2021 Caulfield Cup Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Thu 14th October 2021


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One of the biggest races world-wide is finally here. The 2021 Caulfield Cup is upon us and there are 18 extremely talented horses looking to make a name for themselves by taking out the crown. The track is currently rated a soft (6), as of early Thursday afternoon, and the BOM, albeit the most unreliable source at the moment, has predicted anywhere from 20-50mm between now and 5:15pm, when the race will be run. 

However, the track is expected to be at the high end of soft, rather than heavy, meaning every horse should still have their chance. Always be wary of how the track is playing on the day and if any rain falls, how that impacts where the winners are coming from, not only their position in the running but how wide they are on the home straight as well. 

Sportsbet have Incentivise as a drifting favourite, opening at $2 but sitting at $2.50 at the time of writing thanks to the barrier draw. While a 50c drift may not seem like much to punters and won’t have much of an impact on your payout if you launch into him, drifting from $2 to $2.50 is the equivalent of decreasing from a 50% chance of winning to just a 40% chance of winning. Comparatively, a horse with $10 odds is only given a 10% chance of winning, meaning The Chosen One’s price halving from $26 to $13 would barely even be a 5% increase in his chance of winning.

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While the odds aren’t everything and the chance of winning isn’t solely determined by the odds, it is worth noting what the price changes mean, especially when a horse has such a low quote about them. In saying that, you don’t need to worry when we have broken down every aspect of the race, studied the form and found the winner of the Caulfield Cup for you. Read on below to find out runner by runner preview and best tips for the 2021 Caulfield Cup!

1. Homesman (13) – $46
Jockey – Jordan Childs
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

Homesman gives himself every chance by settling on speed, the rise up in distance definitely helps and he has good form on soft tracks, 4:2-1-0, showing that he may be over the odds. However, he is on the quick backup and carries the top weight in this race and that may be his undoing. He may not win the race but is a good exotics play.

2. Incentivise (20) – $2.50
Jockey – Brett Prebble
Trainer – Peter Moody

While he has drawn the carpark and is drifting in the market, he is clearly the best horse in the race and has the best form, winning the Makybe Diva and Turnbull Stakes. His best ratings performance was over 2400m when he won the G3 Tatt’s Cup in June by 12L, proving we may not have even seen the best of him yet. Brett Prebble is also the most in-form jockey in the state, potentially the country, and will give him a great steer. 

3. Explosive Jack (1) – $15
Jockey – John Allen
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

There are a couple of things working in Explosive Jack’s favour here. He is 3:2-0-1 at the distance, which he seems to be looking for after running the fastest last 200m in the Turnbull Stakes, while he is 6:3-1-0 on soft tracks and is 1/1 third up. The Maher/Eustace stable is flying with their runners in 2000m+ races and will have him primed for this race, but is this or the Melbourne Cup his grand final?

4. The Chosen One (9) – $13
Jockey – Damian Lane
Trainer – Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman

The Chosen One finished third in this race last year, which was arguably a stronger edition of the Caulfield Cup. He also has been on fire this prep without winning, running third, fourth and second, with his last 200m last week being the fastest of the entire day, outside the sprints races. The quick back up is perfect for him and Damian Lane sticking on is also a big tick, considering he has the most winners of all Victorian jockeys this season and has finished in the top five in 65% of his rides. 

5. Ocean Billy (7) – $91
Jockey – Damien Thornton
Trainer – Chris Waller

The Auckland Cup winner has made his way across the ditch and under the care of Chris Waller, will be looking to make a splash here. He does have soft track form but there are a fair few better in this race. 

6. Selino (17) – $101
Jockey – Fred Kersley
Trainer – Chris Waller

Selino won the Sydney Cup at the end of last prep and has now run fourth in the Bart Cummings last start, proving he can run a big race. However, he seems to be looking for further and has dropped back in distance in this run and has no wet track form.

