2017 Caulfield Stakes – Preview and Tips
Caulfield Stakes, Caulfield Tips 2000m
This time last year it was a three horse race. Amazing that Winx scared off every horse in the land except Black Heart Bart and He Or She. In 2017 however, we have a truly contestable Caulfield Stakes with a slew of European challengers plus two top New Zealand hopefuls who should be right at the forefront of punters selections.
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A competitive lineup of twelve gallopers contests the 2017 Caulfield Stakes.
Caulfield Stakes, 2000m, WFA, Saturday 14th October 2017
1 HARTNELL, J Cummings, G Schofield, 7, 59kg, $3.30
2 GAILO CHOP, D Weir, M Zahra, 5, 59kg, $9.50
3 JOHANNES VERMEER, A O’Brien, K Mallyon, 6, 59kg, $19.00
4 RIVEN LIGHT, W Mullins, G Boss, 4, 59kg, $16.00
5 CALDERON, T McEvoy, L Currie, 8, 59kg, $15.00
6 JON SNOW, M Baker & A Forsman, S Baster, 9, 58kg, $9.00
7 INFERENCE, Team Hawkes, D Dunn, 3, 58kg, $21.00
8 SINGLE GAZE, N Olive, K O’Hara, 1, 57kg, $20.00
9 ABBEY MARIE, M Kent, B Mertens, 10, 57kg, $31.00
10 THE TAJ MAHAL, A O’Brien, D Oliver, 2, 56.5kg, $14.00
11 BONNEVAL, M Baker & A Forsman, D Lane, 11, 56kg, $2.90
Previous winners in recent times have been on-pace gallopers, so if horses with good barrier draws are ridden handy, those are the two ingredients for a successful recipe. Here’s a preview of some of the runners.
She’ll head out as the starting price favourite, after wins in the Dato Tan Chim Nam Stakes and the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield two weeks ago. We did back Bonneval to win that latter race, even when all the good money was on Hartnell. Not this time. Local Melbourne punters have finally had their eyes opened. Even from an outside draw, she should be right in the money again, despite carrying 4 kgs more than what she has recently. If she does get up, we will have our Caulfield Cup favourite. $2.90
Godolphin’s Hartnell very rarely runs a bad race, but he keeps bumping into top class performers such as Winx, Humidor and Bonneval. This time around he’ll have four new European contenders lining up against him. He’s quite capable of winning this, but he needs to be ridden on the pace because many of his rivals are proven staying types who may come storming home from the back. The weight for age conditions evens things up a bit, so that will help his cause. In the first three for sure. $3.30
ATC Derby winner Jon Snow will start as the third favourite, and his reputation will be enhanced by his encouraging win in the JRA Cup at Moonee Vally on Moir Stakes night. I’m not quite sure WFA is his go, and though a capable stayer, I think the two horses ahead of him are probably a bit nippier than him. No matter what happens, a run on Saturday will tune him up nicely for the Caulfield Cup. $9.00
Gailo Chop has won the MacKinnon Stakes over the same distance and in WFA conditions. After a long injury layoff, the horse is still making his recovery back to full racing, and his last start third in the Underwood Stakes behind Bonneval and Hartnell was also very encouraging. I expect him to be ridden close to the speed, and if his fitness holds, he should again figure in the finish. He’s in my trifecta. $9.50
With four quality European gallopers lining up for the first time, it’s hard to put a gauge on them given it’s their first run down under. Johannes Vermeer, Riven Light, Calderon and The Taj Mahal will probably be taken on trust. Irish galloper Riven Light has recent good form in Ireland. He only raced less than a month ago for a win. He’s raced mostly in lower company and this should be too rich for him. The Taj Mahal has had a lot of racing last season as a three-year-old, but he’s only won once in 16 starts. Not quite sure he’s up to this. Johannes Vermeer also brings some good form into the race and is probably the best-credentialled runner out of the four. He could be running on. Expect his SP to close up by race day. I’m expecting the track to be a Good 3 or 4 come race day, and if the weather is fine, we could see firming conditions by mid-afternoon. All four horses are at an SP of between $14 and $19.
The other runner to keep an eye on is the Group 1 winning filly from last season: Abbey Marie. The winner of the Schweppes Oaks (formerly the South Australian Oaks) over in Adelaide back in 2016, she chased home Bonneval in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley a few weeks back. It was a flashing run, enough to indicate that she has some acceleration, has won over the distance, and was a close up second behind the classy Kiwi mare. On that form-line, I would definitely throw her into my multiples calculations, and she is my roughie pick for the race. $31.00
Bonneval, Hartnell, Gailo Chop
Abbey Marie $31.00
The Caulfield Stakes – check the odds on William Hill