Japanese stayers Admire Rakti and Bande have emerged as two of the highly fancied international runners in the Group 1 $2.5m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18 following the release of the weights today.
English stayer Mukhadram was allocated the topweight with 58kgs ahead of the star Hong Kong galloper Dan Excel with 57kg while Admire Rakti is equal third on the list with last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner at 56kgs.
Bande has been allocated 54.5kg, a nice weight for the Yoshito Yahagi trained horse to carry.
The William Haggas trained Mukhadram has become a doubtful starter for the Caulfield Cup after injuring himself when fourth to Australia in the Group 1 £800,000 Juddmonte International Stakes (1 mile 2 furlongs 88 yards) at York on August 20.
And the John Moore trained Dan Excel will be concentrating on a start in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
If these two don’t run then the weights will be raised two kilos so as the top weight will carry 58kgs, which will be Admire Rakti.
“Admire Rakti was outstanding in last year’s Japan Cup, he ran fourth to Gentildonna, beaten a length,” Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter told TVN.
“He had a really good preparation run in the Hanshin Daishoten where he ran second to Gold Ship.”
“Gold Ship is on his way to the Arc, he is one of the super stars of world racing.”
“In that race Bande ran third and there was six lengths back to the rest of the field.”
Carpenter also feels that star Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Silent Achiever is well placed with 54.5kgs coming off a very successful Autumn Carnival.
The Roger James trained mare scored a hat trick of Group 1 wins which started with a victory in the NZ$200,000 Lindauer New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 8.
James then took the O’Reilly mare back to Sydney where she won the Group 1 $500,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) both at Rosehill.
“She was the dominant weight for age horse of the Sydney Autumn,” Carpenter said.
“She beat It’s A Dundeel in the BMW, she was great in the Ranvet and I’d love to see her at Caulfield on October 18 taking up the challenge in the Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup.”
Top Caulfield Cup fancy and one of the early favourites La Amistad has to clear a lot of hurdles before gaining a start after being weighted on 50kgs, with Carpenter expecting the cut off point to be around the 53kgs or 53.5kgs.
Team Hawkes will have to plot a clever course and hope that La Amistad can earn a start by winning one of the exempt free races in the lead up to the Caulfield Cup.
2014 Sydney Cup winner and early Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer is weighted on 54.5kgs along with Australian Derby winner Criterion.
Last year’s Caulfield Cup runner up Dandino received 55kgs but connections of the Marco Botti trained English stayer have indicated that they will miss Caulfield and head straight to the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4.