Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
One time favourite in 2017 Caulfield Cup betting for the weekend, the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained mare Bonneval needs to pass a vet check on Thursday before taking her spot in the Group 1 field on Saturday.
One the drift in Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au out from $6 to $8, the four-year-old daughter of Makfi has another scheduled examination by Racing Victoria vets ahead of the $3.15 million race.
Winner of the NZ Oaks – ATC Oaks double over the Caulfield Cup distance (2400m) as a three-year-old filly last season, Bonneval enjoyed six wins on the trot before things came undone last Saturday.
Backing up from a win over Hartnell in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on October 1, the mare returned to the Caulfield track as favourite in the Group 1 Caulfield Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m).
Bonneval however only managed to finish four lengths back sixth behind the winner Gailo Chop and was declared as “two out of five lame” post-race according the RV chief steward Terry Bailey.
Bailey confirmed the three-time Group 1 winner was examined again on Wednesday in a surprise and unannounced check at Flemington, improving to a “one out of five lame”, but that a final check was required before giving her the all clear to run in the Caulfield Cup.
“It’s no secret we had our concerns with her on Saturday and Grace Forbes, our head vet, looked at her and she’s not fully satisfied with Bonneval,” Bailey told the Herald Sun.
“She assessed her as a one out of five in terms of her lameness.”
Co-trainer Baker, who enjoyed Caulfield Cup success two years ago with race favourite Mongolian Khan (2015), had no idea the examination had even taken place on Wednesday.
“She always trots up a bit funny,” Baker reportedly told Bailey.
“I wouldn’t be running her if she was sore.”
Baker also spoke to the NZ Racing Desk and confirmed his belief that there was “nothing amiss” with Bonneval.
“She pulled up in good shape and trotted up perfectly on Sunday morning,” the Cambridge-based trainer said.
“There’s nothing amiss with her and she will be ready to run the race of her life.”
Flying hoop Kerrin McEvoy also partnered Bonneval for the first time in a gallop on Wednesday, revealing no post-run issues with how she felt.
“Had a sit on Bonneval this morning at Flemington, she is moving well and is nice and bright, final piece of fast work tmrw morn [sic],” McEvoy revealed on Twitter.
McEvoy made history riding the inaugural The Everest winner Redzel to victory in Sydney’s $10 million feature last weekend.
The in-form jockey was back in feature race winning form again on Wednesday taking out the Group 2 $350,000 Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) on the now 2017 Coolmore Stud Stakes-bound Lindsay Park-trained filly Formality.
Bonneval is out to be the eighth four-year-old mare to win the Caulfield Cup since 1983 and the second in as many years after the success of Jameka in 2016.
Her chances suffered a blow on Tuesday morning at the official Caulfield Cup barrier draw when she drew wide in barrier 14, which hasn’t produced a winner in the past 30 plus years.
The stable’s other hope in the Caulfield Cup field, Jon Snow, drew better in barrier six but remains a $12 chance in the markets.
Jon Snow took out the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) in Sydney over the autumn on a mud track and Baker confirmed any rain leading-up to Caulfield Cup Day would benefit the four-year-old Iffraaj stallion.
Stephen Baster continues his association on Jon Snow this weekend having partnered the galloper for all four of his runs this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival including his lead-up third in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
That’s the exact result Mongolian Khan produced ahead of the 2015 Caulfield Cup triumph and in another telling form line, he saluted from barrier six.
To check out the latest Caulfield Cup odds on the 17 horses in the mix, visit Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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