Four runners from overseas take on a 14-strong Caulfield Cup home team

By:
Scott Mcglynn
19/10/2023
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Four runners from overseas take on a 14-strong Caulfield Cup home team

The final field of 18 for the 2023 Caulfield Cup has been announced. The race is on Saturday, October 21

News Insights

  • One runner from Japan
  • Two coming over from Ireland
  • One raider from England
  • 14 form the home defense

The Caulfield Cup has seen plenty of raiding winners in recent years. Two from Japan, two from England and one from France have helped this become a genuinely international race in the last 15 years. 

Caulfield Cup day is on the horizon, and the 2023 field looks like a typically deep and competitive renewal of the famous Group 1 contest. The 2400m race has been won by the ‘home team’ the last three years, but plenty of raiders have saluted in recent times.

Three of the 18 runners this year come from Europe, and one from Japan. We look closer at the four to see if they have the proper credentials to take home the 2023 Caulfield Cup with them when they get back on the plane.

Breakup

Japan has won the Caulfield Cup twice in the last decade, in 2014 and 2019. Damian Lane was the man on board Mer De Glace in the latter, so it was no surprise to see trainer Tatsuya Yoshioka snap up the star hoop for his runner.

He won races last October and November but nothing since, so this could be the right time of year for him. The distance is perfect, and he stays further. The harder they go in front, the better he will like it. 

Okita Soushi

In June, he won the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot over this 2400m trip. His form in both 2021 and 2022 faded away the further through the year the calendar turned, and that could be the case again.

He was disappointing when last in action, third of four in the Irish St Leger. Joseph O’Brien has had winners here in the past, so he knows exactly how to prep them to perfection, but this raider has a little to prove, given the time of year. Kerrin McEvoy is the man in the saddle, which has to be considered an excellent booking for the Irish runner.

Valiant King

The second Joseph O’Brien runner is the least exposed runner in the field after seven career starts. He was second at Royal Ascot in the King George V Stakes before filling the same position behind Melbourne Cup hopeful Vauban in a Group 3 at Naas.

So far, he has shown that he can handle all underfoot conditions, but the very best of his form has come when the ground has been on the softer side. Still a three-year-old in the northern hemisphere, he has no weight on his back with an impost of just 50kg. Jamie Kah takes the ride, and that all combines to make him of some interest.

West Wind Blows

He has the advantage over his fellow raiders, as he has already had a run on Australian soil this preparation. Second to Gold Trip in the Turnbull, he had a rather wide trip on that occasion, which will not have been a help to his chance. 

Runner-up in the Group 2 Hardwicke at Royal Ascot over 2400m, returning to this distance will be a big plus for him. He is entitled to strip a little fitter for that Turnbull run, and if he can get a better track position early on, then he has the potential to be a danger to all. Jamie Spencer has plenty of experience on the runner and will be the man on top again on Saturday.

A case will be made for all four of the raiding runners. It is shaping up to be a strong renewal of the Caulfield Cup, which can only be a positive for racing. Breakout and West Wind Blows have the strongest form of the four.