Craig Williams (yellow) drives Dunaden to victory over Alcopop (green). Photo: Pat Scala PDS
It's his Caulfield Cup: Craig Williams won on Southern Speed in 2011 and Dunaden in 2012.
CAULFIELD CUP RESULT
1. 2 Dunaden 12.50 4.20
2. 15 Alcopop 3.80
3. 12 Lights of Heaven 3.20
4. 1 Americain
Return throughout the day for the latest news on the big race, and results of events throughout the meeting.
Jockey Craig Williams celebrates after riding Dunaden to win the BMW Caulfield Cup. Photo: Mal Fairclough
8-BMW CAULFIELD CUP 2400m:
14.00 DUNADEN (Pearl Bloodstock Pty, Mgr. R M Levitt’s b h 7y Nicobar (GB) - La Marlia (FR). Trainer: Mikel Delzangles) 58 (Craig Williams) 1,
16.00 ALCOPOP 52.5 (D Tourneur) 2,
11.00 LIGHTS OF HEAVEN 53 (L Nolen) 3.
Then followed: 21.00 Americain 58 (G Mosse) 8.50 My Quest For Peace 53.5 (C W Brown) 26.00 Zabeelionaire 52 (C Newitt) 26.00 Folding Gear 52 (B Melham) 15.00 Sneak A Peek 53 (G Boss) 51.00 Winchester 55.5 (J Mott) 61.00 Sanagas 54 (Nicholas Hall) 21.00 Secret Admirer 53 (B Avdulla) 21.00 Niwot 53.5 (D Dunn) 21.00 Jakkalberry 55.5 (Colm O’Donoghue) 61.00 Moudre 52.5 (K Mc Evoy) 4.40 fav Glencadam Gold 53.5 (J A Cassidy) 151.00 Sabrage 51 (Ms C Lindop) 7.00 December Draw 55 (M Rodd) 18.00 Voila Ici 55 (V Duric) last. Scr: Southern Speed, Gatewood, Ibicenco, Fictional Account.
1/2 len, 3/4 len.
Time: 2:28.82. (Last 600m 36.35).
Familiar pose: Craig Williams has won the past two Caulfield Cups. Photo: Pat Scala PDS
RACE TEN RESULT
1 3 Mrs Onassis
2 1 Serene Star
Lightinthenite wins the David Jones (Formerly Coongy Handicap). Photo: Pat Scala
3 7 Follonica
Scratched at the barriers: Glow and Royal Bender.
5.00PM Some tidbits from brief jockey interviews:
Brenton Avdulla celebrates after riding Howmuchdoyouloveme to win the Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint. Photo: Mal Fairclough
Americain lost two front shoes, will appreciate softer going and remains a good chance for the Melbourne Cup.
December Draw didn't get the 2400 metres, was "gone" at the top of the straight, and should be aimed at a race like the Mackinnon Stakes (2000 metres).
My Quest For Peace ran an even race for fifth, but got to the front sooner than expected. His run was a good Melbourne Cup trial, and should be better suited at Flemington where he can "chase for longer".
RACE NINE RESULT TRISTARC STAKES
Hvasstan riden by Glen Boss (R) winning the Starlight Children's Foundation Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield from Elecric Fusion (L) and Honorius (C). Photo: Mal Fairclough
1. 2 Streama
2. 3 Pear Tart
3. 4 Red Tracer
Class came to the fore, with well-perfromed group performer Streama defying a wide barrier to lead and hold the field at bay. Pear Tart raced handy and battled on strongly for second after getting a bad check at the top of the straight when she appeared to be weakening. Red Tracer finished well to race into the placings. Favourite Mosheen got across from a wide barrier easily, had a great run just off the pace and loomed up at the top of the straight, but she failed to finish off her race and faded in the final 100 metres to miss the placings.
Hvasstan's emotional trainer Peter Gelagotis. Photo: Pat Scala
Not surprisingly, Dunaden is now favourite to win his second successive Melbourne Cup in less than three weeks. He is $6.50 with Tom Waterhouse and $7.00 with Betstar. Americain ($19 to $11) and Mount Athos ($11-$8.50) have also shortened. Internationals dominate, with only Ethipoia (10th favourite at $26) anywhere near the top of the market.
