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It is a wide open field for the world’s richest mile-and-a-half classic this afternoon in Melbourne, our insider 2017 Caulfield Cup tipping guide on the best roughies to back for the win detailed below.
There are currently just three single-figure fancies in the 17-horse field for the Group 1 $3.15 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m), the odds on the Aidan O’Brien-trained favourite Johannes Vermeer easing out to $4.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Johannes Vermeer is over from Ireland and ran an eye-catching second first-up last weekend in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).
Was that the best he had? Can he win over the extended distance?
His blistering late sectionals suggest he can improve, but there could prove better value horses in Caulfield Cup betting to get behind this afternoon in Race 8 at 4:30pm (AEDT).
BEST CAULFIELD CUP 2017 ROUGHIES
Verdict: Melbourne Cup the target but with a genuine pace on can surprise over 2400m first-up as the best value international.
- Odds: $16
- Breeding: by Duke Of Marmalade (IRE) from Capriolla (GB)
- Age: 5YO
- Sex: Entire
- 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 (FR), 20/08/2017
Winx hoop Hugh Bowman is used to high pressure races and he gets the chance at a maiden Caulfield Cup trophy on this dour international stayer from Britain. Bowie brings the X-Factor and has had some genuine gallops on this stallion leading-up to the debut down under. Carries 55kg and history shows that since 2007 six of the nine Caulfield Cup winners had at least 54.5kg on their back. Won the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) last time out and that form is a blinder in the Aussie staying races. Obviously the two miles of the Melbourne Cup is his go, but there will be speed on in the Caulfield Cup and he can outstay this field on the back of similar European lead-up form as past Caulfield Cup winning visitors Taufan’s Melody (1998) and All The Good (2008).
#8 WICKLOW BRAVE
Verdict: Nine-year-olds don’t win the Caulfield Cup but hoodoos are there to be broken.
- Odds: $61
- Breeding: by Beat Hollow (GB) from Moraine (GB)
- Age: 9YO
- Sex: Gelding
- Trainer: William Mullins (Ireland)
- Owners: Wicklow Bloodstock (Ire) Ltd
- Jockey: Joao Moreira
- Barrier: 16
- Lead-Up Run: 4th, Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m), The Curragh (IRE), 10/09/2017
Another out-and-out international stayer that looks way overs. Hasn’t won a flat race since the Group 1 Irish St Leger in September last year, and only managed a fourth behind last year’s runner-up Order Of St. George in the same event this season. He has been carting huge weights of 60kg and above however and will be flying getting down to just 54kg with the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira to ride the Irish visitor. Has finished fourth in four of his past five starts and is “too old” statistically to win the Caulfield Cup, but he’s an evergreen veteran who is race fit and a chance to finish in the money even from the draw (16).
#17 LORD FANDANGO
Verdict: Lock this lightweight into Caulfield Cup Trifectas after the Herbert Power win.
- Odds: $19
- Breeding: by Lord Of England (GER) from Fitness (IRE)
- Age: 5YO
- Sex: Entire
- Trainer: Archie Alexander (Ballarat)
- Owners: O T I Racing, Anglo Australian Racing, Mr P S Farrugia, Irish Golfer No.6, Mr S D Gorman, Mrs P T Gorman, Mr G Uthmeyer, No Bongi, Mr P Flavel
- Jockey: Ben Allen (a)
- Barrier: 9
- Lead-Up Run: 1st, Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), Caulfield, 14/10/2017
This OTI Racing German import only entered calculations after making the line-up thanks to the Herbert Power win last Saturday at the Caulfield Cup track / distance. That form hasn’t proven all that great in the Group 1, Master O’Reilly (2007) doing the double after the favourites scratched out that year. Still, this horse is fit and firing chasing three wins on the trot, has outstanding form over the 2400m (6-3-1-0) and on the 50kg lightweight cannot be discounted.
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