Jameka has secured ballot-free entry into the Group 1 Caulfield Cup with an easy win over a classy field in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield this afternoon.
A Group 1 winner having taken out last year’s edition of the Crown Oaks (2500m), Jameka had steadily built to the task through two starts leading into the Naturalism Stakes this afternoon and took an ideal position in running from the outset this afternoon.
Settling into a great rhythm as Tom Melbourne and Gallante set the pace in transit, jockey Nick Hall elected to stay on the rails and cut the corner leading into the final straight; a move that proved decisive as Jameka charged clear of her rivals; finding the line four lengths ahead of a brave Gallante; Berisha running on for third.
Hall piloted Fawkner to success in the Caulfield Cup in 2013, and believes that Jameka shows all the right signs of a genuine Cups contender.
“My concern was having to go inside Tom Melbourne on the bad part of the track, but for a stayer like her to still be travelling at the 400m, it was going to be easy work,” Hall said.
“When I hit the front I just knew that nothing was going to run her down.”
Ciaron Maher was thrilled that the Myboycharlie mare was able to return to winning form in the Naturalism Stakes, and revealed that her next task with either be the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley, or the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, leading into the Caulfield Cup.
“It was great to get her back in the winner’s stall,” Maher said.
“When she’s able to use her stride like that and roll along, she just seems to relax and was much happier.
“Nick gave her a great ride today and it was great for the owners to get her back here today.
“She’s always been a forward horse. As a three-year-old she was strong and compeititve in anything we put her in and now as a four-year-old you know she’s always been more mature than the other four-year-olds and she’s on track.
“We’ll enter her in JRA Cup and also the Turnbull and we’ll just work out which is the better option for her.”
2016 Naturalism Stakes Results
|1||6||JAMEKA||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||–||1||55.5kg||$6.50|
|2||1||GALLANTE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||3.75L||5||58.5kg||$51|
|3||10||BERISHA||Robert Smerdon||Patrick Moloney||5L||15||54kg||$19|
|4||8||SET SQUARE||Ciaron Maher||Luke Nolen||5.3L||14||55.5kg||$7|
|5||7||MAGNAPAL||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Luke Currie||5.5L||10||55.5kg||$20|
|6||13||TOM MELBOURNE (IRE)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Glen Boss||5.7L||2||54kg||$4.20F|
|7||4||REAL LOVE||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||6L||8||57kg||$7|
|8||3||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Mark Zahra||7L||4||57.5kg||$26|
|9||12||OBSERVATIONAL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Ben Melham||7.2L||12||54kg||$13|
|10||15||GABELLA (FR)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||7.4L||16||54kg||$10|
|11||16||SECOND BULLET||Danny O’Brien||Damian Lane||8.15L||9||54kg||$15|
|12||14||SWACADELIC (GER)||Aaron Purcell||Stephen Baster||8.35L||6||54kg||$101|
|13||9||TALL SHIP (IRE)||Darren Weir||Michael Dee (a)||9.85L||7||54kg||$101|
|14||2||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Michael Walker||10.25L||13||57.5kg||$21|
|15||17e||ZANTECA (NZ)||Darren Weir||Craig Newitt||11L||11||54kg||$101|
|16||5||TAIYOO||Darren Weir||Harry Coffey||11.3L||3||56kg||$101|