2015 Caulfield Cup Preview & Betting Tips

October 16th 2015, 10:02am, By: tim_tips

Before You Bet's horse racing expert Tim is back with his latest horse racing betting tips, this time with a look at the 2015 Caulfield CupThose that have followed Tim's work, either on Twitter or through his subscription service at Tim's Tips, know that Tim brings excellent form and great experience in the industry. Tim will be providing previews and analysis of feature races, with regular articles each Saturday and throughout the 2015 spring racing season.

BMW CAULFIELD CUP 2400M – GROUP 1

Historical Statistics

- 25 of the last 31 winners have come through the Turnbull and/or the Underwood Stakes, 9 of which competed in both of those races in their lead up

- Only one favourite has won since 2005 and 8 of the past 9 winners have been at double figure odds

- 19 of the past 21 winners have won or placed at their previous two starts

- In the last 32 editions, 16 have been won by 4YO’s, 6 have been won by 5YO’s and 10 have been won by horses 6YO or older

- Only two mares have won in the last 15 years

- Of the 16 4YO winners only one has carried more than 54.5kg

- Only 6 horses have carried more than 56.5kg in that time, but importantly 3 of those have been in the last 6 years

- Barrier 9 is the most successful barrier followed by barrier 7

- No horse has won from barrier 1, 8, 12 or 14 in the last 30 years

Barrier Statistics (since 1983)

Barrier

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

Winners

0

3

3

1

3

1

4

0

5

3

1

0

3

0

1

1

1

2

 

Tempo/Speed Map

Expecting Snow Sky to lead the field up with Volkstok’n’barrell expected to be up there with him. There is the chance that a few horses drawn out wide such as Royal Descent, Magnapal and Magicool could try to cross over early in order to secure a position up on speed. From the good draw Mongolian Khan should take up a position just forward of midfield and enjoy a good run, while it will be interesting to see what Craig Williams decides to do on Hokko Brave from the wide draw. There are plenty of horses here that typically race well off the pace, such as Fame Game, Gust Of Wind, Lucia Valentina, Grand Marshal and Hauraki. Overall I expect a really even tempo which should give most horses their chance. The speed from out wide could inject a bit of tempo but there isn’t exactly an out-and-out leader that will be looking to spear across in an attempt to find the front.

On Pace

Forward of midfield

Back of midfield

Backmarkers

Snow Sky

Mongolian Khan

Fame Game

Grand Marshal

Volkstok’n’barrell

Set Square

Protectionist

Hauraki

Rising Romance

Magicool

Our Ivanhowe

Lucia Valentina

Magnapal

Trip To Paris

Hokko Brave

 

Royal Descent

 

Who Shot Thebarman

 

 

 

Gust Of Wind

 

 

PROTECTIONIST: The 2014 Melbourne Cup winner hasn’t shown much promise in any of his starts since his win last November but most have been over unsuitable trips. Tops the weights here over what is still an unsuitable distance at an unsuitable track against one of the strongest Caulfield Cup fields ever. Might find a few a bit too sharp for him over 2400m but keep an eye on his last 200m.

SNOW SKY: Top quality European stayer who holds form behind horses such as Kingston Hill, Adelaide, Postponed, Telescope and Red Cadeaux. He ran 3rd in the Group 1 St Leger Stakes over 2900m before recording wins in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup and the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes over 2400m. He’s proved his quality over 2400m and performs best on firm tracks, so with a good draw in barrier 3 and Damien Oliver on board he will be very hard to beat. Big chance.

FAME GAME: I think this Japanese raider is just about a moral in the Melbourne Cup on the back of his blistering run in the Tenno Sho, but as has been publicised all week, the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup is going to be too short. His jockey Zac Purton mentioned to me that he struggled a little bit around the corners during his track gallop and also has no turn of foot so he thinks the tight Caulfield track will pose a problem for him. He’s slightly over his optimum race weight so likely to improve sharply from this run and he tends to race off the pace so drawing barrier 1 is certainly not ideal. Needs a strong tempo and a lot of luck if he’s any chance of winning this, but I’ll be waiting a few weeks to put my money on Fame Game.

OUR IVANHOWE: Both runs back this prep have been good and he finished off nicely when runner up with 60kgs in the Group 3 Bart Cummings last start. He is a Group 1 winner in Germany over 2400m but that was on a soft track which seem to be when he has performed best. Drawn horribly in barrier 17 which makes his job even tougher and there is also the fact that no locally trained winner in the last 20 years has come through the Bart Cummings. Not the worst but not one of the major chances.

HOKKO BRAVE: I’ve thought for a long time now that this Japanese horse is the one much better suited to the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup. He definitely isn’t as good as Fame Game but there is plenty in his favour here. First up last prep he ran 3rd in a Group 2 over 2500m in Japan – form which is good enough to win here. Well weighted off only 55.5kg, goes well on firm tracks, and despite the horrible barrier (19) I think he rates as a big chance at double figure odds.

