What the Cup chances did: Saturday 15th October 2017 + Cranbourne Cup

What the Cup chances did: Saturday 15th October 2017 + Cranbourne Cup

All eyes are on the Caulfield Cup this weekend but it’s not the grand final for everyone. Let’s take a look.


Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m)

They exactly equalled the track record in this brutally run Herbert Power, matching a time originally set by Diatribe in the 2000 Caulfield Cup (2400m) with Jim Cassidy on board. Diatribe couldn’t go on with it in the Melbourne Cup and Cassidy was later dealt a complaint by connections some days later, apparently furious with his ride.

Lord Fandango – 1st

This international owned by OTI Racing won at generous odds on a lightweight and was a superb winner. He moved up well from the outside and held on in the finish as Wall Of Fire came home strongly. It’s a great win for trainer Archie Alexander and apprentice jockey Ben Allen.

He’s an out-and-out stayer who appreciated the crazy pace throughout the race. Had an amazing rise from some provincials just this year, despite his decent enough overseas form.

He’s a five-year-old with just his 16 starts, winning the Benalla Cup before this, and drops down to 50kgs in the Caulfield Cup if they take him there – and all signs are they will. He carried 5kgs less than Wall Of Fire in this race.

Wall Of Fire – 2nd

Gotta be happy with that – he gave weight to Group 1 winners and stayed on well enough to run into second. He’s ticked a big box by having a run in Australia before the Melbourne Cup and drops from 58kgs to 53.5kgs which is considerable. That low weight might be a problem though – connections are possibly risking things though as they almost certainly won’t run him again before the race.

He’s 31st in the order of entry, and will need to rely on attrition over the coming weeks to secure a start in the 24-horse field.

That’s not a given but it would be unlikely for all 30 in front to stay in. Already Francis of Assisi is in doubt with a fracture that will mean he misses the Caulfield Cup and his spring is in doubt.

Gallic Chieftain – 3rd

The Darren Weir-trained OTI Racing-owned Gallic Chieftain ran home with Wall Of Fire and just peaked on his run slightly at the line. Carrying 5kgs less than Wall Of Fire shows it doesn’t light up the form. He’s only got 50kgs in the Melbourne Cup at this stage and is unlikely to make the Caulfield Cup, so look for him to be running in the Lexus or Geelong Cup type of races. Needs to win and cop a penalty to get in and I’m going to say that’s not impossible.

Boom Time – 4th

Hit the front earlier than he might’ve liked and just faded out of it towards the end, which he probably was going to do given the pace of the race unless he was going super. Just like Gallic Chieftain, he needs to win a good race, but fourth in a Group 2 is going ok!

Annus Mirabilis – 5th

8th behind Lord Fandango into 5th in this race. Stuck on ok from the back so it wasn’t bad work at $51 but would be a big surprise.

Fanatic – 6th

Went about as well as Annus Mirabilis and won’t make the Cup field without a win.

Harlow Gold – 7th

Didn’t do much.

Kidmenever – 8th

In such a strongly run race the leader was going to be susceptible and first-up it showed.

Suffered a slight pulmonary haemorrhage so will need to pass a few tests to race again.

Won’t be written off just yet.

Aloft – 9th
Foundry – last

Both Lloyd Williams owned horses were warm favourites and both finished about 30 lengths off them. No abnormalities were found but Aloft did get his tongue over the bit, while Foundry just went bad apparently.

Impossible to know what happened to them but it’s bad news as they both need to work their way into the field.

Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m)

What the jockeys said:

Gailo Chop – 1st

This bloke is back! Career best form, and he should go into the Cox Plate and very possibly the Melbourne Cup as well. He runs on the speed and could be a chance of running well behind Winx. If he does run well, 10 days later he could line up in the Melbourne Cup.

I originally said I don’t think I’d be betting him over 3200m but he seems to be relishing everything thrown at him at the moment. He’s got a big handicap, which is a knock.

Johannes Vermeer – 2nd

Perfect Caulfield Cup trial. Wonderful.

Now, even with a guaranteed Melbourne Cup start I’m not sure he’ll race in the big one as he hasn’t been beyond 2400m.

