This is it! The Melbourne Spring Carnival starts in full force this Friday night with an ALL GRASS STAKES card from Caulfield, the #3 track in the Melbourne area. The Feature race is one of the most important Mile and a Half (2400 meters) races in the world, the Caulfield Cup. Post time for the Caulfield Cup (Race 9A) is 2:40 AM EDT SATURDAY (sorry, you have to stay up very late to watch it live). That works out to 1:40 CDT or 11:40 PDT.
This race is often un-handicappible (if I may coin a phrase), with contestants coming from Australia, Europe, Japan and New Zealand along with an 18-horse field, but the good news is if you get the winner you can claim a nice payoff. The likely favorite, #6 Mongolian Khan, will probably be in the 7/2 range.
Here are my picks:
Top Pick #2 Snow Sky (13/1 ML, post 3) is here for this race then the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November 2015 (the first Monday in November on our time). IF they are trying to win this race (the Melbourne Cup is a lot more in purse money) and the ground is firm enough (Snow Sky flopped on soft turf in July and has not been seen in a race since) he should be right there. The last few years European form has done very well in all of the big Spring Aussie races (Euro raiders won two of three last year).
Second Pick #17 Set Square (10/1 ML, post 16) appears to be peaking at the right time, and her trainer is expert at getting his horses to peak at the right time at FAT ODDS. Wide post draw might be a negative but I didn’t see a lot of speed in this race for an 18-horse field, so IF she breaks well I believe she can get a spot mid-pack and she might actually get first run on the leaders. Gets in light at 112 pounds and should be considered very dangerous.
Third Pick #3 Fame Game (8/1 ML, post 1) looks to be the best of the Asian invaders and judging by his record in long distance races 2400 meters should be a piece of cake. Doesn’t have ANY tactical speed so probably will need a pace duel in the middle sections of the race to win, but I definitely would consider him a strong trifecta candidate.
Fourth Pick #6 Mongolian Khan (likely 7/2 favorite, post 9) have won at 2400 meters in the past but the water is a fair amount deeper here. An Aussie betting pro that has won some really big races with Euro imports flatly dismissed his chances because he thinks the competition in this event is very strong (“possibly the best in 30 years.”).