Caulfield Cup Field

Caulfield Cup Tips and Best Bets 2020

Caulfield Cup of Intrigue

Distance 2400m
Grade Group 1
Track Rating Good 4 
Prizemoney $5,000,000
Class Handicap
2019 winner Mer De Glace ($8)

Despite the challenging times, this year's edition of the Caulfield Cup has attracted a red hot field of both local and international quality- a credit to Racing Victoria and the Melbourne Racing Club.

Speed will again play a huge role in the result of this race, and the jury is still out as to how fast the tempo will be. I expect that they will still go fast enough to give the run-on profiles a genuine chance. 

I am with a gun international, where if they do roll along at a fast tempo he looks to be very well suited. Two key local hopes should provide worthy competition.


Race Track Caulfield Track Traits

The Caulfield surface is currently rated a Good 4, with the rail in the True position for the entire circuit and rain predicted for Saturday.

With the rail in this position, expect the track to play fair with both on and off speed profiles to have their chance. 

There are some showers forecast for Melbourne over the coming days, which could see some sting out of the track by the time the feature race rolls around.

As always, a close watch of the early races is advised to determine any fast lanes or bias.  


The Map 

Being a big Group 1, expect a genuine tempo here with Dalasan (14) and Warning (20) the two most likely to carve across from their wider draws to take it up.

The high profile run-on types of Vow and Declare (18) and Finche (12) should race to their typical get back and run-on pattern. 

The moving line with cover could be the ideal position, and that is the trip most of the internationals will be looking to find toward the latter stages of the race. 

Expect Mark Zahra to be more positive on Verry Elleegant (11) and settle in a more forward position than her previous runs.

If the fence chops out, mid to wide draws may hold an advantage come start time. 


Market Movers Racing Market Movers

The market is very quiet early, with Verry Elleegant clinging to favouritism at the $4.80 quote. 

Top-weight Anthony Van Dyck is rock solid at $5.00 whilst at the longer prices Chapada has been trimmed slightly ($26 into $21).

Prince Of Arran has been the most notable move, into $18 from $26 openers.

All other runners remain steady. 


Horse Racing Key Runners

Van Dyck #1 Anthony Van Dyck $5.00

Is the star import who is dripping in global class after a strong win at Group 2 level in France at his latest.  

He is an English Derby winner and there is no doubts over his staying ability when the pressure goes on late.

If they go fast, expect him to be the superior horse in this. However if they crawl and it is a sprint home, he looks unsuited.

I'm happy to take the gamble the field will run along and he'll be grinding home over the top late. Goes on top. 


Avilius#2 Avilius $34

Returned to top form last start when finishing close enough (2 of 8) in the Hill Stakes at Randwick behind Kolding. 

He looks to be back in top form and Godolphin would not have entered here unless he was a genuine winning hope.

Expect them to race back in the field, before needing luck to pick their way through. Looks overs. 



Buckhurst#4 Buckhurst $12

Team Williams import who would have been the subject of a rigorous selection process, which the high-profile owners engage in.

You just have to trust their judgement following the immense success that Lloyd and Nick have had in recent years.

His UK form is certainly good enough, with solid hit outs in good grade at both Curragh and Leopardstown. Watch betting late. 


 Mirage Dance#5 Mirage Dancer $19

Won the Group 1 Metropolitan at his latest, which was a weaker field than this. 

However, he arrived late and fought hard in what was an excellent staying display. 

He will get back and will need luck, and is now well exposed from a price angle. Prefer others. 


Mustajeer#6 Mustajeer $81

There's no doubt he has the talent and can be very dynamic on his day.

However, there are questions over how well he's going this preparation.

He would need all the favours in the run and a nice tow into it late, but a win at the huge odds would not completely shock. 


VE #7 Verry Elleegant $4.80

Is simply flying and comes straight out of a big Group 1 win in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

She was very dominant in that clash, after not having the sweetest of runs.

With her tactical speed, I expect them to race more forward here given she is now rock hard fit and the horse to beat. 

It will also suit if there was a track downgrade and I expect her to starts even shorter if the rain does come. Leading hope. 

Verry Elleegant


Dashing Willoughby #8 Dashing Willoughby $21

UK import who has the right form after winning 2 of his past 3 at stakes level and having his final lead up run over 3270m.

He will be ultra fit and is another that given a strong tempo, will be the last man standing if the race develops into a war of attrition.

There is some risk he won't feature if they crawl, and simply can't sprint with them. 


Finche #9 Finche $12

Put in an enormous run in the Group 1 Turnbull (3 of 15) behind Verry Elleegant, when he travelled wide and was still there at the end.

The stable know how to set them up to peak on the big day, and that looks the case here.

He has the gun rider in Damien Lane and can race midfield in the moving line, before peeling at just the right time. Top hope.      



Prince of Arran #10 Prince Of Arran $26 > $18

Went very close (0.2 lengths) when second in the Melbourne Cup last year and clearly relishes the travel and Australian conditions.

He is a serious player here and is one I expect the bigger pro teams to find considering his proven record and good Caulfield form, noting he finished second in the Herbert Power here last year.

He looks big odds ($18) to my eye and must be included. 


Master of Wine #11 Master Of Wine $8

Came on the scene early and carried plenty of hype to win this race some months ago. 

He is building nicely with two good lead up runs at Group 1 level, where he wasn't far away from the winner in both.

I feel he will need to step-up against a few of the classy internationals, however he could be getting the right run from gate 7 to achieve this.

Watch betting.   


Warning #13 Warning $26

Is the Victoria Derby winner from last Spring, hence he has the right staying credentials.

He is another that looks a shade below his best this time in and the tricky draw in gate 20 probably means they are forced to press forward.

I'm not convinced he is going well enough and he is likely to be doing too much work early. Avoid.   



Dalasan #14 Dalasan $19

Has shown enough tactical speed in previous preparations to suggest they may opt to lead here.

He was only 0.3 lengths off the winner when he finished 4 of 15 in the Turnbull at Flemington last start.

If they allow the leading division any mid-race breathers, I expect a horse with this profile to pinch it. Needs a sluggish tempo. 


Toffee Tongue #17 Toffee Tongue $13

Went very close in the Turnbull last start when she just missed (0.1 lengths) behind the smart Verry Elleegant.

Her three-year-old staying credentials are strong after running second in the Australian Oaks at Randwick and then going on to win the SA Oaks.

There is no doubt she is loaded with ability, however she may be one for next year with more seasoning and another race season under her belt. 


Chapada #18 Chapada  $26 > $21

Won key lead-up race, the Herbert Power, to arrive here in outstanding form.

He loves to get back and grind home over the top, hence given a strong tempo here he should be well suited.

Carries no weight (50.5kg) and should be included in broader exotic bet types. 


Of The Others

Vow #3 Vow And Declare appears to be below his best of last season, when he ran a huge race in this to place 2 of 18 then go on to be the Melbourne Cup hero.

He deserves some attention, however is likely to come up well under the odds considering he has a well exposed high-profile with punters.  


Horse Racing Tips Best Racing Tips

1st  Anthony Van Dyck

2nd  Finche 

3rd  Verry Elleegant

4th  Prince Of Arran 

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Author Biography

James Beeson

James Beeson

James is GTO's resident racing analyst, having had extensive experience in the wagering industry as well as the breeding side of racing.

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