Ace trainer of imports David Hayes has his topline Caulfield Cup 2014 hopes picked out ahead of the carnival including Spillway who returns to racing in the PB Lawrence Stakes in Melbourne this weekend.
Twelve months ago Hayes was tipping smart British stayer Jet Away for a win in the Caulfield Cup during their second campaign down under.
The Cape Cross stallion came close when under two lengths away fourth behind the winner Fawkner in the 2400m handicap clash after a wide run second-up on the back of a Turnbull Stakes seventh when 1.9 lengths off subsequent Cox Plate runner-up Happy Trails.
Jet Away went on to run sixth to Side Glance in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on November 2 but missed the autumn due to injury.
They are nearing their new season return now however with the seven-year-old on track for another shot at the $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup on October 18 for which they pay $26 to win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Leading up to the Caulfield Cup a more immediate goal for Jet Away, whose first-up run is likely for the end of the month, will be the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13 according to Hayes.
“He’s in great condition and we’re hopeful he can reproduce what he’s showed us during the spring last year,” Hayes told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Joining them in Hayes’ Caulfield Cup contingent is then Rail Link stallion Spillway who runs first-up at Caulfield Racecourse this weekend.
Also at $26 in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Cup odds, the imported four-year-old has had three runs for one win in Australia this year.
After two unplaced runs firstly at Bendigo and then Rosehill during the early autumn they stepped it up at Royal Randwick on April 26 coming from the back of the field to win the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) running away with two and a half lengths to spare on the line over Danchai.
This weekend they’ll look to kick off an even better spring preparation having been nominated for the $200,000 Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
There they will face a true acid test with plenty of top talent among the entries including the reigning champion Puissance De Lune, last start Bletchingly Stakes winner Thiamandi and a trio from the Peter Moody stables led by former Queensland Derby winner Brambles.
Hayes is confident Spillway can give them all a run for their money however after some exciting trial form leading up to their return.
“He bolted in at his last start in Sydney during the autumn carnival and that was Group 3, he spelled well, in fact he’s thrived in the winter months and I’ll be more than interested to see how he fares on Saturday,” Hayes said.
“I know the race will be a bit short, and that might be his undoing, but he has impressed me in what he’s done for the long term.
“I took him to Flemington last Friday and he went well in a jumpout and Damien Oliver who rode him said that he would like to be on him in the Lawrence Stakes, so that’s a compliment in itself.”
There’s also a chance Jet Away and Spillway will contest the weight-for-age $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley the Saturday after the Caulfield Cup.
Cox Plate betting markets are currently led by Silent Achiever ($11) after the official withdrawal of the retired Carlton House.
Jet Away is at the same price as their Caulfield Cup odds ($26) but Spillway is a $51 outsider for the Plate.
To back Hayes’ Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival hopes this weekend and beyond at the best prices visit Ladbrokes.com.au and sign-up with the sportsbook offering Best Tote or SP on the majors!