2019 Caulfield Cup Preview & Betting Tips

October 18th 2019, 6:29pm, By: tim_tips

The first of the big three races in the Melbourne Spring takes place this Saturday, October 19th with the Group 1 Caulfield Cup. The $5million feature has attracted a strong contingent of international runners, along with the best of our local stayers in what should be a terrific race.

The Caulfield track should be a Good 4 for raceday despite a little bit of rain in the days leading up to the event. The rail will be in the True position.

We have a capacity field of 18 runners set to line up over 2400m and we've provided out in-depth preview of the race below.

2019 Caulfield Cup Preview & Betting Tips

Market

Market courtesy of Ladbrokes. Odds correct at the time of publishing.

Finche

$6.00

Rostropovich

$21

Mer De Glace

$7.50

Gold Mount

$21

Constantinople

$8.50

Wolfe

$21

Vow And Declare

$8.50

Brimham Rocks

$26

Mr Quickie

$8.50

Qafila

$34

Mustajeer

$11

Red Verdon

$41

Mirage Dancer

$16

Angel Of Truth

$51

The Chosen One

$17

Big Duke

$61

Hartnell

$19

Sound

$101

Speed Map & Tempo

Lead / on-pace

Forward of midfield

Back of midfield

Backmarker

Wolfe

Constantinople

Finche

Mer De Glace

Angel Of Truth

Hartnell

Mr Quickie

The Chosen One

Qafila

Mirage Dancer

Mustajeer

Rostropovich

 

Vow And Declare

Brimham Rocks

Gold Mount

 

Big Duke

Sound

 

I've detailed my thoughts on where runners could look to settle from their barriers in the table above. The inclusion of (18) Wolfe changes the complexion of this race as he'll lead with the light weight and is likely to run them along. (9) Angel Of Truth typically races forward so could sit outside him from barrier 10. (17) Qafila led all the way when she won the G1 South Australian Derby last preparation and she settled 2nd in the Herbert Power last start. I'd be surprised if they weren't right up on speed with her light weight. (1) Hartnell is very versatile so I expect they'll just play it by ear after they jump. He settled outside the leader last start and I think in an ideal world they'll want him slotting in just off the lead speed. (11) Constantinople should just land in a good spot from the nice draw and I think they'll probably look to use (14) Vow And Declare's good draw to settle forward of midfield. (10) Big Duke has raced on speed and at the rear of the field throughout his career. I doubt they'll want to be caught all the way back on the rail from barrier 1 so he might just take up a spot in midfield. (2) Mirage Dancer has drawn the middle of the pack in barrier 9. In his UK races he has settled handy to the pace. (12) Mr Quickie had to go back to last from his wide draw last start but with barrier 8 I think they'll just let him settle midfield in the second half of the field. (4) Mustajeer came from the back half of the field when bolting in to win the Ebor last start. He should be able to slot in from barrier 12. It's a very tricky draw for Waller's pair of runners, (6) Finche and (15) Brimham Rocks, drawn 15 and 16 respectively. Normally the rule of thumb with Waller runners is to go back from wide draws. The map doesn't look pretty for them but if they can land in a three-wide running line with cover they'll be happy. The Japanese raider (3) Mer De Glace came from the back of the field to win his last start and he won't have much choice from barrier 17, nor will (16) The Chosen One from barrier 18. (5) Rostropovich will join them and (7) Gold Mount is an out and out backmarker.

Runner-By-Runner Anaylsis

(1) Hartnell: The old boy has had five runs this campaign and has finished no worse than 4th, with 1.8L the biggest margin he's been beaten in those five races. He's racing really consistently and is probably looking for 2400m now at this stage of his prep and his career. From barrier 13 they have options; we saw him ridden outside the leader last start but we've also seen him ridden worse than midfield in the Memsie and the Makybe Diva, so he will just land wherever he's comfortable. I think he'll run his usual honest race but I doubt he's the winner.

(2) Mirage Dancer: 6YO son of Frankel who makes his Australian debut for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, having previously raced in the UK. He's got four wins and eight placings from 16 career starts. This is his best distance, with three wins and six placings from 10 starts over 2400m. The only time he's ever missed a place at the distance was at the end of last prep when he ran last in the Hong Kong Vase. He comes into this first up and his first up record is good, with two wins and two placings from six starts. First up last prep he won a Listed race at Goodwood and at his most recent start, he finished 2nd in a race that Prince Of Arran ran last in (field of five), and we know that form stacks up over here. Comes into barrier 9 after the scratchings of the emergencies so he's drawn ideally and rates as one of the main chances.

