Beaten Up is still on track for a 2013 Caulfield Cup start next month despite the Chris Waller-trained import running second to stablemate Hawkspur in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) over the weekend.
Waller celebrated the Chelmsford quinella on Saturday when his Queensland Derby winner Hawkspur beat home his Doomben Cup champ Beaten Up, who was forced to race up front, by three and a half lengths in the Randwick feature.
Despite the loss though, Waller is confident Beat Hollow six-year-old Beaten Up will improve over the season as they get more distance during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“He didn’t reef and tear when he got in front (on Saturday), I thought it was a controlled pace, so that was a bonus,” Waller said on RSN’s Correct Weight Sunday morning.
“Beaten Up of six months ago would have charged off and led by three or four lengths and finished midfield or even worse, so I thought it was a big step for him.”
Their first major assignment will come on October 19 with the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on the agenda, a race Waller is confident they can win.
“All I need is for him to settle on Caulfield Cup Day and I think he can win the race,” Waller said.
“I think he’s a very exceptional horse over that 2400-metre distance.”
They are yet to race over further than the 2000m in Australia but Beaten Up was tested over the mile and a half three times in Britain when prepared by William Haggas including a big Newbury win over Al Kazeem in October of 2011.
“He beat a horse called Al Kazeem by three lengths from memory about 18 months ago and that horse has gone on to be one of the superstars up there,” Waller said.
“We’ve just got to get him to switch off. If he can, I think he can be the real deal for a race like that and I’m not even counting out the Cox Plate with him.”
In the latest Caulfield Cup odds Beaten Up is rated an $18 chance while for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) under weight-for-age conditions at Moonee Valley on October 26 they pay $26.
Hawkspur meanwhile shot to the top of the Caulfield Cup markets following the Chelmsford result paying $10 as the equal favourite with the Mark Kavanagh-trained Super Cool.
Waller also celebrated a big mile win on the weekend with Foreteller taking out the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) over Melbourne Cup 2013 favourite Puissance De Lune.
A $26 Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup chance, Foreteller will vie for another elite level this spring next start in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
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