The 2016 Caulfield Cup was run and won by Jameka recording a 121+ Timeform rating on the day. Jameka has since on Heavy gone on and bettered that mark to a 124 peak. The next best runs recorded were 119’s by Scottish and Our Ivanhowe.
Previous years ratings for this race have been higher with Mongolian Khan recording a 126 in 2015 (coming off a 124 rating lead in race), and three other runners recording 121-122 ratings. Admire Rakti recorded a 127+ in 2014 (no other horse broke 119), a significant career peak.
So overall, to win the Caulfield Cup, we are looking for horses that will be able to run 120+ Timeform ratings (higher for types like a Hartnell that will be at the top of the weights).
Frontiersman is equal favourite in most the markets but it has already been confirmed the Godolphin will not be sending either Hawkbill or Frontiersman out to Australia this year.
Francis of Assisi
Best Odds: $34 – Crownbet
Back in 2013 proved to have a strong turn of foot recording an 114+ Timeform rating on a soft track on Turf over 1400m and then went onto a career over the jumps before coming back to the flat in 2016.
Bendigo Cup was well below the horses best-recorded rating ever with a 109 but was certainly a strong progression to a 109 rating over 2400m before running a huge 120 rating at Flemington over the 2600m.
Judging by the placement of this horse, the stable is solely aimed at a Caulfield Cup on 2017 and I’d expect the horse to get in well enough at the weights to be very competitive.
Most importantly, This is a horse that reacts on Soft or Firm ground and has the early speed to settle in a winning position in any race over this distance.
You need a turn of foot late to win a Caulfield Cup, and this horse has it.
Best Odds: $18 – Luxbet
The second highest rated horse in Australia and the Timeform ratings back that up.
Ran a massive 124 beaten 5 lengths on Soft behind Winx last prep, but his very best run was the run before the defeat to Winx in the Cox Plate where he ran a super 128 rating in the Turnbull absolutely toweling up Jameka, Tally, Happy Trails, Tarzino, Our Ivanhowe and Preferment by 3.25 lengths and above.
Say what you want about Hartnell, but that run rates as one of the best of the year. Adam Blencowe from Racing and Sports has it rated 4th behind Winx, Astern and Star Turn, so the 2nd best run of any 2000m+ horse.
Hartnell has broken the 124 timeform rating four times in his career proving that the horse can consistently match the level that will be required with the weight he will lump around in the race.
Yard have already confirmed they will be avoiding Winx this prep.
Best Odds: $17 – Sportsbet/Bet365/Crown
Well in the betting as an equal favourite with many bookies, Humidor recorded a 125+ Timeform rating over 2000m last prep before failing to get close to Jameka over 2400m in the BMW.
This is a horse that has been over 2400m twice in the past and has failed to get closer than 6.5L on either occasion, both in G1 company… but has consistently measured up over the 2000m distances.
Caulfield Cup has been confirmed as the target race.
Best Odds: $21 – Ladbrokes, Crownbet, Bet365
Multiple Group 1 winner taking out both the Queensland and Adelaide Oaks last prep, Egg Tart will certainly get in well with the 4Yo mares allowance.
Waller hasn’t been overly convincing in his thoughts around sending the horse to the Caulfield Cup though when questioned on it.. yes it is programmed but he may look around or beyond it based on the internationals and potential form with the Epsom the main key target before heading over for the Spring.
Not one for me in ante-post.
Best Odds: $17 – Ladbrokes, Crownbet, Bet365, Sportsbet
Smashed them in March over 2000m with a huge 123 Timeform rating on a Heavy track before failing to fire the next start on softer over further.
Clearly, this horses best would be good enough to run very well and the stable are glowing in their reports of how the horse has come back from a spell having matured further and put on additional weight.
Targeted at the Caulfield Cup.
Best Odds: $21 – Sportsbet, Crownbet, Bet365
Will be a 4Y0 Mare similar to Jameka for the race.
Won on a Soft track at Randwick by 4.5 lengths over the Championships recording an 119 Timeform rating.
Will obviously get in well enough at the weights based on previous 4YO mare allowances but will need to find a length or two back on dryer ground to be considered a big chance.
If it rains on the day, the horse will be a big factor I’d imagine.
Best Odds: $34 – Crownbet
Ran third in this race last year recording a 121 Timeform rating which was equal to the horses peak in the past, but was not near good enough to get the win.
Probably didn’t get the right run in the race and could have run better. Runs in the Autumn were poor on softer ground.
Will not be given much allowance at the weights I’d think this year and will need to run to a 123/124 to be a winning home.
Sense of Occasion
Best Odds: $51 – TAB, Crownbet, Bet365
A horse that has snuck under the radar of many.
2000m Group 1 winner on a Heavy 8 track last start in the Doomben Cup, this talented gelding ran Winx to 5.7L an at Randwick, beaten by 0.1L by Hartnell and beating home The United States on the day. Most importantly, the horse recorded a huge 123 Timeform rating for the run.
This is a horse that has the ability to match it with the very best, but clearly, finds lengths on softer tracks.
I’m not sure Caulfield is the track you want to be targeting for a wet track, but if the horse makes it to raceday and the rain comes while the handicapper has been kind, this is a horse you want to be on!
Red Cardinal has been put up as the Melbourne Cup favourite after Group 1 wins over 3200m in Germany and the USA. The horse also ran 2nd in a Group 1 over the Caulfield Cup distance the previous prep but only recorded an 116 Timeform rating. Most importantly, the German G1 win was a low 112+ Timeform rating and the USA win was 117 Timeform rating, so for a horse that will probably get handicapped poorly based on the current prices and reputation, this is one I want to take on in both races.
Jon Snow and Johannes Vermeer are both suggested as types to head over and compete in this race. Jon Snow won at Randwick on the Soft and recorded an 117 Timeform rating and will need to have improved and matured to be a factor here while Johannes Vermeer will need to also improve on career best 118 rating – is a Group 1 winner on paper but the win really wasn’t anything special time or rating wise with a Group 1 7th at Ascot the best run the horse has produced ever this prep.
Crocodile Rock for the Team Williams stable is a huge unknown but rumoured to be a big chance going forward. Big Duke joins the unknown ranks and may be looking for 2000m more than this? Articus also stays in the same unknown boat having never produced a run close enough to the ratings needed here.
Tally has secured a run due to winning the Mornington Cup and has an 118 rating on the cards from the past which is the horses absolute limit. Will need to be given a good weight by the handicappers to be considered.