Australian Racing Preview 19th October 2017

Australian racing preview 19th October.

Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​takes​ ​centre​ ​stage

Free of The Everest distraction, the​ ​Australian​ ​racing​ ​spotlight​ ​falls squarely​ ​on​ ​the​ ​Melbourne​ ​Racing​ ​Club​ ​and​ ​its​ ​most​ ​important race​ ​on​ ​Saturday.

Sitting​ ​alongside​ ​the​ ​Melbourne​ ​Cup​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Cox​ ​Plate​ ​as​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​three​ ​jewels​ ​in​ ​the Victorian​ ​spring​ ​carnival​ ​crown,​ ​the​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​is​ ​regarded​ ​as​ ​a​ ​genuine​ ​staying​ ​test with its ​ ​$3​ ​million​ ​purse​ ​making​ ​it​ ​the​ ​world’s​ ​richest​ ​2400m​ ​handicap​ ​on​ ​turf.

It​ ​is​ ​also​ ​the​ ​first​ ​leg​ ​of​ ​Australia’s​ ​prized​ ​Cups​ ​double​ ​as​ ​the​ ​spring’s​ ​best​ ​stayers​ ​try​ ​to make​ ​a​ ​statement​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​$6.2​ ​million​ ​Melbourne​ ​Cup​ ​over​ ​3200m​ ​at​ ​Flemington​ ​17 days​ ​later.

There​ ​have​ ​been​ ​11​ ​horses​ ​complete​ ​the​ ​Caulfield-Melbourne​ ​Cup​ ​double​ ​in​ ​the​ ​same​ ​year, the​ ​New​ ​Zealand-trained​ ​mare​ ​Ethereal​ ​in​ ​2001​ ​the​ ​most​ ​recent.

The​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​gained​ ​international​ ​recognition​ ​in​ ​1998​ ​when​ ​Taufan’s​ ​Melody​ ​won​ ​for English​ ​trainer​ ​Lady​ ​Herries​ ​and​ ​jockey​ ​Ray​ ​Cochrane.

Taufan’s​ ​Melody​ ​was​ ​a​ ​controversial​ ​inclusion​ ​at​ ​the​ ​expense​ ​of​ ​a​ ​well-performed​ ​local stayer​ ​and​ ​Cochrane​ ​paid​ ​a​ ​heavy​ ​price​ ​for​ ​his​ ​desperation​ ​to​ ​win​ ​with​ ​a​ ​two-month suspension​ ​for​ ​causing​ ​interference.

International​ ​horses​ ​to​ ​follow​ ​in​ ​Taufan’s​ ​Melody’s​ ​hoofsteps​ ​as​ ​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​winners include​ ​All​ ​The​ ​Good​ ​(2008)​ ​for​ ​Godolphin,​ ​Dunaden​ ​(2012)​ ​for​ ​owner​ ​Sheikh​ ​Fahad​ ​al Thani​ ​and​ ​French​ ​trainer​ ​Mikel​ ​Dezangles​ ​as well as the​ ​Japanese​ ​stayer​ ​Admire​ ​Rakti​ ​(2014).

Such​ ​is​ ​its​ ​status,​ ​the​ ​Cup​ ​is​ ​the​ ​stand-alone​ ​Group​ ​One​ ​race​ ​on​ ​the​ ​third​ ​and​ ​final​ ​day​ ​of the​ ​MRC’s​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​carnival.

Stakes​ ​racing​ ​continues​ ​in​ ​Sydney​ ​at​ ​Randwick,​ ​highlighted​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Nivison,​ ​a​ ​Group​ ​Three race​ ​for​ ​fillies​ ​and​ ​mares​ ​over​ ​1200m,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Sir​ ​Brian​ ​Crowley​ ​Stakes,​ ​a​ ​Listed​ ​race for​ ​three-year-olds​ ​over​ ​the​ ​same​ ​distance.


​Johannes​ ​Vermeer enters the picture

In​ ​the​ ​space​ ​of​ ​less​ ​than​ ​a​ ​week,​ ​the​ ​Aidan​ ​O’Brien-trained​ ​Johannes​ ​Vermeer​ ​has​ ​gone from​ ​a​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​query​ ​to​ ​the​ ​horse​ ​to​ ​beat.

Despite​ ​having​ ​O’Brien​ ​and​ ​the​ highly successful ​ ​Australian owner​ ​Lloyd​ ​Williams​ ​in​ ​his​ ​corner,​ ​Johannes Vermeer​ ​(Galileo)​ ​had​ ​been​ ​largely​ ​ignored​ ​in​ ​early​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​discussions.

That​ ​all​ ​changed​ ​after​ ​the​ ​French​ ​Group​ ​One​ ​winner​ ​turned​ ​heads​ ​when​ ​he​ ​closed​ ​off brilliantly​ ​over​ ​2000m​ ​under​ ​weight-for-age​ ​conditions​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Caulfield​ ​Stakes​ ​last​ ​week.

