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The 2016 Caulfield Cup is just around the corner and as is the case every Spring, the international brigade are here and they mean business, with several leading chances in one of the best 2400m races in the world.

Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of the international runners set to take their place in the 2016 Caulfield Cup.

 

Articus

Breeding: Areion x Almerita
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Nationality: German
Weight: 52.5kg
Career Stats: 9: 4-2-1
2400m Stats: Untried
Winning Max Distance: 2000m (Maxios Trophy), July 12 2016, Good surface
Dry Track Stats: 5: 2-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 4: 2-1-0
Caulfield Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $15
Short Summary: Not the strongest form coming in, but stable have to be respected.

Second Last Start (1st)- Group lll Maxios Trophy (2000m), July 12 2016, Hannover, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

I don’t really know what to make of this win. Looking back at replays for that meeting, it did seem that the outside fence was the spot to be by the time the race was run and won, so perhaps that flattered him. But he did come from well back and he really attacked the line.

Last Start (5th)- Group l Grosser Dallmayr (2000m), July 31 2016, Munich, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Sat much closer in the run this day, getting the suck run behind the speed. Got clear at the top of the straight and presented to win the race, but he just couldn’t quite finish it off over the final 200m and was swamped late, with the race won by Elliptique, aided by a Franke Dettori special. In a hot Group l, I thought Articus was game in defeat.

Final Thought: Only three horses since the turn of the century have been able to win the Caulfield Cup at their first start beyond 2000m (Northerly, Southern Speed and Fawkner), so that does leave me with some reservations about this horse. If they ride him close to the speed, then I doubt he will get a strong 2400m. But if he is ridden with cover, then he is a player. How strong of a player I am not sure.

 

Exospheric

Breeding: Beat Hollow x Bright And Clear
Trainer: Lee & Anthony Freedman
Nationality: British/Australian
Weight: 55kg
Career Stats: 10: 4-0-2
2400m Stats: 3: 1-0-1
Winning Max Distance: 2414m (Jockey Club Stakes), April 30 2016, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 7: 3-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 3: 1-0-0
Caulfield Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $9.00
Short Summary: Comes here with big wraps and the right form, plus from all reports he has settled in beautifully at Werribee.

Second Last Start (3rd)- Group ll Princess Of Wales Stakes (2414m), July 7 2016, Newmarket, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

It was a funny race to watch. McDonald controlled the race on Big Orange and really, they gifted the race to him, so it was difficult for those behind to make up significant ground, which included Exospheric. He had to chase hard from about the 500m mark and that effort just found him out the final 75m when grabbed for second. It was a pass mark. The runner up went to the Arc and was midfield.

Head to Tab.com.au and follow the links to watch the replay.

Last Start (5th)- Group l Juddmonte International (2080m), August 17 2016, York, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good Surface

Trucked up along the inside most of the way before getting behind Highland Reel in the straight and ducking back to his inside. The turn of foot wasn’t there but he stayed on alright, though beaten a fair way by a world class horse in Postponed. Both Highland Reel and Postponed went on to run super in the Arc, so the form has stacked up big time.

Final Thought: He’ll stay all day, so the 2400m is no issue. The query I have with him is the turn of foot and how there is none. He only has one gear, and he will keep at it all day. This is where the genius of the Freedman stable comes into play. Can they train him to get speed in the legs in time for the Caulfield Cup? If they can, then his form warrants him to be a major threat.

Fanatic

Breeding: Shocking x Komplete Klass
Trainer: Graeme Saunders
Nationality: New Zealander
Weight: 50kg
Career Stats: 14: 2-0-2
2400m Stats: 1: 1-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2400m (New Zealand Oaks), March 19 2016, Good Surface
Dry Track States: 7: 2-0-1
Wet Track Stats: 7: 0-0-1
Caulfield Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $101
Short Summary: Should be $1001

Second Last Start (6th)- Bostock New Zealand Racing Carnival Benchmark 85 Handicap (1400m), August 27 2016, Hastings, Anti-Clockwise direction, Soft surface

This was an afternoon where backmarkers had no hope. It was dynamite rail and lead bias, so she really had no winning chances. Under the circumstances, she wasn’t too bad albeit it was in a benchmark race.

