How does the shape of the Melbourne Cup look after Caulfield?

By:
Scott Mcglynn
22/10/2023
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How does the shape of the Melbourne Cup look after Caulfield?

What chance has the 2022 Caulfield Cup winner got of doubling up in the Melbourne Cup in just over two weeks.

News Insights

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  • The 2022 Melbourne Cup winner is bubbling up nicely
  • Massive roughie can be marked up

Ethereal was the last horse to do the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup double in 2001, the 11th horse to win both in the same year. The online betting markets will be very interesting to watch in the next week to see how they react.

The 2023 Caulfield Cup was a great watch. It was a fascinating tactical contest with some quick early fractions, and the race starting to fall apart from the 600m point, forcing the principals to challenge very wide as they came around the home bend. The step up from 2400m to 3200m for the Melbourne Cup is a big one to take with stamina at a premium.

Without A Fight

A year ago, the winner was still with Simon and Ed Crisford ahead of his Melbourne Cup bid. There must have been some choice words when Crisford’s West Wind Blows was run down in the final 100m by their ex-inmate.

Anthony Freedman is now responsible for the winner who found soft ground against him when he was only 13th in the Melbourne Cup in 2022. He has been shortened up plenty for the race by the horse racing bookmakers, which is no surprise. The underfoot conditions are going to have a significant bearing on his chance of doing the double - good ground looks key.

Gold Trip

Runner-up in the Caulfield Cup last year before his Flemington heroics, he was third in the 2023 edition at Caulfield, which should set him up perfectly for another tilt at history. This was not as striking a run as when things went perfectly for him in the Turnbull, but connections will be pleased with the run.

He was a little further back than the pair who beat him in the early stages, and over 2400m on good ground, he could never run them down. He doesn’t need conditions to be soft like they were when he won at Flemington last November, but the more of a test of stamina the Melbourne Cup becomes, the better he will like it in his bid to only be the 6th horse to win multiple cups. 

Soulcombe

Turning into a bit of a tricky customer, he continues to catch the eye race after race without being able to put a complete effort together. He walked out the barriers, spotting the backmarker five lengths after just a few strides. As such, he did well to get back into the contest on the heels of Without A Fight 400m out.

His early exertions put paid to any kind of finishing effort from him, but he plugged on at one pace to finish 7th. He is just the type to click at any moment, so he still needs serious consideration at Flemington, as the talent is unquestionably there. 

United Nations

Those looking for one who caught the eye at a $101 price for the Melbourne Cup could do worse than the lightweight who snuck in as an emergency reserve. Now, that does mean that he could be on the outside looking in at Flemington, but he is worth noting for a stronger stamina test wherever he runs next time.

He has been keeping on late this prep over 2400m/2500m with connections deciding to make much more use of him at Caulfield. He needed to use up a considerable amount of petrol in the early stages to get a handy position from barrier 17, and after chasing strong early fractions, he faded late. There is no doubt he is capable of better.

The 2023 Caulfield Cup certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of excitement. Just how much bearing it has on Flemington in November remains to be seen, but connections of the principal runners will all be very happy at this stage.