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Race Day: Caulfield on Saturday, 20 October 2018
It was a global Caulfield Cup this year, the huge volume of international gallopers adding to the quality of the race, but leaving a few local punters wondering who to back. The strong handicap form of DURETTO and RED VERDON came up against the class of Coolmore's THE CLIFFSOFMOHER and Godolphin's BEST SOLUTION, and of course the Williams team of HOMESMAN and THE TAJ MAHAL were key players in the race too.
Unfortunately the strong field wasn't matched by a strong tempo, local hope ACE HIGH controlling some slow mid-race sectionals before the power went on 700 metres from home. Firstly THE TAJ MAHAL took off from midfield and hit the lead with BEST SOLUTION on the turn, leaving the one-paced ACE HIGH in their wake. HOMESMAN (2nd) emerged from the box seat and challenged, but he couldn't get past the brave BEST SOLUTION (1st), irishman Pat Cosgrove getting eveything out of the son of Kodiac to win by a small margin with THE CLIFFSOFMOHER (3rd) chasing home behind.
While ACE HIGH was dissapointing on the SOFT track, YOUNGSTAR definitely wasn't, surging home late for a strong 7th after getting way too far back off the slow speed. DURETTO (4th) and KINGS WILL DREAM (6th) ran honourable races too, while RED VERDON (11th) had no luck in a very tactical race.
How much of a guide this gives us to the Cup, it's hard to say, the line-finding YOUNGSTAR and winner BEST SOLUTION won't have lost any supporters though.
In other races, the Waterhouse and Bott three-year-old THINKIN' BIG booted home to win the Group 3 Ladbrokes Classic by 3 lengths, stable-mate SHUMOOKH did the same to the mares in the Group 2 Tristarc and little VERRY ELLEEGANT continued on her winning way in the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes for the three-year-old fillies.