James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
After riding Marco Botti’s visiting European raider Seismos in a Werribee gallop on Thursday morning jockey Craig Newitt rates the stayer a genuine chance in both the Caulfield Cup 2014 and the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
Earlier when Newitt got the call to say he had the Spring Cups ride on the Dalakhani seven-year-old he was just pleased to have secured a ride in the two major staying showdowns of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Now however he’s out to do more than just show up believing Seismos a genuine chance to be competitive in the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and also the world’s richest handicap with the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) lighting up Flemington Racecourse on November 4.
Newitt travelled to the Werribee quarantine facility today to have his first ride on Seismos, the Newmarket-based gelding to debut down under Saturday week in the Caulfield Cup field.
Working with stable mate Dandino, Seismos didn’t break any records but did impress his hoop.
Newitt was thrilled with what the horse showed him is now very much looking forward to Caulfield Cup Day.
“I really like him. He’s a beautiful relaxed horse who bowled around this morning,” Newitt told TVN.
“First impressions – I couldn’t be happier. I reckon he’s a beauty.”
Racing Victoria took third Caulfield Cup acceptances earlier in the week with 41 still in the mix including seven internationals.
The best fancied of the raiders is Japan’s Bande at $8 in the updated Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au that are led by last weekend’s Turnbull Stakes winning mare Lucia Valentina ($6).
Seismos meanwhile is at $26 to win, a nice price according to Newitt.
The galloper was last seen racing at Newbury in the UK on August 16 when carrying 59kg to victory in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m).
It was a nice effort that day and the horse’s first win since a blistering nine length effort first-up over 2300m in February in Germany when under the guidance of his former trainer Andreas Wohler.
While Wohler does not have representation in this year’s Caulfield Cup third declarations he is still targeting the 2014 Melbourne Cup with his in-form Monsun stallion Protectionist.
The German stayer won back-to-back Group 2 races before travelling down under including the Prix Kergorlay over 3000m in late August, an event that has provided a number of genuine Melbourne Cup performers in recent years.
Protectionist pays $15 to win in the futures Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, the all-in odds led by Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup winner The Offer ($9).
Seismos meanwhile pays $34 to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ which would be Newitt’s maiden Melbourne Cup winning ride.
Newitt is also yet to ride a Caulfield Cup winner and so is hoping to break through in the Spring Cups this year, his chances of doing that increased with a bit of rain.
“If there is any rain it will only enhance his prospects, but if it’s firm it won’t worry him,” Newitt said of Seismos who he returns to ride in a final piece of pre-Caulfield Cup work next week.
To check out the full markets open on all the upcoming Group 1s visit Ladbrokes.com.au where first time depositing players are eligible for a bonus $500 welcome bet matching their first deposit when using the code SPRINGBONUS – expiring soon!
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