Mongolian Khan justified his status as a dominant favourite to take out the 2015 Caulfield Cup at Caulfield this afternoon.
Jockey Opie Bosson was able to keep Mongolian Khan out of trouble in the early stages of the race and he elected to make his move a long way from home, but it proved to be a winning move.
Mongolian Khan hit the front at the 300 metre mark and it looked as though he and Our Ivanhowe were going to fight out the finish, but Trip To Paris worked home strongly on the inside and was only narrowly denied by the Australian Derby winner.
The Holy Roman Emperor became the first horse since Sky Heights in 1999 to win the Australian Derby and Caulfield Cup in the same year and he is set to start the Melbourne Cup as favourite.
The 2015 Caulfield Cup results will be available in six hours and punters from all around the world are still desperately trying to decide who is going to take out the first major race of the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Mongolian Khan swept into Caulfield Cup favouritism with his fast-finishing third in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last weekend and he has remained clearly on top of betting throughout the week at a quote of $4.80.
The Holy Roman Emperor mare has to defy recent history to win the Caulfield Cup as Sky Heights in 1999 was the last horse to complete the Australian Derby/Caulfield Cup double, but most racing experts concede that he is the horse to beat.
While Mongolian Khan remains a clear favourite in Caulfield Cup betting markets, the best-backed runner throughout the week has been Sir Michael Stoute-trained Snow Sky.
Snow Sky was available at Caulfield Cup odds as long as $18 before the barrier draw was conducted, but there has been an avalanche of support for the Hardwicke Stakes winner and he is now into $9 to deliver jockey Damien Oliver his fifth win in the race.
The other horse that is on the equal second line of Caulfield Cup betting is talented mare Set Square, who has remained steady at about the $9 mark for the majority of the week.
Set Square stamped herself as a stayer to watch when she took out the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) in just her fourth race start last year and she has been unable to record a race win since, but she performed well in the Cape Grim Beef Plate (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and the Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m) at Flemington on September 12 before she finished a game third behind Preferment and Royal Descent in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
The only other horse that is available at single figure Caulfield Cup odds is Godolphin-owned Hauraki, who is currently priced at $9.50 to record a maiden win at the highest level of racing.
Hauraki has only recorded one race win from his past eight starts, when he took out the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m), and he made a slow start to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign before he worked his way back into Caulfield Cup contention when he finished a close second behind Complacent in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Royal Randwick on October 3.
Admire Rakti stormed home from the tail of the field to take out the 2014 edition of the Caulfield Cup and there has been plenty of interest in Japanese stayers Fame Game and Hokko Brave ahead of this year’s race, but they have both been on the drift in the last 24 hours.
Fame Game was rated right up there with the leading Caulfield Cup chances earlier in the week, but there has been very little support since he was allocated the inside barrier and he is out to $11, while Hokko Brave has been $15 out to $17 this morning.
There has been a sprinkling of support in the 2015 Caulfield Cup betting market with Ladbrokes for Our Ivanhowe ($26 into $21), Who Shot Thebarman ($31 into $25) and Rising Romance ($11 into $10), while Protectionist ($41 out to $51), Trip To Paris ($26 out to $34), Grand Marshal ($41 out to $51), Lucia Valentina ($31 out to $34), Magicoool ($126 out to $151) and Gust Of Wind ($17 out to $18) have all been on the drift.
The 2015 Caulfield Cup will be run at Caulfield at 5.40 (AEDT) this afternoon and you will be able to find all the Caulfield Cup results at horseracing.com.au.