International Caulfield Cup Horses 2017: Which Can Win?

There is an under capacity 2017 Caulfield Cup field assembled for the $3.15 million classic this Saturday in Melbourne and three of the runners in the mile and a half showdown are visiting internationals.

Admire Rakti

Japan’s Admire Rakti (2014) was the last internationally-trained Caulfield Cup winner. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

Heading the latest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on the Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) this spring is one of the raiders, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer ($4.80).

Caulfield Cup favourites have saluted twice in as many years and there’s been a stack of money fly in for this Ben Melham-ridden galloper after his eye-catching second in last weekend’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).

The other internationally-trained gallopers looking to be the first to salute since Japan’s Admire Rakti (2014) are the Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo ($20) and the William Mullins-trained fellow Irish galloper Wicklow Brave ($51).

So what chances to the international Caulfield Cup horses have of defeating the locally-trained stayers in Caulfield Race 8 at 4:30pm (AEDT) on Saturday?

#2 MARMELO

Verdict: Better for a Melbourne Cup bet but definite Place Chance with the Bowman factor.

Odds: $20

Breeding: by Duke Of Marmalade from Carpriolla

Age: Five-year-old

Sex: Stallion

Trainer: Hughie Morrison (East Illsley, GB)

Owners:  The Fairy Story Partnership, Mr A Kheir, Mr P Mehrten, Mr J A O’neill

Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Barrier: 10

Lead-Up Run: 1st, Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) Deauville, France, 20/08/2017

  • Prix Kergorlay form has stacked-up down in recent years
  • Hasn’t raced over less than 2500m since breaking his maiden status with a 10 length win over 2414m in July of 2016 at Doncaster
  • Hugh Bowman is confident having partnered the horse for some eye-catching work at Werribee this week
  • Five of the past eight winners jumped from a double-digit barrier including Fawkner (10 of 18 in 2013)
  • Carries second top weight (55kg) so gives kilos away to some class stayers
  • May need the run tuning up for the two miles of the 2017 Melbourne Cup

#3 JOHANNES VERMEER

Verdict: Deserving favourite who just needs to get into the right position to salute for the punters.

Odds: $4.80

Breeding: by Galileo from Inca Princess

Age: 5YO

Sex: Stallion

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien (Co. Tipperary, IRE)

Owners:  Mr N C Williams, Mr L J Williams, Mrs S J Williams, Mr J A Ingham, Mr B N Singer, Mr A L Green, Mrs B A Green, Bulla Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd, Mr D A Heffernan, Mr M S Gudinski, Mr V Sammartino, Mr P Mehrten, Mr G T Ryan

Jockey: Ben Melham

Barrier: 2

Lead-Up Run: 2nd, Group 1 Caulfield Stakes, 2000m, Caulfield, 14/10/2017

  • Firming favourite in Caulfield Cup betting out to be the third to salute for the punters in as many years
  • Melham is confident this is a “Caulfield Cup horse” and that barrier 2 will suit
  • Barrier has produced three Caulfield Cup winners since 1983 roughly a decade apart
  • Runs twice in seven days so is fit and firing
  • Eye-catching Ladbrokes Classic second last Saturday with upside
  • Mongolian Khan (3rd in 2015) was the last Caulfield Cup winner off that lead-up race
  • Drops from 59kg to 54.5kg
  • Yet to win over further than 2011m
  • Last start over the distance produced a close second under 62kg in a Group 3 at Leopardstown (Ireland) in August

#8 WICKLOW BRAVE

Verdict: Too much against to win but may run First Four at a big price.

Odds: $51

Breeding: by Beat Hollow from Moraine

Age: 9YO

Sex: Gelding

Trainer: William Mullins (IRE)

Owners:  Wicklow Bloodstock (Ire) Ltd

Jockey: Joao Moreira

Barrier: 16

Lead-Up Run: 4th, Group 1 Irish St Leger, 2816m, The Curragh, Ireland, 10/09/2017

  • Needs to make history as the first nine-year-old Caulfield Cup winner
  • Hasn’t won a race under 2816m so is a dour stayer that may need further
  • Has barrier 16 (of 17) to overcome and the gate hasn’t produced a winner since Tristarc (1985)
  • Last year’s Irish St Leger winner finished fourth in the same lead-up this season
  • Hurdler / flat racer hasn’t won a flat race since September last year
  • Perennial fourth placegetter having finished 4th in four of his past five starts
  • Would be the longest Caulfield Cup winner since the first international to salute: Taufan’s Melody ($67 in 1998)

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