But fancy fillies aside, the question needs to be asked: "what about the punters Lee Freedman?". The Professor and I have been robbed of a shot at big $$$ after taking Speed Gifted at juicy odds in June/July. A heads up spruiking has turned into a total ass-punching. Thanks Lee. You better deliver that Melbourne Cup (also smashed Speed Gifted to win that too, at $41 I do believe!) with this Cox Plate/M. Cup masterplan of yours. Anyway, the cunning punters (JB aside, he is busy penning a he-she joke book, should hit all good bookstores in time for Christmas) here at WHAB have hit a few others at overs so without futher ado, as promised, your Caulfield Cup preview.
1. VIEWED (15) 57 Brad Rawiller $14
Captain: The reigning Melbourne Cup winner has been ticking over nicely and despite the handicap conditions is a live chance here. He won the Melbourne Cup last year with highly dubious form, so if his form this campaign is strong, a little piece of the Viewed/Viewed Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double at around the $120 mark will hold you in good stead, lest the Cups King clean up again. If you were one of the three people throughout the whole of Australia who actually bet on him in last year's M. Cup, you can dust off those winnings and load up at $14 here. Personally, with the 57, and being one of those who'll get right back, possibly striking trouble, I'm inclined to add him to multiples rather than plonk on the nose.
Professor: His run home in the Turnbull really caught the eye and he’s close enough to my top pick based on that.
2. KIRKLEES (7) 56 Kerrin McEvoy $9
Captain: Unfortunately after last year's Caulfield Cup debacle, we have to fully respect Godolphin and their mountains of expensive horse flesh. It sucks, I know, but All The Good won and won well a year ago, making us all eat our losing tickets, lest we go hungry and shirtless on Caulfield Cup night. I will not be getting on this guy, he doesn't excite me, but that's not to say I'm safe from a hearty meal of losing tickets with a side of 7-11 tomato sauce on Saturday night.
Professor: Watched this one in the Sheema Classic from Dubai in Arabic. Dirka Dirka Purple Moon Dirka Dirka Dirka and Dirka Dirka Kirk-Dirka-Lees didn’t fire a shot. I’m Dirka elsewhere.
3. C'EST LA GUERRE (13) 55.5 Steven Arnold $17
Captain: Not really doing anything spectacular this prep but getting out to a suitable trip and becomes an altogether different proposition if we get a wet track. My advice on a dry track is to leave him out here, watch him get home for a tidy 5th-10th and make your Melbourne Cup call on that. On a slow or heavy track, you'd better get on because this guy will be paddling down the outside in laser suit and flippers.
Professor: The Turnbull run was probably better than it looked. And this is a horse that really needs 2400+ to show anything. I’ll watch the boards at Randwick and if it gets out to silly odds, I’ll happily drop a few dollars on this but it’ll really need to double the current price of $17.
4. CIMA DE TRIOMPHE (11) 55.5 Damien Oliver $7.50
Captain: Ah Francesca...what a breath of fresh air every Spring. Anyhow, Francesca's mother Sarah Cumani says that Kirklees is the only danger to this fella because "I don't really know anything about the Australian horses"...Kirklees aside, this guy has raced in some pretty highly rated races, including the Arlington Million in the U.S, so you've got to think that he's really the only logical danger to Kirklees. You've got to respect a Cumani trained horse here. Purple Moon, Mad Rush, Bauer...the guy doesn't bring duds over. CDT should run well and if he brings his A-game to Caulfield tomorrow, he might just be able to roll Kirklees...
Professor: I respect the Cumani horses. But I look at the guide and I watch the races on Youtube and I really haven’t seen it do anything to justify it’s current $7.50 quote. I wouldn’t ridicule you if this was your top pick because I respect the Cumani horses and the Arlington Million probably shouldn’t be confused with the SAAB.
5. FIUMICINO (20) 55.5 Dwayne Dunn $51
Captain: He had his favoured heavy track conditions in the Metropolitan, plugged home for 3rd, and while he'll be a bit fitter for the run, I can't entertain the idea of him winning this. Even on a heavy track, he'll need a jet-ski to be winning.
6. MASTER O'REILLY (18) 55 Vlad Duric $15
Captain: Like a fine wine, Master O just gets better with age. Three runs this time in, each as pleasing as the other. Is no doubt a much better horse than when he actually won this race. Then, he had no weight and no Sydney and international horses to contend with due to Equine Influenza. Now, he has both to contend with. But, like a fine wine...Got him at $21 about ten minutes before the Yalumba last week, where he ran home nicely, that'll do me nicely.
