Horse Racing 3 years ago

Caulfield Cup Wide Open

  • Caulfield Cup Wide Open

The Caufield Cup takes place once again on Saturday and in recent memory it's hard to think of a more even, competitive field.

On form you could make a case for at least three-quarters of the field, and the other quarter probably has the ability to win if they hit their straps.

The Europeans have entered some good performers in 5 year-olds Snow Sky and Trip To Paris but on past history, they may need this run to settle in and be more suited for the Melbourne Cup at Flemington. Of the internationals, it's the Japanese that should be watched closely. The Japanese raiders always come to hand quickly in Australia and they've shown in the past they have more than enough quality to win the Caufield Cup, with Admire Rakti last year, and the Melbourne Cup (Delta Blues). Fame Game and Hokko Brave take their place this year. Fame Game looks the stronger chance as Hokko Brave is an 8 year-old, not since 1983 has a horse older than 6 saluted, and has to contend with barrier 19.

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Protectionist (Kris Lees), last years Melbourne Cup winner, and Our Ivanhowe (Lee Freedman) are two former German gallopers who are finally in a race that suits them distance wise and they should be very fit now, don't be surprised to see one of them cause a boilover.

Set Square is a strong chance to win for trainer Ciaron Maher

It's when looking at the Australian and New Zealand runners when things get difficult. There's an abundance of quality engaged and many of the horses look evenly matched, meaning that barriers and luck in running may be more important than ever. Horses such as Set Square, Gust of Wind, Mongolian Khan, Hauraki, Rising Romance, Royal Descent, and Volkstok'n'barrell all have outstanding records at the distance and have all either won or performed very well in a Derby or Oaks.

Of these Set Square and Mongolian Khan, with Opie Bosson aboard, look to have the best chance. Set Square was a brilliant and unlucky third placing in the Turnbull Stakes behind Preferment, while Mongolian Khan has been impressive in all runs this campaign, steadily improving and appearing as though he will relish the 2400m. His third behind Criterion in the Caufield Stakes last week was exceptional leading into the Caufield Cup. His record and current form make him the logical favourite for the race. He's also been treated kindly, drawing barrier 9 while Set Square landed 16.

Top 4

1. Mongolian Khan

2. Fame Game

3. Set Square

4. Hauraki

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