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Flying Kiwi mare Bonneval has been elevated to top spot in the futures Caulfield Cup 2017 odds after winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at the track over the long weekend.
The Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of Makfi made history as the first mare to win the Underwood Stakes since Tristarc way back in 1985 and had a length to spare on the line over the beaten short-priced favourite Hartnell who failed to catch her.
Bonneval has now won her past six starts on the trot including the Group 1 NZ Oaks – ATC Oaks cross-Tasman double over the mile and a half as a filly in the autumn.
This time in, she won the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) first-up at Moonee Valley before the Underwood Stakes win on Sunday.
Updated Caulfield Cup odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au now have Bonneval as the equal $5.50 favourite with the Darren Weir-trained Humidor who won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) last time out at Flemington.
Humidor races again this weekend at Flemington, taking on Chris Waller’s Hall of Fame mare Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Bonneval escaped a Caulfield Cup weight penalty for her Underwood Stakes victory due to the weight-for-age conditions of the race.
She remains on just 52.5kg in the Caulfield Cup weights and is second on the order of entry behind the co-favourite Humidor (56kg).
Jameka (2016) beat home the boys in last year’s Caulfield Cup results winning as a four-year-old mare with 52.5kg, while Southern Speed (52.5kg in 2011) is the only other mare to win the classic since Ethereal (2001).
Favourites in Caulfield Cup betting have a poor recent strike rate.
Since Master O’Reilly ($9 in 2007) saluted for the punters on just 50.5kg, Jameka ($4.25) is the only other Caulfield Cup favourite to get the job done.
“She’s got a bit of her coat to lose yet, but we thought she’d improve from last start,” co-trainer Baker said of Bonneval post-win in the Underwood Stakes.
“She measures up; she was a very good filly. It’s her sixth Group win in a row. She knows where the finishing line is.
“She’s in the Caulfield Cup, and we’ll give her one more in the Caulfield Stakes.”
The Group 1 $1 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) takes place on October 14, was won in 2016 by Winx and last produced a Caulfield Cup winner in the also Baker-trained Mongolian Khan (3rd in 2015).
In the Underwood Stakes, Bonneval was ridden to victory by Winx’s regular rider Hugh Bowman, but he is unavailable to ride her in the Caulfield Cup field at the light weight.
“She’s a genuine Cups contender this mare. I just wish I was light enough to ride her,” Bowman said on Sunday.
“This mare has a lovely future ahead, I know she’s got a big spring this time in, but I’d say we’d hear about her for the next couple of years.”
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