Chris Waller’s fillies dominate the nominations...
All the focus has been on Jameka this week, but trainer Ciaron Maher believes that there is also plenty to like about the talented mare’s stable mates Set Square and Pemberley leading into Saturday’s 2016 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
A Group 1 winner having taken out the 2014 edition of the Crown Oaks (2500m), Set Square returned to racing this time for ninth in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and clearly took improvement from the run when third in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on September 3rd.
Having progressed to fourth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) a fortnight later, the Reset mare failed to produce much in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) most recently on October 2nd.
Set Square will leave from the outside barrier in a capacity field of eighteen on Saturday, and Maher believes the mare will have to find a position off pace with cover, if she is a chance in the Caulfield Cup 2016.
“From barrier 20 she’ll have to go back and get some cover,” Maher told Racing Ahead.
“It doesn’t look to be a great deal of speed on paper, which is a little bit of a concern for her, but you never know because the races can change complexion pretty quickly.”
Pemberley is another runner that clearly required a run when he beat only one other horse home in the Westar Trucks Isuzu Handicap (1500m) on August 20th, but has since won a pair of Victorian minors over 1815m and 2050m respectively and finished third in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) last weekend.
“Pemberley is in great order,” Maher said.
“From 17, Benny Allen is going to just have to try and get one of those Brew-type Kerrin McEvoy rides in the Melbourne Cup, just hopefully it falls into his place.
“I don’t think he’ll go back, I don’t think he’ll go right forward, he’ll probably just have to try and slot in.
“He’s in great order that horse, he’s really come through his run no Saturday bouncing around and I think when horses drop to a weight like 50.5kgs, they can really go to a level they haven’t been before.
“He’ll have to do that to be competitive in this race, but he’s certainly in some of the best form of his career.”
Set Square is currently available at 2016 Caulfield Cup odds of $34 with Ladbrokes.com.au, while Pemberley represents particularly good value at a $51 quote.
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