Caulfield Guineas & The Everest Day Review

What a day of racing!

Seldom are punters presented with two race meetings in one day of such high quality as Saturday’s Caulfield and Randwick cards. It didn’t disappoint.

At Caulfield, we witnessed two of the greatest victories seen on a racetrack in recent years as Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup challengers emerged in the Group 1s.

Meanwhile in Sydney, Redzel went back-to-back in The Everest as a sickening case of what might have been emerged in the consolation event.

Here’s our take on the highlights of Caulfield Guineas and Everest day.

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The Autumn Sun’s victory in the Golden Rose was special, but few expected to witness a performance like his in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.

The colt was smashed into a $1.70 SP favourite before lobbing on the pace and three-wide without cover under James McDonald. But that didn’t trouble him. At the 300m he was eyeballing leader Native Soldier, then a furlong later was five lengths in front, allowing McDonald to stand high in the irons for the final 50m.

The question was immediately put to trainer Chris Waller: would the best three-year-old in the land be headed to Moonee Valley to take on his other stable star Winx in the Cox Plate under 48kgs?

Waller was coy, insisting the final decision was up to connections. They confirmed on Sunday morning he was off to the paddock, to the dismay of punters.


Few expected The Autumn Sun’s performance to be topped at Caulfield – but then along came the Aidan O’Brien-trained, Team Williams-owned Yucatan.

In a brilliant Caulfield and Melbourne Cup trial, Yucatan settled second last in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes. But gradually he pulled himself to the front in a four-wide move between the 1600m and 1200m. Then with three furlongs to go, McDonald pushed the go button, and by the top of the straight he had a five-length gap.

The final margin of victory read just 1.25L, owing to McDonald significantly easing down his mount in the final 100m, but the damage was done. By Sunday morning, Yucatan was the third favourite in both Caulfield Cup ($7.00) and Melbourne Cup ($11.00) all-in betting.


They say you should “Back Weir, drink beer” and in all likelihood that’s what Melbourne punters would have been doing after his dual Group 1 swoop on the day.

First was Amphitrite, who came from the clouds to score in the Thousand Guineas. After jumping at double figure odds the filly, who had won her previous three starts, settled last before unleashing a devastating sprint to claim the day’s first major prize.

Then came Land Of Plenty, the twice-sold stallion who has discovered a Group 1 turn of foot in the past 12 months. He finally secured a top grade victory in the Toorak Handicap after a major betting plunge and a perfect stalking ride from Damian Lane. Honourable mention to gallant war horse Hartnell, who dragged the stalkers up in the four-wide line and stuck on for second.


Two members of Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin team, prepared by two different UK trainers, ran a dominant quinella in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.

Cox Plate-bound Benbatl, prepared by Saeed Bin Suroor, led throughout in a dominant display. He lifted late when pressured to narrowly edge out Charlie Appleby’s Blair House, with a comfortable 2.4 lengths back to Humidor in third.

The result saw Benbatl wound into an $11 second favourite behind Winx for the Cox Plate, with Humidor $15 and Blair House $17.

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Star sprinter Redzel went back-to-back in The Everest, handing his rivals a front-running lesson on the Heavy Randwick track.

The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained sprinter was one of many drifters in a hotly contested betting race, but received a relatively soft lead in the run and was never headed.

Gerald Ryan’s Trapeze Artist was a gallant third, while late call up Osborne Bulls rattled down the outside to claim third in a performance of significant future promise.

There were many plaudits for Redzel after the race, who passed Makybe Diva to be Australian racing’s second highest prize money earner ever behind Winx. Perhaps the most unexpected – and dubious in the eyes of racing purists – comparison came from Sky Thoroughbred Central host Greg Radley.


Speedy four-year-old Pierata spent much of the Autumn and Winter towards the top of Everest all-in betting, but connections were unable to come to a suitable deal to have him run in the race.

Parties on both sides of the ledger would have been feeling a little sick when the Greg Hickman-trained stallion demolished the Sydney Stakes – aka Everest consolation – field on the day by 2.8 lengths.

Even more staggering was the time comparison between Pierata’s victory over 1200m in 1:10.82 and that of Everest winner Redzel in 1:12.01. On raw times the former ran six lengths quicker on the day! Form guru Dominic Beirne suggested that on adjusted times the margin would be closer, albeit in Pierata’s favour. Guess we’ll never know …


It’s a busy time to be around Caulfield, with Wednesday’s Blue Sapphire Stakes day meeting preceding Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.

Last week’s Turnbull Stakes appears the key form reference, with YoungStar and King Will Dream – second and third on the day – holding top billing for the Caulfield Cup. Yucatan is a well-supported third favourite.

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