Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller is in Melbourne this weekend shooting for his maiden Caulfield Cup win with dual acceptors for the mile and a half classic including top-weight Preferment.
A capacity field of 18 stayers plus two emergencies are engaged for this year’s $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), weights led by Zabeel stallion Preferment (57kg).
The last Caulfield Cup winner to carry those kilos to victory was Viewed (2009) for the late Cups’ King Bart Cummings, but since then two have carried 58kg with Duanden (2012) and Admire Rakti (2014).
Five-year-old Preferment is yet to line-up in a Caulfield Cup field, but is four-time Group 1 winner.
His latest elite level win was in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) over the Caulfield Cup distance in Sydney during the autumn.
He has had three runs this campaign, the latest producing a fourth to runaway winner Hartnell in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
Preferment should enjoy getting out over the extra metres this weekend and is out to become the fifth Caulfield Cup champion in the past eight years to come off a Turnbull Stakes run.
Waller’s other chance in the 2016 Caulfield Cup field is 51.5kg light-weight Sacred Master.
Hugh Bowman partners Preferment, while fellow Sydney-based jockey Tommy Berry rides stablemate Sacred Master.
The Mastercraftsman five-year-old received a 0.5kg Caulfield Cup penalty for his Group 3 Newcastle Cup (2200m) win in mid-September and was last seen running only 1.6 lengths away fourth in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
The Metropolitan – Caulfield Cup double was achieved back-to-back by Railings (2005) and Tawqeet (2006) and this season Sir John Hawkwood is out to be the next.
The in-form John Thompson-trained veteran Sir Percy eight-year-old hasn’t finished worse than third in his eight latest runs going back to November last year.
He had his maiden run for Thompson two back for a second before The Metropolitan win carrying 54kg to victory on October 1.
Penalised 1.5kg for that Group 1 success, he is still well-weighted in the Caulfield Cup field getting in on 53.5kg with Blake Spriggs riding.
Following Preferment in the Caulfield Cup weights with 56.5kg is last year’s third placegetter Our Ivanhowe for Lee & Anthony Freedman.
The German expat has since won the Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) and is out to improve on a last start eighth in the Turnbull Stakes.
Our Ivanhowe only goes up a half-kilo from his Caulfield Cup from 12 months ago and jockey Dwayne Dunn shoots for his second win in the feature on the seven-year-old after riding Tawqeet (2006) to victory a decade ago.
Co-trainer Lee Freedman has enjoyed four Caulfield Cup wins to date with: Mannerism (1992), Paris Lane (1994), Doriemus (1995) and most recently Mummify (2003).
Along with Our Ivanhowe he is also represented in this year’s field by European import Exospheric (55.5kg) who debuts in Australia on Saturday.
The Beat Hollow stallion comes off a fifth to Postponed at York from August 17 in the Group 1 Juddmonte International (2080m), where he carted a hefty 60kg, and has four-time Caulfield Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Heading the international contingent this year is the Charlie Appleby-trained British gallop Scottish (55kg) who has the 2008 (All The Good) winning hoop Kerrin McEvoy riding.
Scottish is well-fancied in the Caulfield Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival after his recent Group 3 win in Europe.
The other raiders in the mix are the Aidan O’Brien-trained Sir Isaac Newton (55kg) and Germany’s Articus (53kg) raced by Melbourne Cup winning trainer Andreas Wohler.
Heading the Caulfield Cup odds meanwhile is the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka (52.5kg) out to become the first winning mare in the race since Southern Speed (2011).
Winner of last season’s Crown Oaks, the now four-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie comes off the Turnbull Stakes second and is joined in Saturday’s field by stablemates Set Square (52kg) and Pemberley (50.5kg).
See below for the full Caulfield Cup 2016 field and weights – updated markets open shortly at Ladbrokes.com.au – with the official Caulfield Cup barrier draw conducted at 5:10pm (AEDT) this afternoon.
2016 Caulfield Cup Final Field
Caulfield Racecourse – 15/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||7x4110x454||PREFERMENT (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||0||57kg||115|
|2||30x5501x58||OUR IVANHOWE (GER)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||0||56.5kg||111|
|3||11413×1835||EXOSPHERIC (GB)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Damien Oliver||0||55.5kg||111|
|4||12251×3121||SCOTTISH (IRE)||Charlie Appleby||Kerrin McEvoy||0||55kg||110|
|5||x4x2311440||SIR ISAAC NEWTON (GB)||Aidan O’Brien||Colm O’Donoghue||0||55kg||110|
|6||x4214x8086||TARZINO (NZ)||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||0||54.5kg||109|
|7||1x9065x808||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Michael Walker||0||54kg||104|
|8||12x1322x21||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||John P Thompson||Blake Spriggs||0||53.5kg (includes 1.5kg penalty)||108|
|9||114x31215x||ARTICUS (FR)||Andreas Wohler||Zac Purton||0||53kg||105|
|10||x11113x023||TALLY||John O’Shea||Brenton Avdulla||0||53kg||105|
|11||45324×4712||JAMEKA||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||0||52.5kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)||108|
|12||132114×271||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||0||52.5kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)||109|
|13||25305×9340||SET SQUARE||Ciaron Maher||Michael Dee (a)||0||52kg||105|
|14||6x8222x302||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Chris Parnham||0||51.5kg||98|
|15||6113×88214||SACRED MASTER (NZ)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||0||51.5kg (includes 0.5kg penalty)||103|
|16||3057741×69||FANATIC (NZ)||Graeme Sanders||Dean Yendall||0||50.5kg||98|
|17||31130×9113||PEMBERLEY (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||Ben Allen (a)||0||50.5kg||92|
|18||01893×4864||GO DREAMING||Grant Kluske||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||0||50.5kg||90|
|19e||6x7733x867||DE LITTLE ENGINE||Danny O’Brien||Ben E Thompson (a)||0||50.5kg||93|
|20e||2x1145x524||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||0||50.5kg||78|