The Ed Dunlop trained English stayer Red Cadeaux is one of the notable absentees from the 116 runners left in the $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup after first acceptances were taken for the 2400m Group 1 run at Caulfield on October 20.
And as expected, Queensland Derby winner Brambles and the injured Atlantic Jewel’s names didn’t appeared on the list while top mare Mosheen, Memsie Stakes winner Sincero and New Zealand Group 1 winner Ocean Park will bypass the Caulfield Cup for the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.
While Red Cadeaux remains at the top of the markets for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 after being beaten by a nose last year, his conqueror French galloper Dunaden still shares Caulfield Cup favouritism with Green Moon at $14.
Last year’s winner Southern Speed has cemented herself at $17 to score back to wins in the Caulfield Cup, but a start hasn’t been confirmed by trainer Leon Macdonald at this stage.
Even though Southern Speed returned to Melbourne to take out the Group 2 $300,000 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington last Saturday, Macdonald will wait until after the Group 1 $400,000 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 22 to decide if Southern Speed goes to the Caulfield Cup or the Cox Plate or both.
Macdonald has left his options open with the Caulfield Cup weight of 54.5kg looking enticing after the five year old’s win on Saturday.
“She’s not too badly weighted at all,” Macdonald said.
“The weights were raised last year and she carried 52.5kg, so I can’t complain about two kilos more.”
The Caulfield Cup still has a healthy international representation with Americain (Alain de Royer Dupre), stablemate Shahwardi, Brigantin (Andre Fabre), Gatewood (John Gosden), Jakkalberry (Marco Botti) and the Luca Cumani-trained trio Ibicenco, Quest For Peace and Mount Athos.
Peter Moody’s outstanding weight for age star Manighar is still among the his nine entries but the leading trainer is keeping his options open for the imported gelding with the Cox Plate also high on the Spring agenda.
Moody’s other Caulfield Cup hopefuls include Oaks winner Lights Of Heaven, the imported Voila Ici and Sneak A Peek and promising stayer Vatuvei.
Sydney’s leading lady Gai Waterhouse still has six left in the Cup with imports Glencadam Gold and Julienas trying to qualify as is the promising Strawberry Boy who has won in restricted class at his last two starts.
Waterhouse is upbeat about the chances of Strawberry Boy and will send the gelding to Melbourne to try to qualify for the Cups after the Redoute’s Choice four year old scored another easy win in mediocre company at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
“He’ll go straight to Melbourne now to run in the Naturalism over 2000m, I think he is a real Caulfield Cup horse,” Waterhouse said.
Julienas took out the Listed $150,000 Carlton Mid Wyong Cup (2100m) at Wyong on September 7 and Waterhouse’s stable foreman Mark Newnham said that imported gelding and fellow import Glencadam Gold would be targeted towards the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
“There’s been a lot of work into getting these UK horses,” Newnham said.
“They’ve come up trumps with this horse today and with Glencadam Gold last Saturday.”
“They keep improving every week, today’s he’s only third up, so at this rate of improvement, there’s a good win in him.”
“We’ll get then qualified for the Cups first, hopefully that’s through the Metropolitan and then attack Melbourne after that.”