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Top selections for the Caulfield Cup and The Everest

What a day of racing!

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Caulfield Cup 2400m G1 Handicap.

Race 9 - 5:15pm AEDT

A great race, considered one of the majors in Australia.

TrackAt time of writing on Thursday night the track is a Good 4, and there is no real rain predicted Friday. However Saturday is forecasted to receive 10-20mm through the day. This could really change the situation rapidly, and the track could potentially deteriorate to say a Slow 6.

Historical Profiling (last 9 years)• 1st up – 4 winners, 4th up – 2 winners, 5th up – 2 winners, 6th up – 1 winner• 7 Day break – 2 winners, 13-14 day break – 3 winners, 48-91 day break – 3 winners, 167 day break – 1 winner• Mix of winning weights from 52.5 to 58• Even mix of on pacers and backmarkers• 4YOM – 2 winners (both 52.5kg), 4-7YOH – 6 winners, 6YOG – 1 winner• 4 imports have won – 2 from Europe, 2 from Japan. They have all been at odds between $8-$14. They’ve also run 3 2nds and 5 3rds, making up 12 of the 27 1st 3 home• Chris Waller has had 17 runners, and the best he has finished is 5th. 4 of them have been at single figure odds well favoured in the market• Locally trained horses generally need to be 4th up, 5th up, 6th up. European/overseas style trained horses can be 1st up/2nd up

MapWith such uncertainty around the prevailing track conditions, final field makeup, and overseas horses, I personally don’t see an edge or benefit in doing a detailed map for such a race. The edge I believe is in the historical profiling of the race.

Key Chances

1) Anthony Van DyckA topline European stayer who won the Epsom Derby & ran 2nd in the Irish Derby. Ran 3rd in the Breeders Cup and 2nd in the Coronation Stakes. Genuine G1 performer with form beating Stradivarius and around Ghaiyyath, Magical Magic Wand, Sovereign & Japan. Is far and away the best credentialled horse here and is the one to beat.

2) AviliusHis best form is behind him but is still a quality stayer on a wet track. I’m including him here and would consider backing him if a torrential downpour turned the track into a slow 7 or worse.

3) Vow And DeclareNot going as well as last year, and doesn’t want it wet. Looking elsewhere.

4) BuckhurstHas some handy form beating the likes of Constantinople and Sir Dragonet overseas. Not the same class as Anthony Van Dyck but ticks a lot of boxes in profile for this race, and the stable know what they’re doing. Have to have him on side.

5) Mirage DancerI believe he’s a dry tracker and so the expected rain is going to make it tough for him. Would consider him a place chance on a bone dry track.

7) Verry ElleegantKeeps improving with age and is the best locally trained stayer. Her profile is not ideal however with Waller having a terrible record in this race, and being a 5yo mare with 55kg. The rain however means you can’t discount her.

8) Dashing WilloughbyImport who probably wants the 3200m rather than the 2400m here, but the wet track will aid chances. Could be a boilover.

9) FincheA 7yo gelding, trainer by Waller, running here 3rd up. Just doesn’t profile at all like a Caulfield Cup winner despite his form credentials. Opposing on that basis.

10) Prince Of ArranWell known over here due to his excellent Melbourne Cup placings. An 8yo now and prefers dry tracks. Risking here.

11) Master Of WineHandles wet and is going ok this prep. Can’t rule a line through him but needs to prove himself at this level and not enamoured by his current single figure quote.

13) WarningVRC Derby winner who was an outstanding run last start in the Turnbull. Big fan of this horse and he is flying but is 3rd up here and Caulfield not ideal for him. Will get a long way back and be charging home out wide.

14) DalasanTrainer has won this race, and ran 2nd in the SA Derby splitting Russian Camelot & Warning. Had a solid prep for this. Smokey.

SummaryThe historical profiling suggests imports have a great record in this race, whilst Chris Waller’s record is atrocious. Have to invest that way.

Betting Strategy

BACK 1) Anthony Van Dyck 1.5u WINBACK 4) Buckhurst 1.0u WIN

The Everest 1200m

Randwick R7 4.15pm

A remarkable innovation, with $15m prizemoney and enormous intrigue. Always a great race.

TrackAt time of writing on Thursday night the track is a Good 4. A little rain is forecast for Friday/Saturday but the track should remain a Good 4 and race perfectly as it has done recently.

Historical Profiling (3 years)• Not enough data to make bold statements regarding historical profiling. The race has seen a range of winners in age, prep, days since last start, weight, barriers. One notable point is that fillies and mares have struggled to date, none running a place so far. All winners have been 3rd up.

MapNature Strip has speed to burn and will lead. Eduardo, Dollar For Dollar and Haut Brion Her also all like to lead, so there is going to be plenty of speed and pressure on which will make this race a great spectacle. Classique Legend looks to get a beautiful run behind the hot tempo, and Gytrash and Bivouac should also get nice suck runs midfield, but will need to find cover. The rest will drop out the back looking to swoop off the hot speed.

Key Chances

1) Nature StripAn enigma. Can destroy a quality sprint field on his day and peaks for a Grand Final. First up run was fine and in line with previous first up runs. But his second up run was poor, with mucus detected in the throat. Also lost a rider in a barrier trial. Not an ideal prep for such a big race.

2) TrekkingRan 3rd in this race last year, and was a strong run first up when 2nd in the Moir. Can figure.

3) Classique LegendClassy sprinter who ran an unlucky 6th beaten 3L in the race last year. Older and stronger now, as evidenced by two high quality performances this prep. Looks the one to beat.

4) Santa Ana LaneLast 3 runs this track/distance has yielded a win and 2nd in the TJ Smith, and an unlucky 2nd in The Everest last year. Is an 8yo now and have to concede doesn’t appear to be going as well this year, but was rated the best sprinter last year and can fly home on a hot speed.

5) BehemothAbsolutely flying this prep and hard to fault his form. Inside draw not ideal here and although he’ll be hitting the line hard, I don’t think he’ll be getting there in time.

6) BivouacPrefer him down the Flemington straight now. His Randwick record isn’t great and was ok first up without being spectacular. Risking him.

7) GytrashHard to fault his form. Genuine G1 performers, latest 4 yielding a win, 2 2nds and a 3rd. Not sure if 2nd up with a 42 day break will be ideal with a brutal pace upfront, but has to rate a chance on his form.

8) EduardoHandy sprinter who sat 3 wide no cover and stuck on well for 2nd last start to Classique Legend. Keeps improving and could surprise for a place.

9) Dollar For DollarSurprise selection for the race. An 8yo who has a consistent bank of solid performances, but should be outclassed here.

10) TofaneWas a good run last start when an unlucky close 5th in the Gilgai. Only beaten 3L in the TJ Smith last prep. Can run a big race. Place chance.

11) LibertiniBlew them away first up. Tends to regress second up and draw not ideal. Risking.

12) Haut Brion HerConsistent mare but this is a big step up in class and expecting a few to be too good for her here.

Summary Classique Legend has had the perfect prep. Profiles and maps to be very hard to beat here.

Betting Strategy

BACK 3) Classique Legend 1.5u WINBACK 7) Gytrash 0.7u WINBACK 1) Nature Strip 0.5u WINBACK 2) Trekking 0.3u WIN

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