The Kiwi trained mare has been unstoppable since taking out the G2 Sir Tristam Stakes at Te Rapa back in February, extending her unbeaten streak to 6. Of those six wins, three have been at the elite level, the latest when taking out the G1 Underwood Stakes. Settling in the second-half of the small 8 horse field, when Hugh Bowman asked her to go, she let down into the bridle in good style and was comfortable to the line in taking a one length victory. Damian Lane had ridden the mare when first-up in the Feehan at Moonee Valley and he goes back aboard again with Bowman riding in Sydney. Bonneval is out to the mile and a quarter for the first time as she heads towards next week’s Caulfield Cup which has been the long-term target, a path trainer Murray Baker took with his 2015 Cup winner Mongolian Khan.
Just when punters thought that Hartnell had stepped out of the shadows of a dominant mare in the shape of Winx, he found himself still finishing runner up to a female, this time in the shape of Bonneval. Settling just behind her in the Underwood he trailed the Kiwi mare into the race but then couldn’t get past her, finishing one length in arrears. That followed his 2nd placing to Humidor in the Makybe Diva Stakes when he was ridden much closer to the speed but couldn’t hold out the finishing burst when Humidor sprouted wings in the closing stages. Trainer James Cummings has stated that he is happy with Hartnell heading into the Caulfield Stakes, as he gets out to 2000m for the first time this campaign. You can be guaranteed the ever consistent 7YO will be doing his best, with his past 4 G1 appearances resulting in 2nd place finishes.
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman annexed the ATC Derby and Oaks in the Autumn with Jon Snow and Bonneval and the G1 winners square off for the first time. Jon Snow has faced the starter 3 times this prep staring the campaign in the G1 Memsie Stakes when he was ridden on the speed over the 1400m but found Vega Magic too slick. Second-up to the mile of the Makybe Diva, factors were against him and it can be classed a forgive run. Taken to Moonee Valley last start for the G3 JRA Cup over the Cox Plate trip of 2040m, he was sent forward early from his wide gate and once near the speed was able to keep them all chasing to score victory. His only look at Caulfield was in the Memsie, but he is 2 from 3 at the distance and Stephen Baster who has ridden him at all 3 runs this prep stays on.
One of four Internationals in the race, Irish trainer Willie Mullins prepares the gelding that has 3 wins from his past 4 starts. He arrives a last start winner over 1800m in the Listowel Stakes at Listowel where he carried 61kg in securing a one length victory. That followed a win at Tipperary where he only had 3 other opponents and was able to score a comfortable victory of just under three lengths. Mullins has transferred the preparation of the gelding that started his career on the flat in France that returned 2 wins from 7 starts. Arriving in Ireland, Mullins then raced the gelding over the hurdles where he started 5 times with a best result of 2nd at his final attempt. Back to the flat he has come on well recording 3 wins in his 5 starts since transitioning. Glen Boss flies back from Singapore to take the mount with his next target likely to be the Cox Plate.
Held at Group 1 level since 1979, the Caulfield Stakes is conducted under weight-for-age conditions at Caulfield. Run over 2000m it is the first race on the Australian G1 calendar for the season under those conditions, with a total of 7 races held throughout the season under those same conditions, 3 of which are held during the Spring Racing Carnival.
The race has been run over two distances since the race was first held in 1886 when taken out by Isonomy. 1800m and 2000m have been the two distances used with the current 2000m having been the trip of this race since 1968.
In 2017 the race will offer total prizemoney of $1,000,000. Winx was the winner in 2016 for trainer Chris Waller when ridden by Hugh Bowman and other winners include Criterion, So You Think, Northerly, Rough Habit, Gunsynd and the dual winners Lonhro and Kingston Town.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 14th October 2017|
|Race Type:||Weight for Age|
|2017 Caulfield Stakes Market|