Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
After a career best performance at the track and distance last weekend the Archie Alexander-trained Herbert Power Stakes winner Lord Fandango has been blessed with the best barrier to take out the 2017 Caulfield Cup on Saturday in an upset.
The German-bred Lord Of England entire has had just the six runs down under since joining English expat Alexander at his Ballarat base, but is quickly progressing through the ranks.
This weekend the five-year-old takes things to another level taking on a star-studded field of stayers in the Group 1 $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
On the quick back-up this weekend, Lord Fandango improved on a Benalla Cup win on September 29 to charge home in last Saturday’s Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) earning his spot in the Caulfield Cup field.
Ridden by apprentice Ben Allen for the strong one length Group 2 success, the horse drops three kilos down to Saturday’s 50kg light weight and might just have beaten the handicappers.
In a big thrill for the young Allen, he retains the ride on Lord Fandango in the Caulfield Cup and the duo are drawn in barrier nine.
Barrier nine has produced more Caulfield Cup winners than any other gate since 1983 with five success stories, most recently Railings (2005).
The last horse to cart just 50kg to a Caulfield Cup triumph though was then four-year-old Kiwi-trained mare Ethereal back in 2001.
Since then, the lightest-weighted Caulfield Cup champion was Master O’Reilly (50.5kg in 2007).
Master O’Reilly was also the last horse to do the Herbert Power Stakes – Caulfield Cup double, jumping favourite in the latter by default after the scratchings of Maldivian and Eskimo Queen from the race.
Lord Fandango currently pays $20 in the latest Caulfield Cup odds through Ladbrokes.com.au and if he scores the upset will be the longest-priced winner since the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained raider All The Good ($41 in 2008).
The internationals are tipped to take out the Caulfield Cup trophy again this spring with markets led by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer ($4.40) from Ireland.
Johannes Vermeer jumps from barrier two carrying 54.5kg in the form of Ben Melham who replaces Katelyn Mallyon in the saddle of last weekend’s Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) runner-up.
Alexander has given Lord Fandango an easy week consisting of some swimming and light work to have him rested and ready to go in the big one.
“He’s very good. He just had a trot and canter today and everything’s going smoothly,” he told Racing Victoria on Wednesday.
Lord Fandango is the horseman’s second Caulfield Cup runner since he took out his solo trainer’s license.
Renew, now with Darren Weir, was his first but finished a disappointing 16th behind ill-fated Japanese-trained winner Admire Rakti back in 2014.
Since arriving at Ballarat last season, Lord Fandango has been an improving performer for Alexander who cannot wait to see what the OTI Racing-owned galloper brings to Caulfield Cup Day.
“His improvement’s been so rapid, coming a long way such a short time,” Alexander told the Ballarat Courier, adding that the 2018 Melbourne Cup was a likely target next season.
To back Lord Fandango for an upset Caulfield Cup result this weekend at the right spring racing odds, head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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