Jon Snow – 3rd

Battled strongly for third and should enjoy 2400m. Jockey Stephen Baster said he’ll be looking for some rain.

Single Gaze – 4th

Solid to the line and now the 2400m awaits.

Inference – 5th

Dwayne Dunn said he’s looking forward to 2400m on him.

Bonneval – 6th

Not the run they were hoping for leading into the Caulfield Cup. The barrier put an end to her chances and afterwards, she was declared lame with a laceration on her pastern. Co-train Murray Baker said that wasn’t right and she’s going to go into the Caulfield Cup. Still a big chance but needs a draw.

Abbey Marie – 8th

Not making the Melbourne Cup field from that but probably scrapes into the Caulfield Cup so she gets a chance.

Hartnell – 9th

Total forget run after copping a big check. Didn’t look like he was going to threaten the leaders mind you, but forget it for now.


St Leger Stakes (2600m)

Big Duke – 1st

Won it nicely and franked his Sydney form with topweight too. The only problem was that Sydney form isn’t holding up too well, but he’s going well for Australian Bloodstock. Not sure he’ll be up too Admire Deus but we’ll see.

Brenton Avdulla (Big Duke): “He has got Group 1 ability. He only just got beaten the other day. Today I travelled really sweetly. The tempo was good. From the six furlongs onward I was just looking for my way out.”

Auvray – 2nd

Didn’t get much luck but ran home well. Could he make the Melbourne Cup at a million to one?

His next step, according to trainer Richard Freedman, will be the Moonee Valley Cup (Saturday 28th October 2017).

Kerrin McEvoy (Auvray): “We had a bit of a chequered passage from halfway home. We were unlucky because Big Duke had a break on me, my horse ran fantastic though and I’m sure there’s options for him down in Melbourne now.”

Cismontane – 3rd

The last horse in the ballot of entry at equal 54th but ran better than that so might find something. Suspect not a real Cup chance mind you but Gai Waterhouse knows best.

Tim Clark (Cismontane): “He ran a brave race up in class. I was happy with him.”

Libran – 5th

Flopped last start so this was better as equal topweight, but still not good enough really.

Hugh Bowman (Libran): “I thought he was entitled to close off a little better than he did. It was run to suit us, I was very happy with him, but the last 200m I thought he was entitled to be a bit stronger.”

Chocante – 7th

Probably my biggest disappointment out of the race considering he’d been ticking over quite well. Still needs some cut out of the track and not getting that in Sydney at the moment.

Corey Brown (Chocante): “He was a bit disappointing. We had a great run in transit, the speed was good for him, but he didn’t hit the line at all.”

Who Shot Thebarman – 9th

Has been going really well and his position in the race didn’t do him any favours, covering an extra 17m according to the data. Forget the run.

Blake Shinn (Who Shot Thebarman): “He had no chance. We couldn’t find a position, was wide throughout and that was a telling factor.”

Cranbourne – Sunday

Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m)

I’m lucky I missed this race as I would’ve bet up on Lizzie L’Armour and she raced horribly wide throughout.

Folkswood – 1st

Great win but not nominated for the big one. He might back up into the Caulfield Cup, though they’re saying the Mackinnon is his target.

Berisha – 2nd

Flashed home pretty well but not near the leader. Encouraging but more needed to make the Melbourne Cup! 37th in the current order of entry and not nominated for the Caulfield Cup.

Grey Lion – 3rd

Interesting run. He’s been going so bad they didn’t pay up for the Melbourne Cup. But now this performance! Tackled by the winner and held on ok before fading.

Cool Chap – 6th

Disappointing. Didn’t perform up to expectations after win last start.

Lizzie L’amour – 10th

Oh Lizzie! Look, it wasn’t as bad as the results read. She drew wide, she was wide, and didn’t look like she loved the corners at Cranbourne. Should still go to the Caulfield Cup and if she gets in, will be at odds. 30th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.

Guardini – 12th

That second in the Heatherlie is looking like a really weird result. He’s now run bad twice and will need something special from trainer Darren Weir to lift off the canvas from here.

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