The Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) field decreased dramatically on Wednesday, with the 102 nominations being cut to a final field of just 13.
Some of spring racing’s best three-year-old’s will compete for the $750,000 Classic win this Saturday October 18, as part of Caulfield Cup Day.
Headlining the classy field is the John O’Shea-trained Kumaon, who will enjoy a start from barrier three with Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
The colt has placed in six of his nine career starts but has found trouble bringing home the win against strong horses.
Kumaon has had four spring starts this campaign, including a runner-up finish in the Group 3 Run To The Rose (1200m) in August and a minor placing in the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m).
His last start was the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last Saturday. He hit the line well in a top run but missed out on a placing by a short neck.
This will be Kumaon’s first step up to 2000m, and there are questions about whether the colt is a stayer as he seems much better suited to 1200m.
Mike Price will be dually represented in the 2014 Caulfield Classic by War Point and Hawking.
War Point has placed in five of his six career starts but unlike Kumaon he has no experience in black type races. The colt will have to overcome a wide start from gate 11 with Craig Newitt in the saddle.
Robert Smerdon also has two horses in the race – Fontein Ruby and Crafty.
A Group Two winner her last time out, Fontein Ruby has unfortunately drawn the widest barrier.
The filly will be ridden by Mark Zahra once more, who brought her home in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) on October 4. She found the front after some early work out the gate and managed to control the race after that. She kept kicking up the running for an honest win.
She would have been a force to be reckoned with from an inside gate, but all is not lost just yet.
Stablemate Crafty was a fast-finishing third to Fontein Ruby in the Edward Manifold Stakes, which followed a Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) back in July.
The filly will start from barrier nine with Craig Williams in the saddle.
Mark Kavanagh’s Magicool is in-form following two spring campaign wins and a second, including the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) his last time out, for which he was a $10 bet.
He will start from midfield with Glenn Boss to ride.
Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) fourth Bachman and Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) winner Merion also featured among the final field.
Check out the complete final field & barrier draw for the 2014 Caulfield Classic below.
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2014 Caulfield Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Caulfield Race 4 – 18/10/2014
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||3x263x2034||KUMAON||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||3||57kg||90|
|2||11×416||MERION (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Steven Arnold||10||57kg||82|
|3||43119×043||BACHMAN||Gerald Ryan||Corey Brown||4||57kg||80|
|4||5×121||MAGICOOL||Mark Kavanagh||Glen Boss||7||57kg||73|
|5||2318||FIREHOUSE ROCK Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Nicholas Hall||2||57kg||66|
|6||8×13233||WAR POINT Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||11||57kg||66|
|7||623×614||LIGHT UP MANHATTAN||Ciaron Maher||Hugh Bowman||6||57kg||64|
|8||x016x26620||HAWKING||Mick Price||Jim Cassidy||8||57kg||64|
|9||54×4267||JUSTAWAY (NZ)||Steve Richards||Steven King||5||57kg||60|
|10||0798×42||CUBAN FIGHTER||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||12||57kg||59|
|11||58×92||HOME RUN HERO||Matt Laurie||Ben Melham||1||57kg||60|
|12||2736×31151||FONTEIN RUBY Super Vobis Bonus Scheme||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||13||55kg||84|
|13||33x161x03||CRAFTY||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||9||55kg||75|