Key runners...

Fawkner (4) 59kg $4.50
Last years Caulfield Cup winner has come back in terrific order this spring with a first up run in behind the very much in form and talented galloper Dissident followed by a good win in the Caulfield Stakes.

The Caulfield Stakes is the obvious form race going into the Cox Plate, as it was essentially a mini Cox Plate. Fawkner drew perfectly in barrier 4 and made full use of it, sitting just off the leader Side Glance who set up a moderate pace in the race. Once in the straight it was a matter of finding the gap and going through the gears. The closing 600m was run in 34.54s in a race time of 2.01.68.

It could be a case of rewind the tape and play it again. Drawn the 4 marble once again and can sit in behind the speed which we all know will be The Cleaner and it will be a formality that this years edition of the Cox Plate is run at a genuine tempo. This plays perfectly into the hands of Fawkner who can once again sit in behind the speed, gather momentum rounding the corner hit the lead mid way down he straight and hold off any late challengers. His ability to gradually quicken and then maintain speed makes him very hard to get past and I think the short straight makes it harder for his rivals.

Criterion (6) 57.5kg $8
Looking back to Criterion's Autumn campaign, it was simply outstanding especially once he was able to get out to 2000m+. Even at 1600m ran second to the 2013 Cox Plate winner Shamus Award. Then followed that up by demolishing the Rosehill Guineas field by 3.5L over 2000m and back it up again by winning the ATC Derby albeit both on rain affected ground.

After getting out to the 2000m this campaign he ran 2nd two starts back to the in form Junoob who wasn't disgraced in the Caulfield Cup and last start was outstanding behind Fawnker pushing him to the line. His closing sectionals were terrific after being positioned worse than midfield during the race on what was a moderate tempo. He seems to be getting better with each run and possibly ready to peak. Dropping 0.5kg on last start helps as well as drawing barrier 6 where I see him getting the back of Fawkner in the run. Has every chance.

Side Glance (7) 59kg $34
He ran along at a moderate clip in the Caulfield Stakes and was gallant to the line and essentally towed the eventual winner Fawnker into the race and also beat home by the fast finishing Criterion to finish 3rd.

Going back to his prep last year, he was first up in the Cox plate where he finished 6th (4L off the Shamus Award) before backing that up with a win in the Mackinnon (2000m) beating home Dear Demi. With a solid second up record I think he can improve off that last run. The final point is that he won't lead but instead I see him sitting just off the speed which I see being a massive benefit.

Side Glance at $34 is massive overs in my opinion and certainly one I'll be including in multiples and maybe a few dollars to win as well.

Sacred Falls (9) 59kg $7.20
Best of the closers in the Caulfield Stakes with Criterion. However, you may argue that he was entitled to do so getting a soft run at the back of the field but it was only a moderate tempo making both his and Criterions runs that more impressive. Prior to that won impressively in the George Main even though he was sitting midfield on the rails and just needed luck to get a gap. Has form behind It's A Dundeel over 2000m in the Autumn which is a significant reference. However, I am slightly concerned about where he is positioned in barrier 9, does he push forward and hope for a spot or does he go back again and possibly spot the leaders 8-10 lengths given the genuine speed? Certainly one of the class runners in the race, you have to respect a dual Doncaster winner with a master jockey in Zac Purton on board.

Adelaide (13) 56kg $7.50
The unknown international! Drawn horribly in 13 which is a major concern, however has form over 2000m+ and hasn't been unplaced in 7 starts. Although I feel as though a lot of people have blindly backed the horse to win on the back of Admire Rakti's tremendous effort in the Caulfield Cup. From replays I have seen, it is a quality galloper, but don't know enough about it, so count discount either.

Sweynesse (12) 49.5kg $22
You have to consider a horse coming into a race with 49.5kg on it's back. Won nicely over 1800m in the Gloaming before being given no chance in Champion Stakes, got going way to early and was left a sitting duck for Hampton Court to run over the top. Dropping 7kg on that run and can see out the 2000m, is the pick of the 3 year olds and could run into top 4.


Conclusion...

1st FAWKNER
2nd CRITERION
3rd SACRED FALLS
4th SIDE GLANCE
5th ADELAIDE
6th SWEYNESSE

Betting Strategy (based on $25 Units)...

Win bet FAWNKER 6.5 Units $497.50 profit
Win bet CRITERION 3 Units $350 profit
Win Bet SIDE GLANCE 0.5 Units $175 profit

Exacta/Quinella ($50 = 415%)
Box: FAWNER, CRITERION, SACRED FALLS, SIDE GLANCE

Trifecta $50 = 62%
1st: FAWKNER, CRITERION, SACRED FALLS, SIDE GLANCE
2nd FAWKNER, CRITERION, SACRED FALLS, SIDE GLANCE, ADELAIDE, SWEYNESSE
3rd FAWKNER, CRITERION, SACRED FALLS, SIDE GLANCE, ADELAIDE, SWEYNESSE