The Betfair Insider: Early Caulfield Cup Preview

Caulfield Cup Preview

 Profiling the race we learn the following:

  • 3 of past 5 winners used Turnbull Stakes as lead up run, Other 2 International 1st up
  • 0 of past 5 winners have been the SP Favourite
  • 1 of past 5 winners has been a Mare (2011 Southern Speed – 4th Turnbull Stakes)
  • 4 of past 5 winners have been 6yo+
  • 2 of past 2 International winners carried 58kg (2014 Admire Rakti & 2012 Dunaden)


Previous race winners & Lead up result:

2014 – Rail +6m, Good 3

1st – Admire Rakti 7yo Horse – SP $11 58kg BR 7 – 1st up 24 weeks, 13th Tenno Sho G1 3200m Kyoto

2nd – Rising Romance – SP $12 56kg BR 14 – 2 weeks, 2nd Craven Plate G3 2000m Randwick

3rd – Lucia Valentina – SP $4 fav 53kg  BR 10 – 2 weeks, 1st Turnbull Stakes g1 2000m Flemington


2013 Rail +6m, Good 4

1st – Fawkner 6 yo Gelding – SP $11 55kg BR 10 – 2 weeks, 3rd Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington

2nd – Dandino – SP $11 56.5kg BR 16 – 9 weeks, 2nd USA St Ledger 382k 2700m Arlington

3rd – Dear Demi –SP $11 53kg BR 18 – 2 weeks, 8th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington


2012 Rail +6m, Good 4

1st – Dunaden 7 yo Horse – SP $14 58kg BR 18 – 1st up 13 weeks, 6th King George VI G1 2400m Ascot

2nd – Alcopop – SP $16 52.5kg BR 8 – 1 week, 2nd Caulfield Stakes G1 2000m Caulfield

3rd – Lights Of Heaven – SP$11 53kg BR 7 – 4 weeks, 3rd Hill Stakes G1 2000m Randwick


2011 Rail +6m, Good 4

1st – Southern Speed 4 yo Mare – SP $10 52.5kg BR 3 – 2 weeks, 4th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington

2nd – Green Moon – SP $11 53kg BR 13 – 4 weeks, 1st Newcastle Cup G3 2300m Newcastle

3rd – Tullamore –SP $20 54.5 kg BR 11 – 2 weeks, 8th Metropolitan G1 2400m Randwick


2010 Rail +6m Heavy 10

1st – Descarado 6 yo Gelding – SP $17 52.5kg BR 15 – 2 weeks, 14th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington

2nd – Harris Tweed – SP $17 54kg BR 8 – 2 weeks, 1st Bart Cummings Listed 2500m Flemington

3rd – Monaco Consul – SP $21 BR 12 – 2 weeks, 12th Turnbull Stakes G1 2000m Flemington



Fame Game (Japan) 6YO Horse

16 Starts: 5 wins 2 placing’s

Prizemoney: $2,798,484
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2000/3400     1st Up: 6:0-1-0    2nd Up: 5:2-0-1
Firm: 6:2-1-0     Good: 10:3-0-1     Soft: 0:0-0-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 57.0   International Rating: 117      Key Race: Tenno Sho Spring JPN 2nd G1 3200m 3/05/2015


Fame Game is the 2nd favourite for both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.  His profile being not too dissimilar to last years Caulfield Cup winner, the ill-fated Admire Rakti.

Fame Game appears to be coming to Australia at the peek of his powers. At his latest start he was a fast finishing (and unlucky) 2nd in the Tenno Sho Grade 1 over 3200m where Admire Rakti who could only manage a 7.5L 13th the year prior.

His Tenno Show run was first up after 10 weeks and has regularly performed well with two run preparations.

Over 2200-2400m is no issue with wins and fast finishing efforts in Grade 2 and 3 events at this distance range.

The majority of his starts have been on firm tracks and is someone what unknown on the wet. He looks a typically versatile and tough Japanese horse and deserves his place at the top of the market carrying 57kg for the Caulfield Cup, 1kg less than Admire Rakti.

