Caulfield Cup Winner To Miss Melbourne Cup
It is no good punters moaning about the result of the 2011 Caulfield Cup last weekend, the simple fact is that the race is a handicap and the horses are weighted, in theory, to all be equal. This is the reason why handicap races often throw up surprise results and that is just what happened when Southern Speed landed the spoils at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday.
The result was assisted with the knowledge that pre-race favourite, December Dawn had fractured a hind leg, explaining his poor run that saw him finish in last place of the 18 runners.
Leon Macdonald, trainer of Southern Speed confirmed that this race was the mareís target this season and that a tilt at the Melbourne Cup would not happen, at least this year. The four year old is still in the prestigious Group One, Cox Plate at Moonee Valley this weekend but as far as the stable is concerned, she has done her work for this year whether she runs or not on Saturday.
Green Moon, who finished second behind Southern Speed will however be going for the "Race that stops the Nation" at Flemington on 1st November. He finished in great style, making plenty of ground up on the winner after getting a little wayward on the home turn. A good draw in the Cup would see this son of Montjeu have a great chance and has subsequently been made the joint second favourite to win the race at 12/1.
British trainer, Luca Cumani, will not be too disappointed with the performance of his stayer, Manighar, who finished in fourth place, one better than his effort twelve months ago. This was a good trial for the Melbourne Cup candidate who finished in 7th place at Flemington last year and has odds of 16/1 to win this time around. Cumaniís other entry in the race, Drunken Sailor, also ran well to finish 7th particularly from a poor draw on the wide outside. The Newmarket trainer still has hopes that Bauer, winner of the Geelong Cup in 2008 will repeat that success this year and earn himself an entry for the Flemington Park feature.
The favourite, at least with European Bookmakers, to win the Melbourne Cup this year is the horse who only came fifth in the Caulfield Cup, Lucas Cranach. The German bred four year old had been suffering with a foot abscess prior to the Caulfield Cup but showed sufficient galloping ability to catch the eye. Moreover, he will be fully fit by the time of the Melbourne Cup and his odds to win the race have shortened to around the 10/1 mark.
Joint second favourite with odds of 12/1 is the 2010 winner, Americain, who will be running next week in the Moonee Valley Cup as his main warm up for Flemington Park.