MONGOLIAN KHAN: Group 1 Australian Cup winner in the Sydney Autumn and he’s absolutely flying this prep. Every start has brought upon noticeable improvement and his run to finish 3rd in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes last week was outstanding. Gets up to his pet distance of 2400m now where he is undefeated and he’s drawn well so has absolutely every box ticked. I do think he is now way too short at $4.60 given the strength of this field but you can’t knock the way he’s going.

TRIP TO PARIS: Winner of the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup in the UK back in June of this year and stablemate to the mighty Red Cadeaux. Despite having two wins from five starts over 2400m this horse is an out and out stayer that needs to build momentum in his races rather than produce a sharp turn of foot. Most of his best races have been over 3000m and beyond, and his win in the Ascot Gold Cup was over 4000m. He’s drawn to get a super run from barrier 5 but I think there’s going to be several horses that outsprint him when it counts.

WHO SHOT THEBARMAN: Going well this preparation and is crying out for the longer trip. He’s being aimed purely at the Melbourne Cup and while we can expect him to appreciate the extra distance here, he will relish the 3200m at Flemington. Drawn awfully in barrier 21 and I think they’ll ride him dead cold at the back of the field and let him finish off strongly. Wait for the Melbourne Cup with Who Shot Thebarman.

GRAND MARSHALL: Winner of the Group 1 Sydney Cup over 3200m in the Autumn but he is another out and out stayer that really needs the longer trip. The Sydney Cup is about two levels below the field he faces here today and he desperately needs the long Flemington straight to go through his gears. Not suited at all here.

ROYAL DESCENT: Performing admirably in every race she has contested so far this campaign, with a first up win in the Warwick Stakes followed by minor placings in a Group 2 and two Group 1s since.  She’s been beaten 0.5L and 0.1L in her two most recent runs at Group 1 level and while I don’t think 2400m is her best distance, it’s hard to say she won’t run well. The issue for her is the strength of her competition who are better suited at this distance and the fact she has drawn the widest gate possible. Expect her to go forward (possibly even lead) and give a good sight, but she will probably find a few too good.

VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL: Along with Mongolian Khan this Kiwi had big wraps on him coming into the Spring but has so far failed to fire a shot. Although all four runs have been in Group 1 company and arguably over unsuitable distances, he hasn’t shown much to convince me he is any chance in a race this hot. The blinkers come off today in an attempt to help him settle, he’s drawn reasonably in barrier 11 and steps up to 2400m for the first time this prep, but I still have him quite far down the list.

HAURAKI: This is one horse that certainly will appreciate the step up to his pet distance of 2400m. Comes into the race as the only Godolphin representative and their operation is going okay at the moment. This horse ran 2nd to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Australian Derby in the autumn and has a 2kg swing in the weights from that race. Showed he was nearing his best last start when nearly overrunning his stablemate Complacent over 2000m, and he comes into this ready to peak at his best distance of 2400m. Drawn a touch awkward in 14 but well weighted with 53kg, McDonald on board and he’s certainly a live chance.

LUCIA VALENTINA: Ran 3rd in this race as the favourite last year and was running respectably in her first two runs this prep before a slightly disappointing run last start. Zac Purton was meant to ride her in the Cox Plate but he wasn’t impressed at all with her latest run and the stable have decided to run her here instead. The blinkers come off but she’s drawn horribly and not going as well as she was this time last year.

RISNG ROMANCE: I think she’s a huge chance and probably the horse best suited by the barrier draw. Her first two runs this prep were outstanding and she should have won the Group 1 Makybe Diva with a touch more luck. Last start she finished back in the field but she drew wide and endured a torrid run throughout the race. Last year she finished 2nd in this race to Admire Rakti where she drew wide and got given a freakishly good ride from James McDonald to land 3rd on the rail behind the leader. She will be able to get that exact same spot with less effort from barrier 2 this year and she’s never finished out of the top 2 over 2400m. If you forgive her last start and take into account her prior form, her barrier draw, her weight and the step up to 2400m, she rates as a massive chance at double figure odds. Her stable is flying too with two Group 1 wins last weekend.

MAGICOOL: It angers me that this horse gains a run over the likes of Quest For More, Complacent and Magic Hurricane purely based on a win in a sub-par Group 1 in Queensland earlier in the year. The only thing in his favour is the low weight and step up to 2400m but his form is nowhere near good enough to be competitive here. Pass.

GUST OF WIND: Don’t let her form deceive you – she’s flying. This mare won the Group 1 ATC Oaks over this same distance during the Sydney autumn carnival where she beat home a handy mare called Winx! Two starts ago she finished 1.8L away from Fawkner over 1600m where her last 200m was outstanding. Then last start in the Turnbull Stakes over 2000m she was travelling super but was badly held up and never got fully clear. She drops down to the featherweight of 51kg here and the wide draw probably suits her as it allows her to drift back and get some running room to build up. Wouldn’t be surprised at all to see her in the finish, expect her to rattle home and catch the eye heading towards the Melbourne Cup in two weeks.

