Bren O’Brien



The Caulfield Report – October 15

Torrid weather and an even field means the 145th running of the G1 Caulfield Cup shapes as one of the most open editions in years.

Rail: Out 6m

Track: Heavy 10 

Weather: Saturday – Cloudy, Rain 0 mm, Chance of rain 10 per cent, Temp 18. 

Umbrellas up

Melbourne’s spring downpour has left Caulfield awash this week, with Wednesday’s Thousand Guineas meeting staged in a deluge, resulting in constant downgrades and putting pressure on the track staff ahead of this meeting.

The good news is it is not likely to rain on Saturday, giving the racing surface a chance to drain and perhaps improve slightly, although at the end of a three-day carnival we can expect winners to be coming from far and wide by the last few races.

Where do you need to be?

Your guess is as good as ours. The rail goes out six metres and that area wasn’t too bad a place to be by the time the meeting on Wednesday concluded. The other option is that they come very, very wide, plotting the Veandercross route around the outside. We wait and see.

Cup of uncertainty

It’s not just the weather which makes it the hardest Caulfield Cup to predict in years. The lack of European entrants and star contenders from the domestic brigade means one of the 18 horses will get a birthday in a $5 million race. The class in the race comes from mares Duais and Montefilia, who six months ago where up with the best weight-for-age horses in the land but who have not quite bounced into the spring.

Knights Order and Numerian are both noted wet trackers, who have been in form in Sydney and travel south in good order, while Nonconformist was runner-up in this race last year.

The favourite however is down the bottom of the weights. Smokin’ Romans looks the one to beat with just 51.5kg after emerging with a win in the Turnbull Stakes, the best guide to this race in recent years.


Rachel King and Knights Order win the 3200m Sydney Cup. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

It's a big day for

Jamie Kah gets her chance to win one of Australia’s biggest races aboard Smokin’ Romans in what could prove a defining success. Her only previous ride in the race was when she was fourth on Prince Of Arran in 2020. She also has good rides on Kallos, Pavitra, Pride Of Jenni and Sandpaper earlier on the program.

The stat

Seven – Bart Cummings won the Caulfield Cup on seven occasions and his grandsons, James and Ed both have a chance to get their first winners of the race, with Alegron and Duais respectively.    

Track specialist

Race 7 No.2 Generation – The four-year-old has had five starts at Caulfield for two wins, two seconds and a third.

From the trials

Race 1 No.1 Quang Tri – Hasn’t been seen on raceday since being narrowly beaten at Flemington in June but did look rather sharp in a recent Benalla trial indicating she can make a strong impression here.

Race 6 No.3 Juan Diva – Very consistent mare who warmed up for her return in this race with two good trials, the first when winning at Rosehill on September 10 and the second when just edged out by The Everest contender Joyful Fortune at the same track in October.


Race 7 No.4 Oxley Road – Had him in this category last week before he was scratched. Saves his best for Caulfield but was very plain at his past two.

Race 5 No.4 Zamborghini – Has not lived up to expectations this campaign, failing to come on first-up and then dropping away off the pace last time. Drops in class here, which could see him turn things around

Race 7 No.6 Flying Mascot – Such a great mare for connections, but has been flat her two runs back, fading from off the pace to be fifth first-up then seventh second-up. Gets her chance to turn her campaign around here.

Notable gear changes

Race 1 No.4 Denied – Blinkers First Time

Race 2 No.7 Head Of State – Blinkers First Time

Race 3 No.2 Red Sun Sensation – Blinkers First Time, Nose Roll Off First Time

Race 4 No.14 Whispering Lady – Blinkers First Time

Race 7 No.4 Oxley Road – Tongue Tie First Time

Race 7 No.9 Dragonstone – Blinkers First Time

Race 10 No.1 Lightsaber – Blinkers First Time, Nose Roll Off First Time




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