7. Persan (11) – $26
Jockey – Linda Meech
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

He is continuing to make his way up in distance, Linda Meech is a great booking and he is from the Maher/Eustace camp but Persan may still be asking for further and he hasn’t been running as well this prep compared to what we have seen of him in the past. Looks more of a Melbourne Cup play than a Caulfield Cup play here. 

8. Quick Thinker (SCR – Friday Morning)

9. Chapada (18) – $71
Jockey – Daniel Stackhouse
Trainer – Michael Moroney

Chapada had an eye-catching run in the Turnbull, running past Verry Elleegant to finish third behind Incentivise and Young Werther, but that may have been his peak. The wide draw doesn’t help him here and his better form may actually be back at 2000m. 

10. Delphi (19) – $7.50
Jockey – Damien Oliver
Trainer – Anthony & Sam Freedman

On the quick back-up after an impressive 1L win in the Herbert Power Stakes last week, Delphi is the second favourite in the race and impressed Damien Oliver enough that Olly will cut down to 53kg to ride him half a kilo over his set 52.5kg. That is the lightest that Olly has ridden in over 10 years, highlighting how much he thinks of this horse and his chances in the race. He has good Europe staying form, has won on a soft track previously and will give himself every chance by racing up on speed, where he could just burst away going around the bend. Delphi is definitely a major player.  

11. Master Of Wine (10) – $34
Jockey – Dean Holland
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Master Of Wine looked to be in the bin through his first three runs this prep but had a very impressive third in the Bart Cummings over 2520m last start. However, he started third favourite in this race last year, where he had a better lead up and that race was much harder, and he still only finished 10th. If the rain genuinely comes and gets to a heavy range, it opens it up for him but that would be his only saviour. 

12. Montefilia (12) – $17
Jockey – Jye McNeil
Trainer – David Payne

This four-year-old mare has had an exceptional preparation, finishing no worse than third in all three of her runs, including a last-start win in the 2400m Metropolitan, which rated very well . She is the equal-third best rated horse in the race but drops 3.5kg from her last start to just 52kg and gets Jye McNeil on board, who won a Group One here last weekend in the Toorak Handicap. Montefilia is exceptional on wet tracks, has won fourth up and given how fast they will go up the front her, she may be in the perfect spot to swoop late and claim this. 

13. Port Guillaume (6) – $91
Jockey – Harry Coffey
Trainer – Ben & JD Hayes

His second up run in the Naturalism was impressive but he regressed last start in the Bart Cummings, finishing last of 16. Based on that inconsistency, he is hard to trust, but the soft track will play into his favour. He could have a big run but happy to look elsewhere. 

14. She’s Ideel (5) – $35
Jockey – Craig Newitt
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

She’s Ideel has had an interesting preparation so far but gets the blinkers on for this run, which may be her grand final. She was beaten comfortably last start in the Metropolitan but actually beat Montefilia over 2000m in the run prior. It was a soft track there, which she will get here, and that is clearly a big positive for her, but it seems to be for a lot of horses in the race so it comes down to whether she is good enough. She drops 3kg from her last start and could come from the back given the fast pace set, but is she good enough?

15. Young Werther (8) – $10
Jockey – Daniel Moor
Trainer – Danny O’Brien

Young Werther had an eye-catching finish in the Turnbull Stakes, finishing half a length behind Incentivise. Given he has run fifth over 1700m and second over 2000m, despite running better over further, he seems primed to run well here in the Caulfield Cup. He drops 1.5kg for this race, is flying this prep and has drawn perfectly in barrier 8, meaning he will have plenty of protection throughout the race and could be primed to burst home late. If it gets to a genuinely soft track then that may not be his go, but he is an exotics chance at a minimum.

16. Nonconformist (16) – $12
Jockey – Craig Williams
Trainer – Grahame Begg

Nonconformist is in career best form and that was shown in his second placing in last week’s Caulfield Stakes, beating home Zaaki and just missed Probabeel on the line. He now drops 8.5kg from that start last week to 51.5kg, and looks primed to explode for his grand final here ratings wise. He beat home Delphi and Grand Promenade two runs ago and is one of the best form horses in the race, especially at the weights. 

