By Andrew Hannan It looks a fantastic edition of the cup with nine horses present (including scratchings) already producing a performance rating >1L above the historical benchmark figure required to win this race. This is a rare occurrence as the runner that usually wins this race produces a PB rating on the day. Speed Map Note: this map does include the emergencies in it, so the map will look different come race day. Although historically this race is run above par speed, considering the large field there isn’t as much speed as previous editions with the longshot Magicool the likely leader if/when the emergency Complacent comes out. With the 317m run to the first turn there are a few decisions to make for some of the jockeys, in particular Glen Boss on Royal Descent who I expect will take its chances and attempt to quickly cross and park in the first four upon settling. Fitness and conditioning will also play a key role into some of the runners’ tactics, with the majority of these runners targeting the Melbourne Cup. This is important in particular for the internationals, with some of them likely to be ridden more negatively than their historical patterns abroad. Our Market: This market is of our systems ‘raw’ prices which is set to 100% with every runner rated >$21 eliminated. CP clients get a market <100% on a wagering sheet which also blends in the public price of each runner to find a wagering edge. The emergencies have been excluded. Mongolian Khan $7.26 Who Shot Thebarman $7.80 Rising Romance $8.86 Set Square $10.52 Royal Descent $10.98 Fame Game $11.46 Our Ivanhowe $11.79 Hauraki $13.21 Snow Sky $14.81 Hokko Brave $15.02 Volkstok’n’Barrell $18.87 Significant overlays: OUR IVANHOWE – Had every chance but was bold with 60kg in Bart Cummings. Got the run finally once in the straight and did go well to the post. Already having run at 2520m into this not an ideal pattern historically but he has done a similar thing when running 2400m 2nd up in the Arc and then winning a G1 3rd up at this trip in Munich. Collateral figures in 2400m G1 wins in Germany superb. Should get cover around midfield and compete well. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN – Will be our large result on the race. Ticking over solidly for this. Good last 100m in Turnbull Stakes when settling third last. Was a blanket finish like most WFA G1’s in Melb so far this spring. 4th up last prep was a good 2nd in Sydney Cup when looking home at the 200m. Was an elite rating. 4th up last spring won Bart Cummings which was a weak race but did what he had to do. We know he can stay and is capable of producing a fast time rating which will be required here to win. ROYAL DESCENT – Beaten again by stablemate in G1 when nailed late by Preferment in Turnbull. That now makes is eight G1 placings since 10L G1 Oaks win as a filly. Map is the major query and the main reason you are getting a premium on her price, expect they will take chances and go forward and if she can cross Set Square as soon as possible she will get there. We know she will run honestly. RISING ROMANCE – Caught wide midfield and still stuck on evenly in Turnbull. Performances prior good including 2nd in Makybe Diva Stakes. 4th up 2400m historically a good pattern into this race. Will exert the least energy to find their desired on pace spot after drawing a much better gate to last start. Was second in this race last year and is capable of running well in it again. Backing these runners collective percentage is like backing a $2.40 on our ‘raw’ market. When inputting the public prices to create our ‘final’ betting market in our CP staking sheet it will be quite longer. Volkstok’n’barrell and Set Square are also currently small overlays at some betting avenues. ————- By Todd Burmester For me to suggest that the Caulfield Cup is as wide open as the Sydney Heads wouldn’t make me Robinson Crusoe, but such is definitely the case with this years renewal. I take that as an opportunity to identify the elusive “value” in the race. I’ll put it up front that my top pick in the race is Rising Romance. I mentioned this in the preview of The Turnbull Stakes, where I also tipped her and she was disappointing to the naked eye, but upon reflection, I am happy to put my hand up and suggest that was a misguided tip. The Caulfield Cup and The Turnbull Stakes are two very different races. To state the obvious, one is over 2400m at handicap conditions, the other is over 2000m at Weight For Age. To be fair to the horse, she was only beaten 3.5 lengths in the Turnbull. I’ve long been a subscriber to the fact that if a horse runs in the same class of race within 4 lengths of the winner at their previous start, that is enough to suggest you have a live winning chance the next time out. Her form prior to that over shorter distances was faultless, and if we wind the clock back 12 months, she was beaten less than half a length in last years Caulfield Cup (also fourth up from a spell as she will be on Saturday). At around $11 in the market, I’m happy to cop that – If she had run a little closer in The Turnbull, she would be running favourite in this race for sure. Looking at the other chances, the one heading the market is Mongolian Khan. The big tick for this horse is his staying ability. When he and Volkstok’n’Barrell came across from New Zealand as Three-Year-Olds, it seemed that Volkstok’n’Barrell may have the wood on Mongolian Khan following the Rosehill Guineas, but ultimately it was his staying ability that shone in the Australian Derby over the mile and a half. His run in The Caulfield Stakes definitely has to be one of the better lead up runs from anything in the field on Saturday, and he’s the main danger to Rising Romance. Hauraki finds itself second in the market, and whilst it went very well last start in The Craven Plate, it’s true staying ability is where I have the question mark. I can’t see this race turning into a sit and sprint affair which is where I think his ability may be best suited. The other knock I have on Hauraki is the fact it is so well found in the market. Compare his price to the $12 on offer for Complacent who beat Hauraki last start, and there’s another value runner to look at. Snow Sky, Fame Game and Hokko Brave have to be the x-factors and I always find it difficult to line up the overseas form. A win from any wouldn’t surprise me, but out of the trio I have a leaning towards Fame Game based on it’s strong Japanese staying form. Many may know more than me, but on paper, Fame Game reads stronger than Hokko Brave, and he rounds out the top three value runners in the race. Two four-year-old mares find themselves fairly well in contention, those being Set Square and Gust Of Wind. Of the two, I lean to Set Square, who ran above my expectation in The Turnbull and was a strong winner of The VRC Oaks last season. I opened by suggesting the race was very open, but I do like it as a betting race. Rising Romance is at the top of the tips sheet for me, with something on Complacent and Fame Game as other value runners. Depending on the profit margin you are looking to make, throw in Set Square, and have Mongolian Khan as your break even saver. Once again, the Spring rolls on! ————- Luke Murrell previewed the Caulfield Cup on this week’s Betting 360 podcast.