Head to Nzracing.co.nz and follow the links to watch the replay.

Last Start (9th)- Group l Windsor Park Plate (1600m), September 17 2016, Hastings, Anti-Clockwise direction, Soft Surface

Sat back and near the fence throughout. Looked to quicken approaching the turn but she was just no match for her rivals, who were clearly sharper/better than her and she wasn’t really extended the last little bit.

Final Thought: The only positive I have for her is that she has a win over Sofia Rosa from the New Zealand Oaks in the Autumn. Outside that…she doesn’t deserve a spot in the field. I’ll be shocked if she doesn’t run last.

 

Scottish

Breeding: Teofilo x Zeiting
Trainer: Charlie
Nationality: British
Weight: 54.5kg
Career Stats: 11: 4-4-1
2400m Stats: 2: 0-2-0
Winning Max Distance: 2018m (Maiden), May 15 2015, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 10: 4-4-1
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Caulfield Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $9.00
Short Summary: He has the turn of foot to win a Caulfield Cup…does he have the stamina?

Second Last Start (2nd)- Group lll Lancaster (2086m), August 6 2016, Haydock, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Buick got him away well and he took up the running at a steady pace. They really quickened up from the 700m mark onwards and he gave a really good kick, but was just outpointed late by Royal Artillery, a somewhat of a rough result, but he has run well since behind a Group l winner, so that does read quite well.

Head to Tab.com.au and follow the links to watch the replay.

Last Start (1st)- Group lll Strensall Stakes (1799m), August 20 2016, York, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

Sat near the speed throughout before taking command around 250m out and showing good fight over the concluding stages to get the job done. The worry with this form is that the closer late was a South African import who hadn’t raced for over 800 days.

Replay unavailable

Final Thought: The last time he was at 2400m he ran a 1.5L second to Highland Reel. That horse has since gone on to run well in a Cox Plate last year and was runner up recently in the Arc, so that is world class form. I’m just not sure if he is a genuine 2400m horse, against the best of the best engaged here. Plus, that last start form worries me. On the flip side, his turn of foot is just about superior to anything else in the race.

 

Sir Isaac Newton

Breeding: Galileo x Shastye
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Weight: 54.5kg
Career Stats: 12: 3-3-1
2400m Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Winning Max Distance: 2012m (International Stakes), June 26 2016, Soft Surface
Dry Track States: 6: 1-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 6: 2-2-0
Caulfield Cup Price @ Sportsbet: $13
Short Summary: Has the form behind and around him, plus is in the best stable in the world.

Second Last Start (4th)- Group l Juddmonte International (2080m), August 17 2016, York, Anti-Clockwise direction, Good surface

He was tracking up Exospheric most of the way before angling off his back and towards the inside, which clearly wasn’t the place to be. Lacked any sort of turn of foot, but he stuck to the task very gamely.

Last Start (10th)- Group l Irish Champion Stakes (2012m), September 10 2016, Leopardstown, Anti-Clockwise direction, Soft surface

He was back near last in the run on the rail and just never got into the race, finishing tailed off. The form out of that race has since been outstanding with this race providing the quinella of the Arc, so that’s a positive.

 

Final Thought: Fourth to Highland Reel, fourth to Postponed and then ran in a form race that has produced the Arc 1-2…that’s world class form with a capital W. His lone 2400m was in that Highland Reel race, and though beaten 4.5L, he was actually coming again on the line and through it. Of all the internationals, he is the value for mine.

 

So…can the internationals win the Caulfield Cup?

There are just alot of unknowns. The obvious is how well have they have settled into Werribee, which is a factor that cannot be underestimated. The noise coming out is that Exospheric and Scottish have done the best of those mentioned here. Exospheric can win, but he needs speed in the legs. Articus lacks the class, but is in the right stable when it comes to feature success down under. Scottish has the turn of foot to blow them away, but does he have the staying prowess, whereas Sir Isaac Newton has the form, the class and the magic touch of O’Brien on his side.

Summing up, yes, one of these can win the race. If I had to lean towards one, it would be Scottish, just ahead of a tie between Exospheric and Sir Isaac Newton. Just not sure about Articus running a genuine 2400m, and yeah Fanatic…she’d be more at home with the actual Fanatics cheer squad.

 
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