The John O’Shea trained Hartnell remains the favourite for the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 15 after second acceptances were taken today.
Hartnell is one of five O’Shea trained horses among a total of fifty-eight horses remaining in the Caulfield Cup which also includes five international trained gallopers.
Impressive last start Hill Stakes winner Hartnell heads the Caulfield Cup market order at $6 with Ladbrokes.com.au and is the head of O’Shea’s contingent of Tally, Magic Hurricane, It’s Somewhat and Arab Dawn.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Irish gallopers and equal top weights Order Of St George and Highland Reel are joined by the Charlie Appleby-trained, Godolphin-owned Scottish (UK), the Andreas Wohler-prepared Articus (Germany), and Exosphere who is exempt from the ballot after winning the Group 2 £100,000 Dunaden At Overbury Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket in England on April 30.
Flemington co-trainers Lee and Anthony Freedman will take over the preparation of Exosphere, who was previously trained by Sir Michael Stoute in England, when he arrives in Australia on Saturday week.
The Freedman Brothers also have left in Caulfield Cup contention their Group 1 Doomben Cup winner Our Ivanhowe and their promising stayer Tom Melbourne.
The Ciaron Maher trained Jameka is also exempt from the ballot for the Caulfield Cup as well as earning a 0.5kg penalty after winning the Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday and is on the second line of betting at $9 just ahead of Exosphere on $11.
The Maher trained Set Square and Pemberley are also among the second acceptances for the Caulfield Cup.
Melbourne’s premiership winning trainer Darren Weir has seven stayers left in the running with Signoff, Real Love, Howard Be Thy Name, Zanteca, Raw Impulse, Manndawi and Master Zephyr.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller also has seven left in contention with multiple Group 1 winner Preferment heading up the stable’s team that includes Who Shot Thebarman, Grand Marshall, Storm The Stars, Spiritjim, Sacred Master and Antonio Giuseppe while Caulfield trainer Mick Price is pinning his hopes on Victoria Derby winner Tarzino.
Early market order for the Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Hartnell, $9 Jameka, $11 Exopshere (GB), Scottish, $13 Highland Reel, The United States, $15 Our Ivanhowe, Tarzino, $17 Articus, $21 Signoff, Tavago, $26 Preferment, Rising Romance, Set Square, Sofia Rosa, $31 Gallante, Order Of St George, Raw Impulse, Sir Isac Newton, Tally, Who Shot Thebarman, $41 and over the rest.