SET SQUARE: Another mare that is racing really well and finds a more suitable trip with a light weight on her back. Arguably should have won last start when she was held up in the straight before charging home to be beaten less than a length by Preferment in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes. This race is her goal and with the featherweight I expect her to run well but she will need an excellent ride from barrier 16.

MAGNAPAL: Earned a spot in the race with a victory in the Group 2 Naturalism Stakes. He’s racing in terrific form but in significantly lower grade than this and despite only carrying 50kg, the step up to 2400m might not be to his liking. Drawn terribly and clearly not a winning chance against these horses.

QUEST FOR MORE (emergency): European stayer that has remarkably finished in the top 2 in 8 of his last 9 starts. All of those have been over 2400m or longer and he’s never missed a place over 2400m so there’s no queries over the distance. Only missed a place twice from 15 starts on Good tracks and if he manages to gain a run he gets in with just 53.5kg. Probably not up to Group 1 handicaps at 2400m (better over further) and I believe he is more of a dour type rather than having a turn of foot. More of a Melbourne Cup horse I’d suggest.

COMPLACENT (emergency): Returned from nearly 2 years off the track and continued on like he’d never been gone, winning a Group 2 and a Group 3 from his four starts so far this prep.  No questions over his ability at this distance and his form is certainly good enough to be competitive if he manages to somehow gain a run. Weighted with only 53kg and will look to take up a prominent position but I doubt it will come to that.

DIBAYANI (emergency): Former HK horse that has been pretty solid in some good races during his first Australian campaign. Will definitely relish stepping up to the 2400m and dropping back to a handicap (6kg lighter than his WFA weight) but he probably isn’t going well enough to be a realistic chance. Would also need a minor miracle to gain a run as 3rd emergency.

MAGIC HURRICANE (emergency): It annoys me that this horse can’t get a run in the Caulfield Cup despite dominating the Group 1 Metropolitan over this exact distance two weeks ago, especially when a horse like Magicool gets a run. If he was to somehow be the subject of a miracle and gain a start due to four scratchings, he would be very competitive. Only carries 52.5kg and gets a beautiful draw in barrier 4, but sadly it’s nearly impossible to see him getting a run.

 

Summary and selections

Such a strong and competitive field which really turns me off the $4.60 price about the favourite MONGOLIAN KHAN. Only one favourite has won in the last 9 years and only one of the 16 four-year-olds to have won since 1983 has carried more than 54.5kg, is history is certainly against the Kiwi here. I am prepared to risk him in favour of a couple at bigger odds.

SNOW SKY undoubtedly holds some of the strongest form in the race and you can forgive his failure last start when he wasn’t suited by the soft track. He was a dominant winner of a quality Group 2 over 2400m in the UK and from barrier 3 he looks the likely leader in the field. Should enjoy a good run and he rates as a huge chance.

HOKKO BRAVE is much better suited to the 2400m here in my opinion, and he ran 3rd in a Group 2 in Japan first up over 2500m last prep. The stable was actually happy to get a wide barrier so as to avoid getting clogged up in traffic, and I think he is over the odds and one of the better chances in the race. Craig Williams also knows how to win a Caulfield Cup from a wide barrier.

HAURAKI is the sole Godolphin runner in the race at this stage, and his form coming into this is interesting. Finished 2nd to Mongolian Khan in the autumn and meets him better at the weights here, and the 2400m is his pet distance. He showed he was nearing his best form last start and the step up to 2400m should see him deliver a peak performance. Well drawn, well weighted and he’s tough to beat.

Mares haven’t enjoyed the best record recently but I rate RISING ROMANCE as a massive chance in this race and she is my top selection at double figure odds. She ran 2nd in this race last year and should take up a very similar position in running this year without having to do any work to get there. I think she’s absolutely flying (forgive her last start) and with the exact same weight as last year she is a big hope for a stable very much in hot form.

GUST OF WIND is a sneaky chance in the race off only 51kg. If you watch her recent runs you will see she is going super without any luck. Another one that is very well suited by the 2400m and holds form over the country’s most exciting mare Winx. Keep her safe.

I think FAME GAME is just about a moral for the Melbourne Cup but I think this race is completely unsuitable for him. 2400m is well short of his best and he’s drawn barrier 1 as a horse that races back in the field. The tight corners of Caulfield won’t suit him and he’s likely to get caught up in a bit of traffic. The Melbourne Cup is certainly his go and all reports suggest this run will top him off so he is spot on in two weeks. I’m happy to risk him.

Verdict

1st RISING ROMANCE E/W
2nd HOKKO BRAVE
3rd SNOW SKY
4th MONGOLIAN KHAN

 

Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly.  Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!

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