The 2014 Caulfield Cup field has been released and a capacity field of 18 gallopers is set to contest the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Caulfield Cup will have Japanese runners for the first time since Delta Blues and Pop Rock contested the race in 2006 after both Admire Rakti and Bande were included in the final field.
Admire Rakti will carry the top weight of 58 kilograms in the Caulfield Cup and the talented entire impressed onlookers with a strong piece of work over 2000 metres at Werribee this morning; running the final 400 metres in less than 24 seconds.
The Heart’s Cry entire has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 3 Diamond Stakes (3419m) at Tokyo in February of last year, but has performed well in both the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3218m) and Group 1 Japan Cup (2400m).
Bande has been one of the best-backer runners in Caulfield Cup betting markets in the past month and is taking winning form into the $3 million event after taking out the Listed Sapporo Nikkei (2600m) by an impressive five lengths in Japan on August 10.
The Authorized entire is yet to record a win at Group level, but he finished third in the Group 1 Japanese St. Leger (3016m) just over a year ago and finished third behind Gold Ship and Admire Rakti in the Group 2 Daishoten Stakes (3016m) at Hanshin on March 23.
Lucia Valentina won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 to stamp herself as Caulfield Cup favourite and she gets into the race extremely well in at the weights with just 53 kilograms on her back.
The Savabeel mare will be stepping up to 2400 metres for the first time since she finished an unlucky third behind Rising Romance in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 19 and will be partnered by jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who won the 2008 edition of the Caulfield Cup with Godolphin stayer All The Good.
The Macedon Lodge Team of Lloyd Williams won the 2013 edition of the Caulfield Cup with Fawkner and have included both Green Moon and Sea Moon in the Caulfield Cup field.
Green Moon returned to the races with a credible sixth in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13, but he produced one of the worst performances of his career to date when 15th in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), while Sea Moon was far from impressive when fifth behind Who Shot Thebarman in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m).
Another trainer that will have multiple runners in the Caulfield Cup field is Chris Waller, who has included Hawkspur, Junoob, Moriarty and Who Shot Thebarman in the final acceptances.
Junoob proved his staying credentials when he scored a tough win in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 and has the chance to become the first horse since Tawqeet to complete The Metropolitan/Caulfield Cup double.
Hawkspur and Moriarty both missed the placings in the 2013 Caulfield Cup, but Waller is happy to give the pair another chance in the race after they both had no luck in running after drawing wide barriers.
Who Shot Thebarman is arguably Waller’s best chance in the 2014 Caulfield Cup after he produced strong staying efforts to take out the Sofitel Girls Day Out Handicap (2000m) at Flemington on September 13 and The Bart Cummings.
Leading European trainer Marco Botti narrowly missed out on winning the Caulfield Cup last year and he has Dandino and Seismos in the entries for the 2014 edition of the race.
Dandino stormed home late to finish second in the 2013 Caulfield Cup and was a credible fifth in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but he has been inconsistent during the 2014 European Racing season and finished a disappointing sixth in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10 and fourth in the Group 3 September Stakes (2414m).
Seismos is also owned by Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock and stamped himself as a genuine contender for both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup when he scored a narrow win in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) at Newbury on August 16.
The Offer has remained on top of 2014 Melbourne Cup betting markets throughout the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but has been a forgotten horse in discussion surrounding the Caulfield Cup.
The Montjeu gelding has been far from disgraced in his three race starts to date this preparation and will be stepping up to a suitable staying trip for the first time since he scored a dominant win in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Roger Varian-trained My Ambivalent was ruled out of Caulfield Cup contention this morning due to a stone bruise and her withdrawal means that Lidari has received the final place in the 2014 Caulfield Cup field.
Lidari has improved at each of his race starts during his spring campaign since resuming with a fifth place finish in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16 and was only narrowly denied a maiden win at Group 1 level by Lucia Valentina in the Turnbull Stakes.
The Caulfield Cup field is rounded out by Naturalism Stakes winner Gris Caro, talented mare Dear Demi, Herbert Power Stakes winner Big Memory, imported galloper Stipulate and talented Kiwi mare Rising Romance.
Brambles is the first emergency and could still earn a start if Big Memory is withdrawn from the race, while Araldo, Unchain My Heart and Renew are the other emergencies.
The 2014 Caulfield Cup barrier draw will be conducted at 5.45 (AEDT) this afternoon and you can catch up with all the latest news with horseracing.com.au.
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0x4240x20x||ADMIRE RAKTI (JPN)||Tomoyuki Umeda||Zac Purton||0||58kg||113|
|2||21x25x6624||DANDINO (GB)||Marco Botti||Craig Williams||0||57kg||110|
|3||990x427x60||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Chad Schofield||0||57kg||111|
|4||x00210x8x5||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Steven Arnold||0||57kg||108|
|5||613x133x1x||BANDE (IRE)||Yoshito Yahagi||Christophe Lemaire||0||56.5kg||110|
|6||x63111x596||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||0||56.5kg||110|
|7||30x10x641x||SEISMOS (IRE)||Marco Botti||Craig Newitt||0||56kg||109|
|8||3440×75140||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Damien Oliver||0||55.5kg||110|
|9||31143×8611||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Douglas Whyte||0||55.5kg (inc. 1.5kg penalty)||110|
|10||55512×5561||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||Michael Rodd||0||55kg||107|
|11||12119×0711||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||0||55kg (inc. 1.5kg penalty)||107|
|12||x3008x5217||DEAR DEMI||Clarry Conners||Jim Cassidy||0||54.5kg||109|
|13||x0x623x175||STIPULATE (GB)||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||0||54kg||104|
|14||x7190x5442||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||TBA||0||53.5kg||105|
|15||2x3013x161||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Kerrin McEvoy||0||53kg||110|
|16||312241×472||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||James McDonald||0||53kg||105|
|17||221210×281||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Corey Brown||0||52kg||100|
|18||7x128x6710||GRIS CARO (GB)||Jake Stephens||Joao Moreira||0||52kg||101|
|19e||11×4088213||BRAMBLES (NZ)||Peter G Moody||TBA||0||53.5kg||105|
|20e||4x0313x763||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||TBA||0||53kg||100|
|21e||8241×83439||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||TBA||0||52kg||98|
|22e||1x8x47x630||RENEW (IRE)||Marco Botti||TBA||0||52kg||89|