HorseLast week it was the Caulfield Guineas, this week it’s the Caulfield Cup — the Spring Racing Carnival keeps getting better and better. This week Crikey Sports overlord Leigh Josey and horse aficionado James Thomson are joined briefly by First Dog on the Moon as they analyse Saturday’s big race. Leigh and First Dog quickly show how little they know about horse racing. By the way, First Dog lost his dog. If you find it, please return it.

Leigh Josey: Good afternoon Thommo! Welcome to the first Crikey Sports Spring Racing Carnival Jockey Wrap. Dear reader, we asked our beloved First Dog on the Moon to join us but he declined as he has no love for horses nor money. Joining me is James Thomson, editor of  SmartCompany and all round horse man. How are you mate?

James Thomson: Fantastic Leigh, and can I say what an honour it is to be involved. Caulfield Cup day is always a cracker and despite sub-arctic conditions predicted, it should be a good race.

Leigh Josey: Indeed. Caulfield Guineas was last week — which you covered for Crikey Sports — how did you go?

James Thomson: Ummm, I gained a lot of experience but not much money! However, it was a cracking day, possibly one of the best days of racing I have seen in a few years. We had Black Caviar destroying a crack field of sprinters in her first run for 56 weeks and we had So You Think stamping himself as an almost unbeatable Cox Plate chance. And we also had Alcopop putting in a great Caufield Cup trial, although he’s drawn a horrible barrier.

Leigh Josey: Alcopop is interesting. Surely there’s a better way to draw barriers. I’m thinking scissors, paper, rock. What are Alcopop’s chances?

James Thomson: He’s probably got the best form line in the race. A slashing run in a weight for age race last week behind the best horse in Australia, and now into the Caufield Cup with a light weight. However, that barrier is a serious … well, barrier. I don’t think a horse has won from the extreme outside since 1987, and it will just make it hard for him to get in the right position in the run. But it’s great to see his young trainer Jake Stephens take the right attitude – can’t do anything about the barrier, let’s just get on with it. The rain probably is a bit of a hindrance for him too…

Leigh Josey: The weather will be interesting. Who will it affect more? The horses or the race goers?

James Thomson: The beer sellers. Caulfield Cup day is usually a big day on the public lawn, but the rain might turn a few punters off. I’d say the Vodka Cruiser index could fall as much as 15% if the weather is nasty.

Leigh Josey: So which horse do you like in the main event? Michael Horne of Betstar likes Metal Bender among others. My girlfriend loves Guns and Roses so I will back it — surely my backing horses based on names can’t fail again?

James Thomson: Betting on names is probably as good as anything I will tell you. I am with Shocking, last year’s Melbourne Cup winner. Like Viewed in 2009 (who won the Caufield Cup in 2008) he’s in cracking form, and he’s unbeaten beyond 2000 metres (the cup is 2400m). Also, he won’t mind a little rain, or even a lot of it. Think he’s the one to beat.

Firstdog Onthemoon: My dog ran away. We are having renovations and he got frightened.

James Thomson: Don’t have any tips for the greyhounds, FDOM?

Firstdog Onthemoon: Yes, I would tell them to catch that rabbit thing and tear it to pieces. Also, don’t like your own testicles after eating food with chilli in it.

Leigh Josey: Good advice mate — and good of you to join us. Who is your pick for the big race?

Firstdog Onthemoon: Has to be Metal Bender.

Leigh Josey: Excellent choice. So, Thommo and Dog — who’s your roughie?

Firstdog Onthemoon: Orange.

James Thomson: Well, my friend Michael Horne appears to have found a beauty in Monaco Counsel, who won the Victorian Derby last year, loves the wet and goes around at the super juicy price of $26. If he gets up, FDOM on the moon will be able to pay for his renovations AND buy a new leash for his mutt.

Leigh Josey: I like Master O’Reilly. How old is that horse? He must be, like, 75? He’s the Dustin Fletcher or Bobby Simpson  of horse racing. For that, he has my allegiance and a $5 bet each way.

James Thomson: Good luck punters!

Leigh Josey: Indeed — happy punting — and stay dry (and off the Vodka Crusiers!)

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Peter Fray
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