Race 9A (Caulfield) – $2.6 Million Caulfield Cup – 1 and 1/2 miles – 2:40 AM EDT Sat
The Caulfield Cup is considered the 4th most prestigious race in Australia (behind the Melbourne Cup, the Golden Slipper and the Cox Plate). While these races are for different-aged horses at different distances, they form the “crown jewels” for any Australian owner, trainer, jockey or horse. Unfortunately this year many of the top contenders for the Caulfield Cup have been scratched because of injuries, even after being entered this week. The effects of these scratches leave the race with only two high-class favorites: #9 Junoob and #15 Lucia Valentina.
Of the two horses, #15 Lucia Valentina is considered the more talented and has the more upside. If she stays happy and healthy it would not be a surprise for her to win two or three Caulfield Cups in her career. Her speed figures put her on top and she will go favored – but this will be a big field and she has yet to win at a mile and a half, so demand at least some value. My concern with LV is she will get too heavily bet in the North American pool (‘even money?’).
#9 Junoob is a 7 year old gelding this is peaking at the right time, running an extremely fast race in Sydney for super-trainer Chris Waller. After the late scratches he will be well below his 12/1 ML odds, but this horse is a runner and after taking a while to improve after coming to Australia he can certainly win tonight. 5/1 at post time would be fair win odds.
#19 Brambles drew in off the also-eligible list, but note under the Aussie post-draw system he gets post 11, a better post than Luicia Valentina or Junoob, and only lost to Lucia Valentina by a half-lengths in his last start. 10/1 post time win odds would be fair.
#11 Who Shot The Bar Man gets the acid class test here but this guy knows how to win and his speed figures are certainly competitive. I would have fair odds at 15/1 to win, and use him underneath the top two in the exotics.