Japanese superstar stayer Bande drew barrier 10 for the 2014 Caulfield Cup, but will actually jump from gate nine following the scratching of the four emergencies.
Bande is one of 18 horses set to compete in the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) this Saturday October 18, for which the barrier draw was announced live on Tuesday afternoon at Crown casino.
Bande’s trainer Yoshito Yahagi described the draw as “perfect”.
Yahagi is confident the five-year-old can bring home the victory in his first black type race despite having reservations about the weight allocation of 56.5kg.
“He hasn’t won a Group race before but we are being asked to carry a Group horse’s weight so I think it’s unfair,” Yahagi told racing.com.
“Despite the weight we think he has a good chance of winning on Saturday.”
Bande, who is a last-start winner after a brilliant five-length victory in the Listed Sapporo Nikkei (2600m) on August 10, is second-favourite in the 2014 Caulfield Cup odds with online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.
He opened the betting market at $9 but has seen his odds shorten to $8 overnight following the barrier draw.
Currently he is the only single figure hopeful other than Lucia Valentina ($4.40).
However it is fellow Japanese stayer Admire Rakti ($10) that is the biggest threat to Bande’s chances, according to Yahagi.
“Australian horses are very good sprinters but not as good over middle distances or further, I think Japanese horses are very good in this distance category,” he said.
“Admire Rakti and Bande have very similar ability but we carry a little bit lighter weight so I think we have a good chance against him.”
The Tomoyuki Umeda-trained Admire Rakti also received a favourable barrier draw on Tuesday, set to start from gate seven after the emergencies are scratched.
However, the Group 2 Hansh Daishoten (3000m) runner-up will carry the top weight of 58kg, which is up to six kilos more than his rivals on the field.
Both Bande and Admire Rakti will make their Australian debut on Saturday in the Caulfield Cup 2014, after dominating in Japan.
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