Caulfield Cup day opened with the
Yellowglen Plate where Sea Spray was too good for Azkadellia and
Shacarde. Sea Spray is from the stable of John Moloney who is the
son of Jim Moloney who trained the 1984 Caulfield Cup winner Affinity.
The 3yo filly ridden by D Lane took her record to 5 starts for 2 wins
and 2 placings with earnings just under the $100,000.
In the Crown Lager Stakes Stratum Star proved too good for Manhatten
Star who was storming home with Careless third. Ridden by Brad
Rawiller the 3yo colt continued the success of Darren Weir at the
Caulfield Carnival with the stable taking out the Toorak Hcp the
previous week with Trust in a Gust. Stratum Star took his record
to 9 starts for 3 wins and 2 placings. The New Zealand Bloodstock
Ethereal Stakes went to the Ciaron Maher trained Set Square who was
having her third start in a race for 2 wins and 1 placing. Set
Square was far too good for Maastricht and Imperial Lass.
As a traditional lead up to the VRC
Derby the Racing.com Caulfield Classic (Norman Robinson Stakes) usually
shows up the best future staying colts but this year for the first time
since 1991 where Lady Purpose was successful a filly proved too good.
Fontein Ruby was up sharing the lead around the home turn and fought off
every challenge in a determined fashion to start to draw away again in
the last few strides defeating another filly in Crafty with Firehouse
Rock third. A winner of the Edward Manifold Stakes at her previous
start Fontein Ruby takes her record to 10 starts for 4 wins and 3
placings and takes her earnings over $700,000. She trained by
Robert Smerdon (who also trains Crafty) and was ridden by Mark Zahra.
The Sportingbet Moonga Stakes was
next where Lucky Hussler raced away in the closing stages to win easily
from Under the Louvre and Generalife. Making it a double on the
day for Darren Weir the 5yo gelding by Husson took his record to 24
starts for 5 wins and 6 placings. It was an emotional win for Glen
Boss as this was the race that all jockeys wore blue armbands for
Caitlin Forrest who was lost during the week in a horrific racefall at
Murray Bridge in South Australia. Glen Boss is a frequent visitor
to assist the SA Apprentices Academy and Caitlin was one of the talented
riders coming through the ranks there and had only been race riding for
just over a year.
Sweet Idea took out the Schweppes Tristarc Stakes from Girl Guide with
the gallant Catkins third. Sweet Idea from the stable of Gai
Waterhouse was ridden by Tommy Berry made it 7 wins and 7 placings from
19 starts in winning the race. The imported Contributor was having
his first start since June and his first race in Australia in winning
the David Jones Cup from Noble Protector and Signoff. All three
placegetters have been imported from the UK with a view to Cup races in
the future. From the stable of John O'Shea Contributor carried the
colours of Goldolphin as James McDonald rode him to his 5th win in 10
starts plsu 3 placings.
The Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint saw
Miracles of Life settle just behind the leaders while Bel Sprinter was
in the back half of the field. On straightening Miracles of Life
hit the front as the challenges came but she was able to hold the lead
until the final stages where Bel Sprinter took the gaps and started to
chase hard with Shamal Wind runner on out wide. Right on the post
it looked like Miracles of Life may have held on but Bel Sprinter got
his lunge in right on the line. The result that both horses had
hit the line together in a dead heat with Shamal Wind close up in third
place. Miracles of Life was having her first start since been sold
at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sales in May and was having her first
start for the stable of P&P Snowden while Bel Sprinter was resuming for
a spell and it was his first win for 18 months. Both horses had
been unplaced at Morphettville in the Goodwood at their previous start.
The Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup saw a capacity 18 runners line up
thanks to emergencies being available to fil the places of some high
profile scratchings in the days leading up to the big racing meeting.
As they turned for home New Zealander Rising Romance got through the gap
on the rails to hit the lead and gallop on strongly for home while
others moved wider to make their runs. Halfway down the straight
it looked as if Rising Romance might have enough in reserve but then all
attention turned to the topweight Admire Rakti who after being tucked in
on the fence early had been wide down the side before moving clear to
make a long sustained run for home. By the 100m Admire Rakti had
hit top speed and although Rising Romance was still going strongly he
had too much momentum and hit the front inside the final 50m to win
comfortably. Admire Rakti's connections were overwhelmed with
emotion as he crossed the line to win so strongly at his first start
since May this year. Beaten a length into 4th in the Japan Cup
last year Admire Rakti had arrived with plenty of media interest but in
the lead up to the cup the scratching of travelling companion Bande has
drawn most attention. Admire Rakti is trained by T Umeda and was
ridden by Zac Purton taking his record to 27 starts for 7 wins and 11
placings. He as penalised 1/2kg for the win and now goes into the
Melbourne Cup as the topweight and trying to win with the highest weight
in the modern era.
In the lead up to the Caulfield Cup there was a parade of former winners
in Doriemus and Might and Power who won both the Caulfield Cup and
Melbourne Cup double in the 1990s.