Two connections are chasing a fifth win the 2016 Caulfield Cup with the imported Exospheric this weekend: co-trainer Lee Freedman and the race’s most successful hoop Damien Oliver.
Oliver has had 21 starters in the mile and a half spring feature since 1983 for four wins, two seconds and a third.
On Saturday the still flying jockey jumps aboard the Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Exospheric chasing his fifth trophy in the $3.15 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Hall of Famer Lee Freedman, who now trains in partnership with his son Anthony, is also a four-time Caulfield Cup winner.
Oliver’s past Caulfield Cup winning rides started for Freedman on the mighty mare Mannerism (1992).
He also rode back-to-back champs for the trainer with Paris Lane (1994) and Doriemus (1995), while his latest victory was aboard the Colin Alderson-trained Sky Heights (1999) so it has been a time between drinks for the champion jockey.
Freedman’s other Caulfield Cup winner meanwhile was Mummify (2003) ridden to victory by Danny Nikolic.
Promising Beat Hollow stallion Exospheric is one of four internationals in the Caulfield Cup 2016 field racing down under for the first time, but the only one now prepared down under.
He has won four of his 10 career starts to date, including the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket in April over the distance.
His other start at the mile and a half produced a brave third behind Big Orange, fifth in last year’s Melbourne Cup, in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales Stakes (2414m) in July.
Last time out the five-year-old crossed fifth to Postponed at York on August 17 in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes (2080m) and he could relish the extra metres this weekend.
Oliver will help him around the Caulfield track for the first time and dropping from 60kg last start to 55.5kg in the Caulfield Cup weights he is rated a $13 chance for the win at Ladbrokes.com.au.
“I’m pleased about that, he’s shooting for the record number of wins in the race along with Scobie [Breasley] and we’re shooting for a fifth win in the race, so the two of us have got good experience,” Freedman, 60, told Racing Victoria this week speaking about Oliver.
“I’m really happy to have him on what could be a fresh, green horse because you need an old head on those sort of horses. I think he will understand that horse well, a lot better than a lot of other people.
“It would be marvellous if we could win it.”
So can Exospheric continue the Freedman – Oliver gun run in the Caulfield Cup results this weekend?
2016 Caulfield Cup Horse Form #3 Exospheric
Jockey: Damien Oliver
Trainer/s: Lee & Anthony Freedman
Owner/s: Mr A Kheir, Mr P Mehrten, Mr J A O’neill, J & M Kheir Builders, Mr A Butler, Mr J Sourasis, Mr A L Kirkwood-Scott, Carty Racing, Mr B D Nettlefold, Mr F Palazzo, Mr F Hachem, Mr C Oliver
Breeding: by Beat Hollow (GB) from Bright And Clear (GB)
Last 6: 3×1835
Prize Money: $296,115
Current 2016 Caulfield Cup Odds: $13
Why Exospheric Can Win the 2016 Caulfield Cup First-Up
- He’ll get the box seat from barrier three, a gate that has produced recent Caulfield Cup winners Southern Speed (2011), Elvstroem (2004) and Imposera (1988)
- He drops from 60kg last start to 55.5kg in the Caulfield Cup weights, the lightest he has carried in over a year
- Recent history shows that five of the past seven Caulfield Cup winners carried at least 55kg to victory
- Damien Oliver is the most successful Caulfield Cup winning jockey in the past 30 years with four winners
- Co-trainer Lee Freedman has won the Caulfield Cup four times
- Five-year-olds and stallions have decent form in the race in the past decade with two and six wins respectively
- Has a good Win (40%) and Place (60%) rate – but is only lightly-raced enhancing these percentages
- Has nice form over the distance (3-1-0-1) in good company in the UK
- Is the right price to win ($13) with five of the past seven winners paying between $10 and $16
Why Exospheric Won’t be the Caulfield Cup Winner
- No Caulfield Cup winner has carried exactly 55.5kg to victory in over 30 years
- He is yet to race in Australia or have a lead-up run into the Caulfield Cup
- The only five-year-old stallion to win the Caulfield Cup in the past 30 years was Master O’Reilly (2007)
- Is only lightly-raced (10-4-0-2) and faces some experienced stayers
If you fancy the form on Exospheric to win the Caulfield Cup 2016 make sure you lock him in at Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply) available exclusively at Ladbrokes.com.au.