James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
Japanese stayer King Top Gun heads the 2011 Caulfield Cup elimination order, the initial order of entry released by Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter today following the allocation of weights for the Melbourne Spring Carnival feature earlier this week.
The nine-year-old Ippo Sameshima-trained veteran is the only horse exempt from ballot for the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) as the winner of the Meguro Kinen at Tokyo in May, but King Top Gun is also an unlikely acceptor for the October 15 showdown.
In total there are 115 Caulfield Cup nominees that have passed the first elimination clause, lead by 58kg topweight, Melbourne Cup winner Amercain.
Stayers finishing off the Top 10 Caulfield Cup Ballot Entries are:
- Dangerous Midge (Brian Meehan) – Winner of the Breeders Cup in the USA last November
- Efficient (Robert Hickmott) – Former Melbourne Cup winner (2007), the Zabeel eight-year-old hasn’t been seen since their Turnbull Stakes success at the 2009 Flemington spring carnival
- Descardo (Gai Waterhouse) – Defending Caulfield Cup winner
- Meiner Kitz (Sakae Kuneida) – Another nine-year-old Japanese stayer, ran fourth in the Nikkei Sho in April to qualify for the Caulfield Cup, but also unlikely to make the trip down under this spring
- Lion Tamer (Murray Baker) – Top rated and highest weighted (54kg) four-year-old of the Caulfield Cup entries this year, Kiwi four-year-old won the Victoria Derby last year and resumed with an eye-catching fourth in the Group 1 Challenge Stakes (1400m) in New Zealand on August 27
- Midas Touch (Robert Hickmott) – Lloyd Williams-owned import, qualified for the Caulfield Cup with their English St Leger second last September, failed to impress in their two runs in Australia last month
- My Kingdom Of Fife (Chris Waller) – Star import won their opening three race starts here last season including the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, resumes on Saturday in the $175,000 Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm
- Shamrocker (Danny O’Brien) – Australian Guineas – Derby double winner as a three-year-old, plenty of claims after running good sectionals in her first-up eight in the Group 2 Memsie stakes (1400m) last weekend
Caulfield Cup 2011 odds at Australia’s leading bookmaker Luxbet are lead by Peter Moody’s talented mare Lights Of Heaven at a quote of $7.
Lights Of Heaven resumed with an luckless but very promising first-up second behind Whobegotyou in the Group 1 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 13 and will look to return to winning form this Saturday at Flemington when she jumps favourite in the $300,000 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
Winner of the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2008m) at Morphettville last season, Lights Of Heaven sits equal 11th on the BMW Caulfield Cup order of elimination along with the eight other hopefuls including four other four-year-olds, including stablemates Anacheeva and King’s Rose.
It will be a competitive next few weeks for the Caulfield Cup-bound horses as the race has a field limit of 18 starters plus four emergencies
Many early fancies in the ante-post Caulfield Cup betting markets will miss out on a start in the first of the ‘Big Three’ Victorian spring centrepieces unless they move up the order of entry by incurring a weight penalty, winning a ballot exempt race or by relying on horses higher up the ballot to drop out of contention.
These horses include the likes of one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Alcopop, Gai Waterhouse’s The Metropolitan winner Herculian Prince, Group 1 performing grey Linton, Antony Freedman’s recently imported stayer Lucas Cranach and the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence – all sitting equal 31st on the order of entry with 53.5kg.
There are also 121 horses yet to pass the first elimination clause most notably the Mark Kavanagh-trained December Draw who is the current fourth-favourite in the Caulfield Cup odds paying $16 through Luxbet.
Eight races on the spring carnival programme offer a ballot exemption for the richest 2400 metre turf handicap in the world, the 2011 Caulfield Cup:
- $400,000 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) – Flemington, September 3, 2011
- $300,000 Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) – Moonee Valley, September 10, 2011
- $350,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) – Caulfield, September 17, 2011
- $125,000 Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) – Caulfield, September 17, 2011
- $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) – Flemington, October 2, 2011
- $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) – Caulfield, October 8, 2011
- $200,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) – Caulfield, October 8, 2011
- $350,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) – Caulfield, October 8, 2011
The first of these races offering the winner a Caulfield Cup 2011 ballot exemption is this Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington.
Caulfield Cup entries with the chance to shoot to the top of the order of entry with a win in the Makybe Diva on the weekend include Master O’Reilly (59th), My Bentley (84th), Guest Wing (94th), Eruptious (94th), Littorio (not qualified), Alandi (not qualified), At First Sight (not qualified) and Don Carlos (not qualified).
Stay tuned to Races.com.au. for all the latest Caulfield Cup news, field updates and betting info.
To lock in your early selections in the Group One features this season, and to get in on the exciting Saturday betting and racing action, visit Luxbet and open a new account depositing and quoting the exclusive codeword BONUSBET for a bonus bet valued up to $400!
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