MICHAEL SHARKIE REPORTS ON RACE EIGHT, THE 2012 CAULFIELD CUP:
Reigning Melbourne Cup hero Dunaden proved a cut above the best local and imported stayers when taking the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup to remain unbeaten in Australia after three runs.
The Mikel Delzangles-trained European stormed to victory down the middle of the Caulfield straight, reeling in South Australian stayer Alcopop to prevail by a half-length, with the Peter Moody trained Lights Of Heaven filling third place a further quarter-length away.
"What an amazing horse, he just ran an amazing race, what can I say?" said winning jockey Craig Williams.
It was Williams' third win aboard Dunaden with last year's Geelong Cup and the Hong Kong Vase falling his way prior to today's win.
The Caulfield Cup is the richest, and probably the toughest 2400 metre handicap in the world. Photo: Vince Caligiuri VJC
Geoffrey Faber, stable spokesman, hails Dunaden as a remarkable horse and Craig Williams as a remarkable rider as he accepts the trophies for his stayer's brilliant Caulfield Cup. He jokes that Williams requested barrier one to six at the draw, and when he instead produced barrier 22, he told Williams that he would now see how good he was.
Williams says Dunaden did the running. "I was just lucky enough to do the steering."
The Caulfield Cup
The Caulfield Cup was won by Dunaden, ridden by Craig Williams. The French-trained galloper came from almost last to win. Although burdened by the top weight of 58 kilograms, the reigning Melbourne Cup winner proved too good in the $2.5m handicap. Photo: Joe Armao
Williams will be hoping to be lucky enough to do the steering in the Melbourne Cup as well. Dunaden is likely to move into favouritism now after such a dominant display.
1. 2 Dunaden 12.50 4.20
2. 15 Alcopop 3.80
3. 12 Lights of Heaven 3.20
4. 1 Americain
Jockey Craig Williams rode the perfect race from his wide barrier. Photo: Mal Fairclough
The 2011 Melbourne Cup winner has stormed home down the oustide, from near last, carrying 58 kilos, to swamp Alcopop, who looked the winner at the 200 metre mark. Well-weighted mare Lights of Heaven finished strongly near the rails. 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain ran home strongly, but lacked the devastating burst of the winner.
Leaders Voila Ici and Glencadam Gold set a solid pace, and both were spent not long after the turn. It set the race up for the likes of My Quest For Peace, who was parked behind the leaders on the rails, and December Draw, who raced third most of the race, but it was the truer stayers further back who finished off best. Alcopop burst through the pack 350 metres out and hit the front, but Dundaden and Americain were coming with the last run at the leaders. Dunaden finished at such a rate that he ended up winning by over half a length.
Jockey Craig Williams, who missed the ride on Dundaden in last year's Melbourne Cup, could only utter adjectives after the race: "Amazing. Remarkable. Unbelieveable." Dunaden has now reaped prizemoney of near $7 million in his storied career.
Dunaden's connections were dismayed by drawing 22, which ensured that their champion would have to drop out to the rear. Williams was told last night that he was "on the best horse with the worst draw: do your best". Williams did just that, with a perfectly-timed sprint.
4.05pm TIME UNITL CAULFIELD CUP JUMPS: 0 minutes
Horses are entering the stalls. Get on!
4.02pm TIME UNITL CAULFIELD CUP JUMPS: 3 minutes
On course, Glencadam Gold is favourite from December Draw. Horses are on their way to the barriers.
Mark Kavanagh, often luckless in this race, says his charge Decemeber Draw is in the hands of jockey Michael Rodd now. He shows his sense of humour by saying: "Good jockeys don't listen to instructions. Bad ones can't carry them out!"
3.52pm TIME UNITL CAULFIELD CUP JUMPS: 13 minutes
The anthem has been sung, the jockeys have been introduced to the crowd and briefed by stewards, and now the horses are parading ahead of Caulfield's classic. The big crowd is soaking up the most summery Melbourne weather for many months, bright, sunny and over 20 degrees.
