A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
After being confirmed as a likely acceptor for the 2011 Caulfield Cup field at final declaration stage for the world’s richest 2400 metre handicap tomorrow, the Anthony Freedman-trained Lucas Cranach has firmed into the early second favourite in the markets for Saturday’s feature clash.
Last week Races.com.au reported that gun German import Lucas Cranach was expected to attempt the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup 2011 double, and connections have since confirmed that the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this weekend is on the agenda for the Mamool five-year-old.
Caulfield Cup 2011 odds at Luxbet are currently lead by fellow import, the talented Mark Kavanah-trained December Draw who is the firm $2.60 favourite.
With the Lloyd Williams-owned stablemates Midas Touch – heading towards the Cox Plate instead – and At First Sight – suffering from a viral infection – both named as non-acceptors, the price on Lucas Cranach in the Caulfield Cup betting has been slashed from $13 to $8 at Luxbet.
Lucas Cranach is yet to step out under race conditions in Australia, but has been seen galloping impressively at Werribee where they have been quarantined since arriving in Australia last month.
The horse is now residing at Freedman’s Rye training facility, Lucas Cranach preparing for their heralded spring debut in the Caulfield Cup after which they will line-up in Flemington’s famous $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet on Lucas Cranach have also firmed over the weekend, the Group 2 winner in from $12 to co $10 favourite with defending champion Americain.
Lucas Cranach had people talking at Werribee on Sunday morning when they appeared with bandages covering their near foreleg, which were removed for their work.
Lee Freedman, however, assured the horse was fine and had just a minor bruise on his near fore-hoof after he lost both front plates during an earlier workout.
“The bandaging was a precaution to prevent the bruise from spreading up the leg,” Freedman said.
For the Caulfield Cup 2011 in-form hoop Corey Brown has been booked to ride Lucas Cranach, the galloper to face up to five international raiders.
One overseas contender that earned their spot in this year’s Caulfield Cup field was the Brian Ellison-trained Saptapadi.
The five-year-old ran an unlucky eighth when beaten four lengths by Shewan in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday, a race Saptapadi’s stablemate Moyenne Corniche ran a good third in.
“Brian said that the horse (Saptapadi) pulled up fine from the run and he is keen to back him up this week,” Racing Victoria’s Leigh Jordon said.
“The stable does have the capacity to change their mind at the last minute though, but at this stage they are running.”
Sapatapadi is a $51 chance in the Caulfield Cup markets and $151 in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet.
The Melbourne Cup is aim for Moyenne Corniche who is paying $41.
Following December Draw and Lucas Cranach in the Caulfield Cup markets at Luxbet is the Michael Kent-trained mare Absolutely at $11, the AJC Oaks winner last seen running sixth in the Turnbull Stakes.
Meanwhile, another high-profile horse likely to drop out of the Caulfield Cup 2011 is Glass Harmonium who trainer Michael Moroney said was more likely to accept for Saturday week’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“We just think at a mile and a half, there is a little question mark on him to a degree so at this stage we will head to the Cox Plate,” Moroney said.
Other Caulfield Cup horses that are currently at juicy double-figure odds at Luxbet, which will change with tomorrow’s acceptances, are Lights Of Heaven ($19) and the Luca Cumani-trained raiders Drunken Sailor and Manighar both paying $26.
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