite enough in his lead-ups for me, so he’s hard to like.

14. Abbey Marie: 102.5 - 105 Assessed $23.00

Was sound enough behind Gailo Chop last start and barrier 5 here stepping up to 2400m could allow her to settle a couple of lengths closer and run to a new peak. She’s certainly a longshot but it wouldn’t surprise if she was thereabouts.

9. Inference: Forecast 102 - 105 Assessed $26.00

Has been running soundly in WFA lead up races. He could be thereabouts, but needs to find another 3 lengths to be in the finish.

13. Boom Time: Forecast 100 - 105 Assessed $51.00

Ran well in a very fast Herbert Power last Saturday. Less pressure here could see him improve, but he’ll need a big spike to get in the finish.

17. Lord Fandango: Forecast 101 - 104 Assessed $61.00

He’s in career best form, this preparation but needs to find another big new peak to get in the finish here.

10. Single Gaze: Forecast 102 - 104 Assessed $67.00

She’s racing well but needs a clear new peak which seems unlikely after 26 starts. She also faces some challenges on the map.

6. Sir Isaac Newton: Forecast 98 - 106 Assessed $101.00

His form reads poorly, but he will go forward here and does have some overseas form that could be competitive. It’s impossible to like him, but wouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world if he battled on well.

8. Wicklow Brave: Forecast 99 - 104 Assessed $101.00

He’s a 9-year-old coming off moderate recent figures overseas and is far from suited here back to 2400m from a wide draw.

12. Hardham: Forecast 97 - 102 Assessed $151.00

Racing well enough but would need a massive new peak to get in the finish.

5. He's Our Rokkii: Forecast 96 - 101 Assessed $501.00

Racing well enough but would need a massive new peak to get in the finish.


Betting Strategy

The credentials Johannes Vermeer brings to this off his last start run are imposing and he’s a standout for me. Harlem is the other that appeals at a value price in current markets so I’m happy to play him for a smaller profit.

A race like this should see nice prices bet on the exchange in the 30 minutes leading up to the race.

 BACK (WIN) Johannes Vermeer at >$3.50 – Stake 1.2% of your total bank.

 BACK (WIN) Harlem at >$7.50 – Stake 0.3% of your total bank.


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