3.35pm TIME UNITL CAULFIELD CUP JUMPS: 30 minutes
December Draw 6.30
Glencadam Gold 7.00
Lights of Heaven 8.20
My Quest For Peace 9.00
Sneak a Peak 17.30
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Metropolitan Handicap winner Glencadam Gold has drifted from favouritism, with last year's popular elect December Draw once more taking over after good lead-up form. Alcopop has been surprisingly popular, and Lights of Heaven and My Quest For Peace have tightened all week. Amongst well performed types comparatively unwanted in betting are 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain (24.90), consistent on-pacer Voila Ici (18.40), and Sydney Cup winner Niwot (21.60).
RESULT RACE SEVEN
7-DAVID JONES CUP 2000m:
2.60 fav LIGHTINTHENITE (Champion T/Breds Synd (Mgr: J Abrahams), K Harris, Sedgewyn Synd, Bos Synd, G Williams, L Gregory, A Gordon, Mrs C Pitman, Ms V Sheils & D Warren-Smith’s ch g 5y Galileo (IRE) - Tiffin. Trainer: J A O’Shea) 54.5 (Craig Williams) 1,
7.00 BAGMAN 58 (B Rawiller) 2,
14.00 EXTRA ZERO 57 (Nicholas Hall) 3.
Then followed: 8.00 Prairie Star 59 (B Melham) 19.00 Dame Claire 54 (P Mertens) 8.00 Maules Creek 54.5 (C Reith) 41.00 Pacino 54 (D Oliver) 9.00 Waterford Hill 54 (C Newitt) 16.00 Proliferate 54 (M J Walker) last.
Scr: Shewan, Val Champ, Anudjawun.
1/2 nk, 3/4 len.
Time: 2:04.26. (Last 600m 35.39).
The first leg of the quaddie has been one by the favourite Lightinthenite, which burst through late to just hold out fellow Sydney-sider Bagman. A great race, with six horses in contention one hundred metres out, and four within a length at the finish.
MICK SHARKIE REPORTS:
John O'Shea took one runner to Caulfield today and left a winner when improving middle distance talent Lightinthenite prevailed by a narrow margin to win the group three David Jones Cup. Ridden by leading jockey Craig WIlliams, Lightinthenite defied a late challenge from South Australian miler Bagman to take a half-neck victory, proving that the inside section of the track was in fine condition ahead of the Caulfield CUp.
"Hopefully we can be back here in twelve months time racing in the big one (the Caulfield Cup), he's a really nice horse and there is much more to come," said O'Shea.
More from the Cup hopefuls...
John Sadler, trainer of former US stayer Winchester, says a win in the Caulfield Cup "wouldn't shock". "You wouldn't leave him out of your multiples," he said, whilst admitting that the Melbourne Cup was his horse's "grand final". "He's been ridden quietly and finishing his races off nicely," Sadler said of his two lead-up runs in Melbourne. But Sadler concedes that his eight-year-old stallion foes not have the speed to cross from his wide barrier (16), and would have have to settle further back in the field than he would have preferred.
Leon Corstens, who saddles up Zabeelionaire, says if his stayer can position as close as he did in the South Australian Derby, the four-year-old is a chance. "If he's good enough, he's fit enough," Corstens said.
3.05pm MICHAEL LYNCH reports on Hvasstan's Victoria Derby prospects.
Despite being by the sprinter Fastnet Rock, Hvasstan shapes as a stayer. From six visits to the track he has now won three times, twice over 1700 metres and now over 2000, and in a 2500 metre contest in which most candidates will be doubtful stayers he must shape as one of the best chances.
Leading bookmaker Tom Waterhouse certainly thought so, winding today's Norman Robinson Stakes winner into $7 for Saturday week's Victoria Derby. He shares the second line of betting with shock Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard, with unbeaten New Zealand raider Its a Dundeel the short priced favourite at $2.25. The two placegetters behind Hvasstan, Electric Fusion and Honorius, are next in betting, both priced at $9.50. Jimando, a disappointment who beat only one home when well fancied, has been pushed out to $15.
2.55pm MICHAEL SHARKIE REPORTS ON RACE SIX:
Lightly raced speedster Howmuchdoyouloveme has stamped himself as a sprinter to be reckoned with throughout the spring with an authoritative on-pace win in the Perri Cutten Caulfield Sprint. Trained by young Sydney based mentor Con Karakatsanis, Howmuchdoyouloveme was never in doubt in the 1100m scamper, cruising away for an easy win from veteran sprinter Canali and perennial placegetter Latin News to cement a place in the Salinger Stakes at Flemington, and possibly the Group 1 Patinack Classic on the final day of the spring carnival.
