Youngstar and Kings Will Dream chased Australian Horse of the Year Winx when second and third in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, on Oct. 6.
Winx, who has won an astonishing 28 consecutive races, is a massive favorite to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive running of the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Oct. 27.
Youngstar and Kings Will Dream will start instead in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup at Caulfield Racecourse just outside of Melbourne. As of Wednesday, Youngstar was the 9-2 favorite in the future-book in a field of 18, a slight choice over 5-1 Kings Will Dream.
The $3,561,000 Caulfield Cup is run at 1 1/2 miles on turf and is a handicap. The race is expected to produce a few runners for the famous Melbourne Cup at two miles at Flemington on Nov. 6.
The Caulfield Cup has a post time of 1:40 a.m. Eastern, or 10:40 p.m. Pacific on Friday.
Youngstar, who like Winx is trained by Chris Waller, will carry the lowest weight, 113.5 pounds, compared to topweight Best Solution at 126.7 pounds. Youngstar, a 4-year-old mare by High Chaparral, has won 4 of 11 starts. She won the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at 1 3/8 miles in May.
Kings Will Dream, a 5-year-old Irish-bred by Casamento, will carry 116.8 pounds. Trained by Darren Weir, Kings Will Dream has won 6 of 12 starts, including a minor stakes at 1 1/2 miles last March. Kings Will Dream has not won a group stakes but has been third in two Group 1 races since early September.
Best Solution, owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing and trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, has won his last three starts in England and Germany, all at 1 1/2 miles on turf – the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket in July, the Group 1 Grosser Preis Von Berlin in August, and the Grosser Preis von Baden at Baden-Baden, Germany, on Sept. 2.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien runs Thecliffsofmoher, who was fourth in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes at 1 1/4 miles at Caulfield on Oct. 13 in his Australian debut. A well-traveled 4-year-old colt, Thecliffsofmoher was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar last November. Earlier this year, Thecliffsofmoher was third to Roaring Lion in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park, outside of London.
Thecliffsofmoher, who will carry 124.5 pounds, will be ridden by Hugh Bowman, the regular rider of Winx. As of Wednesday, Thecliffsofmoher was 6-1 in the future book for the Caulfield Cup.