The early 2015 Caulfield Cup betting markets have been released and Mongolian Khan and Fame Game are locked in a battle for favouritism at Caulfield Cup odds of $13.
Mongolian Khan stamped himself as a stayer to watch when he took out both the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on February 28 and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on April 6 and he has been set for a tilt at both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Holy Roman Emperor entire made the first public appearance of his spring preparation when he hit the line strongly to finish fourth in a barrier trial over 1000 metres at Ruakaka on Saturday and trainer Murray Baker confirmed that the stayer is on track to return to racing in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13.
“I am very happy with him,” Baker told Racing Ahead yesterday.
“It was only 1000 metres and he was just starting to warm up.
“He went well.
“We are still thinking about the Makybe Diva over a mile at Flemington.
“He needs a mile to be competitive.
“He has a got a lot more relaxed and he is a pretty laidback horse now.
“He is taking it all in his stride, he doesn’t do much on the track, but maybe that is a good thing.
“He has furnished into a very nice colt.”
Japanese stayer Fame Game is all but certain to make the trip to Australia for the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup and Ladbrokes have kept him very safe in early betting markets for both Group 1 events.
Fame Game started his 2015 racing season with a flat performance in the Group 2 The American Jockey Club Cup (2200m) at Nakayama on January 25, but he returned to winning form in the Group 3 Diamond Stakes (3400m) – a race previously won by 2014 Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti – before he produced the best performance of his career to date to finish a close second behind Gold Ship in the Group 1 The Tenno Sho (3200m) at Kyoto on May 3.
Hartnell has already won a Group 1 over 2400 metres in Australia, when he beat Japanese stayer Real Impact to take out the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) earlier this year, and he is on the second line of betting at Caulfield Cup odds of $15 along with Australian Bloodstock-owned Singing and Queensland Oaks winner Winx.
The Cox Plate is expected to be the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Alpine Eagle, but he is available at a quote of $17 in Caulfield Cup betting markets along with Australian Derby placegetter Hauraki, Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec, Gai Waterhouse-trained Pornichet and Rosehill Guineas winner Volkstok’n’barrell.
The 2015 Caulfield Cup nominations were released on Monday and over 200 horses are a chance of contesting the Group 1 at Caulfield on October 17.