"I've got a lot of faith in the horse. He puts himself in the race and always gives his all," said Karakatsanis.
Winning jockey Brenton Avdulla was full of praise for the five-year-old after the race and was grateful that the owners did not succumb to huge international offers earlier in the horse's career.
"I've been with him all the way through and always thought he was better than average. They were going to sell him but I'm glad that they didn't," he said.
6-PERRI CUTTEN CAULFIELD SPRINT 1100m:
3.50 fav HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME (Mrs G Karakatsanis, Mrs K Michael, C Karakatsanis, T Karakatsanis & P Doyle’s br g 4y Written Tycoon - Betula Belle. Trainer: C Karakatsanis) 54.5 (B Avdulla) 1,
10.00 CANALI 55 (L Currie) 2,
26.00 LATIN NEWS 53.5 (D Dunn) 3.
Then followed: 5.00 Altar 53.5 (K Mc Evoy) 16.00 Curtana 55 (B Melham) 13.00 Freereturn 54.5 (C Newitt) 10.00 Mid Summer Music 58.5 (L Nolen) 7.00 Thankgodyou’rehere 57.5 (G Boss) 14.00 Green Birdie 58 (Craig Williams) 101.00 Stanzout 53.5 carr 54 (Nicholas Hall) 20.00 Metallurgical 53.5 (C Reith) last.
2 len, lg nk.
Time: 1:03.16. (Last 600m 34.08).
2.50pm: Here's what some Caulfield Cup connections had to say on Radio Sport National this morning:
Trainer Luca Cumani's foreman Charlie Henson said that the stbale always tries to give its Melbourne Cup hoepfuls a preparatory run in Melbourne, but My Quest For Peace was "there to put his best foot forward" in today's race. "...We're here to win... it's worth $2million."
Mark Kavangah, trainer of December Draw, which was favourite when injured during last year's Cup, says his gelding is going as well as last year. "He gives every indication he should go better." Kavanagh said that last year he had been juggling weight and qualification issues, but this year he had been able to program a "progressive, improving preparation to peak on the day. "I think he's right on his game," the multiple group-one mentor said.
Wayne Hawkes, co-trainer of veteran stayer Niwot, was as positive this morning as he was last Saturday morning about the chances of All Too Hard, which went on to win the Caulfield Guineas. "I think he can win, he's going to run a big race for certain."
Grahame Begg, trainer of Secret Admirer, said his mare, which has never raced beyond 2000 metres, had been prepared for the Cup since a fast-finishing third in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April. "She's certainly finishing her races off well... the 53.5 (weight) brings her right into it."
2.31pm MICHAEL SHARKIE REPORTS ON RACE FIVE:
Rapidly improving five year old Whateverwhenever made up for an unlucky run at Caulfield a week ago with a narrow victory in the Sportingbet Moonga Stakes to give Queensland trainer Liam Birchley his first winner of this year's spring carnival. Hopelessly blocked for runs behind Instinction seven days earlier, Whateverwhenever took advantage of an inside barrier and a cosy run before edging out race favourite King's Rose in a driving finish. King's Rose had raced wide throughout the event and was forced to make a long searching run from the 600m before falling short by a narrow margin.
5-SPORTINGBET MOONGA STAKES 1400m:
17.00 WHATEVERWHENEVER (J Geaney, P G Gillan, C A Davison & T Burnett’s b m 5y Choisir - Celestia. Trainer: L F Birchley) 54 (Craig Williams) 1,
2.15 fav KING’S ROSE 56.5 (L Nolen) 2,
15.00 MCCLINTOCK 56 (Ms L Wray) 3.
Then followed: 101.00 Mister Milton 56 (S R King) 10.00 Happy Zero 56 (D Dunn) 6.00 Galah 57.5 (K Mc Evoy) 17.00 Tagus 57.5 (M Zahra) 21.00 Renewed Vitality 56 (C Reith) 41.00 Strike The Stars 57.5 (V Duric) 9.00 Full Of Spirit 55.5 (C W Brown) 41.00 Shadowfax 56 (M Rodd) last.
Scr: Torio’s Quest, Amah Rock.
Nk, 3/4 len.
Time: 1:23.71. (Last 600m 35.12).
