Caulfield Cup barrier draw throws the favourites way out
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The barrier draw for the Caulfield Cup, completed this morning, has thrown a spanner in the works for early form punter and has caused a significant shuffle in betting.
Already it was looking one of the strongest Cups in recent years, with handicapper Greg Carpenter drawing comparisons with the Caulfield Cups of 1980 (Ming Dynasty defeated Hyperno and Kingston Town), 2002 (Northerly beat Fields Of Omagh) and 2004 (Elvstroem held on from Makybe Diva).
The barrier draw, however, means the race is not only strong, but it is incredibly perplexing. It is a race which will require thorough analysis before any selections can be made.
Before the draw, pundits were expecting Glencadam Gold and Voila Ici to head forward and set up the pace.
Both horses have drawn wide – Voila Ici in 17, Glencadam Gold in 21 – meaning there is likely to be a charge early to ensure they can get across.
There is not a lot of pace drawn underneath them, with My Quest For Peace (barrier 2) likely to go forward with December Draw (barrier 12). Southern Speed (barrier 14), Lights of Heaven (barrier 8) and even Jakkalberry (barrier 13) have the ability to go forward as well.
This means Glencadam Gold and Voila Ici should get across fairly easily. However, the extra work they have to do in the first 200m is never ideal.
2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden, who was the subject of much support over the last 48 hours, has drawn the outside barrier. Jockey Craig Williams will be forced to either go forward, hoping he can slot in, or go back and risk getting too far out of his ground.
At his last run, Williams sent Dunaden to the lead and he struggled. That means he is likely to go back here, which will mean he faces an enormous task to circle the field with 58kg.
2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain is in a similar position, drawing barrier 19. Gerald Mosse has been the subject of criticism for some of his previous rides on Americain, including in The BMW where he kept the horse three deep the trip. He may be in a similar position on Saturday.
Drawing wide is not the only concern. The connections of Zabeelionaire are likely to be disappointed after the South Australian Derby winner drew the inside.
Traditionally, the inside is not the place to be in a Caulfield Cup, particularly as a backmarker. Zabeelionaire is likely to end up in an awkward position from barrier 1, meaning he may have to go forward – against his regular pattern – or risk being shuffled back through the field at a crucial stage.
The post-draw market with TAB Sportsbet has Glencadam Gold holding favouritism at $4.20 ahead of Dunaden and December Draw at $7.50. Second emergency Gatewood ($10) and Lights of Heaven ($11) are next best.
Caulfield Cup (2,400m) – Saturday, 4.05pm (AEDT)
6x6x – AMERICAIN (19)
326x – DUNADEN (22)
x51x – JAKKALBERRY (13)
3×99 – WINCHESTER (16)
x833 – DECEMBER DRAW (12)
x624 – VOILA ICI (17)
1140 – SOUTHERN SPEED (14)
x006 – SANAGAS (3)
1111 – GLENCADAM GOLD (21)
4011 – MY QUEST FOR PEACE (2)
x008 – NIWOT (6)
x093 – LIGHTS OF HEAVEN (8)
2235 – SECRET ADMIRER (11)
x857 – SNEAK A PEEK (10)
8972 – ALCOPOP (9)
9×30 – MOUDRE (5)
x001 – FOLDING GEAR (4)
x970 – ZABEELIONAIRE (1)
0655 – SABRAGE (1ST EM) (20)
1327 – GATEWOOD (2ND EM) (18)
42×7 – IBICENCO (3RD EM) (15)
x920 – FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (4TH EM) (7)
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