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup:

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

Hokko Brave (Japan) 8YO Horse

29 Starts: 5 wins 10 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,821,169
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 2200/2600     1st Up: 10:2-2-2    2nd Up: 9:0-2-3
Firm: 23:2-4-4     Good: 5:3-0-1     Soft: 1:0-1-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 55.5       International Rating: 114      Key Race: Nikkei Shi JPN 3rd G2 2500m 28/03/2015


Hokko Brave is currently 7th pick on the exchange in the Caulfield Cup, unlike his Japanese counterpart Fame Game, he is a little more exposed with an additional 13 starts to his name.

Both horses met each other in the Tenno Show (3200m) where Fame Game was a much more appealing run to the eye although the margin between the two was only 1.5L.

He has form behind Admire Rakti in Japan which does put him right in his race however I couldn’t have him in front of Fame Game who did towel him up with they met ‘the Melbourne way’ on the 9th of November 2014 in the Copa Republica G2 over 2500m. He does have a 1.5kg weight advantage over Fame Game if that counts for anything over 2400m.

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup:

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Snow Sky (Great Britain) 5YO Horse

14 Starts: 5 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $819,932
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1609/2816     1st Up: 4:1-1-1    2nd Up: 3:2-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 10:4-1-2     Soft: 3:0-1-0     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 58.0     International Rating: 122     Key Race: Hardwicke Stakes UK 1st G2 2400m 18/06/2015


Snow Sky finished 3rd, well ahead of Hartnell in the Ladbrokes St Ledger (G1 2937m) in September 2014 when tried over a longer distance than what he had previously raced at. It was a sound performance but his run had well and truly peaked at the 200m. Snow Sky was then sent to Sha Tin for a run but was disappointing which is worth noting as he may not be a good traveler.

He resumed after that and put in two impressive runs at 2800m & 2400m before failing to handle the soft ground (also 2400m) and was spelled.

Snow Sky heads to Australia with his first run now expected to be the Caulfield Cup. What’s interesting and more so puzzling is that they originally planned to go first up into the Melbourne Cup. Thankfully owner Khalid Abdullah has now changed course which makes him very hard to beat in the Caulfield Cup with Damien Oliver booked to ride.

If he wins the Caulfield Cup he will probably weight himself out of winning the Melbourne Cup.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

First up Caulfield Cup (2400m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

Mongolian Khan (NZ) 4YO Horse

11 Starts: 7 wins 0 placing’s

Prizemoney:  $1,916,512
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1710/3219     1st Up: 2:1-0-0    2nd Up: 1:0-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 7:3-0-0     Soft: 4:4-0-0     Heavy: 1:0-0-0    Synthetic: 2:0-0-0

Weight: 55.0    International Rating: 188     Key Race: ATC Derby 1st G1 2400m 6/04/2015


Up and coming Kiwi star with an outstanding race record.  The winner of the Group 1 NZ and ATC Derby this horse can stay all day and has the ability to sprint when it counts.

His first up run in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes was outstanding 1.5L 7th which was off a 23 week break. Followed up by an equally impressively 2nd up performance in the G1 Underwood Stakes finishing only 1.7 lengths behind Mourinho.

Third up into Caulfield Stakes he ran a slashing 3rd behind Criterion after being shuffled back along the fence. His last 200m the fastest of the race in 11.24. He drops 3kg from WFA to Handicap conditions and is now favourite on The Exchange. He will take a World of beating.


Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup (2000m), into Melbourne Cup (3200m)

 Hauraki (Aus) 4YO Gelding

10 Starts: 3 wins 2 placing’s

Prizemoney: $633,660
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/2000     1st Up: 3:1-0-0    2nd Up: 3:1-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0    Good: 7:3-2-0    Soft: 3:0-1-0    Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 53.0  International Rating: 116   Key Race: ATC Derby 2nd G1 2400m 6/04/2015


Hauraki, the runner up in the Group 1 ATC derby to Mongolian Khan resumed in the Tramway (won by Hooked) on the 5th of September. He finished 10th of 14 first up which and was probably a touch disappointing to the eye.