(3): Mer De Glace: The sole Japanese runner in this year's Cup and this 5YO comes here in terrific form, having won his past five starts back in Japan. He's won seven from 17 overall, so he's really hit his straps this year. All seven career victories have come over 2000m-2200m and although he's yet to race over 2400m, there's little doubt in my mind that he'll run the trip out strong. His wins have all been spaced so the 10 weeks between runs is no issue. Damian Lane rode him to two of his victories in Japan and he jumps back aboard here. Two things that will be key to his chances: the firmer the ground the better, and the hotter the tempo the better. The Japanese races are known for being run at a strong tempo and their stayers are able to sprint off that strong tempo, which is what makes them so good. He needs the tempo to be good here if he's any chance. He draws one from the outside in barrier 17, which is an awkward gate, but he will settle back in the field as he always does. Wolfe gaining a start certainly ensures there's a bit more speed in the race. While he's only won at Group 3 level in Japan, we've seen that prove good enough to win this race in the past, so he has to rate a big chance here.

(4) Mustajeer: The last-start Ebor Handicap winner makes his Australian debut for new trainer Kris Lees and Australian Bloodstock, who have a good record with their imported stayers. He's won four of his 19 starts overall and he's very lightly raced for a 7YO. He's won at this trip before and the Ebor was run over 2800m so the distance is obviously no issue. He comes into barrier 12 after scratchings so he's drawn ideally and Damien Oliver is a quality jockey booking. I would query whether he's better with a bit of cut out of the ground, but the Ebor was run on Good ground, and with a touch of rain in the lead up to the race there may just be enough juice in the ground. I think he'll run well but I have others ahead of him.

(5) Rostropovich: The 5YO son of Frankel has his third run this prep under the care of Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig. He previously raced under Aidan O'Brien in the UK. He came here last year and raced in both the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup. The Cox Plate wasn't a suitable race for him and he didn't get much luck in the run, and he didn't get any luck in the Cup either, but he ran enormous to battle on for 5th. He's had two starts this prep in the Makybe Diva and Turnbull Stakes. He ran well in the Makybe Diva, beaten 3L, but had no luck in the Turnbull when caught wide throughout. Drawn a bit awkwardly in barrier 14 here and although the step up in trip help him (the further the better), he'll need to improve to win, but he's a horse that can improve with the right run in transit.

(6) Finche: Current favourite for the race. He came to Australia last prep and ran 3rd in the Geelong Cup, followed by a good run for 4th in the Melbourne Cup. He's had three starts this prep, including victory in the G3 Kingston Town Stakes in Sydney, followed by a narrow defeat in the G1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington last start. Those two runs over 2000m should have him cherry ripe for the step up to 2400m now. He's won over 2500m in the past so the distance is no query, but the barrier is. He's drawn out in barrier 15 so tactics will be interesting. Waller runners typically go back from wide draws so I suspect he'll be snagged back to slot in somewhere worse than midfield, without trying to get too far back. He profiles well as a lightly-raced 6YO with a light weight and he should be very competitive, but I have one or two ahead of him.

(7) Gold Mount: Began his career in the UK before being shipped off to Hong Kong, where he struggled to really find his best form. After running in Dubai in March he was sent back to the UK, where he has seemingly found his best form once again. He was dominant first up from a spell at York, which was his first run back in the UK, coming from last to first to post a 2.25L victory in Listed grade over 2800m. There was a further 9L back to the 3rd horse. He failed to follow that up, defeated narrowly by Red Verdon a month later over the same track and distance in G3 company. Fresh is undoubtedly best for him though, he's got four wins from six starts when first up. The other thing to note with him is this will be his first run as a gelding. The fact he's first up here makes him an interesting runner and one I give a chance to at 20/1, but whether he has the turn of foot to win this on a tight Caulfield track could be the issue. He might need the Melbourne Cup trip.

(8) Red Verdon: 7YO UK stayer who has been mixing his form so far this prep. He won first up, then was comfortably outclassed secon and third up, before winning a G3 over 2800m at York, where he defeated Gold Mount. Following that he was beaten 16L by Mustajeer in the Ebor Handicap. Five of his seven career wins have come at this distance and he'll come into barrier 11 after scratchings, so he's well drawn, but he probably remains outclassed here.

(9) Angel Of Truth: Was absolutely flying in the Autumn with dominant victories in the G2 Tulloch Stakes and G1 Australian Derby, both on wet ground, but has so far failed to reproduce anything close to that form so far this prep. He's had three runs back and has been comfortably beaten in all of them, most recently running last in the Hill Stakes. The step up to 2400m is a positive but wet ground would suit him better and his current form doesn't warrant him being considered a chance in a good field.

