Welcome to the first Grand Slam of the spring, the time honoured Caulfield Cup. This races oozes with history, it has been won by some of our racing greats, and a day at ‘the heath’ for the cup is simply remarkable. The 2017 edition is under strength but that wont stop us from finding a winner or two. The complete card of racing is top notch and the day offers value. Saturday will also answer a lot of questions moving forward to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and of course the race that stops a nation. This is the time of year where racing comes first, where Saturdays involve studying and punting, and of course time with the boys, trackside if you are lucky. If you are like me and live for racing this time of year is Christmas, nothing beats spring, so get to Melbourne and CHASE THE SUN!
Caulfield Cup (Group 1)
Ventura Storm ticks all the boxes for little Chips In. The Lindsay Park import ran super behind #winx when 2nd in the G1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last start. He finished in front one of the fancies for this event Humidor in what looked an ominous performance for the longer trip at the Heath. He is undefeated at the trip, a dominating win at San Siro, and he also notched up a victory over 2500m at Deauville last year. From barrier 4 he should get the gun run in transit, especially with the inform Damien Oliver aboard. 54kg is a gift and he can peak here on Saturday. His best can win this on route to the first Tuesday in November. God speed little doodle. All runs to date in Australia have been outstanding.
Amelie’s Dream was ultra-impressive when winning the Bart Cummings (2500m) at headquarters last start. All runs past 2400m have been wins putting her opposition to the sword. She can still improve on Saturday despite this being her 6th run of her campaign. Weir horses, especially stayers, continue to improve the longer the preparation continues. Barrier 13 isn’t ideal but Craig Williams should be able to take a spot one out and hopefully not get too far back. With only a feather (51kg), the form horse, a world class jockey, she really should be in the finish. Just may need some luck in transit.
Johannes Vermeer from the Aidan O’Brien camp looks world class and well placed after a slashing run in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes. His sectionals were outstanding and he has put the writing on the wall for Saturday. His form around the 2000m is better than 2400m so the distance maybe a query, although a soft run should be ensure from barrier 2. A quick back up is a positive as is the addition of Ben Melham. Deserved favourite.
Bonneval put the picket fences next to her name before producing a shocker in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes. Her April win in The Group 1 ATC Oaks was mouth-watering where she sprouted wings from the clouds. Her form since resuming has been first class including wins over Abbey Marie and of course the one time favourite Hartnell. Jury is out and there has been a lot of reports of injury and lameness. Yes she didn’t have luck in running last week, it wasn’t a good ride, but for mine it was a very flat performance. She can bounce back, especially with 52.5kg, the freaky Kerrin McEvoy aboard who could win a egg and spoon race blind folded at the moment, but I personally feel there are too many queries. Jon Snow and Harlem to be thereabouts.
Selections: Ventura Storm (7) – Johannes Vermeer (3) – Amelie’s Dream (16) – Harlem (15)
Chips In Best Bet: Caulfield Race 10 Number 3 Nieta (20 units the win @$3
Best Roughie: Caulfield Race 5 Number 6 Extra Zero (3 units the win 7 units the place @$31)