A capacity field of Stradbroke Handicap hopefuls...
Champion trainer Darren Weir has already claimed the upper-hand ahead of Saturday’s $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) with five-year old gelding Kings Will Dream drawing barrier six.
With three hopefuls announced during Wednesday’s barrier draw, Weir will also see Gaelic Chieftain and Night’s Watch contest the mile-and-a-half classic – but after entering as the $5.00 favourite with Ladbrokes, Kings Will Dream stands the stables best chance at further Group 1 glory.
“Jobs done, (barrier) four to eight is perfect” Brad Spicer, owner of Spicer Throroughbreds told Racing.com.
“Horse has had a faultless preparation and the barrier draw was just another sign of it, so hopefully Saturday we can get another run in transit, Craig can do his job and we can get that Cup.”
Kings Will Dream, who ran third in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) behind Youngstar and Winx at Flemington on October 6, is still searching for a maiden Group 1 win since arriving on Australian soil back in February.
Spicer said a race like the Caulfield Cup wasn’t originally in the plans, but admits the horse has improved drastically since his first-up run over 1600m eight months ago.
“We wanted to find a stayer from Europe, obviously we’ve been watching the way the Melbourne and Caulfield Cup has been progressing the last ten years, and you really need to try and find a European,” Spicer said.
“He’s our first one. We’re lucky enough to have him in the Cup this year and the plan was actually to just have a Geelong Cup horse this year, but he’s actually come on in leaps and bounds since he arrived in Australia.”
Similar to the Turnbull, Kings Will Dream faces a strong field in the Cup, made up of $5.50 second-elect Youngstar, who has drawn the less than favourable barrier 10.
Jockey Craig Williams will also square off against Hugh Bowman exactly three weeks on following their clash in the Turnbull, but instead of Winx, Bowman rides $7.00 international chance The Cliffsofmoher.
“Craig was a natural lightweight, and he was going to get 51kgs after the Mornington Cup, but Greg did a nice little job on us and got us 53,” Spicer said on Wednesday.
The Cliffsofmoher, who enjoyed a fourth-placing in his maiden run at Caulfield last week in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), will enjoy a handy inside draw from barrier three this weekend.
Even so, Spicer still thinks Kings Will Dream can continue to improve after finishing runner-up behind Grunt in the Makaybe Diva Stakes (1600m) earlier in September.
“Really to be placing at weight for age level is amazing. We’ve been happy running midfield in those races leading into the Caulfield Cup, so obviously he’s really improved since the Autumn.
“Faultless preparation, the three weeks between the Makaybe into the Turnbull, he probably needed that run in the Turnbull, and Darren has given him a couple searching gallops since and he’s got him right where he needs him.”
Full Caulfield Cup odds can be seen below.
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