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Boom Time returns lowest Caulfield Cup rating in ten years

Boom Time’s (Flying Spur) [117], $51 surprise victory in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) returned the lowest rating achieved in winning the race for ten years, writes Adam Blencowe.

His 117 rating also fell nine pounds short of the winning average for the Caulfield Cup of 126 which has been recorded for the past five years, 13 pounds less than the best rating in that period taken by Dunaden (Nicobar) [130] in 2012, while the last horse to be rated so low was Master O’Reilly (O’Reilly) [117] in 2007.

In 14 runs for Lindsay Park before Saturday, Boom Time had come from winning restricted handicaps to be a 115-rated Group Three placegetter – he had made big strides for his new stable prior to having plenty falling his way on Saturday.

Well ridden by Cory Parish, Boom Time enjoyed a good trip back in sixth place behind a strong pace. He was briefly blocked on turning for home but got a split to take the lead at the 200 metres before fighting back under his weight of 52 kilograms to win well.

Boom Time defeated a very game Single Gaze (Not A Single Doubt) [118] by a length and a quarter with the favourite Johannes Vermeer (Galileo) [120] running on well for third, a head further back, in the quick time of 2:27.66.

The pace of the race was genuine, but not as outrageous as it may have seemed given Sir Isaac Newton’s (Galileo) front-running antics. Ironically, Sir Isaac Newton got it all wrong and finished last after using far too much energy early – but he did so individually.

Kathy O’Hara did a terrific job on the runner-up Single Gaze, letting Sir Isaac Newton make a mess of things way out on his own in front while keeping her mare travelling at close to an ideal tempo many lengths back in second place.

The finishing speed of the Caulfield Cup, expressed as a percentage of overall race speed from the 600 metres, was 102 per cent while Single Gaze’s individual finishing speed was 103.7 per cent.

But the horse that looks most likely to come out of the 2017 Caulfield Cup with the best Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) prospects was Marmelo (Duke Of Marmalade) [119], who caught many eyes humming home from well back to dead-heat for sixth.

The idea that the high pressure up front flattered him is shown up somewhat by the closing speeds.

Marmelo’s closing speed of 105.9 per cent was even better when taken from the 1000 metres mark and it was a sustained close, plus his rating of 119 at Caulfield looks more likely to be in the mid-120s by the time he gets to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

The other key point regarding Marmelo is that he has a lot more than his Caulfield Cup performance supporting his claims as the winner of this year’s Prix Kergorlay (Gr 2, 3000m) and Prix De Barbeville (Gr 3, 3000m) in France.

He rated 119 in both those wins, a figure he matched on Saturday, confirming Marmelo is reaching peak form at the right time.

Marmelo also has strong form via his win in the Prix Barbeville, which was run on quick ground with Racing and Sports assessment of the going at Chantilly that day being very similar to where Flemington is likely be on Cup Day, if not slightly quicker.

That is a big tick for him, as is the time that he ran, which was 1.9 seconds quicker than any horse over the Chantilly 3000 metres in the past decade.

In addition, the runner-up in that race, Bateel (Dubawi) has improved over the course of the season and is now a Group Onewinning mare with a rating of 123.

The best performances, away from the Caulfield Cup on Saturday, came from Cliff’s Edge (Canford Cliffs) and Snitty Kitty (Snitzel) who both ran to ratings of 116 when winning the Caulfield Classic (Gr 3, 2000m) and Caulfield Sprint (Gr 2, 1000m) respectively.

The Caulfield Classic was select in numbers with only eight starters but it looks a strong form race for those headed to the Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) on Saturday week.

And while the 2500 metres trip looks far from a given for Cliff’s Edge he is at least as talented as any three-year-old on the Victoria Derby path having posted a strong time of 2:02.48 from the front before winning decisively by almost three lengths.

Snitty Kitty also produced an impressive overall time clocking 56.28 and encouragingly she did so in a controlled fashion.

She was swift, but not searing through the first 400 metres, before ramping up the tempo passing the 600 metres and going right on with it to win by just over two lengths.

A consistent four-year-old mare, Snitty Kitty has now raced 11 times for six wins and has a series of good times to her name but importantly she has recorded times with some substance to them.

Although finishing three and a half lengths behind Snitty Kitty, the first up effort of the Robert Smerdon-trained gelding Property (Starcraft) was a pointer of better things to come this preparation.

Property was having his first run as a three-year-old, having been a smart juvenile last season, and while he did not threatened his older rivals who had complete control of the speed, he ultimately ran to 113 – just three pounds shy of his peak last season.

The outing should blow off the cobwebs in good enough style for Property to remain high up in thoughts heading towards the Coolmore Stud Stakes (registered as Ascot Vale Stakes) (Gr 1, 1200m) on Saturday week.