The Caulfield Cup is a race that delivers every single year and we are set for another fascinating edition of the race in 2018.
It is Youngstar that has opened as a narrow favourite, but there is very little between her and the likes of Kings Will Dream and The Cliffsofmoher and this is a race with plenty of depth.
We have analysed the entire field and our complete 2018 Caulfield Cup tips can be found below.
Best Solution has gone to another level in 2018 and he heads into the Caulfield Cup on the back of three straight wins over 2414 metres. His victory in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes was full of merit and he scored tough wins with big weights on his back in both the Grosser Preis Von Berlin and the Grosser Preis Von Baden in Germany. Top-weights don’t have a great record in the Caulfield Cup, but Godolphin are flying in Australia and he is proven at this trip. The $15 currently available is well and truly over the odds.
The Cliffsofmoher’s run in the Ladbrokes Stakes could not have been a better Caulfield Cup trial. He easily ran the best closing sectionals in the race and there is no doubt that he was ridden with the Caulfield Cup in mind. The Cliffsofmoher has never won over 2400 metres, but he wasn’t disgraced in the Hardwicke Stakes earlier this year – a race that is always a strong form reference for the Caulfield Cup as well as the Melbourne Cup. He has a similar profile to Johannes Vermeer, who was unlucky not to win the Caulfield Cup last year, and he is the horse to beat.
Chestnut Coat is the pick of the Japanese duo. His record over 2400 metres is excellent and he stamped himself as a serious horse with his second place finish in The Nikkei Sho before he finished fifth in a strong edition of the Tenno Sho. I think that he might be better suited in the Melbourne Cup, but we have seem time and time again that you can never rule out the Japanese.
Jon Snow looked to be heading in the right direction, but he was a touch disappointing in the Turnbull Stakes last start and he really should have been able to finish off the race better than he did. He will likely go forward and he should be in the race for a long way, but I don’t think he has the upside to win.
Sound Check has joined the stable of Michael Moroney after beginning his racing career in Germany. The Lando entire has form around Best Solution and he was only narrowly beaten by his rival in the Grosser Preis Von Berlin. He has generally produced his best form over 3200 metres and it would not surprise to see him hitting the line strongly.
Ace High has been ticking over nicely this campaign and I think that he is the best value local chance in the Caulfield Cup. He wasn’t disgraced over unsuitable distances in the Chelmsford Stakes and the George Main Stakes and he clearly relished the step-up to 2000 metres when he beat It’s Somewhat and Egg Tart in the Hill Stakes. 2400 metres is ideal for him and he is unlucky not to be unbeaten at 2400 metres or beyond – he cruised to victory in the 2017 Victoria Derby and finished a close second in the Australian Derby earlier this year. He is a very tractable horse that can sit anywhere in the run and he has the benefit of Damien Oliver in the saddle.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal made a slow start to his 2018 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he stamped himself as a Caulfield Cup contender with a narrow win in the JRA Cup. He would need to improve on that performance to be a genuine chance in this race, but this is the first time that he has been out to 2400 metres since his enormous win in the Zipping Classic last year. The Taj Mahal can’t be discounted.
Duretto earnt a trip to Australia after his win in the Chester Stakes and before that he wasn’t beaten far by Best Solution in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes. He isn’t as classy as some of the other internationals in this field, but he is a proven stayer that just keeps on finding the line. I suspect that he will be better suited in the Melbourne Cup and he looks to have found his right price.
Red Verdon is well and truly over the odds at his current price of $21. It has been a while between race wins and he failed to fire in the Lonsdale Cup, but his best form has him right in this race. He beat home The Cliffsofmoher when he finished second in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and there is no doubt that this is his favourite trip. Ed Dunlop has had plenty of success in Australia with Red Cadeaux and Trip To Paris and he knows the type of horse that is required to go close in races like the Caulfield Cup. He is a great each-way bet at the current price.
Vengeur Masque has raced fairly this Spring without ever really looking like winning. He isn’t good enough to win such a strong edition of the Caulfield Cup and he is an outsider for a reason.
Ventura Storm returned to a semblance of his best form with a nice effort in the Turnbull Stakes and the step-up to 2400 metres should suit him. I don’t think that he has the upside to win the Caulfield Cup at this stage of his career, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he produced a better performance than his current odds suggest.
Mighty Boss has not won a race since his upset victory in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas 12 months ago and he has been poor this campaign. He was handily beaten in the Turnbull Stakes and it is impossible to back him in this race off that effort.
Homesman looked like the horse to beat in the Caulfield Cup when he scored a narrow victory in the Underwood Stakes, but it is fair to say that he was disappointing after leading in the Ladbrokes Stakes last start. He does get into the Caulfield Cup very well in at the weights and it wouldn’t surprise to see him bounce back, but you do have to question his ability to run out a strong 2400 metres after his flat last start effort.
Kings Will Dream
Kings Will Dream has been at the top of Caulfield Cup betting since his dominant win in the Ladbrokes Mornington Cup in March. He has been extremely consistent all campaign and he wasn’t beaten far in the Memsie Stakes, Makybe Diva Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes. Youngstar leapfrogged him in Caulfield Cup betting after she beat him home in the Turnbull Stakes, but he was definitely in the worst part of the track. There is no doubt that he is a leading contender.
Sole Impact is the second Japanese horse in the Caulfield Cup field and another that looks as though he will be better suited in the Melbourne Cup. He does have form around Fame Game, but that was over 3400 metres, although he did run well in The Meguro Kinen at Tokyo last start. Watch for a strong Melbourne Cup trial.
Gallic Chieftain is an absolute ripper, but I would be surprised if he had enough class to win what is a strong Caulfield Cup. He gave The Taj Mahal a scare in the JRA Cup and he did find the line nicely in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes. The Warrnambool Cup winner could run better than his odds suggest, but it is tough to see him winning.
The Night’s Watch has flown under the radar somewhat in the past week following his fair performance in the Ladbrokes Stakes. The Caulfield Cup has always been his target and he is one of the horses that is weighted to win this contest. I’m not sure that he has as much upside as some of the other horses in this contest.
Can Youngstar deliver Chris Waller a maiden Caulfield Cup win? The market suggests that she can. She stormed to the top of Caulfield Cup betting when she gave Winx a genuine race in the Turnbull Stakes and the step-up to 2400 metres should only suit the Queensland Oaks winner. My only knock on her is that she was in the best part of the track in the Turnbull Stakes and the fact that she got as close to Winx as she did may have flattered the performance. I’ve got no knock on her, but I can’t get her a short as her current price.
Patrick Erin has missed out on a place in the Caulfield Cup field – despite winning The Metropolitan at his last start. Even if he does earn a start, I would be happy to oppose Patrick Erin in the Caulfield Cup. Winners of The Metropolitan have a very poor record in the race in recent years and the Gallant Guru gelding just doesn’t have the upside.
Jaameh is the second emergency in the 2018 Caulfield Cup field and he requires a pair of emergencies to gain a start in the race. You can’t knock his form this campaign and he was only narrowly denied by Melbourne Cup favourite Avilius in The Bart Cummings last start.