Chris Waller’s Cox Plate-bound four-year-old Kermadec has opened clear favourite to win his second Group 1 on the trot and the third elite level of his career this weekend in the 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes on Caulfield Guineas Day.
A small eight-horse field faces off in Saturday’s $400,000 Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m), the weight-for-age clash due to run as Caulfield Race 6 at 3:55pm (AEST).
Of the hopefuls in the mix the $2.90 top fancy at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on ALL races across the bumper Caulfield Guineas Day card, is Teofilo stallion Kermadec.
Winner of the Doncaster Mile and George Main Stakes over the Randwick mile, he stretches out to 2000m for the first time in his maiden Caulfield run this weekend heading into the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley later this month, another WFA classic he also leads betting on.
It is an open Caulfield Stakes betting affair this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with all but two of Kermadec’s seven rivals joining him at single figures in the markets including the $5 second elect Fawkner.
The Lloyd Williams-raced Reset eight-year-old Fawkner is looking to defend his Caulfield Stakes title after winning it 12 months ago on the back of a Makybe Diva Stakes second.
Second also the run after in the Cox Plate behind the then Irish-trained Adelaide, Fawkner won this year’s Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) first-up at Flemington before having his latest run at Caulfield in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 26.
The Underwood Stakes has produced six of the past 10 Caulfield Stakes winners, most recently Atlantic Jewel (2nd in 2013) just two years ago.
The next best in betting are the rails-drawn Contributer ($5.50) who has eased out from his opening price and Pornichet ($6) for Gai Waterhouse.
The John O’Shea-trained High Chaparral six-year-old Contributer won the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) – Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) double in Sydney last season, and was last seen crossing sixth in the Underwood Stakes.
He is up to his pet distance this weekend however having won five of his previous six 2000m runs giving him a big advantage in a small Caulfield Stakes line-up.
Pornichet is also proven at the distance in the Group 1 company, the French import winning the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane during the winter before three solid runs this time in over less distance including his last start third to Kermadec in the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 19.
There are then two $9 fancies with market mover Criterion (in from $12) racing back down under for the first time since his Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) win in Sydney during the autumn and the four-year-old Kiwi in the mix Mongolian Khan ($9) after his maiden victory since the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) as a three-year-old in early April.
See below for the full Caulfield Stakes 2015 betting odds, the Best Tote or SP + 20% markets to be updated before race day at Ladbrokes.com.au!