Spring is without doubt the best time of year for sport and racing fans and punters alike and will step up again this weekend with the 2014 Caulfield Cup set to be contested by an exceptional mix of international raiders and local hopefuls; offering plenty of key opportunities to back a winner!
There are horse racing meetings all over the country this weekend, but the feature event is without doubt the Group 1 Caulfield Cup in Melbourne; playing host to 18 leading stayers battling it out in the world’s richest handicap race over 2400m
A capacity field of 18 runners plus four emergencies was confirmed for the Caulfield Cup on Wednesday, however several niggling issues and sickness over a tumultuous 24 hours has seen a total of four leading chances scratched from the final field, arguably highlighted by Japanese sensation Bande.
Contesting a form line similar to that of Japanese superstar Delta Blues in the lead-up to his memorable victory in the 2006 Melbourne Cup, Bande received the greatest share of attention from punters for success in the Caulfield Cup and was clear market mover at the time of his scratching.
Noted to be harbouring a niggling tendon injury, Bande’s shock removal from the Caulfield Cup final field has blown betting on the featured event wide open, with punters now offered even better value in both win and place markets.
Lucia Valentina has returned to racing in scintillating form this time in, and while opening and maintaining status at the fore of betting markets, has now received the biggest share of wagers following Bande’s removal and has cut into clear favouritism.
Early Melbourne Cup favourite The Offer is offered at particularly generous odds for success in the 2014 Caulfield Cup, while first emergency Brambles has moved in from opening odds of $21 to currently feature at a quote of less-than $10.
The Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1100m) and Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) for mares are also set to run at Caulfield on Saturday, while the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m), Group 3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) cap off a truly impressive day of racing; offering even more opportunities to place a winning bet.
Royal Randwick will play host to Sydney’s major card on Saturday, highlighted by the Group 3 The Nivison, contested by mares over 1200m.
The final Bledisloe test for the year between Australian and New Zealand will be played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night and is shaping as an extremely interesting betting game.
The All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with a comfortable 51-20 victory at Auckland’s Eden Park in August and currently figure as clear $1.28 favourites to cap the series with a win over the Wallabies ($3.80).
The A-League enters Round 2 this weekend and is highlighted by matches between bitter rivals and week 1 winners Melbourne Victory ($2.75) and Adelaide United ($2.45) and a Sydney derby between FC ($2.55) and the Wanderers ($2.65).