Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
They may be one of the best in futures Caulfield Cup 2014 betting but trainer Chris Waller might not give Our Voodoo Prince their maiden spring run in Victoria until two weeks before the famous handicap clash.
Imported Kingmambo gelding Our Voodoo Prince shot into calculations for this year’s $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) after three straight wins in Melbourne in their opening campaign down under this autumn.
They now pay $17 in the pre-nomination Caulfield Cup betting markets for the October 18th classic with first nominations to be taken in September.
Markets are led by ATC Oaks winner Rising Romance ($13) with three others above Waller’s runner with Crown Oaks champ Kirramosa, Storm Queen winner Lucia Valentina and Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup victor The Offer all at $15.
A rising seven-year-old and half-brother to Europe’s latest star Australia, Our Voodoo Prince debuted down under in March after a career in Great Britain with the esteemed Ed Dunlop.
For Dunlop they won three of their 17 starts but were never tested at Group level.
With Waller they kicked things off at Sandown with a mile win in a Benchmark 84 when coming from last to first before another victory in April, this time at Flemington over 2000m.
Their last effort was then a Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) victory at Caulfield where they beat subsequent Warrnambool Cup winner Akzar, runner-up to them the start before also, by three quarters of a length.
Impressed with what he’s seen from the gelding so far, Waller will be stepping them right up in class this coming spring.
He plans however for them to do the bulk of their new season racing at home in Sydney without racing in Melbourne until October 4 at Flemington for the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) before their Caulfield Cup run two weeks later.
Waller is looking at trialing them twice in August before three Sydney runs leading up to the 2014 Turnbull Stakes.
“He’s in Sydney in work, he’s trialling around the 1st of August and he’s done very well, it’s as simple as that,” Waller told Racing Victoria this week.
“He’ll have two trials, the second one will be on the 15th of August and he’ll be ready to race probably on the 23rd of August (at Randwick’s Warwick Stakes meeting).”
That of course is dependent on how Our Voodoo Prince sits in the Caulfield Cup order of entry.
If it looks like they won’t be assured of a run in the Caulfield Cup field then Waller will change plans.
“It’d be nice to think he’s close to being guaranteed a start in the Caulfield Cup, then we can take a weight-for-age path through races like the Chlemsford (Stakes) on the sixth of September over a mile and the Hill Stakes in Sydney, weight-for-age over 2000, on the 20th of September,” Waller said.
“But if he’s struggling to look like he’ll get a start (in the Caulfield Cup) there’s the Naturalism Stakes on the same day in Melbourne and then he’ll probably race in the Turnbull on the fourth of October and the Caulfield Cup on the 18th.”
Confident they can be competitive in the iconic mile and a half handicap, Waller also knows Our Voodoo Prince needs to improve on their first season form down under to win.
“He’s been placed well and he was the right horse for the races he was running in, but he’s still got a massive jump to go to get to the Caulfield Cup,” he said.
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