Unwanted​ ​as​ ​a​ ​30-1​ ​chance,​ ​Johannes​ ​Vermeer​ ​made​ ​a​ ​sustained​ ​run​ ​from​ ​the​ ​back, sweeping​ ​past​ ​high-profile​ ​Cup​ ​chances,​ ​including​ ​last-start​ ​Group​ ​One​ ​Underwood​ ​Stakes winner​ ​Bonneval (Makfi),​ ​on​ ​his​ ​way​ ​to​ ​finishing​ ​second​ ​to​ ​Gailo​ ​Chop (Deportivo).

There​ ​was​ ​a​ ​further​ ​groundswell​ ​for​ ​Johannes​ ​Vermeer​ ​when​ ​it​ ​became​ ​clear​ ​he​ ​would​ ​be returning​ ​to​ ​Caulfield​ ​on​ ​Saturday,​ ​dropping​ ​from​ ​59kg​ ​to​ ​54.5kg​ ​with​ ​Ben​ ​Melham​ ​taking​ ​the ride. Should the five year-old salute, it would see O’Brien notch up 25 Group 1 wins for the season, equalling a record set by American handler Bobby Frankel.

And​ ​by​ ​the​ ​time​ ​news​ ​broke​ ​about​ ​Darren​ ​Weir’s​ ​Japanese​ ​import​ ​Admire​ ​Deus​ ​(Admire Don) going​ ​amiss during​ ​a​ ​track​ ​gallop​ ​on​ ​Tuesday,​ ​Johannes​ ​Vermeer​ ​had​ ​been​ ​promoted​ ​to​ ​the​ ​top​ ​of Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​betting​ ​ahead​ ​of​ ​the​ ​barrier​ ​draw.

Weir, who is enjoying another fantastic season, has the top-weight, Humidor (Teofilo), as well as emerging talent, Amelie’s Star by the Vinery Stud stallion Testa Rossa. As a sire he is better known for his sprinters – Ortensia, Rostova and Unencumbered among them – but his six year-old daughter showed no signs of stopping when landing the Group 3 Bart Cummings over 2500 metres at Flemington last time out and may rate as the best local chance.

Johannes​ ​Vermeer​ ​brings​ ​a​ ​different​ ​profile​ ​to​ ​most​ ​European​ ​runners​ ​in​ ​Australia’s​ ​major handicaps,​ ​having​ ​claimed​ ​the​ ​​Criterium​ ​International,​ ​a​ ​French​ ​Group​ ​One​ ​race​ ​for two-year-olds​ ​at​ ​Saint-Cloud​ ​in​ ​2015.

That​ ​win​ ​capped​ ​a​ ​busy​ ​juvenile​ ​season​ ​by​ ​northern​ ​hemisphere​ ​standards.

A​ ​setback​ ​kept​ ​Johannes​ ​Vermeer’s​ ​three-year-old​ ​term​ ​to​ ​a​ ​single​ ​start​ ​before​ ​returning​ ​in May​ ​and​ ​racing​ ​every​ ​month​ ​since​ ​with​ ​the​ ​exception​ ​of​ ​September,​ ​when​ ​he​ ​was​ ​being prepared​ ​for​ ​his​ ​trip​ Down​ ​Under.

Johannes​ ​Vermeer​ ​will​ ​have​ ​the​ ​English-trained​ ​Marmelo​ ​(Duke Of Marmalade) and​ ​Irish​ ​compatriot​ ​Wicklow Brave​ ​(Beat Hollow) for​ ​international company​ ​ ​in​ the ​ ​field​ of 17.

Wicklow​ ​Brave​ ​is​ ​making​ ​his​ ​second​ ​trip​ ​to​ ​Australia​ ​for​ ​Willie​ ​Mullins​ ​after​ ​finishing​ ​down the​ ​course​ ​in​ ​last​ ​year’s​ ​Melbourne​ ​Cup.

Despite​ ​the​ ​internationalisation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Melbourne​ ​spring​ ​carnival,​ ​historically​ ​the​ ​stayer​ ​with the​ ​correct​ ​profile​ ​to​ ​win​ ​a​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup​ ​is​ ​usually​ ​sourced​ ​from​ ​the​ ​previous​ ​season’s Classics​ ​in​ ​Australian​ ​and​ ​New​ ​Zealand.

Recent​ ​winners​ ​Jameka​ ​(2016, Myboycharlie)​ ​and​ ​Mongolian​ ​Khan​ ​(2015, Holy Roman Emperor)​ ​have​ ​confirmed​ ​that​ ​template, suggesting​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​four-year-olds​ ​Bonneval,​ ​Jon​ ​Snow​ ​(Iffraaj) and​ ​Inference​ ​will​ ​run​ ​well​ ​on Saturday.


Derby,​ ​Oaks​ ​hopes​ ​​on​ ​the​ ​line

At​ ​$350,000,​ ​the​ ​Ladbrokes​ ​Classic,​ ​a​ ​Group​ ​Three​ ​2000m​ ​race​ ​for​ ​three-year-olds,​ ​will​ ​be the​ ​richest​ ​support​ ​race​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Caulfield​ ​Cup.

