Local galloper Zahspeed remains the solid...
Wednesday’s Caulfield Cup (2400m) barrier draw was less than kind to Chris Waller’s four-year old mare Youngstar, who has drawn gate 10 ahead of Saturday’s $5 million mile and a half feature.
Tabbed as the favourite prior to the final field being announced, the Group 1 winner is out to $5.50 with Ladbrokes as the Cup’s second-elect. In her place, Darren Weir’s Irish import Kings Will Dream, who has firmed into $5.00 favourtism after drawing barrier six.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy gets the ride on Youngstar this weekend just a fortnight after the pair finished second behind Winx in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, and when asked about the step up to 2400m journey, McEvoy insists the run in the Turnbull was a good indicator of Youngstar’s form.
“It was a great run in the Turnbull, we obviously loomed up and at the furlong I was thinking geez, where’s Hughie (Bowman) and I couldn’t hear Winx, or see him, but I let go with a nice finish and we only got beat by two lengths by the great mare Winx, so that’s a good form line coming in” McEvoy told Racing.com.
Although the wide gate might be a hindrance, McEvoy also thinks the 51.5kg weight should make things a little easier on the pair on Saturday.
“We get up to 2400m which looks a plus as well, and we’ve got a nice weight of 51.5” McEvoy claimed.
“It’s a great line up of horses, I’m confident my mare can run well, but she’s going to have to – it’s a fantastic line up of both international and local horses.”
Out of the 20 horse field (which includes two emergencies), only Youngstar, Homesman, Ventura Storm, Mighty Boss and Patrick Erin have Group 1 wins under their belt.
For McEvoy, he rode Youngstar to maiden Group 1 glory at Doomben back in May in the Queensland Oaks over 2200m, and when asked again if her first run at 2400m would pose a problem, he didn’t hesitate to stress how relaxed his mare is.
“The Oaks win, she was strong at the end of it there in Doomben,” McEvoy said.
“She’s got a great attitude that relaxes well. She’s a nice mare to ride in the way that she conserves her energy, so you’d like to think that 2400 will be no problem.”
Youngstar ran the Oaks in a time of 2:17.47 seconds, beating home Another Dollar and Sheezdashing by a nose. It’s likely we see her dive at the line from the outside again in her first Cup run on Saturday.
Full Caulfield Cup Odds can be seen below.
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