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CAULFIELD STAKES

2000m, $1 million, weight-for-age

HISTORY

* First run in 1886 when won by Isonomy

* Group One since 1979

* Run over 1800m from 1886-1967, except for 2000m in 1887-1888, returned to 2000m in 1968

* Held at Flemington from 1940-1943 (WWII)

NOTABLE WINNERS

* Wakeful (1901, 02), Amounis (1930), Tranquil Star (1942), Bernborough (1946), Comic Court (1950), Rising Fast (1954), Lord (1958, 59, 60), Sky High (1961, 62), Winfreux (1965, 66, 67), Gunsynd (1972), Kingston Town (1981, 82), Rough Habit (1994), Might And Power (1998), Northerly (2001), Lonhro (2002, 03), Mummify (2004), So You Think (2010), Atlantic Jewel (2013), Winx (2016) Benbatl (2018)

TALKING POINTS

* Of this year’s 11 runners, nine are internationally bred and two European-trained

* Saeed Bin Suroor’s Benbatl won in 2018, with Dream Castle representing the Godolphin trainer again this year. Godolphin also own James Cummings-trained favourite Avilius

* Matthew Williams-trained Gailo Chop is attempting to become a two-time winner after saluting for Darren Weir in 2017

* Local Black Heart Bart, third in the 2016 edition, will be attempting to become the 13th horse to claim the Underwood/Caulfield Stakes double, the latest being Ocean Park in 2012

* Nine horses have done the Caulfield Stakes-Cox Plate double. Winx was the most recent in 2016.

WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING

“The competition is really deep and he’s going to really need to step up and keep proving that he’s right up to that mark as one of the premier weight-for-age middle-distance horses around” – Cummings on Avilius

“He’s performing really well over 2000 metres and that’s why there’s no point in changing something that works. I want to make sure my horse is delivered in the best possible condition on the day but I think he will come on from the Caulfield Stakes” – Danceteria’s French trainer David Menuisier

“We don’t really know the quality of the Australian horses … but if we can have Suzuka Devious in the right form and in the right condition, I think he can be competitive on Saturday” – Japanese trainer Mitsuru Hashida on outsider Suzuka Devious

 
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