With tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup boasting one of the most open fields in history, punters are finding it harder than ever to decide which of the elite runners to back. There has been much support for the international raiders since the barrier draw on Wednesday, but others aren’t so sure. Here we have a look at the top four horses dominating the betting markets today and examine their chance of success in one of Australia’s most challenging thoroughbred races.
CIMA DE TRIOMPHE
Current Odds: $8.50
Jockey: Damien Oliver
Trainer: Luca Cumani
Breeding: by Galileo (IRE) from Sopran Londa (IRE)
Prizemoney: $1 055 046
This five-year-old grey galloper is causing a stir in the betting markets, an equal favourite with many punters and bookmakers. He has raced well last year with an Italian Derby win and has been performing well this season as well. Impressed many with his victory in the Group 3 Gerard Stakes (2000m) at Sandown in England and placed a solid fourth in both the Eclipse Stakes and Arlington Million, beaten both times by tough competitors Sea The Stars and Gio Ponti. There are slight concerns about his gate and tactical speed circulating and his lack of experience on the track, but if the pace of the race is fast he will be hard to beat with his long, big stride best suited to an all-out gallop. Prefers a good to soft track, so the dead (4) track rating at Caulfield tomorrow might be a bit hard. But with a weight of 55.5kg, 3.5kg under weight-for-age, he has excellent form.
Current Odds: $8.50
Jockey: Steven King
Trainer: Paul Murray
Owner: Meringo Stud
Breeding: by Street Cry (IRE) from Shady Stream
Prizemoney: $778 650
This Chestnut horse drew very poorly in the barrier announcement this week knocking him from clear favourite in the betting markets; drawing gate 16, which hasn’t produced a winner since Tristarc in 1985. Still a strong talent despite not having a Group 1 win to his name as yet after a string of unlucky runs in events like the AJC Australian Derby, Underwood and Turnbull Stakes. He did impress with a win in the JJ Liston Stakes and his preparation has seen him run in all the traditional lead-up races to the Caulfield Cup so he’s had the right experience and a solid lead-up. No horse since Sydeston (1990) however, has won the JJ Liston Stakes – Caulfield Cup double.
In the last day some bookmakers have reinstalled him as the favourite with odds as short as $7, ahead of the highly fancied international raiders.
Current Odds: $8.50
Jockey: Chris Munce
Trainer: Kevin Gray
Owner: G.J. Chittick
Breeding: by No Excuse Needed (GB) from Spring (NZ)
Prizemoney: $734 124
This four-year-old bay Kiwi mare has certainly made an impact on the betting markets for the Caulfield Cup. She is a dual Group 1 winner and has proved her staying ability in the AJC Australian Oaks at Randwick. Also impressing at the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate with a great last-to-first victory. Her age is right, with four-year-olds boasting a great record in the race. How Now was the last AJC Australian Oaks winner to also win the Caulfield Cup in 1976, but if any entry is to break this 30 year drought it’s Daffodil. She’s nicely placed, but again the dead (4) track at Caulfield may prove a problem after her best success was on a boggy track. Seemingly lightly weighted with 51.5kg, if Daffodil wins this will actually be the most amount of weight carried to victory by a four-year-old mare, heavier than what Ethereal (50kg), Arctic Scent (49kg), Let’s Elope (49.5kg), Imposera (51kg) and Tristarc (50.5kg) all carried when they won the Caulfield Cup.
Current Odds: $9
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Owner: Godolphin Stud
Breeding: by Jade Robbery (USA) from Moyesii (USA)
Prizemoney: $ 748 482
This international raider is still the favourite with many of the leading bookmakers after drawing ideally with barrier 7. Owned by the illustrious Godolphin Stud who won the race last year with All The Good and ridded by Kerrin McEvoy who rode All The Good to victory, this six-year-old bay has it all in their favour. Kirklees is in excellent for and has Group 1 success to his name. This top European stayer has won all three of his starts this preparation. Although international stayers have only won the Caulfield Cup twice, Kirklees may just make it a hat trick. Along with Cima De Triomphe, they are the first international Group 1 winners to compete in the race.