A pass mark second up in the G1 George Main which has proved to be a hot form race when finished 7th Beaten 5.3 lengths 7th to Kermadec. A much better performance third up to 2000m in the G3 Craven Plate, narrowly beaten by stablemate Complacent who had the benefit of an extra run under his belt.

Will peak 4th up into the Caulfield Cup and dropping 5kg from his WFA performance last start making him third favourite in the market. Big Chance.


Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup

Straight into Caulfield Cup (2400m), then into Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Complacent (Aus) 5YO Horse

10 Starts: 5 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $908,225
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/2000     1st Up: 2:0-1-0    2nd Up: 2:1-1-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 7:4-2-0     Soft: 3:1-1-1     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 53.0        International Rating: 116      Key Race: Chelmsford Stakes 1st G2 1600m 5/09/2015


‘The comeback kid’ Complacent appears to be back to his best with an impressive and somewhat surprising win ($110 BSP) in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) on the 5th of September.

The surprising factor was not his talent; we knew that was there after we won the Group 1 Champions Stakes in 2013 over Criterion (Winner of the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes), rather the fact he was able to beat the likes of Kermadec, Royal Descent and Pornichet over the what appeared to be a distance short of his best.

His third placing in the G2 Hill Stakes was OK after working hard early to lead and tire late. That form has been franked with winner of the Hill Stakes (Preferment) winning Saturday’s G1 Turnbull Stakes. He then defeated stablemate Hauraki to win the G3 Craven Plate (WFA) and will drop 6kgs into the Caulfield Cup.

One thing he has proven this campaign is his toughness! He’s on the borderline of getting a start which is his biggest worry. Don’t back him until he’s in the field.


Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup

Straight into Caulfield Cup (2400m)


Rising Romance (Aus) 5YO Mare

20 Starts: 5 wins 8 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,568,245
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/2400     1st Up: 4:1-0-0    2nd Up: 4:0-2-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 14:3-7-1     Soft: 4:2-0-0     Heavy: 2:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 53.0 International Rating: 116 Key Race: Caulfield Cup 2nd G1 2400m 18/10 2014


Rising Romance is close to the best staying Mare in the country after a second placing in last years Caulfield Cup (Admire Ratki) and an unlucky second in her latest start the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

She’s flying this time racing for the Hayes & Dabernig training partnership.

She appears to be stronger now and had no luck trapped wide throughout the Turnbull Stakes beaten 3.45 lengths at her last start. She drops 2.5kg from that performance, loves the 2400m at Caulfield being runner up in the Cup last year to Admire Ratki carrying 56kg.

She’s 4th favourite and can win off an inside draw.

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup

Caulfield Cup (2400m)

Protectionist (GER) 6YO Horse

16 Starts: 5 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $4,170,160
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/3200     1st Up: 6:1-2-1    2nd Up: 4:1-1-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 8:2-2-0     Soft: 7:2-1-1     Heavy: 1:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 58.0     International Rating: 120       Key Race: Melbourne Cup 1st G1 3200m 4/11/2014


Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner is looking to defend his title which has proven a tough ask for many before him.

Protectionist looked ‘on track’ last campaign with a bold effort when only beaten 2.2L to Hartnell in the BMW, but true believers were left shattered after he failed in the Group 1 Sydney Cup 3200m, eased down to be beaten 16L on that day.

Since resuming he’s been just OK, second up beaten six lengths in the George Main Stakes. It was the performance of a dower stayer who needs every bit of 2400-3200m.

He had a charmed run in the Turnbull Stakes but couldn’t sprint when asked too. He gave in quickly after a slight bumping dual with Happy Trails and I couldn’t back him to win either Cup at this stage.

Likely lead up to Melbourne Cup

Caulfield Cup (2400m), then into Melbourne Cup.


 Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) 7YO Horse

22 Starts: 8 wins 4 placing’s

Prizemoney: $1,338,021
Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/3200     1st Up: 5:1-1-0    2nd Up: 5:1-0-0
Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 12:6-1-1     Soft: 7:1-2-0     Heavy: 3:1-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 54.5      International Rating: 114      Qualifying Race: Sydney Cup 2nd G1 3200m 11/04/2015


A former Kiwi, Who Shot Thebarman was transferred over to the Waller stable in 2014 and progressed nicely through the grades. In just his first preparation in he made it all the way through to the Melbourne Cup, finishing a brilliant 3rd to Protectionist and Red Cadeaux.
He was then spelled and resumed his next campaign culminating in great runs in the BMW (Hartnell) and then going down in a photo finish to Grand Marshall in the Sydney Cup.