Professor: Funny that the Captain mentions fine wine with this guy, because his best run this prep was in the Yalumba: makers of some god awful stuff. Good omen? Bad omen? Not sure but he looks on course for a really big run here.
7. ROMAN EMPEROR (5) 54 Hugh Bowman $19
Captain: Won the AJC Derby even though Predatory Pricer's name should have been the one engraved on the trophy. Even so, he's a pretty handy stayer and I'd be on this before Allez Wonder, that's for sure. His form is sound enough for this race, I prefer others on the "you can't back them all" rule but am adding him to multiples. A pineapple says it beats home Allez Wonder...any takers?
Professor: A live one at odds. But is $19 long enough? Not for me at this stage but I’m yet to rule a line through it.
8. SARRERA (10) 54 Nicholas Hall $51
Captain: Another runner who'd like a quagmire to trundle through tomorrow. He's now a 9.y.o. and since a purple patch in the autumn/winter of last year, he's not really caught the eye on a consistent basis. It's his lucky day, I'll leave him out without being too unkind.
Professor: I’ve ruled a line here. If I had access to one, I’d rule a line through this one with an industrial strength line making machine. Preferably one made by Germans. They know how to rule a line.
9. PREDATORY PRICER (16) 53.5 Steven King $8.50
Captain: This is a serious racehorse (a little brother to Takeover Target no less), though he still does a few things wrong in his races sometimes. He is one of my two big Spring spruikings. I had a nibble on him at $71 to win the Caulfield Cup when the market opened, and for most of this Carnival, it looked like he'd run in the Cox Plate only. Thank fuck he's running in both! Did I tell you the one about the Pricer in the AJC Derby? On that run, he's right in this. On his form he's right in this. Gate 16 not ideal, but you stick with your favourites; ain't that right Professor?!
Professor: I can’t say no to it based on it’s Derby run and the fact that it’s held it’s form so well. I worry that it might be a little more brilliant this time in but as it gets out into the double figure zone I get more inclined to include it.
10. RED RULER (14) 53.5 Danny Nikolic $15
Captain: Ran a nice race in the Turnbull but meets the Pricer 2kgs worse for not beating him then. I'm not sold on him at 2400m either. So that's a no from me to this communist bastard.
Professor: My second pick. In a perfect world, this one grabs the box seat and grinds them down from the 300 or so. It probably doesn’t have the brilliance to go toe to toe with some of the others, but with a smart ride (who better than Nikolic for this?) then it can steal this race.
11. ZAVITE (8) 53 Mark Zahra $51
Captain: Try the SAAB in a couple of weeks buddy. You guys are mad if you don't smash this to run a place in the SAAB.
Professor: Respectfully, no. Probably needs to be going better, another 800 metres and a weaker field.
12. HARRIS TWEED (2) 52.5 Craig Newitt $31
Captain: Sometimes after a Derby campaign, horses don't come back so well at the start of their 4.y.o. season and that's the basket I'm throwing this guy into. The Professor tells me that he was slopped up in the Kelt, but Youtube replays are grainy, the NZ camera angles unhelpful, and the innocuous looking 8.9L 14th/16 still stares back at me from the form guide.
Professor: The only bona fide roughy I could slap a few dollars on. The first two runs were honest returns for a stayer and they walked in the Kelt. And when I say walked, I’m not talking about gay Olympic style walking. Harris Tweed responded by racing up to the front and then there was nothing left for the final 200. Should be fitter and if so it will be a rough hope.
13. LIGHT VISION (19) 52.5 Luke Nolen $21
Captain: A great roughie here. Runs the trip out pretty strongly these days, gets some weight relief here, is honest as they come and will be at the front and staying out of trouble. If you are looking for value, here it is at $21.
Professor: I’d say that it’s more than likely that this guy will box his way into fifth or sixth in front of many more fancied runners (Cough Kirklees). Fifth doesn’t pay so no bet for me but this will run one hell of a race as always.
14. DAFFODIL (4) 51.5 Chris Munce $8.50
Captain: The Professor has a massive boner for Daffodil. Think of your favourite porno vid...that's the same erection that the Professor gets watching replays of Daffodil winning the AJC Oaks. Fair enough I'd say; she is a definite threat if she can reproduce that explosive finish...hehehe...explosive finish!
