Bande, the five-year-old horse who has made a name for himself as a stayer in Japan, will make his first Australian start this Saturday in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
A Listed Japan Sapporo Nikkei (2600m) winner his last time out, Bande was one of 18 horses accepted for the 2014 Caulfield Cup Tuesday morning when the final field was released.
The horse is also just one of two entries offering single figure odds in the Ladbrokes.com.au Caulfield Cup betting market following his impressive five-length victory in the Sapporo. Bande is available at $9, behind Lucia Valentina at $4.80.
As impressive as all that is, assistant trainer Takahide Ando believes Bande is even “better” than when he won the Listed race by five lengths two months ago.
“He’s improving, he’s ready,” Ando told TVN.
Ando also said the horse has switched back on since his Caulfield trip last Saturday.
“Before we went to Caulfield, he was relaxing too much,” Ando said.
“We were just a little bit worried, but after Caulfield he’s switched on for racing and we’re very happy now.
“He’s ready to go racing now.”
Bande will have his final piece of preparation work tomorrow when he’ll gallop over 1000m at Werribee with stable mate Razon.
Christophe Lemaire is set to ride Bande in the 2014 Caulfield Cup, and will be exhausted following the race.
The jockey isn’t set to arrive in Melbourne until the early hours of Saturday morning, after which he will head to his hotel, ride in the $3 million Caulfield Cup before catching a plane straight back to Paris where he is currently riding.
The barrier drawn for the 2014 Caulfield Cup is set to be released within the next hour, which could alter the race favourites should they draw wide.
Make sure to keep races.com.au bookmarked, as we’ll release the barrier draw as soon as it is released.
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