Friday, October 19, 2012

The First of the Big Ones – Caulfield Cup 2012

Southern Speed winning the 2011 Caulfield Cup

Looking at the field for the 2012 Caulfield Cup, one wonders if it too is going the way of the last few years’ Melbourne Cups, with the bulk of the field being made up of International runners. Last year Adelaide mare  Southern Speed stole the show, but she has been scratched from this year’s race after drawing a bad barrier and is being saved for the Cox Plate.

A full field has accepted for the race, with the favoured International runners, Glencadam Gold, Dunaden and Americain drawing the extreme outside barriers. Local hopes December Draw, Alcopop,  and  mares Lights of Heaven and Secret Admirer fared better drawing middle gates. Whether the barriers will make any difference to the running of the race is yet to be seen.  A very hard race to pick the winner, I’m hoping one of the girls is successful, though Glencadam Gold & Dunaden will take some beating. Others to consider are the widely travelled Jakkalberry, Voila Ici if he doesn’t repeat his bad behaviour as exhibited before the Turnbull Stakes, and Zabeelionaire, a lightweight chance with the Zabeel factor.

Another race of interest on Saturday is the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes for three year olds run over 2000 metres. Kabayan, who finally scored a black type win in the Stan Fox Stakes in late September, will start favourite. He is the class horse in the field, but will have to contend with the unbeaten Phillipi  and the well performed Hvasstan, and other staying bred contenders.

Mosheen, Streama, Pear Tart and Red Tracer face off in the Group Two Tristarc Stakes, a race over 1400 metres for mares. Mosheen re-established her credentials winning her last start, and has an edge over the other ladies, though Streama cannot be dismissed lightly, and it would be great to see Pear Tart in the picture at the finish. A trifecta perhaps?

The weather tomorrow is expected to be mild and sunny and the track most probably will be rated dead to good.

I’ll be watching it all on television, saving my presence for next week’s Cox Plate meeting.

And finally it was good to see Atlantic Jewel’s little sister, Commanding Jewel, winning the Thousand Guineas on Wednesday, a race Atlantic Jewel won the previous year.  A rare sibling coincidence in racing.

UPDATE: Saturday evening

A great win by Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup and great to see the locally bred Alcopop and Lights of Heaven running the minor places.  I had a small each way bet on Dunaden in the Cup, after tossing around several options in my head, and he came up trumps courtesy of a superb ride by Craig Williams.

I’m now regretting yet again, that I did not follow my own advice in the Tristarc Stakes, boxing Mosheen, Streama, Pear Tart & Red Tracer for a trifecta. Streama won, with Pear Tart running second and Red Tracer coming third. Mosheen, weakened after challenging Streama and finished out of the placings.

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