Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Jockey Hugh Bowman believes there is “no reason” Hughie Morrison’s British raider Marmelo can’t win the 2017 Caulfield Cup this weekend on way to his grand final target on the first Tuesday of November.
The five-year-old Duke Of Marmalade stallion is one of three internationally-trained raiders in the 17 starter field for this year’s Group 1 $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Drawn in barrier 10, which last produced a Caulfield Cup winner in Fawkner (2013), Marmelo has Bowman aboard for his down under debut.
Bowman has partnered the last start Group 2 Prix Kergorlay Stakes (3000m) winner in plenty of work over the past two weeks at the Werribee International Horse Centre.
The latest was a final Tuesday morning tune-up over 1000m that had Bowman full of pre-race confidence heading into the Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
“He had a pretty firm gallop on Friday and I feel that it did its job because he was much more on the bridle today, much more alert and aware of what he was up to,” Bowman told Racing Victoria.
“We basically went five [furlongs] at evens and he was very comfortable so I let him breeze up the last 100m, 200m or so.
“Any decent sort of horse is going to work well doing that sort of work but he’s certainly much more alert than the first couple of times I rode him.”
Marmelo carries 55kg, second only to the Darren Weir-trained top weight Humidor (56kg), and is a proven stayer also in Victoria for the Group 1 $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 7.
The entire has had two previous 2400m runs for a win and a second, but will be fresh for his Australian debut on Saturday not having raced since the Prix Kergorlay win in France back in August.
All of the horse’s more recent runs have been over further than the Caulfield Cup distance, but his maiden win was a 10 length romp home at Doncaster over 2414m in July last year so he has form over the metres.
“It’s a long time since he’s raced over 2400m and we are aware of that,” Bowman said.
“He’s here for the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup is obviously a good stepping stone towards that but judging on what I’m feeling I think he’ll run a very good race on Saturday.
“I just want a trouble-free run and if things go our way there’s no reason why he can’t win the race.”
Ill-fated Japanese raider Admire Rakti (2014) was the last international to win the Caulfield Cup, while Dunaden (2012) was the last European to do so having also won the previous year’s Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double.
The other European visitors after the Caulfield Cup trophy on Saturday are the firming favourite Johannes Vermeer ($4.80) prepared by Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien and the William Mullins-trained Wicklow Brave ($41) out to be the first nine-year-old winner of the mile and a half classic in history.
To check out the full Caulfield Cup 2017 betting odds and back Marmelo for the win with Bowman aboard at the right price visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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