First to last: predicted Caulfield Cup finish
THE top three chances in the Caulfield Cup were difficult to split and the internationals shouldn't be underestimated.
CHRIS VERNUCCIO predicts where the field will finish from first to last.
She was outstanding in the Turnbull Stakes, running the second fastest last 600m, 400m and 200m of the day behind Winx. First try at 2400m but the Queensland Oaks winner can reach a new peak performance.
2. THE CLIFFSOFMOHER
Finished powerfully for fourth in the Caulfield Stakes from the rear of the field, with the seventh-fastest last 600m of the meeting. Following the same path as stablemate Johannes Vermeer, who finished third in the cup last year.
3. KINGS WILL DREAM
Everything has been going to plan with consistently high performances in all his lead-up runs. The Caulfield Cup has been the target since his excellent Mornington Cup win in March, which was also over 2400m. Drawn perfectly.
4. CHESTNUT COAT
The strength of Japanese staying form must always be respected. Finished fifth in one of Japan's best staying races, the Tenno Sho, and has two wins at 2400m from three attempts.
5. BEST SOLUTION
The Godolphin raiders comes into the race off a hat-trick, including two Group 1 victories in Germany. Carried 60kg in all three wins, so 57.5kg here shouldn't be a concern.
Close third to Best Solution in the Princess Of Wales Stakes in England. Terrific record at 2400m and another international that is being underrated.
7. ACE HIGH
The VRC Derby winner is progressing beautifully after an inexplicable first-up flop. Won the Hill Stakes over 2000m last start and gets better over more ground. Best form on firm tracks.
8. SOUND CHECK
Now trained by Michael Moroney. Narrowly beaten by Best Solution in Germany. Won over 2800m and 3200m earlier in the year so he's one to keep an eye on for the Melbourne Cup.
9. NIGHT'S WATCH
This may be a year too soon for Darren Weir's progressive stayer. He will appreciate getting back to a handicap after a respectable effort in the Caulfield Stakes at weight-for-age, but will be giving away a big start from barrier 18.
10. RED VERDON
Trainer Ed Dunlop, who prepared the popular Red Cadeaux to three Melbourne Cup seconds, says Red Verdon has more speed than Trip To Paris, who was runner-up in the 2015 Caulfield Cup. However, I suspect the Melbourne Cup is the main aim.
Looked a serious chance after his Underwood Stakes win but a tough run in last week's Caulfield Stakes could see him race flat.
12. THE TAJ MAHAL
Will improve from his JRA Cup win at the Valley but this is a big step up. Will need luck finding a forward position from his wide barrier.
13. VENTURA STORM
The 1.8-length margin behind Winx in the Turnbull Stakes was flattering because of how slowly the race was run.
14. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN
Better suited in the country cups.
15. SOLE IMPACT
Hasn't won in more than a year and mixes some OK runs with a few heavy losses. Not sure what to make of him.
16. JON SNOW
Poor in the Turnbull Stakes. Needs a wet track.
17. VENGEUR MASQUE
Not up to this class.
18. MIGHTY BOSS
How he won the Caulfield Guineas at $101 last year still baffles. Has failed in seven runs since so a repeat won't happen here.
Emergencies: Patrick Erin, Jaameh
CAULFIELD CUP (2400m)
Caulfield, Saturday 4.40pm
1 Best Solution (Saeed Bin Suroor) P Cosgrave (17) 57.5kg
2 The Cliffsofmoher (Aidan O'Brien) H Bowman (3) 56.5kg
3 Chestnut Coat (Yoshito Yahagi) Y Kawada (13) 55.5kg
4 Jon Snow (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman) D M Lane (15) 55.5kg
5 Sound Check (Michael Moroney) J Childs (16) 55.5kg
6 Ace High (David Payne) D Oliver (8) 55kg
7 The Taj Mahal (Liam Howley) J B McDonald (19) 55kg
8 Duretto (Andrew Balding) D Dunn (1) 54.5kg
9 Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop) Z Purton (9) 54kg
10 Vengeur Masque (Michael Moroney) P M Moloney (7) 54kg
11 Ventura Storm (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig) R Bayliss (11) 54kg
12 Mighty Boss (Mick Price) T Clark (14) 53.5kg
13 Homesman (Liam Howley) B J Melham (4) 53kg
14 Kings Will Dream (Darren Weir) C Williams (6) 53kg
15 Sole Impact (Hirofumi Toda) R Sakai (a0) (20) 53kg
16 Gallic Chieftain (Darren Weir) D Yendall (2) 52.5kg
17 Night's Watch (Darren Weir) B Allen (a0) (18) 52kg
18 Youngstar (Chris Waller) K McEvoy (10) 51.5kg
19e Patrick Erin (Chris Waller) C Brown (12) 52kg
20e Jaameh (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig) C J Parish (5) 50kg