Can Hartnell bring his outstanding Sydney form to Melbourne? The John O’Shea trained stayer is $4.50 favourite for the Caulfield Cup and that price will tumble if he can win the Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Plenty of these horses have Caulfield and Melbourne Cup aspirations and the Turnbull has proven to be a great springboard and form line for the Cups.
Three-time Group 1 winner, won this race last year.
Why he can: Smart stayer and should be close to peak fitness following two runs from a spell and needed latest when well back behind Hartnell in the Hill Stakes.
Why he can’t: Has been disappointing in two starts since resuming and may not be going as well as he was last year.
Won last year’s Victoria Derby and the Rosehill Guineas in March.
Why he can: He had an outstanding three-year-old season and with three runs into his four year-old career he should be ready to fire. Wasn’t suited at Caulfield in the Underwood Stakes last start when he raced in the wrong part of the track. Races well at Flemington.
Why he can’t: After an encouraging first-up run in the Memsie Stakes, he has failed to flatter in his last two runs. May not have come up and D-Day here.
Dual Group 1 winning nine-year-old, won this race three-years ago.
Why he can: Was resuming from a spell and near the rear at the 600m in the Makybe Diva Stakes. He worked home strongly, without threatening and will benefit from the run. Extra Distance suits.
Why he can’t: Passed his best.
Group 1 winning Godolphin six-year-old. He is the $4.50 Caulfield Cup favourite.
Why he can: Has been in sensational form this campaign. He followed up a first-up second to Winx with two stunning wins in the Chelmsford (1600m) and Hill Stakes (2000m). He gapped the field in those wins and looks set for a big spring.
Why he can’t: Tough to make a case against him. He did fail in three runs last year at the Melbourne way of going.
THE UNITED STATES
Damien Oliver takes over on this seven-year-old entire.
Why he can: Resumed with a luckless sixth behind Awesome Rock in the Feehan Stakes (1600m). He was well out of his ground and faced a wall of horses on the home turn. Once clear he ran on strongly and was hitting the line as well as anything.
Why he can’t: It has been almost a month between runs and he is likely to be at his finest on Caulfield Cup day.
German import and finished third in last year’s Caulfield Cup and is $17 to win the race this year.
Why he can: Found the 1600m of the Makybe Diva too short, but there was a lot to like about his fifth to Palentino. He had a tough run throughout and could not let down as quick as others, but was strong on the line and will appreciate the extra distance here.
Why he can’t: Had a slight setback and was scratched from the Underwood Stakes. He may not have missed a lot of work, but any fitness doubt at this level can prove costly.
Another mare from the Ciaron Maher stable. Her Caulfield Cup price of $21 will shorten if she runs well here.
Why she can: She ran a super race last start when fourth to her stablemate, Jameka, in the Naturalism (2000m). She was trapped three wide throughout and made her run from the 600m. She tired late, but was game and will take a lot of improvement.
Why she can’t: Injury has hampered her career and the 2014 VRC Oaks was her last win.
Godolphin four-year-old and dual Group 2 winner and was third in ATC Derby in April.
Why he can: Didn’t fire in the Memsie, but improved for second in weaker grade last start when found the 1700m too short. Out to a more suitable distance here.
Why he can’t: Yet to prove himself at this level against older horses and faces a massive class rise.
This Ciaron Maher-trained mare is $6.00 second favourite for the Caulfield Cup.
Why she can: Racing in peak form. Followed luckless Feehan Stakes run with impressive win in the Naturalism Stakes (2000m). Racing in great heart and mares often hold their form.
Why she can’t: She had the gun run from one alley last start and meeting tougher opposition.
Kiwi mare that won the ATC Oaks in April.
Why she can: Showed class during the autumn and 2000m around Flemington will be more to her liking than last start over a mile, when ninth to Palentino.
Why she can’t: Two runs this time in have been below par. She hasn’t shown any fight at the end of her races.
DE LITTLE ENGINE
Trained on the track by Danny O’Brien
Why he can: Not doing enough to suggest he can win
Why he can’t: Completely outclassed.
Won two races at this track and distance in January.
Why he can: Made up many lengths when resuming for fifth to Great Esteem in the Heatherlie Stakes. Runs his best races here.
Why he can’t: Disappointing last start when 11th to Jameka. Not going well enough at this stage of his preparation.
Lightly raced five-year-old entire prepared by Darren Weir
Why he can: In the money in eight of his 11 starts. Won at Listed level last start over 1800m at Morphettville and has won at 2000m.
Why he can’t: This is toughest test to date and while he is consistent in weaker grade it is a huge ask to step up against these seasoned stayers.
2. Our Ivanhowe