Australia’s premier mile and a half race will take place at Caulfield Racecourse this Saturday, October 20, with the first of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors running – the 2012 Caulfield Cup field released this afternoon.
Originally 23 horses were paid up for at final acceptance stage this morning for the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Melbourne Racing Club then making the final decision on the horses that would be there in the starting line-up on the weekend.
The battle was on between Alcopop, Moudre and Sabrage who were all occupying the equal bottom spot on the order of entry.
The official decision was then made to include the Jake Stephens-trained Alcopop and Ciaron Maher’s Blevic seven-year-old Moudre in the Caulfield Cup 2012 field with Michael Moroney’s stayer Sabrage regulated to the first emergency.
Evergreen eight-year-old Alcopop, a nice 52.5kg lightweight for Saturday, ran a slashing second carrying 59kg behind Cox Plate fancy Ocean Park in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last Saturday and is tipped to improve again.
Sabrage is a multiple Group 1 performance and has been thereabouts in Melbourne as a four-year-old this season including their fifth in the Caulfield Stakes last start.
Two of the three other Caulfield Cup emergencies are internationals with:
- Gatewood (John Gosden) – Missed the cut for the Caulfield Cup, this English galloper will go to the Geelong Cup to try and make the Melbourne Cup field after running a disappointing seventh to Shahwardi in the Herbert Power
- Ibicenco (Luca Cumani) – Shirocco stallion yet to race in Australia, last run back in York was disappointing over the two miles, good record over the mile and a half
The final emergency is then the David Hayes-trained Fictional Account.
Meanwhile the current Caulfield Cup favourite is still Gai Waterhouse’s imported Refuse To Bend four-year-old Glencadam Gold.
Glencadam Gold has been dominating the Caulfield Cup odds at bookies around the country since their blistering four length victory in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6, the galloper’s fourth win from as many starts since joining Waterhouse earlier this year from Britain.
As expected there is a strong presence of both internationally bred and trained horses in the Caulfield Cup field 2012.
Notable overseas-trained horses in the 2012 Caulfield Cup field include:
- Dunaden (Mikel Delzangles) – Reigning Melbourne Cup winner has their first run down under for the spring here vying for the coveted Caulfield – Melbourne Cup double, second favourite behind Glencadam Gold in the Caulfield Cup betting markets
- My Quest For Peace (Luca Cumani) – Last seen winning back-to-back black types at Goodwood back in August, smart stayer who will be at their pet distance, awesome first-up record too and a good lightweight chance with Corey Brown riding on 53.5kg
- Jakkalberry (Mark Botti) – Former Italian galloper now prepared in Europe, owned by Aussie connections, won the American St Leger (2714m) last time out
- Americain (Alain de Royer Dupre) – Winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup loves it every time they come to Melbourne, haven’t raced at Caulfield before but have won at Flemington, Moonee Valley and Sandown, 58kg topweight with Dunaden – controversial French hoop Gerald Mosse
Other top fancies in the Caulfield Cup 2012 odds that were accepted today then include:
- Lights Of Heaven (Peter Moody) – One-time fancy for last year’s Caulfield Cup but lost form and didn’t get there, was flying in the Winter winning the Eagle Farm Cup – Brisbane Cup double in Queensland, three runs in this time improving each step including her last start third in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m), 53kg with Luke Nolen to ride
- Folding Gear (Lee & Shannon Hope) – Last start winner of the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield, did it by half a length with 54kg and drops back to just 52kg here with many of the topliners giving them lots of weight
- Secret Admirer (Grahame Begg) – Hasn’t won a race since last year’s Epsom Handicap but has been right up there in her four runs this time in, including a fifth in the Epsom, never raced beyond 2000-metres however
- Moudre (Ciaron Maher) – Failed in the Turnbull Stakes when dead last last time out but looking to bounce back here, also entered in Saturday’s David Jones Cup as a consolation prize in case they missed the cut
Defending Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed meanwhile has been accepted to defend her title again this year despite her below par 15th (of 16) in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington last start.
She will carry 54.5kg with Nash Rawiller in the saddle, 2kg more than she had on her back when defeating Green Moon (Cox Plate bound this year) in the race 12 months ago when Craig Williams rode her from barrier three.
Williams will be aboard top fancy Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup as he seeks successive wins this year.
Connections were considering bypassing the Caulfield Cup with Southern Speed and taking her to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) Saturday week if she drew a bad gate.
