The first of the big three races during the spring carnival, the Caulfield Cup, will be run on Saturday. The Caulfield track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday and with fine weather forecast for the next 2 days, the track should remain a Good 3 on race day.
The Group 1 Caulfield Cup (Melbourne Race 8, 2400m) has a capacity field of 18 plus 4 emergencies. This is a race that wins by fast stayers, horses with speed and stamina. It makes the race more intriguing with the involvement of a number international stayers, including the last 2 Melbourne winners Americain and Dunaden.
Let’s look at the favourite Glencadam Gold. This Gai Waterhouse trained stayer has been unbeaten since arriving in Australia winning 4 from 4. Last start, he won the Metropolitan in 2:29.71 which was the fastest time since Railing in 2005. Significantly, Railing went on to win the Caulfield Cup in his next start to complete the Metro-Caulfield Cup double. Can Glencadam Gold repeat history and complete the double?
Well, Glencadam Gold certainly has the rating base to win the Caulfield Cup. But according to my analysis and speed map, he is facing a big task. Glencadam Gold is a go forward horse and has drawn barrier 17 after taking out the emergencies. Inside him Voila Ici will also be vying for the lead and I think December Draw will also go forward from his barrier. I can see Voila Ici leading with Glencadam Gold sitting outside him. I am not sure how much petrol will be taken out of Glencadam Gold for crossing the field to the lead but when he is racing next to Voila Ici, I can be sure there will be no breather mid-race. The speed will be on the whole race and that could make Glencadam Gold vulnerable.
December Draw has run good races in the Underwood Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes but I am not sure if he is going as well as last year. And there is still a question mark on whether he could run out a strong 2400m. Americain and Dunaden are both very good stayers but their barrier and their weight would make it very difficult for them.
Peter Moody trained Lights of Heaven didn’t start the campaign off well with some respiratory problem in her first 2 runs. However she did bounce back in finishing 3rd in the Hill Stakes 3rd up. She’s a mare that needs her run spaced and that’s why she hasn’t started since the Hill Stakes. In my eyes, she fits the mode of a Caulfield Cup horse. She has a lot of speed and yet she has stamina being by Zabeel, and she had shown me those 2 qualities when she won the Brisbane Cup back in June. From a good barrier (8), she will settle about 5th along the fence. Luke Nolen will give her every chance in the run home.
Secret Admirer has been very consistent this preparation. I suspect Grahame Begg has his eyes set on the Caulfield Cup for Secret Admirer right from the beginning as the mare seems to be looking for further in her races. With the pace on in the race, she will finish strongly.
I also like the comeback galloper Alcopop. He finished a very good 2nd behind Ocean Park last start in the Caulfield Stakes. That was a perfect tune up for the Cup. He is proven over this trip and he loves Caulfield.
My selection :
1st Lights of Heaven
2nd Secret Admirer
By Owens Wong, Editor