Herbert Power Stakes winner Yucatan’s stint at the top of the 2018 Caulfield Cup betting markets was short lived after the Irish stayer was a noted omission when the final field was released today.

The Taj Mahal, above, will take his place in the 2018 Caulfield Cup field at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Taj Mahal, above, will take his place in the 2018 Caulfield Cup field at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

The Aidan O’Brien trained Yucatan, carrying the Lloyd Williams blue and white colours, stunned his opposition with a very dominant win in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday and was installed as the new favourite for the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Part owner Nick Williams said that Yucatan would need more than a week to get over his run at Caulfield last Saturday on a firm surface and will now target the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6.

“Yesterday morning Aidan and dad (Lloyd Williams) decided that he was a certain runner, but by the time Aidan had slept on it and had a day to think about it, they thought that it was not going to be the best thing for the horse,” Nick Williams told Sky Racing’s Racing HQ.

“I know he was impressive and won easily, but no matter which way you look at it, he had a very tough run on Saturday.”

“The track was very firm by the then and it takes a bit of a toll on the horses and you need to give then a proper period of time to recover.”

“He is not in the Cox Plate and I think he will go straight to the Melbourne Cup.”

The Williams family will still have three runners in the Caulfield Cup with The Cliffsofmoher, The Taj Mahal and Homesman all included in the final field of eighteen plus two emergencies.

Hugh Bowman has secured the ride on the Aidan O’Brien trained The Cliffsofmoher who will carry the Coolmore navy blue colours while The Taj Mahal (James McDonald) and Homesman (Ben Melham) will carry the Williams’ family colours of navy blue with white armbands.

The Saeed Bin Suroor trained Best Solution is the top weight with 57.5kg with Irish jockey Pat Cosgrave in the saddle.

Cosgrave claimed his first Group 1 win on Australian soil when he guided the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Benbatl to victory in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday.

Damien Oliver will team up with last year’s Victoria Derby winner Ace High who was back in the winner’s stall last start with his victory in the Group 2 $500,000 Yulong Australia Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on September 29.

Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir will saddle up three runners in the 2018 Caulfield Cup, Kings Will Dream (Craig Williams), Gallic Chieftain (Dean Yendall) and Night’s Watch (Ben Allen).

Final field for the 2018 Caulfield Cup (2400m)

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 1x3195x111 BEST SOLUTION (IRE) Saeed Bin Suroor Pat Cosgrave 57.5kg 114
2 8x512433x4 THE CLIFFSOFMOHER (IRE) Aidan O’Brien Hugh Bowman 56.5kg 113
3 15x211250x CHESTNUT COAT (JPN) Yoshito Yahagi Yuga Kawada 55.5kg 110
4 x68139x437 JON SNOW (NZ) Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman Damian Lane 55.5kg 110
5 2144x1132x SOUND CHECK (GER) Michael Moroney Jordan Childs 55.5kg 110
6 55462×0241 ACE HIGH David Payne Damien Oliver 55kg 110
7 5041x8x791 THE TAJ MAHAL (IRE) Liam Howley James McDonald 55kg 109
8 x3x15x5331 DURETTO (GB) Andrew Balding Dwayne Dunn 54.5kg 108
9 21×1422225 RED VERDON (USA) Ed Dunlop Zac Purton 54kg 107
10 121x05x405 VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE) Michael Moroney Patrick Moloney 54kg 104
11 437829×794 VENTURA STORM (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Regan Bayliss 54kg 105
12 1x780x0069 MIGHTY BOSS Mick Price Tim Clark 53.5kg 104
13 153x16x217 HOMESMAN (USA) Liam Howley Ben Melham 53kg 110
14 11111×4323 KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE) Darren Weir Craig Williams 53kg 105
15 732x03705x SOLE IMPACT (JPN) Hirofumi Toda Ryusei Sakai (a) 53kg 103
16 431105×024 GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR) Darren Weir Dean Yendall 52.5kg 104
17 2141×21316 NIGHT’S WATCH (NZ) Darren Weir Ben Allen (a) 52kg 1.0kg 105
18 311113×632 YOUNGSTAR Chris Waller Kerrin McEvoy 51.5kg 107
19e 114656×641 PATRICK ERIN (NZ) Chris Waller Corey Brown 52kg 2.0kg 104
20e 33x1x61812 JAAMEH (IRE) David & B Hayes & T Dabernig Cory Parish 50kg 100

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.