After her disappointment in the Turnbull Southern Speed looks set to bounce back if she goes to the Caulfield Cup after a cracking piece of work over 2000m on the course proper on Monday, her final 400m completed in 23.5 seconds.
“She was excellent in her first couple of runs but the run in the Turnbull Stakes put a dampener on her,” co-trainer Leon Macdonald said.
“She has spent a couple of days on a waterwalker after that, then time at the beach which has freshened her up.
“She is fit, no doubt about that. It is more a mental thing but I am confident she is back where I want her.”
Glen Boss opted to jump off Southern Speed for the Caulfield Cup after her Turnbull loss but Macdonald is happy to have Rawiller aboard on Saturday for the first time.
Meanwhile, along with Lights Of Heaven Victoria’s leading trainer Peter Moody will also be represented in this year’s Caulfield Cup by exciting imports Sneak A Peek and Voila Ici who are both well liked in the Caulfield Cup betting markets.
Sneak A Peek has had three runs down under, most recently finishing four lengths away seventh in the Turnbull Stakes, while Voila Ici has been ultra-impressive finishing second in the Underwood Stakes and a good fourth in the Turnbull with the 2400m to suit even more.
Notable Omissions from the 2012 Caulfield Cup field include:
- Shahwardi (Alain de Royer Dupre) – Impressive winner of the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) last Saturday, Melbourne Cup-bound French galloper being kept fresh for their spring grand final with connections opting not to back them up here despite their Caulfield Cup ballot exemption
- Tac De Boistron (Mick Kent) – Well-credentialled French stayer last seen winning a Group 2 at Longchamp over 2800m in July, also bypassing the Caulfield Cup in favour of the Geelong Cup on the 24th, a race that has produced the past two Melbourne Cup winners
- Ironstein (Gerald Ryan) – Zabeel seven-year-old ran third in the JRA Cup and then fourth in the Herbert Power, focusing attentions on the Melbourne Cup and will go there via the Moonee Valley Cup as per owner John Singleton’s instructions
See below for the official 2012 BMW Caulfield Cup final field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2012 Caulfield Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 8 – 4:05pm (AEST) – 20/10/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Wgt.||Hcp Rating|
|1||141x326x6x||AMERICAIN (USA)||Alain de Royer Dupre||Gerald Mosse||58kg||118|
|2||9111x3326x||DUNADEN (FR)||Mikel Delzangles||Craig Williams||58kg||118|
|3||2x7x33x51x||JAKKALBERRY (IRE)||Marco Botti||Colm O’Donoghue||55.5kg||113|
|4||40x2153x99||WINCHESTER (USA)||John Sadler||Jamie Mott||55.5kg||111|
|5||x21110x833||DECEMBER DRAW (IRE)||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||55kg||112|
|6||21x343x624||VOILA ICI (IRE)||Peter G Moody||Vlad Duric||55kg||110|
|7||5255×31140||SOUTHERN SPEED||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||Nash Rawiller||54.5kg||115|
|8||1411x6x006||SANAGAS (GER)||Bart Cummings||Nicholas Hall||54kg||105|
|9||190x0x1111||GLENCADAM GOLD (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||53.5kg (incl. 3.5kg penalties||107|
|10||1x15x24011||MY QUEST FOR PEACE (IRE)||Luca Cumani||Corey Brown||53.5kg||107|
|11||x55441x008||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||53.5kg||108|
|12||x72211x093||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||53kg||112|
|13||52383×2235||SECRET ADMIRER||Grahame Begg||Brenton Avdulla||53kg||112|
|14||42x116x857||SNEAK A PEEK (ITY)||Peter G Moody||Glen Boss||53kg||104|
|15||5129×78972||ALCOPOP||Jake Stephens||Dom Tourneur||52.5kg||105|
|16||241x089x30||MOUDRE||Ciaron Maher||Kerrin McEvoy||52.5kg||103|
|17||2x4613x001||FOLDING GEAR (NZ)||Lee & Shannon Hope||Ben Melham||52kg (incl. 1.0kg penalty)||102|
|18||415116×970||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||Craig Newitt||52kg||101|
|20e||214×111327||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||–||51.5kg||101|
|21e||28x32x42x7||IBICENCO (GER)||Luca Cumani||–||51.5kg||100|
|22e||403164×920||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)||David Hayes||–||50kg||95|