THE LAST BASTIONWednesday 22, 2017 2:00 PM By Best Bets
Given the consensus that Australia no longer produces world-class stayers, the home team’s record in our big 2400-metre races isn’t too shabby.
There are only two open-age Group 1 races on the Australian calendar over the mile and a half — the Caulfield Cup and this Saturday’s BMW. And the imports and raiders have done surprisingly little damage in either.
Since 2000, only four northern hemisphere-breds have won the Caulfield Cup, while only three have won The BMW (Makybe Diva in 2005, Manighar in 2012 and Hartnell in 2015).
Compare that to the Melbourne Cup, won by northern-breds 11 times in that period including six of the past seven years.
Perhaps the more surprising fact about BMW winners is that so many of them have been bred in Australia as opposed to New Zealand.
Since a run of six straight to the Kiwis from 1993 to 1998, Australian-bred horses have won the race 10 times to the New Zealand-breds’ five.
This year the Aussie-breds’ chances rest chiefly with Jameka, a joint favourite in early markets with the NZ-bred Humidor. Tavago is another Kiwi high in discussions while the imports Our Ivanhowe and Exospheric are also in the mix.
Nationality aside, recent precedents suggest Saturday’s winner will be aged six or under (no horse over that age has won the race in its 54-year history).
He or she will have raced in Group 1 company last start (23 of the past 25 winners fit this criterion) and preferably will have won (four of the past five have been last-start winners).
The winner will likely be drawn barrier seven or inside (25 of the past 30) and probably won’t be carrying saddlecloth number one, which has won only once in the past 30 years.
Where does all that leave us? With Humidor.