This time in he’s been more than satisfactory for a horse that excels between 2400-3200m. He is a more seasoned horse this season and his last ‘quiet’ run in the Turnbull Stakes would have topped him off nicely for the Caulfield Cup which he will drop 2kgs from that performance.

Likely lead up to Caulfield Cup

Straight into Caulfield Cup (2400m), then into Melbourne Cup.

 Gust Of Wind (NZ) 4yo Mare 

7 starts: 3 wins 0 placings

Prizemoney: $724,900

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1400/2400     1st Up: 3:1-0-0    2nd Up: 2:1-0-0

Firm: 0:0-0-0    Good: 5:2-0-0    Soft: 2:1-0-0    Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 51kg    International Rating: 115         Qualifying Race: ATC Oaks 1st G1 2400m 11/4/15


Lightly raced filly form the John Sargent yard who is a master with staying fillies. Winner of the ATC oaks in autumn defeating Winx by 2.5 lengths. That form reads stronger by the day and it’s no surprise that she’s come back in terrific order this preparation

First up beaten 4.1 lengths in the G2 Warwick Stakes to Royal Descent. Equally impressive 2nd up in the Makybe Diva Stakes beaten 1.8 lengths to Fawkner home her last 400 21.72 200 10.98.

Her Turnbull Stakes run was a touch disappointing to my eye despite only beaten 3.45 lengths 11th. She drops 3.5 kgs into the Caulfield Cup and at $23 on the Exchange i could only entertain her running a place.


Likely Lead up to Caulfield Cup:

Straight into Caulfield Cup (2400m)

 Set Square (AUS) 4yo Mare

10 starts: 3 wins 5 placings

Prizemoney: $829,000

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1600/2500     1st Up: 3:0-2-1    2nd Up: 3:1-0-1

Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 9:3-1-3     Soft: 1:0-1-0     Heavy: 0:0-0-0    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 51kg           International Rating: 115     Qualifying Race: VRC Oaks 1st G1 2500m 6/11/2014


Lightly raced mare who won last years VRC Crown Oaks over 2500 at Flemington. Failed to strike a blow in the autumn and was just OK in her first two runs this preparation this time in.

Made her presence felt in last Sunday’s G1 Turnbull Stakes finishing 3rd after struggling for clear running at the top of the straight. She drops 3.5kg from that run into the Caulfield Cup and will appreciate the extra 400m.

She’s 4th favourite on the exchange and looks a good chance to run in first half dozen if she can draw a good barrier. She’s likely to drift on the day so i wouldn’t back her yet.


Likely Lead up to Caulfield Cup:

Straight into Caulfield Cup (2400m)


 Royal Descent (AUS) 6yo Mare

29 starts: 5 wins 15 placings

Prizemoney: $2,679,780

Min/Max-Dist-Win: 1200/2400     1st Up: 6:2-2-0    2nd Up: 6:1-1-2

Firm: 0:0-0-0     Good: 17:3-6-1     Soft: 7:1-1-3     Heavy: 5:1-3-1    Synthetic: 0:0-0-0

Weight: 53.5kg    International Rating: 118         Qualifying Race: Queen Elizabeth 3rd G1 11/4/15


In career best form this preparation. 1st up winner in the G2 Warwick Stakes at 1400m. Followed that performance up with placings in the G2 Chelmsford, G1 George Main and most recently a narrow defeat in the G1 Turnbull Stakes.

She drops no weight from the Turnbull into the Caulfield cup but profiles as a potential winner. Her two attempts at 2400m have produced a 10 length ATC Oaks win in 2013 & 5th beaten 1.85 lengths in the Caulfield Cup in the spring of the same year.

If she has anything left in the tank it’s easy to make a case for her at $21 on The Exchange.


Likely Lead up to Caulfield Cup:

Straight into Caulfield Cup (2400m)