Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
ATC Derby winning Kiwi raider Jon Snow will benefit from any lead-up rain for the 2017 Caulfield Cup this Saturday in Melbourne.
Currently the course proper at Caulfield Racecourse, host to the Group 1 $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on the weekend, is rated a Good (3).
There is scheduled rain in Melbourne over the next few days however and that will benefit in-form Iffraaj four-year-old Jon Snow according to co-trainer Murray Baker.
“He’s a wet track horse and they tell me rains coming,” Baker told the media at Tuesday’s Caulfield Cup barrier draw.
Baker, who trains out of Cambridge in New Zealand in partnership with Andrew Forsman, enjoyed Caulfield Cup success just two years ago with then four-year-old Mongolian Khan (2015).
The team have two chances in the 17-starter Caulfield Cup field this weekend with one-time favourite Bonneval and fellow proven stayer Jon Snow drawn in barriers 14 and six respectively.
Jon Snow won over the Caulfield Cup distance in Sydney as a three-year-old in the autumn taking out Randwick’s Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) on a Heavy (8) track.
He is better with give in the ground and from three Heavy track starts boasts two wins and a second.
His first win since came third-up this spring at Moonee Valley on Moir Stakes Night, September 29, when Jon Snow saluted in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) on a Good (3) track.
In a final Caulfield Cup tune-up, where the stallion is sure to relish the step-up to a mile and a half for the first time since his Derby triumph, Jon Snow raced last Saturday in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
That was his second start at the track following a first-up sixth when only three lengths off the winner, subsequent The Everest runner-up Vega Magic, in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
Jon Snow finished third past the post in the Ladbrokes Stakes, one further back that the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish raider Johannes Vermeer (2nd), and comes down from 58kg to 54.5kg in the Caulfield Cup weights.
“Jon Snow is a very honest horse, he doesn’t get too far off the pace, drops 3.5kg on Saturday’s placing,” Baker said.
“From barrier six he’ll be thereabouts.”
Johannes Vermeer currently leads Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on the back of that firming right in from $5 to $4.20.
Ben Melham rides the Caulfield Cup favourite on Saturday from a favourable barrier two draw, while Stephen Baster retains the mount aboard the other best out of the Ladbrokes Stakes Jon Snow.
Jon Snow brings into the race the same Caulfield Cup form as his successful stablemate Mongolian Khan who was third in the Caulfield Stakes before taking out the longer-distanced spring feature.
Mongolian Khan also saluted for the punters as the $5 favourite, but Jon Snow is longer in Caulfield Cup betting this spring at a current quote of $11.
Bonneval meanwhile has Kerrin McEvoy coming aboard on Caulfield Cup Day, the four-year-old daughter of Makfi also a better horse on Soft tracks (5-3-0-1).
She is looking to go back-to-back for the mares after Jameka (2016), but needs to atone for her sixth as the beaten favourite in last Saturday’s Ladbrokes Stakes.
Prior to that the dual 2400m Oaks winner (NZ Oaks – ATC Oaks double), made it six wins on the trot defeating Hartnell in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
“She’s fit, she’s won two Oaks at the trip and has a top class rider in Kerrin McEvoy aboard,” Baker said, talking up the chances of Bonneval bouncing back.
To back one of the Kiwi-trained Caulfield Cup 2017 horses at the right price this weekend visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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