1.35pm MICHAEL SHARKIE REPORTS ON RACE FOUR
David Hayes struck a spring blow when his Oaks bound filly Alzora landed the listed Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield to continue Damien Oliver's winning week at the track. Oliver took the feature fillies race of the Caulfield Cup Carnival when Commanding Jewel won Wednesday's Thousand Guineas, and he is now in the box seat for an Oaks success at Flemington with Alzora, which broke her maiden status in today's race.
"Outstanding performance, Damien Oliver was right again, he said this was an Oaks filly," said winning owner Robert Crabtree. Alzora ran very greenly in the straight but was still too good for the unlucky Summerbliss and Transonic, winning by a long neck on the line.
4-N.Z. B’STOCK ETHEREAL STAKES 2000m:
20.00 ALZORA (Dorrington Farm Syndicate, Mgr: R J Crabtree’s b f 3y Redoute’s Choice - Bryce Canyon (USA). Trainer: D A Hayes) 55 (Nicholas Hall) 1,
6.00 SUMMERBLISS 55 (Craig Williams) 2,
9.50 TRANSONIC 55 (M Zahra) 3.
Then followed: 31.00 Ireland’s Teardrop 55 (V Duric) 31.00 Gondokoro 55 (R Mc Leod) 2.80 fav Cameo 55 (K Mc Evoy) 26.00 Madam Archer 55 (Ryan Maloney) 11.00 Kate 55 (G Boss) 18.00 Ten Black 55 (M J Walker) 17.00 Zazparella 55 (C W Brown) 26.00 Keep De Rose 55 (J Winks) 51.00 Di Lusso 55 (C Newitt) 16.00 Nextess 55 (L Nolen) 21.00 Operation Twist 55 (B Melham) last.
Scr: Donna Cattiva, Zuccotto.
3/4 len, 1/2 len.
Time: 2:04.98. (Last 600m 36.45).
1.00pm MICHAEL SHARKIE REPORTS ON RACE THREE
The popular Gelagotis racing team celebrated an emotional victory in the group three Norman Robinson Stakes with Hvasstan just days after brothers Peter and Manny lost their father. Trainer Peter paid tribute to his father for giving he and his brother "the best possible start in life, I just hope we can continue his hard work."
Hvasstan looked to be in trouble heading into the straight with horses stacked up in front of him, but a gap appeared at the 250m and the three year old son of Fastnet Rock accelerated well along the rails to win in a driving finish, defeating Electric Fusion and Honorius. Winning jockey Glen Boss said that Hvasstan still had little idea about racing and had won three of his six starts on sheer ability. Hvasstan will now progress towards the Victoria Derby at Flemington in a fortnight.
3-NORMAN ROBINSON STAKES 2000m:
6.00 HVASSTAN (E Gelagotis, G Williams, P Moss, S Moss, F Brown, B Morrow, R Ford, Dr P Stevens, M Stevens, A Panozzo, B Smart, W Holdsworth, M Gelagotis, M Gotis’s b c 3y Fastnet Rock - Snow Hero. Trainer: Peter Gelagotis) 56 (G Boss) 1,
6.50 HONORIUS 56 (C W Brown) 2,
8.50 ELECTRIC FUSION 56 (Nicholas Hall) 3.
Then followed: 41.00 Subiaso 56 (D Dunn) 3.10 fav Kabayan 58 (N Rawiller) 26.00 Costa Nova 56 (J Bowman) 4.20 Jimando 57 (Craig Williams) 26.00 Right To Roam 56 (R Mc Leod) last.
Sht 1/2 hd, sht nk.
Time: 2:03.82. (Last 600m 36.32).
Protest 3rd against 2nd upheld.
The 2012 Caulfield Cup is being billed as one of the best ever editions of the testing 2400 metre staying classic. The foreign raiders appear to have finally targeted this $2,650,000 prize in its own right, rather than contenting themselves with using as a lead-up to the Melbourne Cup. Will the oversease contingent continue their creeping takeover of our biggest staying races, or will a local defy the trend? With Voila Ici and favourite Glencadam Gold expected to fight for the lead, some pundits are expected a truly-run race which gives every horse a chance to win. Others feel it will remain a race for those racing on the pace, with the frontrunners a good chance to hold on.