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The Caulfield Cup is one of the great 2400m handicaps in world racing and is part of the Australian racing ‘Grand Slam’ alongside the Golden Slipper, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup. And with that prestige, the international contingent gets stronger and stronger each year.

Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of the confirmed runners set to take their place in the Caulfield Cup 2018.

Caulfield Cup Market 🏆💰: View the current Caulfield Cup odds

Best Solution

Breeding: Kodiac x Al Andalyya
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 20: 7-2-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1200m/2400m
Career Best Win: Arqana Racing Club Stakes, July 12 2018, Newmarket, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 18: 6-1-2
Wet Track Stats: 2: 1-1-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: 2400m specialist and stable knows what it takes to win the race.

Group l Grosser Preis von Berlin, (2400m), August 12 2018, Hoppegarten, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This win likely locks away a spot for him in the Cup field. Loved the way he knuckled down over the final 200m when he needed to and he surged late between runners to grab the win. As to what he beat, the field didn’t appear overly strong from what I can tell, but it was a Group l win and he continues his purple patch.

Group l Preis Von Baden (2000m), September 2 2018, Baden Baden, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Concede it was a good win, another at the highest level, but did he win it, or did Atzeni on Defoe lose it? I’m leaning the way of the latter. He coughed up ground and momentum to get to the outside fence, nowhere near as much as Best Solution, and that was the difference between winning and losing. Yes, Best Solution won the race, but I wouldn’t be exactly jumping up and down.


Final Summary: He’s very likeable given his 2400m record against some proper horse flesh. The stable won the race in 2008 with All The Good but I think Best Solution is a much better horse compared to him so drawing a line through that. I’d have him as a serious winning threat, and a wet track would be no issue.


Chestnut Coat

Breeding: Heart’s Cry x White Veil
Trainer: Yoshiti Yahagi
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 17: 4-5-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1800m/2400m
Career Best Win: Soshun Stakes, January 28 2018, Tokyo, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 16: 4-5-1
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-0-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Fifth in a Tenno Sho…that’s good enough to be ultra competitive in the Cups.

Group l Tenno Sho Spring (3200m), April 29 2018, Kyoto, Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

Gee his run was mighty in defeat. Had to make a long sustained run from around the 1000m mark and was still there on the line, beaten under two lengths by four runners who had a softer run in transit. This is world class form and a proven formula for Japanese runners when coming to Australia for the Cups.

Group ll Meguro Kinen (2500m), May 27 2018, Tokyo, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

This was a really tough win by Best Solution. Mirage Dancer was there to beat him several times over the last 400m but on the line, Best Solution was holding and drawing clear late. Mirage Dancer is high up in betting for the Melbourne Cup so again, a big tick for Best Solution here in terms of the 2400m.

I’d be willing to put a line through the run. They didn’t appear to go at a brutal speed in front which really set it up for those near the rail or on the pace, which Chestnut Coat wasn’t out wide with the white face and blue jacket. He stuck on well enough but really had no chance of winning given the tempo of the race.

Final Summary: I think if he was to run in both, he’d go very well in each. My leaning would be the Melbourne Cup though based on the Tenno Sho effort. He’ll love the 3200m Flemington has to offer, but he’s certainly capable of figuring in the Caulfield Cup. Wet track would be the only question mark with him.


Cliffs Of Moher

Breeding: Galileo x Wave
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 16: 3-2-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1408m/2075m
Career Best Win: Mooresbridge Stakes, May 7 2018, Naas, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 9: 1-2-2
Wet Track Stats: 6: 1-0-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: In a champion stable and Lloyd has let the moths out of the wallet to buy 50% of the horse.


Eclipse Stakes (2012m), July 7 2018, Sandown (UK), Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Similar to the Hardwicke. Just outsprinted when Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion dashed but kept battling away and was really good late behind a couple of high class animals. Probably just found the trip a touch short of his ideal best, but the effort was a big tick considering the quality of opposition.

Caulfield Stakes (2000m), October 13 2018, Caulfield, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
This was just an enormous run in defeat. Had no right to get as close as he did given the soft mid race sectionals yet still wound up with purpose to run a very gallant fourth and clearly clocked some of the fastest late splits of the race. It was a ripping Cups trial and the extra trip/fitness are only further ticks for this five year old.

Final Summary: Lloyd has rarely misfired with his purchases in recent years when it comes to the Cups and he has a leading chance here. Personally, I’d say the Caulfield Cup is his best chance of a win. A good rolling 2400m event will really suit him. He won’t want the tempo to be a crawl like it was in the Hardwicke. The run on Saturday was an absolute ripper and he’s on target.




