Bren O’Brien



The Caulfield Report – October 8

It may not be a vintage Caulfield Guineas this year but a crack field in the weight-for-age Might And Power more than makes up for it.

Rail: True

Track: Soft 6 (Friday)

Weather: Friday – Rain 10-15 mm, Temp 19; Saturday – Rain 0 to 0.4 mm, Chance of rain 40 per cent, Temp 16

An unlikely spotlight

It’s been a long while since the G1 Caulfield Stakes, now known as the Might and Power Stakes, has taken centre stage on Caulfield Guineas day, but circumstances have conspired to elevate the weight-for age contest to top billing on what is traditionally one of the most-anticipated racedays on the Australian calendar.

Aided by the fact the Caulfield Guineas is a particularly weak edition this year, the Might And Power looms as a real feature, a mini Cox Plate, two weeks ahead of that weight-for age race, with the addition of Anamoe for his first race in Melbourne since he was narrowly and controversially beaten by State Of Rest in last year’s Cox Plate.

Zaaki, I’m Thunderstruck and Alligator Blood all get their shot at Australia’s best weight for age performer of the past 12 months in what should prove a fascinating contest between eight Group 1 quality horses.

Where do you need to be?

When they last raced here on September 17, five of the nine winners were in the top four places at the turn, but three winners were also able to come from midfield or worse, indicating it was a pretty fair surface. The last time the rail was in the true was August 27, with winners coming from on and off the pace across the nine races. Last year’s Caulfield Guineas meeting saw a similarly fair track.

A weak crop?

The jury is out on the current crop of three-year-old colts in Australia, with the exception of Jacquinot, who misses the Caulfield Guineas in favour of The Everest. A wide-open Caulfield Guineas, without a clear top seed gives an opportunity for one of the other colts to step clear of the pack and put himself up as the benchmark of what is rapidly looking a sub-par bunch.

What is notable about the 12 colts and four geldings that will run around on Saturday is how lightly raced they are. All but one horse in the field – Sir Bailey – has had five or fewer starts, indicating that most of them are still on the way up in terms of potential. In that regard, it looks very similar to the 2019 edition of the race, which was won by Super Seth.

It's a big day for...

Mark Zahra

His French sojourn may not have worked out as planned last weekend, but he returns to home soil here with seven good chances, including Tijuana, who is an excellent prospect in the Guineas. Zahra also rides I’m Thunderstruck in the Might And Power, having won both features in 2019.

The stat

19 years

Peter Moody has the favourite I Wish I Win in the Toorak Handicap but has never won that race despite having 11 runners in it over the years. In fact, he has not won any of the four Group 1 mile handicaps in Australia since Sky Cuddle’s victory in the 2004 Cantala Stakes.


Toorak favourite I Wish I Win. (Photo by Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Track specialist

Open Minded (R2 No.3) – Absolutely loves Caulfield, having won here on four separate occasions, including twice from three runs over the 1400 metres of Saturday’s Weekend Hussler Stakes.

From the trials

King’s Gambit (R1 No.3) – Won his last trial at Warwick Farm well after being asked for an effort late. It was the type of trial which two-year-olds can often take considerable benefit from.

Chassis (R10 No.8)  – Talented sprinter who resumes off a good trial performance at Newcastle, where she tracked deep and the responded well when challenged late.


Oxley Road (R6 No.8) – Saves his best for Caulfield but was very plain at his past two. Has been freshened up ahead of this race.

Mr Brightside (R7 No.4) – A below-par Underwood Stakes run put a question mark over whether he is with the genuine top class at this distance range.

Uncle Bryn (R9 No.15) – Good runs for second at his past two and gets a huge opportunity here for a Group 1 from a good gate (5) and with just 52kg,

Notable gear changes

R3 No.1 See You In Heaven – Blinkers First Time

R4 No.12 Curran – Blinkers Off First Time, Visors First Time

R6 No.6 In The Boat – Cross-Over Nose Band First Time, Tongue Tie First Time

R7 No.8 Benaud – Blinkers First Time

R8 No.2 Berkeley Square – Ear Muffs First Time

R8 No.10 Amenable – Blinkers First Time

R9 No.10 Bankers Choice – Blinkers First Time

R10 No.15  Jump The Broom – Winkers First Time



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