The 2014 Caulfield Cup barrier draw was announced live at Crown casino Tuesday afternoon at 5:45pm (AEDT), with all 18 runners plus four emergencies learning their starting positions.
Lucia Valentina retained favouritism for the $3 million race after she drew gate 12. However, she will start from the more desirable gate 10 if two of the emergencies – Renew (gate 2) and Brambles (11) don’t make the field.
It is worth noting Fawkner, winner of last year’s Caulfield Cup, jumped from gate 10 as did Ethereal in 2001.
The two Japanese super star stayers – Admire Rakti and Bande – both fared favourably in gates eight and 10 respectively, and will move in one spot should Renew be withdrawn.
The inside draw is a relief for Admire Rakti’s connections, seeing as the horse will ride with the top weight of 58kg, up to six kilos heavier than his rivals, and will need all the advantages he can get to off-set that.
Bande was the only other single figure hopeful for the 2014 Caulfield Cup before the final field & barrier draw was announced, due to his fantastic five-length Listed Sapporo Nikkei (2600m) victory, and has seen his price shorten even more following Wednesday’s draw.
The five-year-old has seen a lot of money come in for him at Ladbrokes.com.au, with the market mover shortening from $9 to $8 overnight.
The Peter Moody-trained Lidari continues his lucky streak after nabbing the last spot on the field at the final minute thanks to UK mare My Ambivalent withdrawing Tuesday morning due to a stone bruise.
He has attracted plenty of interest with punters after drawing gate four – which will ultimately become a start from gate three.
The Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) runner-up is currently offering odds of $15, but is sure to shorten over the coming days.
While the draw was kind to some, others weren’t so lucky.
UK stayer Dandino, runner-up to Fawkner in last year’s Caulfield Cup, drew the outside gate.
The bookies immediately lengthened his odds from $11 to $15, despite it being a similar draw to last year.
Craig Williams will ride the Marco Botti-trained horse, and it is interesting to note Williams won the 2012 Caulfield Cup with Dunadeen from the identical barrier.
It’s not impossible for Dandino to go one better and win the Caulfield Cup 2014, but it has definitely become a lot harder.
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