There may only be five left in the field, but Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes 2013 is still a very important race on the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival program this year as it could prove the form guide for the upcoming Cox Plate.
Running as Caulfield Guineas Day Race 6 at 3:10pm (AEST) the small field for the $400,000 Group 1 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) is due to acceptance of Mark Kavanagh’s star mare Atlantic Jewel.
Already a triple Group 1 winner the lightly-raced Fastnet Rock five-year-old suffered her only defeat last start at the hands of Kiwi champ It’s A Dundeel in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
She shouldn’t be found out again however as It’s A Dundeel is missing Saturday’s clash due to a hoof abscess.
In the latest Caulfield Stakes odds she is the firming $1.28 favourite, a price made even shorter by the early withdrawal of Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon who is suffering from a virus.
Following Atlantic Jewel in the Caulfield Stakes betting markets is then the fellow Kavanagh-trained Group 1 winner Super Cool at $5.50.
Drawn in gate two with Glen Boss to ride the Fastnet Rock four-year-old has had three runs since their Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) victory back in the autumn.
Their latest start was at Flemington last Saturday when ninth to Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m), an effort they will be out to improve on here in a much smaller field.
The other single-figure chance for an upset Caulfield Stakes result is then Foreteller ($8), a dual Group 1 champ prepared by Sydney’s Chris Waller who was a forgivable 12th in the Underwood.
And an upset certainly isn’t out of the question completely with Atlantic Jewel far from a given over the 2000m according to jockey Michael Rodd.
There’s then the fact that the last mare to win the Caulfield Stakes was Tristarc way back in 1985.
She also looks down the barrel of a 71-year-hoodoo heading towards both Saturday’s race and then the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in a fortnight, for which she is also the favourite, with the last mare to complete the Caulfield Stakes – Cox Plate double being Tranquil Star (1942).
So should you be on the favourite? Or is there more value sacking Atlantic Jewel with your Caulfield Stakes bets?
#6 Atlantic Jewel ($1.28)
Yes she’s short and no mare’s don’t have a great record, but this isn’t any mare and a 28% profit is nothing to turn your nose up at! Think Kavanagh has this smart mare primed and ready to shine here ahead of her Cox Plate bid. Rodd says she’s a query over the 2000m, but her seven length romp in the Wakeful last Derby Day says otherwise. Did her stamina let her down in the Underwood? Not sure, but It’s A Dundeel is one smart cookie. He’s not here though, there’s only five to defeat, she should do this pretty easy.
#5 Super Cool ($5.50)
Think the bookies have got this one right with Super Cool to follow their star stablemate right to the line. They’ll get a gun run from the gate (2) in a small field with Bossy aboard. Won a Group 1 over this distance as a three-year-old defeating some good horses including subsequent The BMW winner Fiveandahalfstar. Were a nice first-up third to Atlantic Jewel in the Memsie, fourth in the Dato when defeated just half a length by last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente then Turnbull ninth? Think they’ll be back to their best here, forgiving that run.
#2 Foreteller ($8)
Really hard not to follow the order of the odds in this with Foreteller the obvious pick for third. They have two Group 1’s to their name (Ranvet and then Makybe Diva two back). They defeated Puissance De Lune to win the Makybe Diva over the mile, and Underwood 12th is one they can most definitely improve on. Going up to the 2000m is going to suit, they were second to stablemate Beaten Up last time over the distance in the Doomben Cup during the winter.
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*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change