It​ ​promises​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​fork-in-the-road​ ​race​ ​for​ ​sophomore​ ​horses​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​get​ ​to​ ​next​ ​month’s Victoria​ ​Derby​ ​and​ ​VRC​ ​Oaks​ ​during​ ​the​ ​Melbourne​ ​Cup​ ​carnival.

Main​ ​Stage​ (Reliable Man) ​will​ ​continue​ ​his​ ​path​ ​to​ ​the​ ​$1.5​ ​million​ ​Derby​ ​over​ ​2500m​ ​at​ ​Flemington​ ​on November​ ​4​ ​having​ ​come​ ​from​ ​last​ ​to​ ​win​ ​at​ ​the​ ​track​ ​over​ ​1800m​ ​earlier​ ​this​ ​month.

Tangled​ ​will​ ​make​ ​his​ ​first​ ​Melbourne​ ​appearance​ ​as​ ​a​ ​legitimate​ ​chance​ ​after​ ​narrowly missing​ ​out​ ​on​ ​a​ ​Group​ ​One​ ​win​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Spring​ ​Champion​ ​Stakes​ ​over​ ​2000m​ ​at​ ​Randwick.


Pure​ ​speed on display ​in​ ​Caulfield​ ​Sprint

The​ ​Caulfield​ ​Sprint​ ​is​ ​a​ ​Group​ ​Two​ ​race​ ​that​ ​offers​ ​$200,000​ ​in​ ​stakes​ ​over​ ​1000m​ ​-​ ​a​ ​dash for​ ​out-and-out​ ​short-course​ ​horses.

And​ ​there​ ​may​ ​be​ ​none​ ​faster​ ​than​ ​Sydney-trained​ ​mare​ ​Super​ ​Too​ ​(Hinchinbrook) who​ ​is​ ​chasing​ ​a hat-trick​ ​of​ ​wins​ ​after​ ​scoring​ ​over​ ​1000m​ ​at​ ​Randwick​ ​and​ ​955m​ ​at​ ​Moonee​ ​Valley.

In​ ​winning​ ​at​ ​Randwick,​ ​Super​ ​Too​ ​ran​ ​55.72​ ​seconds​ ​to​ ​set​ ​a​ ​track​ ​record.

The​ ​four-year-old,​ ​a​ ​younger​ ​half sister ​to​ ​former​ ​Singapore​ ​star​ ​Super​ ​One (I Am Invincible),​ ​has​ ​the​ ​53kg​ ​limit under​ ​the​ ​Caulfield​ ​Sprint​ ​conditions.


Quinton​ ​mares​ ​renew​ ​rivalry​ ​in​ ​Nivison

Stablemates​ ​Dixie​ ​Blossoms​ ​(Street Sense) and​ ​Daysee​ ​Doom​ (Domesday) ​are​ ​expected​ ​to​ ​clash​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Nivison​ ​at Randwick​ ​as​ ​they​ ​try​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​their​ ​domination​ ​of​ ​recent​ ​Sydney​ ​stakes​ ​races​ ​for​ ​mares.

Daysee​ ​Doom​ ​beat​ ​Dixie​ ​Blossoms​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Group​ ​Two​ ​Golden​ ​Pendant​ ​over​ ​1400m​ ​at Rosehill​ ​last​ ​month​ ​only​ ​for​ ​the​ ​result​ ​to​ ​be​ ​reversed​ ​over​ ​1600m​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Group​ ​Three​ ​Angst Stakes​ ​at​ ​Randwick.

On Saturday, trainer​ ​Ron​ ​Quinton​ ​is​ ​bringing​ ​his​ ​stars​ ​back​ ​400m​ ​in​ ​distance​ ​to​ ​fine-tune​ ​their​ ​bids​ ​for​ ​the $500,000​ ​Group​ ​Myer​ ​Stakes​ ​over​ ​1600m​ ​at​ ​Flemington​ ​on​ ​November​ ​4.


Group​ ​One​ ​start​ ​at​ ​stake​

A​ ​start​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Group​ ​One​ ​Coolmore​ ​Stud​ ​Stakes, the preeminent sprint for three year-olds in spring,​ ​could​ ​be​ ​the​ ​reward​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Brian​ ​Crowley Stakes​ ​winner.

It’s​ ​a​ ​progression​ ​that​ ​served​ ​Gai​ ​Waterhouse’s​ ​exceptional​ ​sprinter​ ​Northern​ ​Meteor​ ​well​ ​in 2009​ ​when​ ​he​ ​completed​ ​the​ ​double.

The​ ​Gary​ ​Portelli-trained​ ​Single​ ​Bullet​ ​(Not A Single Doubt) will​ ​be​ ​strongly​ ​fancied​ ​to​ ​break​ ​through​ ​for​ ​his​ ​first win​ ​of​ ​the​ ​season at Randwick​ ​after​ ​being​ ​runner-up​ ​to​ the unbeaten​ ​Viridine (Poet’s Voice) in​ ​the​ ​Heritage​ ​Stakes​ ​and​ ​Roman​ ​Consul​ ​Stakes.

The Power of Passion