The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Kiwi trainer Andrew Forsman has indicated the stable’s Group 1 autumn winning three-year-olds Bonneval and Jon Snow were both Caulfield Cup 2017 candidates this coming spring.
Forsman trains out of Cambridge in partnership with Murray Baker who enjoyed a win in $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) two years ago with Mongolian Khan (2015) as a solo trainer.
This season the duo has two rising four-year-olds on track for a shot at handing Baker a second win in the mile and a half classic to be held on October 21.
Currently five horses are equal at $17 in pre-nomination Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au including ATC Oaks winning filly Bonneval.
She and her ATC Derby winning stablemate Jon Snow, a $34 outsider in the futures Caulfield Cup odds, are both set to kick off their Caulfield Cup 2017 campaigns in the first Group 1 of the 2017/18 Australian Racing Season.
Forsman confirmed the $1 million Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on September 2 as the spring starting point for the duo who made a big impact down under during their latest preps.
“They are both stronger but obviously you’d expect that going from three to four-year-old,” Forsman told the media this week.
“We couldn’t be happier at this stage but there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge.
“We’ll probably look at giving them a trial here in early August and then get them over to Melbourne in the middle of August.”
Bonneval has won five of her eight career starts to date including the Group 1 NZ Oaks (2400m) back across the Tasman in March.
That win confirmed her place in the Australian Oaks field and the filly dominated the Royal Randwick feature during Sydney’s ‘The Championships’ with a powerhouse four and a half-length victory.
Iffraaj colt Jon Snow meanwhile came to Australian shores on the back of a Group 1 NZ Derby (2400m) third behind subsequent Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts.
Jon Snow bypassed the Rosehill Guineas and instead took out the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) in the mud by nearly three lengths in his Australian race debut.
He still jumped at generous odds for the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) on April 1, but relished a Heavy (8) track for his three-quarter length victory.
“It’s not easy to win an Oaks or a Derby, but I guess you’ve always got to be mindful they’re coming off rain-affected tracks against their own age, and then getting to Melbourne against the older horses at weight-for-age is always a different ball game,” Forsman said.
“Only a select few can take that step up and we were lucky that Mongolian Khan was good enough to do it. And we’re pretty confident these two have the class to do that, so hopefully everything works out between now and then.”
While the Caulfield Cup is the obvious aim for the proven stayers, Forsman hasn’t ruled out a clash with the world’s best mare Winx in the $3 million Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley should either prove good enough.
“Obviously they are both Caulfield Cup candidates, so that would be the target at this stage unless one of them puts their hand up and says they are good enough to take on Winx,” he said.
“I think otherwise we’ll be steering in that direction.”
2017 Caulfield Cup nominations are open until Tuesday August 29, making now the time to check out the full early betting odds and offers at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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