Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Caulfield’s Ciaron Maher has said he “couldn’t be happier” with the progress of his Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka who is on track for a shot at the Melbourne Cup 2016.
Japanese raider Delta Blues (3rd in 2006) a decade ago was the last Caulfield Cup graduate to back directly up in the ‘race that stops a nation’ and take out the two mile classic at Flemington Racecourse.
Punters need to look further back to 2001 to find the last Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double winner that didn’t have a run in between when Sheila Laxon’s star Kiwi mare Ethereal completed the coveted Spring Cups double.
Last weekend Maher’s Myboycharlie four-year-old Jameka saluted for the punters with a runaway three length romp home in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) over the mile and a half.
All reports from Maher are that the now $3.67 million earner pulled up over the week in fine order and that it was all systems go for a start in the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday November 1.
“I couldn’t be happier with her,” Maher told Racing Victoria.
“She has come through her win on Saturday in great order.
“It will just be a case of giving her some maintenance gallops between now and the Melbourne Cup.”
Jameka, now a dual Group 1 winner having also won last year’s Crown Oaks over 2500m at Flemington as a filly, carted 52.5kg to victory in the Caulfield Cup.
She has received 2kg in penalties for the Melbourne Cup, but still only goes up a kilo to 53.5kg in the world’s richest handicap race.
The last Melbourne Cup winner to carry exactly 53.5kg to victory was another mare, Empire Rose back in 1988.
In more recent years Viewed (2008) and Prince Of Penzance (2015) both carried 53kg for their respective Melbourne Cup victories.
Since Ethereal (2001) the only Melbourne Cup winning mare is the historical three-time champion Makybe Diva (2003-05).
The last four-year-old Melbourne Cup champion meanwhile was the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shocking (2009).
The latest all-in Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by the John O’Shea-trained Turnbull Stakes winner Hartnell ($4.60).
He gets a chance to firm in those futures markets this weekend when he heads to Moonee Valley to take on the superstar mare and defending champion Winx in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at weight-for-age.
Jameka meanwhile occupies the second line of pre-field Melbourne Cup betting at $6.50.
In other news, Maher is set to retire his 2014 Crown Oaks winner Set Square after she suffered a stress fracture that ruled her out of a run in the Caulfield Cup.
“The owners will meet to discuss the next steps but it will be my recommendation to retire her,” Maher said.
“The option is to give her time to recover and maybe target the Autumn Carnival but I think that she has done enough.”
A $50,000 yearling purchase by syndicator Ken King, the now five-year-old daughter of Reset has won three of her 16 starts for $883,250 in prize money.
Her last run was a distant 10th to Hartnell in the Turnbull Stakes on October 2.
The 2016 Melbourne Cup second declarations close at 10:00am (AEDT) on Monday October 24.
Now then is the time to get in on the juicy prices on offer to the potential runners in the Melbourne Cup field online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the $700 first time depositor’s bonus bet (excluding NSW) with use of the code SPRINGBONUS (T&Cs apply).
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