In what has been a drama filled lead up to the 2014 version of the Caulfield Cup here are my thoughts on the key runners:

1st Junoob $10+
Past two runs have been terrific, two starts back beating Criterion by 1.8L who subsequently pushed Fawkner to the line in the Cathay Pacific. Followed that up in a tough run Metrop, they ran sizzling time and Junoob caught in front a long way from home still found enough to win. Based on history most a lot of recent winner have had 4 or 5 lead up run and are fit, Junoob fits the bill. Drops 2.5kg, drawing wide might not be a disadvantage coming towards the back end of the meet. Jockey certainly isn't a great thing but Whyte is a very classy jockey. If he finds cover, he'll be in it up to his ears.

2nd Who Shot Thebarman $17+
Two starts back lugged 60kg, was 3 wide for a good portion of the race and put them away winning by more then two lengths. Followed that effort up with another outstanding win, after again being trapped 3 wide for a good portion of the race. The race times weren't blistering in those runs but were terrific wins all the same. 2400m will not be an issue, he could run all day. Again barrier probably not ideal but maybe not a disadvantage. Pushes forward and hopefully slots in or gets cover. Demonstrates a nice turn of foot in the concluding stages of his races which could be a terrific attribute to go close here. Best Roughie.

3rd Lucia Valetina $3.90+
The scratching of Bande is a significant one for Lucia Valentina. Bande would have put a genuine pace in the race giving her every chance to run over the top. That genuine pace looks to be less likely meaning LV will have to get mid field or better. The positive is that I believe she is drawn perfectly with no weight on her back. She had an explosive turn of foot and in her previous run and has shown that all campaign, it looked as though the further she went the further she would have won by, so the step up to 2400m appears a positive. The only question is catching the on pace runners in what could be a slower tempo then originally expected.

4th Lidari $9+
Terrific run in the Turnball, put itself into a decent spot to win the race but out done by the star LV. A couple of key scratchings may mean Lidari can be more prominent in the race in barrier 4. 1.5kg turn around on LV gives her every possible on turning the tables but I think LV might be superior over the longer journey.

Others to include for multiples:

Rising Romance $13+
Nothing between her and LV in the Autumn although I think LV has had much more improvement since then. Will need luck to get a decent run in transit.

Admire Rakti $11+
If it comes into this race at its best could potentially blow them away, but can be hit or miss and does carry top weight. Can't have it on top but will be in multiples. My theory on Japanese horses is that Japan is a very mountainous country meaning higher altitude, as a result coming to Australia they can use oxygen much more efficiently and put in massive runs. (Sounds crazy but makes sense to me).

Big Memory $26+
This horse was all over the shop and done everything wrong when winning last start. The overall race time and last 600 were much better then the class benchmark so if he produces a similar effort but does things right he could look a place chance. Drawen wide and will need luck but 52kg will certainly help.

Sea Moon $67+
This horse hasn't shown much at all since being in Australia. But this horse has beaten Dunaden by 3.2L second up after beating Dandino the run before albeit quite sometime ago. Has the talent and this would be the target race, so if he is ever going to turn the form around this is the time. 2400m looks to be a perfect distance to do it. At $67 I'm willing to include in multiples.

Betting Strategy

6 units win Junoob
4 units win Who Shot Thebarman

1st / 9,11,14,15
2nd / 9,11,14,15
3rd / 1,4,9,11,14,15,16,17
$50 for 39%

First Four
1st / 9,11,14,15
2nd / 9,11,14,15
3rd / 1,4,9,11,14,15,16,17
4th / 1,4,9,11,14,15,16,17
$50 for 5%