Lee Freedman explains how to win the Caulfield Cup
It's a race that Freedman says takes careful planning, but often it's not until a week out when a trainer knows they've got a leading chance.
"It's quite involved actually, where you have to pick your races carefully so you can get into the race but not fall short of handicap, and then you have to have the faith in the fact the horse will run 2400 metres," Freedman said.
Sometimes, he said, the horse might not have run at 2400 metres.
"I don't think Mannerism had ever been over 2400 metres," he said. "Paris Lane I think had, in a Queensland Derby, but only the once, I think.
"Doriemus yes, he had a pretty good grounding, and Mummify certainly had, he had a thorough grounding with a South Australian Derby and a Sydney [AJC] Derby, those sorts of races. It's quite a complex process but if it works out it becomes quite clear.
"I used to love running mine the week before, I think three of mine had run the week before and that will give you an extremely good guide to where you're at.
"Mummify ran second to Lonhro in the Caulfield Stakes and I knew straight away dropping back in weight and going to the Caulfield Cup on the back-up he would probably win the race. Sometimes it becomes to you very clear what's going on; maybe not to everyone else at the time."
The winners' list is littered with connections looking to win the Caulfield Cup once again this year.
Terry Henderson was an owner in Doriemus. He's now a director of OTI Racing, which will saddle True Self and potentially second emergency San Huberto in Saturday's edition.
Dalasan will don the same silks as 2011 winner Southern Speed, for South Australian master Leon McDonald.
Then there's John O'Neill, owner of Mannerism, whose silks will be worn by Warning for Freedman's brother Anthony. O'Neill is also a part-owner of Verry Elleegant.
And leviathan owner Rupert Legh will be represented by Master Of Wine on Saturday. Legh has already tasted Caulfield Cup success with Sky Heights, who was ridden by the king of Caulfield Cups, Damien Oliver, and should have won another with Ethereal.
"The nature of the industry is there are, what would you call it, desperate owners or professional owners," Henderson quipped.
"Having won a major race doesn't necessarily extinguish the wish to do it again, in fact it probably encourages it. It's hard to compare but I think people like Lee and the likes of the O'Neills and Rupert Leghs and these guys, we see it as not just a lead-up but another major race."
The internationals in recent years have added an extra flavour to the Caulfield Cup, and Freedman believes those winners that have carried weight, such as Best Solution and Dunaden, were not only handicapped favourably compared to what they might have been in Europe, but were also elite stayers.
Freedman said it's a horse like Prince Of Arran, one that has performed well in a Melbourne Cup, that appeals as a value play in Saturday's Caulfield feature.
His brother's horse Warning, meanwhile, is one he believes looks better suited to 3200 metres. Derby and Oaks winners turning four have rarely been able to step up to Caulfield Cup level, according to Freedman, while those that have failed in a Caulfield Cup before are generally unable to win at subsequent attempts.
"Like everything in racing and life, there are exceptions to the rule. But as a measuring stick, you want to know they can stay," Freedman said.
"That's why you see horses that have won Melbourne Cups like Dunaden and Viewed, they were two-milers that were able to stay perfectly well in a Caulfield Cup, because it's a very fast run 2400-metre race, which gives the non-stayers very little chance of winning.
"[Anthony Van Dyck], his form is absolutely blue ribbon form. If he brought his A-game Saturday he'd be extremely hard to beat.
"We're looking at horses that would be English classic winners and to my mind they're not overly weighted in our handicaps so they probably would receive a lot more of a handicap at home in England or Ireland or somewhere like that.
"It's still important to get the right weight but the kind of horses that are coming negates that a little bit."
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.