Mick Price’s Victoria Derby winner Tarzino has been elevated to top spot in futures Caulfield Cup 2016 betting after the omission of one-time favourite Winx at nomination stage for the October 15 classic.
On Tuesday Racing Victoria received 170 nominations for the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), but original ante-post favourite Winx was not among them.
Trainer Chris Waller’s sole Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival focus with his star mare is the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley a week after the Caulfield Cup, which the daughter of Street Cry won last season.
With Winx out it is now Price’s four-year-old Tavistock stallion Tarzino sitting top of the all-in Caulfield Cup odds at a current quote of $15 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Last Melbourne Cup Carnival as a three-year-old he won the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington by two lengths before a strong autumn that included a Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) second and Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) win.
His latest run at Randwick on April 2 was a fourth to Tavago in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m), and despite that loss as the beaten odds-on favourite the bookies are taking no chances with him in the Caulfield Cup.
Tarzino is set to resume racing and make his four-year-old debut at Caulfield Racecourse on August 27 in the $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and is also still officially entered for the Cox Plate on October 22.
It is a very open early Caulfield Cup betting affair and following Tarzino are three $17 chances including the Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained ATC Derby winning Kiwi raider Tavago.
Tavago will be looking to go back-to-back for the New Zealanders in this year’s Caulfield Cup after the success of the since-retired Murray Baker-trained Mongolian Khan (2015) last season.
The two Caulfield Cup placegetters from last October were Trip To Paris (2nd) and Our Ivanhowe (3rd) who are the other two best fancied at $17 in early betting for this year’s edition.
British horseman Ed Dunlop prepares Champs Elysees gelding Trip To Paris who backed up from his Caulfield Cup second to run fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup, a race his ill-fated stablemate Red Cadeaux famously placed third in three times.
Trip To Paris was last seen running one and a half lengths away third to Scottish, another possible raider down under this spring, in a Listed Newbury race in the UK on July 16 over 2011m.
Lee & Anthony Freedman’s Soldier Hollow stallion Our Ivanhowe meanwhile was third in last year’s winning Caulfield Cup trifecta and is out to go two better this spring.
He was last seen winning the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) in Brisbane and will contest the Caulfield Cup third-up after earlier spring runs in the $500,000 Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 24 and the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
His co-trainer Lee Freedman has prepared four Caulfield Cup winners in the past 30 years with Mannerism (1992), Paris Lane (1994), Doriemus (1995) and most recently Mummify (2003).
Other early fancies include the Lloyd Williams-raced Bondi Beach ($21) who is one of a host of entries for Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien, stablemate Highland Reel ($21) who was third in last year’s Cox Plate down under, Waller’s multiple Group 1 champ Preferment ($21) and the Ciaron Maher-trained Crown Oaks winner from last year Jameka ($21).
Check out the best fancied of the early Caulfield Cup 2016 horses, all-in pricing open at Ladbrokes.com.au!