The 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes field has been released and seven Group 1 winners are set to contest the $400,000 event that will be held at Caulfield on Saturday.
Criterion is on top of the Caulfield Stakes field and he is set to jump from barrier seven with Michael Walker in the saddle after original jockey Hugh Bowman was replaced yesterday morning.
The Sebring entire has not been seen in Australia since he recorded a most impressive win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11, but he has raced competitively against some of the best horses in the world in both Hong Kong and England.
Fawkner narrowly beat Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes last year and the veteran gelding will have the chance to become the first horse since Lonhro in 2003 to take out the Group 1 event in back-to-back years.
The eight-year-old started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a victory in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12 and he was far from disgraced when he finished a close second behind Mourinho in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26.
Contributer finished two and a half lengths behind Fawkner in the Underwood Stakes, but connections are confident that the High Chaparral entire will be at peak fitness in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes.
The imported galloper was completely run off his feet when he returned to racing in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 5, but he produced a better effort in the Underwood Stakes and he is sure to relish the step-up to 2000 metres.
Mongolian Khan is the other horse set to back-up in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes after running in the Underwood Stakes and he is another galloper that is sure to relish the step-up to 2000 metres, while triple Group 1 winner Happy Trails will back-up in the Caulfield Stakes after he had no luck in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last weekend.
The Group 1 form lines from Sydney and Melbourne will meet in the Caulfield Stakes after both Kermadec and Pornichet were included in the 2015 Caulfield Stakes field.
Kermadec performed well without winning in both the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on August 22 and the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 5 before he flew home late to take out the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on September 19.
The Teofilo entire is set to step-up to 2000 metres for the first time in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes, but jockey Glen Boss is confident that the four-year-old will have no issues running out the trip strongly.
Pornichet is yet to record a race win this preparation, but he is set to step-up to 2000 metres for first time since he scored a dominant victory in the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) on May 9.
The only horse in the 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes field that is yet to record a win at Group 1 level is Entirely Platinum, who has been a consistent performer without winning during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
Entirely Platinum was only narrowly denied a maiden Group 1 victory in both the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 19 and the Makybe Diva Stakes before he tired late to finish fifth in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3.
The Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes is sure to be a key lead-up race to the Cox Plate and the likes of Tranquil Star (1942), Rising Fast (1954), Kingston Town (1981 and 1982), Bonecrusher (1986), Might And Power (1998), Northerly (2001), So You Think (2010) and Ocean Park (2012) have all completed the double.
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