The 2014 Caulfield Stakes field has been released, with ten Group 1 winners set to contest the $400,000 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Sacred Falls won the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 20 and is set to make the step-up to 2000 metres for just the second time of his career.
The O’Reilly entire finished second behind It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) last year when he stepped up to 2000 metres for the first time and he finished behind the same horse when second in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) in the autumn.
Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton has been booked to ride Sacred Falls in the Caulfield Stakes and will need to produce another top ride on the five-year-old after he was allocated barrier 12.
Sacred Falls is joined in the Caulfield Stakes field by stablemate Foreteller, who also recorded a win at the highest level of racing at his last start.
Foreteller (barrier ten) started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with credible performances in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16 and the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 before he recorded his third win at Group 1 level in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20.
Another galloper that is taking winning form into the Caulfield Stakes is talented mare Dear Demi.
Dear Demi (barrier one) worked home strongly to finish fifth in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 30 and she was an unlucky second in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13 before she recorded her first race win in over a year in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
Dissident and Fawkner fought out the finish in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 and they are set to do battle once again this weekend after they were both included in the Caulfield Stakes field.
Fawkner (barrier four) has not been seen at the races since the Makybe Diva Stakes, while Dissident (barrier eight) finished an extremely close second behind Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28.
Happy Trails (barrier six) will be backing up from the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last weekend after he was blocked for a run in the final stages of the race, while imported galloper Crackerjack King (barrier 11) and talented stayer Sertorius (barrier seven) are also set to contest the Caulfield Stakes after they were scratched from the Group 1 event last Saturday.
Criterion and Kirramosa have both raced exclusively in Sydney during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival to date, but will head to Melbourne in their final lead-up run for their major spring targets.
Kirramosa ((barrier nine) has performed fairly over unsuitable distances and trainer John Sargent remains hopeful that she is on track for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), while Criterion (barrier three) bounced back from a poor effort in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on September 6 to finish second behind Junoob in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on September 20.
One of the most interesting horses in the Caulfield Stakes field is European-trained Side Glance, who will be returning to Australian racing for the first time since he took out the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Side Glance (barrier five) will run in the Caulfield Stakes before connections decide whether he heads to the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 or defends his title in the Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The Caulfield Stakes field is rounded out by Massiyn (barrier two), who is yet to record a race win in Australia since joining the Macedon Lodge team at the end of 2012.