Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
The countdown is on until the Caulfield Cup 2017 is run and won this afternoon in Melbourne and below are the Races.com.au team’s late mail tips on the big one of the day.
There are 17 chances in this season’s Group 1 $3.15 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) field, an important qualifier for the Melbourne Cup field on the first Tuesday of November.
Caulfield Cup jump time is scheduled for 4:30pm (AEDT) as Caulfield Race 8 today and Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider Johannes Vermeer ($4.80) is favourite out to prove his first-up Ladbrokes Stakes second last weekend was no fluke.
The punters’ picks have saluted twice in as many years with Mongolian Khan (2015) and Jameka (2016) both starter top of the Caulfield Cup odds for their respective wins in the mile-and-a-half classic.
Johannes Vermeer was at $51s before his down under debut last weekend and has been well-supported to go one better in today’s Caulfield Cup results drawn well in barrier two.
But is the top fancy the one the race morning race track whispers are all about and is there a roughie Caulfield Cup hope worth backing?
No. 7 Ventura Storm ($10) To Win
Backed in from $3 to $10 in the past day, this Lindsay Park-trained import has had the ideal Caulfield Cup lead-up and is set to peak. Yet to win down under with his latest victory being a year ago in a Group 1 over 2400m in Italy. Improving each run this time in, is the market mover coming off a second to Winx in the Turnbull Stakes. Jameka brought that same form into the Caulfield Cup win last year and the Turnbull Stakes form has stacked-up more than any other lead-up. Down from WFA to 54kg, gets things his way from barrier four with D. Oliver aboard. Remains overs in the markets.
No. 3 Wicklow Brave ($51) Best Roughie
There’s plenty to like about a $51 chance in the Caulfield Cup field presenting race fit with Joao Moreira riding. This William Mullins-trained raider won last year’s Irish St. Leger and was fourth past the post in the same race this season in his latest run. That was his fourth time finishing fourth in five runs. Smart enough to go one better and finish in the money. Well-weighted (54kg) and will relish those kilos having carted big weights around at home in recent flat and hurdle races. All reports from Werribee are that this horse, out to be the first nine-year-old Caulfield Cup winner in history, has thrived and travelled well. Horror Melbourne Cup ride and subsequent result last year. Can improve at a big price in this lead-up.
No. 15 Harlem ($10) Each Way
No Caulfield Cup winner has saluted from barrier one since 1941, but can this Lindsay Park-trained six-year-old break the hoodoo? His Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) win at the track two back rated very well when he defeated the field (from barrier one) by over three lengths. At Flemington last time out he was around four lengths off Amelie’s Star in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m). He had a really tough go of it in that frantic race and will relish the return to Caulfield, the drop in weight (51.5kg) and the better barrier today in the rematch. Flies out the gate with the lightweight and with the blinkers on is a genuine danger.
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