Leading jockey Craig Williams is thrilled to partner Japanese raider Hokko Brave in Saturday’s 2015 Caulfield Cup (2400m), but conceded the talented entire will need plenty of luck in running after drawing the wide and awkward barrier 19.
Hokko Brave has posted an impressive five wins and ten minors through 29 career starts so far; returning this year for third in the Group 2 Nikkei Sho (2500m) on March 28th before running an impressive sixth amongst some of the world’s standout stayers in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) on May 3rd.
Should all four emergencies remain outside the capacity field of eighteen, Hokko Brave will leave from gate 15 in the 2015 Caulfield Cup; something Williams believes may lead to his undoing.
“I hate drawing wide,” Williams told Racing Victoria.
“Dunaden won because he was a great horse – a barrier never helped him at all.
“Barriers in big races – because they’re such good, competitive horses – are very vital.
“Doesn’t mean he can’t win from there, but a lot more things need to go in your favour.”
Williams has worked Hokko Brave only once since his arrival in Australia, but is confident he will have no issues understanding the horse prior to the 2015 Caulfield Cup.
“I’ve only sat on him one time. We’re going to sit down now and have a discussion about the horse, (so) I’ll get a bit more of an idea about Hokko Brave himself,” Williams added.
Hokko Brave’s handler Hiroshi Ando is far-more confident of the seven-year-old’s chance of the wide draw, and revealed the team actually prefers the classy stayer to draw away from the traffic.
“Why I say outside is good, is because he’s such a big stretch horse. You guys see at Caulfield, the inside is always a big traffic jam,” Ando said.
“We don’t want to hit the traffic inside. If you get packed in, that’s it. It’s hard to find space.”
Charged with overcoming the likes of fellow Japanese raider Fame Game and in-form local Mongolian Khan, Hokko Brave is currently available at generous Caulfield Cup odds of $15 for success or $4.60 to finish in the first three with Ladbrokes.com.au.
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