The Wolf’s runner by runner guide to the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes run this Saturday at Caulfield.
The race is held over 2000m and has been won by champions like Ocean Park, Atlantic Jewel, Fawkner and most recently by Winx.
Here are The Wolf’s thoughts on the 2017 Caulfield Stakes.
Dual Group 1 winner who placed behind Bonneval last start in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield. The ride on him last start was very questionable, he jumped with the field to almost lead, however was taken back through the field to settle second last. He is very rarely ridden and The Wolf suspects this was to see him hit the line and really extend out as he builds up to 2400m for the Caulfield Cup in a weeks time. He’s a class performer and he must be respected, but with questions surrounding his likely settling position and a third different rider change this prep, The Wolf is keen to oppose him.
Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes winner who finished a game third behind Bonneval and Hartnell last start in the Underwood Stakes. He closed well that day and the step up to 2000m is a welcome one for him, but whether it will be enough to finish ahead of Hartnell or Bonneval The Wolf highly doubts.
Irish import who is a Group 1 winner in France. He comes into this with solid form, including a win in the Group 3 Inter Stakes at Curragh Stakes. It’s hard to get a read on where the internationals are at, but this guys main target is the Caulfield Cup, so connections will be expecting him to hit the line strongly. The Wolf is happy to risk him, on the basis that this run will be used as his first look at Caulfield before his grand final in the cup.
Willie Mullins trained galloper who comes here off a last start win in the Listed Listowel Stakes. Connections are hoping for a small Cox Plate field, where they are hoping he’ll be able to pick up some prize money due to it not being a capacity field. If this is the case it’s very hard to suggest he’ll be winning here and The Wolf is keen to oppose him.
UK import who scored his best win to date in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket three starts ago. He’s a 2000m horse according to McEvoy and if all reports out of Werribee are true he is in for a big spring. Against him however is that this is all word of mouth and The Wolf suspects he will be better for the run.
Group 1 Australian Derby winner who won the Group 3 JRA Cup last start at Moonee Valley in style. He did it very well that day, sitting on the speed and powering away from the field to score by a length. He looks the likely leader here and The Wolf has concerns about him holding out the likes of Bonneval and Hartnell from the front. One for the exotics.
Group 1 Randwick Guineas winner who has been pushed through his paces nicely this prep. He’s building up nicely towards the Caulfield Cup and The Wolf suspects he’ll be once again better for the run.
Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes who does her best racing at 2000m and beyond. She gets that here and The Wolf is expecting her to put in a very big performance. Last start she sat on the speed only to fade late, however she does her best racing when she sits on the speed and The Wolf suspects she may press forward again. The Wolf expects another big performance from this mare but he has doubts about whether it will be enough to beat home Bonneval, Hartnell or even Jon Snow for that matter.
Group 1 winner who was well beaten by nearly five lengths last start over this course and distance. She won’t be winning here.
Group 1 Secretariat Stakes placegetter who has come to Australia in the hope of giving Aidan O’Brien a second Cox Plate. Two starts ago at Arlington he flew home to finish second behind Oscar Performance in the Group 1 Secretariat Stakes, the same race that Adelaide won before he came to Australia and won the Cox Plate. This form reads very well and The Wolf suspects The Taj Mahal has a lot of ability and he expects a big run from the Irish import.
Baker/Forsman trained mare who won the Group 1 Underwood Stakes in style last start, when coming from the rear to power over the top of them. She’s the current Caulfield Cup favourite and deservedly so, as she is unbeaten in Australia across three starts; all of which have been at Group 1 level except one. The Wolf expects she’ll have taken plenty of improvement off her last start win and with the rise in distance to 2000m here he expects an even more dominant Bonneval to show up. Clear top pick.
The Wolf’s Speed Map
Where he predicts the runners will settle after leaving the barriers.
The Wolf’s Top 5
This is as a very competitive Group 1 race with what appears to be a few winning chances. The Wolf is supremely confident in his selections.
1 – Bonneval
2 – Hartnell
3 – Jon Snow
4 – The Taj Mahal
5 – Single Gaze
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Odds correct as of 3:00pm, Thursday 12 October.