(10) Big Duke: The old boy is flying a bit under the radar and doesn't deserve to be the despised outsider of the field at $61. He settled last and rattled off the best sectionals of the race first up behind Finche and it was a similar story in the G1 The Metropolitan last start, where he was only beaten a length. They should have him a bit further forward from barrier 1 here and his third up record is better than his second up record, so expect some improvement there. He's just had the one win from six starts at Caulfield and his very best form is probably behind him now as an 8YO, so even though I can make some small claims for him, I don't think he'll be winning.

(11): Constantinople: Pretty excited about this 4YO son of Galileo. He's lightly raced with just eight career starts and the only time he's missed a place was on debut. He's a big, gangly sort of horse and whatever he does now, he'll improve on in 6-12 months time, but he's got raw ability. His past three starts have all been at this distance and he's run 2nd in all three. My only query with him is whether he has a turn of foot good enough to win a Caulfield Cup and if the tight track might cause him some problems, but once he hits his straps he really can lengthen stride. He's drawn well in barrier 7 and gets in well at the weights with just 53kg, and we've seen this exact profile of horse be very competitive in our feature staying races these past few years, so I expect him to run a tremendous race.

(12) Mr Quickie: The People's Horse. He was scintillating first up in the Makybe Diva, which he probably should have gone close to winning. He rattled off the clear best final sectionals of the entire meeting but he failed to reproduce that last start when backed into favourite for the Turnbull Stakes. On face value his effort was disappointing but I think there's a few factors behind that. First, they crawled in the race and he settled last, so it was always going to be tough to sit, sprint and run them down. Second, his first up run may have just taken a bit out of him and left him a touch flat second up. Finally, he was caught in what was probably the worst part of the track. He's drawn ideally in barrier 8 here and I think he can bounce off that flat run and really peak here. Up to 2400m suits, he gets in light and he has a lethal turn of accelaration when he's at his best. I love the horse and certainly won't be losing on him.

(14) Vow And Declare: Fascinating runner. They've chosen a very unique and specific path to the Caulfield Cup with this horse. He should have beaten Mr Quickie in the G1 Queensland Derby back in June. He was caught three-wide without cover the entire 2400m trip, was hampered in the straight and still was only beaten 0.75L. He proved that was no fluke when he tackled the older horses at his next start over 3000m and absolutely demolished them. He was then put away for a spell and returned in the G1 Turnbull Stakes two weeks ago, where he was beaten 1.6L into 4th. He should be better here with that run under the belt, the step up to 2400m suits and he gets a 1.5kg weight swing on Finche for a 1.5L defeat. He's drawn ideally in barrier 7 and I think he should be around the same price as Finche. He looks a great hope here with the light weight. I suppose it's just a question of if he's as good as the internationals.

(15) Brimham Rocks: I think he's a smokey at big odds.The step up to 2000m along with the drop back to G3 company proved a winning formula here two starts ago, but the wet ground brought him undone last start in the G1 The Metropolitan, where I was very keen on him. He needs Good ground and he'll get that here. His only run at the track and distance was a 2nd placing, he's rock hard fit with that 2400m run under the belt, and he gets in light. The barrier hurts; I suspect we will see him ridden cold from 16 and whether he's up to the elite G1 level is another query, but he gets conditions to suit.

(16) The Chosen One: I think he's going really well this prep, the Kiwi. His first up run in the Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley was terrific, before a disappointing run in the G1 Underwood Stakes. The blinkers did the trick though because he came out and won very impressively in the G2 Herbert Power Stakes over this track and distance last start, which the market suggested he might. He beat Prince Of Arran on that occasion and we know Prince Of Arran is a good bench mark for staying races in Australia. He's drawn the widest in barrier 18 which is a big negative and he also loses Damian Lane, who is replaced by Stephen Baster, another negative. He's on the seven-day back up from last weekend too.

(17) Qafila: The stable have won this race with an outsider before but I doubt it will be happening again with her. She bolted in to win the G1 South Australian Derby over 2500m last prep and she did beat Mr Quickie by 4.2L on that occasion, but Mr Quickie was clearly the run of the race and has her measure. She was good first up but hasn't shown much since then, most recently beaten 7L by The Chosen One in the Herbert Power Stakes last weekend. Draws well, gets in light and gets the winkers back on but she looks outclassed.

(18) Wolfe: Won his way into the race with victory in Wednesday's G3 Coongy Cup, making it six wins from 10 starts now. He did a reasonable job two starts ago in The Bart Cummings over 2500m, where he led and battled on for 3rd, before dropping back to 2000m in the Coongy with the blinkers back on. He sat off a suicidal leader and found the front in the straight, where he just kept kicking despite looking gone at the 250m mark. The blinkers come off again as he steps up back up in distance. He drops to 50kg and will no doubt go to the lead again, but he looks a touch outclassed and the quick back up from Wednesday is also a tough task to overcome. Glad he's in the race from a pace perspective though.