Breeding: Manduro x Landinium
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 21: 6-4-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1609m/2896m
Career Best Win: St Simon Stakes, October 22 2016, Newbury, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 13: 3-3-3
Wet Track Stats: 8: 3-1-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: His form the last 12 months does read very well and is perfectly weighted to be a threat in whatever he contests.
Princess Wales Stakes (2414m), July 12 2018, Newmarket, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
Had the good run behind the speed and for a few strides looked as if he was going to challenge Best Solution, but that horse seemingly had his measure and on the line was just edging away. Mind you he was coming back slightly in trip so perhaps just found the Godolphin horse a touch sharp, but he has obviously gone on to frank the form in Germany.
Chester Stakes (2896m), September 1 2018, Chester, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Wasn’t a strong race depth wise and they didn’t go hard in front. Not sure what to make of the win. Class came to the fore and he did a good job considering the way the race was run, but the horses he beat have prior form around the likes of Libran and High Bridge before they came to Australia, so that leaves me with reservations re this race and a form reference.

Final Summary: If it was a brutal tempo, I’d say yes to being a winning chance in the Caulfield Cup. But I think his best chance will be in the Melbourne Cup because it’s clear he’s a stayer, a proper stayer, and his form around the likes of Order Of St George, Marmelo, Idao and Best Solution has to give him respect.


Red Verdon

Breeding: Lemon Drop Kid x Porto Marmay
Trainer: Ed Dunlop
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 24: 5-9-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1700m/2500m
Career Best Win: Wild Flower Stakes, November 29 2017, Kempton Park, Synthetic Surface
Dry Track Stats: 23: 5-8-1
Wet Track Stats: 1: 0-1-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: If anyone deserves a win at Flemington it’s Ed Dunlop…is this the horse? I wouldn’t say no.

Group lll Glorious Stakes (2400m), August 3 2018, Goodwood, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Finished second to Mirage Dancer and looked to have every chance to run down the Sir Michael Stoute runner but like at Ascot, he wanted to duck in under pressure, losing valuable momentum. Should have finished a touch closer but in no way was he going to get past Mirage Dancer. Sound effort, but well held IMO.

Lonsdale Cup (3300m), August 24 2018, York, Anti Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Bit of a Plain Jane run from him. Was there to threaten 400m out but as soon as it came to crunch time, he couldn’t go with Count Octave and Stradivarius, whacking and in terms of the Melbourne Cup, you’d have to say the run was quite disappointing, beaten convincingly.

Final Summary: I reckon he’s got the brilliance to figure in the finish of the Melbourne Cup… at his best. But I think if he wants to win the race, he really needs to cut out the laying in under pressure. If he can overcome that, a win wouldn’t surprise. Ed Dunlop knows what it takes when it comes to the Melbourne Cup.


Sound Check

Breeding: Lando x Sky Dancing
Trainer: Michael Moroney
Nationality: German/Australian
Career Stats: 16: 7-2-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/3200m
Career Best Win: Oleander-Rennen, May 20 2018, Hoppegarten, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 8: 4-1-1
Wet Track Stats: 8: 3-1-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Learned my lesson to always respect German horses with top shelf form from that part of the world.
Von Lotto (2000m), July 5 2018, Hamburg, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface
I reckon you could make a little case that he should have won. The jock took a fair bit of time looking for the outside rail while the two in front were full of momentum and racing clear. Thought he did an excellent job to get as close as he did, and probably would have won in another couple of strides, his first run since winning over 3200m.
Grosser Preis von Berlin, (2400m), August 12 2018, Hoppegarten, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Much like last time, you can make a case he should have won. He loomed as the winner and looked as if he’d go straight past them but he wanted to have his head to the side and sort of half turned it up, with Best Solution dashing through to claim the win. Put a little margin on the rest though which is a good sign.

Final Summary: If you have to respect Best Solution, you have to respect this horse, and bear in mind he gets a significant weight pull on that horse in both Cups. Michael Moroney and his team have got the horse now and while he’s in both Cups, I think the Melbourne Cup looks his go. Got the right weight, got 3200m form, strong 3200m form and has gears. He’s very likeable.


Sole Impact

Breeding: Deep Impact x Cream Only
Trainer: Hirofumi Toda
Nationality: Japanese
Career Stats: 37: 4-5-12
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2400m
Career Best Win: Handicap, June 18 2017, Tokyo, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 35: 4-5-12
Wet Track Stats: 2: 0-0-0
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Solid enough Japanese raider…an outside chance in either Cup.

Group l Tenno Sho Spring (3200m), April 29 2018, Kyoto, Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

To be fair he was outclassed here. This race was run a pretty hot tempo where he was near the speed and really by the time he reached the home turn, he had enough and just plodded on to run 13th, beaten many lengths, but as said with Chestnut Coat, this was a world class race with a stack of depth.

Group ll Meguro Kinen (2500m), May 27 2018, Tokyo, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

Much, much better run from him here. For the most part in the straight, he didn’t really want to run straight but once he eventually peeled out, his last 100m was really good in what did look quite a strong race, which included fellow Cup aspirant Chestnut Coat along with well known stayer Fame Game.

Final Summary: I believe he’s being set for both Cups, but if he was to win one, I’d say the Caulfield Cup is his best chance. Yes, he ran third to Fame Game in the Diamond Stakes earlier in the year, but I feel his best trip is 2400m. Ryusei Sakai has already been booked to ride in the Caulfield Cup. An outside winning chance in both, with a preference towards the Caulfield Cup.

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