A small field of Cox Plate hopes face off in the first of four Group 1 races on the Caulfield Guineas Day card in Melbourne on Saturday and below are our insider tips on the 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes.
The weight-for-age feature is a lead-up to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24, and this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) has attracted just eight runners.
Heading the current Caulfield Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering a juicy Best Tote or SP + 20% on all Caulfield races on Saturday, is the Chris Waller-trained Kermadec.
The Teofilo stallion shoots for his third Group 1 win over the mile, but his first in Melbourne with his opening two being in Randwick’s Doncaster Mile in the autumn and the George Main Stakes last start.
He’s drawn in gate eight, but there’s plenty of time to overcome that and he if he can stay up in the top half of the field as they hit the straight he’s got the speed to run them down as he goes up to the 2000m for the first time.
It’s a wide open Caulfield Stakes betting affair this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival though with four other single figure hopes after the upset including last year’s winner Fawkner ($4.20) who is racing at his peak despite being an eight-year-old and the market mover Criterion ($6.50) who has been smashed by the punters in from $12.
So can Kermadec hand Sydney’s top trainer Waller with his maiden Caulfield Stakes victory and become the fifth favourite since 2009 to salute for the punters or is there value in a longer priced chance such as the Gai Waterhouse-trained Doomben Cup champ over the distance Pornichet ($6) or even the Kiwi-trained ATC Derby winner Mongolian Khan ($11) who is flying this prep?
#7 Kermadec ($3)
Lots to like about Kermadec for Waller, who is set to have a stellar day in Melbourne. Is in gate eight but it’s a small field so he can stay in touch. Ridden by dual Caulfield Stakes winning hoop Glen Boss who is after his first win since Ocean Park (2012). Kermadec comes off a non-traditional lead-up with the Underwood Stakes the form race to follow into this in recent years, with the last horse to complete the George Main Stakes – Caulfield Stakes double being Lonhro (2003). This is Kermadec’s first look at the distance, but his two Group 1 mile wins suggest he could stretch out and the bookies agree as he’s also favourite to win the Cox Plate. Favourites have a gun record here with four of the past six getting the job done
#2 Fawkner ($4.20)
Robert Hickmott’s $3.74 million earner won this race last year after a Makybe Diva Stakes second and as an eight-year-old this prep he’s been equally impressive, winning the Makybe over the Flemington mile before a second in The Underwood over 1800m at Caulfield when defeated a nose in a photo-finish. The Underwood has produced six of the past 10 Caulfield Stakes winners, most recently Atlantic Jewel (2nd in 2013). Has the proven form at the track (4-2-2-0), distance (5-1-2-1) and track/distance (2-1-1-0) and in gate four he’ll get things his way with another close finish on the cards.
#8 Mongolian Khan ($11)
For value, Murray Baker’s four-year-old Kiwi visitor looks a must for exotics third-up in barrier two with New Zealand hoop Opie Bosson over for the ride. Super-consistent stallion with Group 1 winning form in Sydney over the mile and a half, so the step up to 2000m three runs in here should be to his liking on the back of a fast-finishing Underwood Stakes fourth.
Now is the time to discover the benefits of betting online through Ladbrokes.com.au as they are offering all punters Best Tote or SP + 20% on all Caulfield Guineas Day races this weekend plus an extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds winner in races 1 – 5 on the card!