Professor: Ridiculously good in the AJC Oaks. If it reproduces that kind of run here, then I’ll be lining up from the 300 metre mark again. The boys know about my boner for this horse. In the Bjelke-Peterson days in QLD a man could marry a horse and there’s nothing wrong with that. The story of me elbowing patrons out of the way in the Randwick skybox shouting “Go the Daff” like a blowhard is well known. Whatever. The Kelt run was okay. It didn’t really get out until the 100 metre mark there and when it did it screamed “Give me 2400 metres, guy.”
15. READY TO LIFT (12) 51.5 Glen Boss $41
Captain: Not the worst, but I dare say we won't see ol' Bossy whooping it up in the winner's circle tomorrow. Won't go on too much more because after last year with Viewed, I'm shit-scared of knocking Brisbane Cup form.
Professor: Do you have a mediocre stayer and want to get involved in Australia’s premiere 2400 metre race? Keep Boxing Day free and you too can take on the mighty Zazabeau for your saloon passage to the Caulfield Cup. Zazabeau.
16. RED LORD (3) 51.5 Glyn Schofield $31
Captain: It's getting late, and thinking too much about Red Lord's chances in the Caulfield Cup is only going to deprive me of sleep. I'll sleep tight knowing that when push came to shove in the Turnbull, his lead up race, this guy got the hell outta there.
Professor: Probably not up to this but its run in the Naturalism was pretty nice.
17. VIGOR (22) 51 Corey Brown $9.50
Captain: I have seen some overrated horses in my time and this fella is right up there. Whilst Predatory Pricer has been mixing it with the Big Grey, Heart Of Dreams and Whobegotyou, and also has one of the best 3rds you'll ever see in the AJC Derby, and Master O and Viewed have done everything you'd want to see from Cups campaigners, this guy won at a mile, ran okay at 1800m, and then had a good old-fashioned flop-a-roo to lead into this at 2000m. Jockeys have been climbing over each other to get on board but I just can't see why. How he was ever at $7 equal favourite is absolutely beyond me, light weight and all. And now with gate 22 he's still at $9.50? I've been a doubter in terms of the Caulfield Cup since he won the Makybe Diva Stks, and I couldn't touch him at $9.50, even if you held a gun to my head...sometimes you've got to be a man of principal...I'll take the bullet for the team...
Professor: Someone dropped a squillion dollars on this after it won the Makybe Diva and has probably dropped the same again on counselling since. If it blows out to $20 on race day, this will probably have too much “Efficient 2007” about it for words and I’ll have no choice but to pound it. Otherwise, a little overrated I think.
18. ALLEZ WONDER (6) 50 Michelle Payne $12
Captain: You win a Toorak, you're not entitled to be $12 for the Caulfield Cup on suspicion. The Toorak and the Emirates are complete rubbish Group 1's. They are Group 2's at the very best. More like Group 3's. If this wins, we'll have to now respect the Toorak form, and life's so much easier when we can totally write it off. The Toorak is 1600m anyway. The Caulfield Cup is 2400m. And her last run at 2400m was an ignominious 15th. At the 2500m of the VRC Oaks, she finished 3rd in a weak field that was smashed accordingly by Samantha Miss. Distant 2nd that day? Miss Scarlatti...Pass, pass and pass.
Professor: Just when I thought some sanity was returning to proceedings following the drift out to $15 yesterday, it's been pumped into $12. If you are prepared to tell me that this is a better chance than Viewed, Master O and Red Ruler then wow, buddy. And if you are under the spell of the "Cups King" - and I won't fault you if you are- then look at the topweight, a Melbourne Cup winner who is probably going better than he was at this time last year and paying $14. And then you realise why Bart was so smug when he snuck Allez Wonder into the field. Whose horse benefits if a miler comes out and sets a cracking pace ? Why Bart's horse: Viewed. If you want to bet on AW doing anything, it's playing the role of Sandmason and going round the home turn 6 lengths in front, if it can go that long. The smug old bastard might have done it again.
1. Predatory Pricer
2. Master O'Reilly
3. Light Vision
Working around those three with Viewed and Roman Emperor. Daffodil as well if she gets out from the shortish $8.50 at present.
PROFESSOR'S FINAL DAFFODIL LOVE-IN
I’ve had a top pick in this race since April and that’s Daffodil and she’s given me no reason to get off. Red Ruler, Viewed and Master O Reilly have given everyindication that they’ll be there at the finish as well. Predatory Pricer is thebig danger to Daffodil and should be kept very safe. The only roughie thatreally intrigues me is Harris Tweed but it’s a dollar or two kind of roughie.
Numbers: 14 Daffodil -10 Red Ruler -9 Predatory Pricer -6 Master O'Reilly