The favourites for Saturday’s 2014 Caulfield Guineas have suffered early blows drawing out wide in double digits for the three-year-olds’ clash in Melbourne.
A 14 horse field was announced earlier this morning for the weekend’s $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m), running as one of four elite level features on the Caulfield program.
Likely favourite is the flying Ken Keys-trained Rich Enuff, the Written Tycoon colt shooting for his fourth straight win.
For his two latest victories he’s been ridden by Michael Rodd who retains the ride in the Group 1, the well fancied duo to jump from barrier 10.
The form leading up to the Caulfield Guineas has been flawless with Rich Enuff having won both the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) last month where he came from the outside alley to win.
The latter has been a particularly nice guide with seven Caulfield Guineas winners coming via the Prelude in the last 11 years.
While the inside alley has been the most successful, barrier 10 also has had some success with three winners in the past 31 years.
Also drawn wide with work to do in the mile showdown is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad in 13 with Tommy Berry in the saddle.
Winner of the Group 1 JJ Atkins over the 1600m at Eagle Farm last season, Al Maher colt Almalad also comes off a win having taken out the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) over fellow Guineas hopefuls Moonovermanhattan (2nd) and Kumaon (3rd) at Moonee Valley on September 26.
As mentioned, barrier one has produced the most Caulfield Guineas winners since 1983 with a record seven successful from the inside alley.
This year the prized position belongs to the Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison-trained Zebulon who will be ridden by Stephen Baster.
A one-time top fancy in futures Caulfield Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, Zebulon lost favouritism when he finished dead last beaten seven lengths by Almalad in the Stutt Stkaes.
He’s out to atone on Saturday though when racing over the same distance this time in his Caulfield debut.
The other most successful Caulfield Guineas barriers over the past 31 years have been four (five winners) and three (four winners).
On Saturday those gates belong to Merion (barrier four) and Zululand (barrier three).
The Michael Moroney-trained Merion has Steven Arnold aboard on the weekend again, the O’Reilly gelding’s regular rider staying on after guiding him to victory in a Flemington black type over 1400m on September 13.
He missed his last run due to a firm track but Moroney is confident he’s still fit enough for the Group 1.
Zululand meanwhile comes off three seventh place finishes including behind Merion two back and Almalad last time out, form the Fastnet Rock colt will need to be improving on notably to feature here.
Barriers that have produced no Caulfield Guineas winners since 1983 relevant for this year’s field size meanwhile are 5, 6, 9 and 14.
The horses looking to break the hoodoo from these barriers on Saturday are:
- #14 Wandjina (Barrier 5)
- #12 Lucky Tom (Barrier 6)
- #7 Looks Like The Cat (Barrier 9)
- #1 Our Vespa (Barrier 14)
Of those the two most notable are the Tony Gollan-trained Brisbane raider Looks Like The Cat and New Zealand visitor Our Vespa.
Damian Browne continues his association with Gollan’s Husson gelding Looks Like The Cat, third in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins Stakes (1600m) back home at Eagle Farm in the winter, who comes off a second to Rich Enuff in both the Danehill and the Prelude.
Our Vespa meanwhile has the ‘visitor’s gate’ to overcome with Johno Benner engaging the services of Craig Williams.
Williams replaces New Zealander Mark Du Plessis who came over and rode the Elusive City colt for a sixth in the Prelude, before which the Kiwi galloper won three on the trot back home including New Zealand’s Group 1 Diamond Stakes in March.
See below for the full Caulfield Guineas 2014 field and barriers, updated betting markets set to open at our No. 1 recommended bookie Ladbrokes.com.au shortly.
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2014 Caulfield Guineas Field & Barriers
Caulfield Race 9 – 11/10/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2x11311x16||OUR VESPA (NZ)||Johno Benner||Craig Williams||14||56.5kg||92|
|2||1x11x941||ALMALAD||Gai Waterhouse||Tommy Berry||13||56.5kg||98|
|3||3×111||RICH ENUFF||Ken Keys||Michael Rodd||10||56.5kg||96|
|4||11×8231||SHOOTING TO WIN||Peter & Paul Snowden||James McDonald||8||56.5kg||99|
|5||49152×5777||ZULULAND||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||3||56.5kg||82|
|6||2138×126||CHIVALRY||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||12||56.5kg||84|
|7||1x233x22||LOOKS LIKE THE CAT||Tony Gollan||Damian Browne||9||56.5kg||86|
|8||13x263x203||KUMAON||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||2||56.5kg||82|
|9||11×41||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||4||56.5kg||82|
|10||1×042||MOONOVERMANHATTAN||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||7||56.5kg||78|
|11||8116×22568||STINGRAY||John Moloney||Mark Zahra||11||56.5kg||73|
|12||4x2011x320||LUCKY TOM||Harold Norman||Rikki Jamieson (a)||6||56.5kg||73|
|13||213×39||ZEBULON (NZ)||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||1||56.5kg||70|
|14||7x144x4047||WANDJINA||Gai Waterhouse||Dwayne Dunn||5||56.5kg||71|