|Class||Weight for Age|
Gailo Chop ($6)
The Caulfield Stakes is right up there as one of the premier middle distance races of the spring carnival. A useful betting guide for the Cox Plate two weeks later, the Caulfield Stakes is held on Caulfield Guineas day, and is one of the four Group Ones contested on the day.
Held under WFA conditions and run over roughly the same distance as the Cox Plate, the Caulfield Stakes almost serves as a dress rehearsal for Australia's weight-for-age championship. This is because a significant portion of the Caulfield Stakes field tends to back up for the Cox Plate a fortnight later.
However, the Caulfield Stakes is sometimes also used by trainers as a lead-up race to the Caulfield Cup that takes place a week later. This is because the winner of the race is exempt from a ballot in the Caulfield Cup.
But there's no doubt the Caulfield Stakes is a fantastic race in its own right. You need only to look at the honour roll of past winners to understand the calibre of horse needed to win. Kingston Town, Bonecrusher, Might and Power, Lonhro, Mummify and Atlantic Jewel all triumphed in the race.
In recent years, the race has struggled to get a capacity field, due to the presence of so many other high-quality middle-distance races during this time of year. This was never more true in 2016, when Winx won what was only a three-horse race.
The mighty mare scared off rivals, with only Black Hart Bart and He Or She game enough to take Winx on. They both picked up handy cheques for their connections just by running second and third respectively.
Last year's edition was more competitive. Mark Zahra gave front-runner Gailo Chop a terrific ride, as he just held on from a fast-finishing Johannes Vermeer, the eventual Melbourne Cup runner-up.