17. Duais (3) – $17
Jockey – Michael Dee
Trainer – Edward Cummings

Despite already being in the Caulfield Cup field before the run, Duais came out to win Wednesday’s Coongy Cup and is now primed on the quick back-up. She drops 6kg from that run, which was run slowly throughout the early stages, which is the perfect set up for the quick back-up here. She gets a good gate and has won the Queensland Oaks over 2200m as $2.80 favourite, meaning she knows how to win. This could be a peak run from her and she is a definite exotics play, if not more. 

18. Charms Star (4) – $81
Jockey – Dean Yendall
Trainer – Chris Waller

Finished seventh in the Metropolitan despite running at the limit weight of 50kg there, meaning there may be no improvement to come. Chris Waller knows a thing or two about grand finals but she was lucky to get in here and there are plenty better. 

19e. Great House (2) – $91
Jockey –
Trainer – Chris Waller

With the scratching of Quick Thinker on Friday morning, Great House is in! He had a good win in the Newcastle Cup then a vallant fifth in the Metropolitan, plus he likes a wet track and is low in the weights, but he didn’t make the original field for a reason. 

20e. Constantinople (15) – $251
Jockey –
Trainer – Aaron Purcell

Has no form leading up to this and is likely to not even get a run. 

Final Word

Well, can anything beat Incentivise? Is he too short in the market given the field of 18 horses has some exceptional talent and some horses indicating they are ready to peak here. Given the odds on offer, we are looking to get him beat in the Caulfield Cup. He clearly has exceptional form, winning eight straight races, including two straight Group Ones, and would be the first horse to win three straight Group Ones since Winx. However, he may be flat with only two weeks between runs after a very fast-paced race in the Turnbull and may be caught three wide based on the draw. 

Three of the last six favourites, since 2015, have won the Caulfield Cup but when expanding the data range, nine winners have had odds of $10+ since 2008. When factoring in weight, four winners since 2010 have carried 52.5kg or less and when factoring in age, four-year-olds have won six of the last 11 runnings. If we are looking for a horse that is $10+, carrying 52.5kg or less and is a four-year-old, we are left with Montefilia, Young Werther, Duais and Charms Star. We are happy to put a line through the latter, with the first three presenting as live chances in this race. 

Young Werther had his crack at Incentivise in the Turnbull and looked to have him beat but the favourite fought back to win, could that be a factor? Duais looks fine with the quick back-up but the closing splits of the Coongy Cup on Wednesday were fast and that may impact her here. That leaves us with Montefilia, who has finished top three in all of her runs this prep and is coming off a very impressive last-start win in the G1 Metropolitan. She has won fourth up previously, the booking of Jye McNeil is a positive and at odds of $17/$4.60, Montefilia looks an incredible play in the 2021 Caulfield Cup. Given Sportsbet are offering bonus back up to fifth and Montefilia has finished in the top three in all of her runs this prep, you should feel comfortably about winning at big odds or getting a bonus back at a minimum.

Best Caulfield Cup Tip: Montefilia – Each-Way ($17/$4.60)

Don’t stop here, there is plenty of feature racing happening around the country this weekend! If you want to check out our Runner-By-Runner analysis of The Everest, click here! If you want a preview of the best country-trained horses going head to head in The Kosciuszko, click here

If you need more news, information and predictions, head over to our Caulfield Cup page for all your punting needs!

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of Sportsbet.

Tim is a massive follower of Horse Racing, not only in Australia but around the world. Whether it be the champions of the Spring and Autumn Carnivals or following the form lines throughout winter, Tim always has an eye on everything racing. He attempts to get to every Saturday meet he can, with Turnbull Stakes Day at the home of racing, Flemington, being a stand-out! If you want a tipster that follows all form lines, ratings, conditions and weights, not just favourites, Tim is your guy.