After a win the Goodwood Cup last week, jockey Kieren Fallon is concerned 2014 Melbourne Cup hope Cavalryman could be out-weighted in the ‘race that stops a nation’ down under this November.
The two combined last Thursday night to score an upset win over stable mate Ahzeemah with the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Halling stallion Cavalryman winning the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup (3218m) by a neck.
Suroor’s duo then had over four lengths to spare on the reigning Goodwood Cup winner and last year’s Melbourne Cup eighth placed Shirocco stallion Brown Panther.
It was the second straight win by veteran eight-year-old Cavalryman this prep and saw them earmarked for a trip to Australia for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington this spring where Fallon rates their chances on a number of levels.
“Cavalryman goes on any ground, has the speed you need to get into any position, he’s got good early gate speed, he travels well and stays well,” six-time British champion jockey Fallon told Racing UK.
“He can quicken.”
On the back of some excellent two mile form in Britain back in 2012, Cavalryman made that trip to Victoria but could only manage to run 12th behind the Robert Hickmott-trained Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup.
They carried just 54kg that year in the world’s richest handicap but had a hefty 61kg on their back for their Goodwood Cup success.
Fallon however has expressed his weight worries for the horse’s Melbourne Cup bid this spring.
“The only thing I worry about is, because he has been so successful, the weight he would be given in the Melbourne Cup wouldn’t be very kind,” he said.
“(But) if he was to get weighted accordingly, you would be hopeful.”
Fallon is also no stranger to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s showcase race having partnered four time Ascot Gold Cup champ Yeats in the 2006 Melbourne Cup.
They ran a brave seventh behind Japanese raider Delta Blues, a result Fallon knows would have been improved with less weight and one he hopes isn’t repeated with Cavalryman.
“(Yeats) went there with every chance,” he said.
“I thought I could win it but he was another horse who was given too much weight.
“It’s a very difficult race to ride because it is a massive field and everybody wants the same position.
“It’s very rough for the first half-mile until they stretch out and then they seem to take their time.
“They pull it up all the way down the back and then the Australian horses seem to have a better turn of foot.”
2014 Melbourne Cup weights are set for release on September 16 a week after nominations close.
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