She’s the clear favourite so won’t be going under the radar but trainer Michael Moroney admits Saturday’s 2013 W.W. Cockram Stakes will still be a challenge for the progressive Octavia.
The Holy Roman Emperor mare is one of 14 mares still in contention for the $150,000 Group 3 KS Environmental Cockram Stakes (1200m) which brings the Caulfield racing action to a close as Race 8 at 4:40pm (AEST) on Saturday.
Having scored an emphatic three and a half length win at the same track and distance last start, Octavia has opened top of the Cockram Stakes odds paying $3.80 to go back-to-back at Caulfield.
It’s a short price looking at her strong list of rivals that includes undefeated first-up specialist Lady Melksham ($5) who resumes here and the autumn’s Australian Guineas runner-up You’re So Good ($8).
But the bookies don’t want to take any chances on this in-form four-year-old who also ran a nose away second at Moonee Valley and Caulfield respectively in her two opening runs this time in.
Her good form for this also continues back to February when she rounded out her lengthy maiden campaign with a tight win in the Listed Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m), also held at Caulfield.
While Saturday is a notable class rise Moroney is confident he’s got her spot on for the challenge.
“It’s a big step up, but she has a very good record over 1200m and the last time she was in stakes company over this distance she won at Caulfield,” he told the Herald Sun.
The only query meanwhile could be her 56kg weight allocation und the set weights plus penalties conditions.
Drawn mid-field in gate eight with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, Octavia has been ridden by apprentice hoop Kayla Nisbet for her two last starts in order to receive the three kilo claim.
She won’t get that for the Cockram however and so goes up a full five kilos from last start.
If all goes to plan for Octavia this season Moroney will try extending her over 1400m.
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