10/16/2013 3:06PM

Australia: Hawkspur favored to win Caulfield Cup


Hawkspur, a 7-1 shot to win the Melbourne Cup next month, will be favored to win Saturday’s $2,387,250 Caulfield Cup at 1 1/2 miles on turf at Caulfield Racecourse in Australia.

Trained by Chris Waller, Hawkspur won the Group 1 Queensland Derby in June, and a Group 2 race on Sept. 7, but has been fourth and fifth in two subsequent starts in Group 1 races.

A 4-year-old Australian-bred gelding by Purrealist, Hawkspur is part of a field of 18. He will be ridden by Jim Cassidy and will carry 120 pounds under the handicap conditions of the Caulfield Cup.

The field includes Dandino, who won the American St. Leger at Arlington Park on Aug. 17. Trained by Marco Botti, Dandino will be ridden by Craig Williams and will carry 124 pounds.

There will be support for the Waller-trained Royal Descent, who is 20-1 to win the Melbourne Cup on Nov. 5. A 4-year-old filly by Redoute’s Choice, Royal Descent won the Group 1 Australian Oaks at Randwick in April. She carries 119 pounds.

The topweight at 127 pounds is Manighar, who was fifth in the 2010 Caulfield Cup and fourth the following year. Trained by Peter Moody, who trained the famous Australian sprinter Black Caviar, Manighar is winless in 14 starts since March 2012.