All Too Hard and Dwayne Dunn defeat Pierro and Nash Rawiller in the 2012 Caulfield Guineas. Photo: Steve Hart
The 2012 edition is the first that springs to mind when, to the disbelief of most spectators, All Too Hard knocked off odds-on favourite Pierro, who admittedly was brave in defeat after working overtime through the first 600 metres.
In the previous year Helmet fought tenaciously to hold off Manawanui in a driving finish after setting a fierce speed in front and stopping the clock in race record time.
The common denominator in those two races and indeed most other versions of the Caulfield Guineas is that the tempo is nearly always genuine, with the possible exception of last year when Press Statement crossed and led before winning under Hugh Bowman.
Let’s have a look at the favourite for 2016 – Impending. Nine of the last 10 Caulfield Guineas favourites have won or placed (six wins, two seconds, and a third) so he appears a strong top three chance. But for the purpose of this exercise, we will try to find something that can beat him.
Since 1991 only two winners finished further back than fourth at their previous start so that rules out Saracino, Evacuation, and So Si Bon.
The two primary form races have been the Guineas Prelude at Caulfield and the Stan Fox Stakes in Sydney – which together have provided 12 of the last 15 winners so we can put a pen through Hey Doc, Land Of Plenty, Kaching, and Barbie’s Boy.
Only one horse has won from barrier 11 in more than 30 years (Whobegotyou – 2008) and only two of the last 19 winners ran in the Golden Slipper the previous season so those two conditions are enough to discount the chances of Good Standing.
Sacred Elixir is the only horse tackling the mile second-up this year. Although he won the Caulfield Guineas Prelude last start off a winter campaign, history suggests it can’t be done.
Divine Prophet, Seaburge, Revolving Door and Wazzenme are the remaining contenders.
Divine Prophet has the greatest appeal having already raced at a mile as a two-year-old, finishing third in the Group I Champagne Stakes at Randwick.
The son of Choisir jumps from the inside draw on Saturday which has produced six winners since 1993 despite that gate returning only an 8.6 percent strike rate across all races held over the 1600 metres at Caulfield since August 2008.