The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Australia’s second most famous Cup race headlines the racing action in Melbourne on Saturday with our insider Caulfield Cup 2023 tips and best bets found below.
We look set for an engrossing edition of the iconic 2400m showdown that has been run and won since 1879.
There may be only two Group 1 winners in the mix with reigning Melbourne Cup champ Gold Trip and classy mare Montefilia, but there are a host of progressive stayers bringing in some intriguing form lines that have fame and fortune in their sights.
Can Gold Trip go one better than his second last year and head into his title defence in the Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup on November 7 a last start winner?
Will Chris Waller win his third Caulfield Cup in four years via a win by Soulcombe, Francesco Guardi or the mare?
Are we about to crown an international Caulfield Cup champion with five in the mix including Japan’s Melbourne Cup-bound Breakup?
Read on to see the horses we are backing and sacking in Caulfield Race 9 at 5:15pm (AEDT) on Saturday before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to lock in your selections at the right price.
To Win: #8 Soulcombe ($6 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Happy to stick with the one-time favourite Soulcombe who drew last year’s winning barrier (6) and is from last year’s winning stable (Chris Waller). Waller has prepared two of the past three Caulfield Cup champions and this import is building momentum at exactly the right time. He picked up a cheeky win fresh in a Black-Type here and has been trialling well for the Cups’ since with two solid efforts. He was fourth in the Underwood 1.4 lengths off Alligator Blood (form franked by the winner who took out the Might And Power) then third to Gold Trip in the Turnbull. Has winning form over 2700m so the 2400m now fourth-up and fit is ideal. Meets Gold Trip better again in the weights down to 53.5kg, one of the best with Craig Williams in the saddle. This looks his right distance, Waller has had him set for this so you know he’ll present perfectly. Big hope.
The Danger: #1 Gold Trip ($6 at time of publish) – BET NOW
You cannot bet on the Caulfield Cup this year and leave Gold Trip out, you just can’t. He won the Melbourne Cup for Maher & Eustace last spring after having run second in the Caulfield Cup and ninth in the Cox Plate. Has the 58.5kg topweight but deserves it. Already a champion, he can go a long way to securing super stardom over the coming weeks starting on Saturday. Returned to his best form last start with a demolition job in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Improving each start this prep, the 2400m trip looks spot-on now and Ben Melham has plenty of big race experience. Watch him late, he’ll be flashing home in a high-pressure thriller. Confident he can be right in the finish again and handle the hefty kilos without a worry.
Each Way: #4 Montefilia ($10 at time of publish) – BET NOW
Some queries about the quality she beat home in the Group 2 $2 million Hill Stakes (2000m) last time out, but zero queries about this mare’s class. She is now with the Waller camp and is the only other proven Group 1 winner in the mix along with Gold Trip with four elite level wins on the record. She presents rock-hard fit here fifth-up and ready to fire again. She will eat-up the 2400m and her fourth in the race last year was excellent. Montefilia gets the run of the race from barrier nine and is well-weighted with 54.5kg. Blake Shinn in the saddle and he is going great guns. Needs to add her name to a pretty incredible list of female gallopers to win the Caulfield Cup, but she has beaten the boys before and can come close again.
The Roughie: #17 Spirit Ridge ($35 at time of publish) – BET NOW
The price on this Annabel Neasham-trained veteran is very attractive for a bit of a flutter. A 41-start gelding who at nine years old continues to show an incredible zest for racing. Coming out of the Sydney lead-ups with nice runs narrowly beaten in the Wyong Cup (34d), Newcastle Gold Cup (2nd) and the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2nd) at this distance a nostril flare off Just Fine on September 30. Kept fresh since, fourth-up now and fit as he’s ever been. Always overs in the markets and thereabouts. Will be airborne with only 50.5kg, on pace leading (or thereabouts) giving them something to run down. This is tougher, Just Fine didn’t frank the form with a dead last finish last week at Caulfield, but at the price happy to have something on him in for a top four run.
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