(19) Sound: He's been very disappointing since arriving in Australia, failing to finish higher than 4th, and even then he was beaten 6L. He's an out and out stayer so the rise in trip will help, and what I will say is sometimes these European stayers need a few preps to acclimatise before they come good. He's now in his third prep and is having his third run this campaign, and he did improve from his first up run to his second up run this time in. He'd still need to improve signficantly to win this.

Selections

With a stack of international runners and such a mix of different form lines, it's extremely hard to separate horses and pinpoint a winner. I'll highlight the chances in number order. (2) Mirage Dancer loves this distance and has a good fresh record. He at least has some recognizable form through the likes of Prince Of Arran and as a lightly-raced six-year-old, he rates highly. (3) Mer De Glace is a triple Group 3 winner in Japan and comes here having won five straight. The barrier sets him a big task and he'll need the speed on, but if he's within striking distance on the turn, he's a good chance of beating the lot. We've seen Group 3 Japanese form prove too strong in this race in years gone by. (6) Finche is the current favourite but I think he's a bit short at the current price after his barrier draw. He brings quality form to the race and with any luck will go close. (7) Gold Mount flies fresh, draws well and notably comes into this as a gelding. (11) Constantinople is an exciting stayer on the rise and profiles extremely well as a lightly-raced four-year-old with a light weight. Drawn perfectly, I expect him to give this an almighty shake with clear running. (12) Mr Quickie was exceptional first up before a flat second up run, but he had excuses. He can bounce back with a good draw which should allow him to settle closer. (14) Vow And Declare is potentially the most exciting local stayer in Australia. I think he's got the measure of Mr Quickie over the staying trips and he's another lightly-raced four-year-old with a light weight that should be very competitive.

1st (11) CONSTANTINOPLE $8.50

2nd (3) MER DE GLACE $7.50

3rd (14) VOW AND DECLARE $8.50

4th (6) FINCHE $6.00


TIPS

2019 Railway Stakes Preview & Betting Tips

The Group 1 Railway Stakes kicks off the three-week Masters Carnival in Perth, with three $1million Group 1s over the next three weekends. Today's 1600m handicap sees a field of 16 line up, and we've given our thoughts on every runner here! read more

Ascot Racing Tips: 2019 Railway Stakes Day

The Perth racing carnival begins this Saturday, November 23rd, with the G1 Railway Stakes meeting at Ascot! There's nine races on the card, which also features four other Stakes races. Check out our preview and betting tips for every race here! read more

2019 Ballarat Cup Day Preview & Betting Tips

The Ballarat Cup headlines racing in Victoria this Saturday, with a huge 10-race set down for their standalone meeting. Check out our thoughts on every race here! read more

2019-20 NBA Betting Tips: Saturday 23rd November

Massive 10 game slate in the NBA this Saturday, the 23rd of November and we have a full preview and betting tips for some of the key matchups here! read more

ARTICLES

Understanding Betfair Staking Plans

In the third instalment of our Betfair instructional series, we take a look at understanding staking plans and how they can be used to stay in control of your bank roll read more


Understanding the Betfair Markets

In our next strategy guide for the Betfair platform, we take a look at understanding how the Betfair markets work and what different types of backs and lays you can place with Betfair! read more


Understanding Back and Lay Betting on Betfair

Unlike your ‘normal’ betting agency where it’s you versus the Bookmaker, Betfair is a peer-to-peer wagering platform. Betfair allow you to both ‘back’ and ‘lay’ bets, which gives you complete control and a totally unique betting experience. View how full guide to backing and laying here read more


Major Harness Races in Australasia

There are approximately 90 Group 1 level harness races in Australia and New Zealand each year; we've highlighted some of most high profile races on the annual racing calendar here. read more


BLOGS

Boosted Odds For Melbourne Cup Punters

The Melbourne Cup has transformed from the race that stops the nation into the race that stops the world in recent years, and Palmerbet are giving punters more bang for their buck with boosted odds on all Melbourne Cup runners this Monday! read more


2019 Melbourne Cup Odds

The Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops a nation, but is quickly becoming the race that stops the world! There's 42 horses left in contention for the 2019 Melbourne Cup, which will be held on the first Tuesday in November. Check out the latest betting odds for the race here! read more


Cox Plate Glory Awaits

Get fantastic odds of $4.50 for Te Akau Shark to finish in the top five in Saturday's Cox Plate thanks to Palmerbet. read more


The Luck of Playing the National Lottery

The lottery is one of the more fun ways to gamble, and who hasn't dreamt of one day striking it mega-rich by landing a jackpot! What are the odds of winning the lottery, and is there anything you can do to improve your odds? We take a look at the luck involved with playing the lottery! read more


PlayUp

Palmerbet