2021 Caulfield Cup Preview

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A capacity field of 18 stayers and two emergencies will lineup in Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup run over 2400m.

Wednesday’s barrier draw saw plenty of drama with short-priced favourite and dual Group 1 winner Incentivise drawing wide, while last week’s Herbert Power winner Delphi will slot in right alongside from barrier 19.

After winning the race last year with Verry Elleegant, Chris Waller looks a very rough chance at defending his crown, while Ciaron Maher is hoping to win the race for a second time with three-time Derby winner Explosive Jack.

Damian Lane, who won the race two years ago on Mer De Glace, is also hoping to return to the winner’s stall on The Chosen One, and the pair have seen plenty of interest already at double figures.

Can Incentivise become the shortest price winner since Tulloch in 1957?

Find out our thoughts on every runner in our 2021 Caulfield Cup Preview!

Homesman

Homesman is back for what might be his last crack at the Caulfield Cup after finishing second in a photo to Best Solution in 2018.

The Freedman-trained stayer is as honest as they come, and like always, comes into this race with decent form to his name following a last-start fourth in the Caulfield Stakes last Saturday.

He’s placed once from two starts over 2400m and gets a big tick on rain-affected tracks.

Jordan Childs hops aboard for the first time and the pair should look to roll forward from barrier 13.

Incentivise

Dual Group 1 winner Incentivise has been one of the most talked about horses this spring following a pair of impressive wins in the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Turnbull at Flemington.

Trainer Peter Moody is looking to win his first Caulfield Cup with the son of Shamus Award and there is no question he’s the one to beat after shifting through his gears with ease last time out.

Incentivise won a Group 3 race at Eagle Farm over 2400m during the winter and still has room for improvement heading into his third run back.

A potentially heavy track and the wide gate are the two queries, but with the in-form Brett Pebble on board, the pair are tough to fault.

Explosive Jack

Explosive Jack has superior staying form on his resume after winning the Tasmanian Derby, the Group 1 ATC Derby, and the South Australian Derby during the autumn.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Explosive Jack strips fitter for two runs in the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Turnbull and looks set to peak now getting out to his preferred distance.

He’s another one that handles the sting out of the track and looks a major player with the Melbourne Cup also in his sights.

The Chosen One

The Chosen One clocked some speedy late sectionals last week behind Delphi in the Herbert Power, and now returns on the quick backup looking to go one better.

The Savabeel entire has unfinished business after finishing a length third to Verry Elleegant in this same race last year, and he should be rock-hard fit for three runs back.

Has found the money three times previously over this distance and is worth a though each-way.

Ocean Billy

Ocean Billy has journeyed across the ditch for his debut run in Australia.

Chris Waller’s Kiwi import won the Auckland Cup over much further back in March and is three runs into his preparation.

The six-year-old won the Group 3 Waikato Cup over 2400m late last year and looks set to give this a good shake.

Selino

Selino is stepping back in trip after fading late in the Group 3 Bart Cummings at Flemington a fortnight ago.

The Chris Waller-trained six-year-old won the Group 1 Sydney Cup over further at Randwick during the autumn but will likely find this too tough.

Persan

Persan returned a place first-up at Flemington over 1700m and stuck on well for seventh second-up in the Turnbull.

The five-year-old son of Pierro always warranted consideration over further and has to be taken seriously after running fifth in last year’s Melbourne Cup.

A win and two placings on his home track also makes for good reading.

Quick Thinker

Quick Thinker doesn’t win out of turn, but he did win the ATC Derby over 2400m at Randwick last year on a very wet track.

He’s more recently gone on to run second in the Newcastle Cup, but his latest effort in The Metropolitan left a lot to be desired.

Should be fitter for four runs back and would appreciate any rain.

Chapada

Chapada has form around Incentivise after finishing 1.75L third behind the favourite in the Turnbull two weeks ago.

The Michael Moroney-trained Chapada hasn’t won a race in over a year though and looks to have his work cut out from the ugly alley.

Delphi

Delphi entered Caulfield Cup calculations last week with an impressive track and distance win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes thanks to a brilliant ride from Damien Oliver.

The Galileo entire settled midfield before peeling out wide at the top of the straight, kicking clear to win by a length.

This is a step up in class for the Irish import, but the fact he beat home Master of Reality in the St Leger last year warrants respect. 

Master of Wine

Master of Wine will take his place in the Caulfield Cup for a second time after finishing 4.5L tenth to Verry Elleegant last year.

The Hawkes-trained gelding has failed to win a race since but did show improvement for third a fortnight ago in the Bart Cummings over further.

Has burned punters on plenty of occasions but has some upside with fitness and wet track form to his name.

Montefilia

Montefilia won the Metropolitan as a $6.00 pop at Randwick two weeks ago where she chased down Entente to win right on the line.

We know now that she’s up to handling 2400m, while the fact she’s dropping a few kg’s is an obvious plus.

Handles all going and warrants consideration in multiples based on recent form.

Port Guillaume

Port Guillaume finished stone cold last in the Bart Cummings where a post-race examination found him lame.

Facing a sharp rise in grade and is impossible to entertain.

She’s Ideel

She’s Ideel has raced well over staying distances in the past, most notably finishing second in the Tancred to Sir Dragonet during the autumn prior to winning the Kingstown Town over 2000m two starts back.

She’s another one that handles rain-affected going but needs to improve sharply on a last-start ninth in The Metropolitan.

Young Werther

Young Werther hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since he won on debut at Geelong but has good recent form to suggest he can run well.

The lightly-raced son of Tavistock finished a nose second to Explosive Jack in the Group 1 ATC Derby over 2400m at Randwick during the autumn and has since resumed to finish half-a-length second to Incentivise in the Turnbull.

He’s rock-hard fit for two runs back and is one of the better value runners at double figures.

Nonconformist

Nonconformist returns on the quick backup following last week’s brave effort for second in the Caulfield Stakes.

Graheme Begg’s five-year-old finished a nose second to upset winner Probabeel and a good gap ahead of third place-getter Zaaki, while he’s also a three-time winner at Caulfield.

Has placed previously over 2400m and can run a place again.

Duais

Duais punched her ticket into the Caulfield Cup with a late dive at the line in Wednesday’s Group 3 Coongy Cup.

The mare by Shamus Award stamped herself as a horse to watch during the Sydney autumn before venturing to Queensland to win the Queensland Oaks by a comfortable 2.5L margin over Charms Star.

She’ll appreciate the weight off her back, but how she handles the quick turnaround is the big question.

Charms Star

Charms Star has returned only one win from 13 starts and has struggled this time in against weaker company.

She finished off well two starts back in a Benchmark 88 and was a clear second in the Queensland Oaks, but even from the soft draw, she’s likely to struggle.

Great House

Great House won the Newcastle Cup two back over Quick Thinker and finished less than two lengths off Montefilia in The Metropolitan after making up good ground late.

He loves racing on soft tracks and could be a factor if he earns a spot in the field.

Constantinople

Constantinople finished second-last in Wednesday’s Coongy Cup and won’t find this any easier.