The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Dual Caulfield Cup winning hoop Jim Cassidy has declared Kiwi mare Bonneval as “a moral” to take out the 2017 edition of the mile and a half classic Saturday week.
Bonneval is prepared across the Tasman by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman, the former preparing Mongolian Khan for his 2015 win in the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
This season the Cambridge duo will saddle-up top fancy in Caulfield Cup betting on October 21 with four-year-old Makfi mare Bonneval.
“Bonneval is a moral,” Cassidy told Racing Victoria this week.
‘Pumper’ would know too, having ridden Might And Power (1997) and Diatribe (2000) to victory in the Caulfield Cup.
The New Zealander also saluted in the 1983 Melbourne Cup coming from last to first aboard, aptly, Kiwi and saluted in the ‘race that stops a nation’ again in 1997 doing the Spring Cups double on the aforementioned Might And Power.
The Jack Denham-trained two-time Australian Horse of the Year (1998 & 1999) Might And Power gave Cassidy the Grand Slam of Australian Racing the following year in 1998 with a Cox Plate victory at Moonee Valley.
Bonneval has won her past six starts on the trot and this weekend she shoots for a seventh straight in a final Caulfield Cup lead-up.
Last time out the dual Oaks winner beat home Hartnell by a length in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield Racecourse, where she returns on Saturday for the Group 1 $1 million Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
“She’s all class and just keeps winning. Her Underwood Stakes victory was first rate, she had to dig deep off a strong tempo.
“If I was chasing down a ride, she’s the one I want.”
Bonneval has the outside barrier this weekend (11 of 11), but remains top of Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes betting at $3, followed closely by the horse she beat home last time out Hartnell ($3.30).
Twelve months ago, then four-year-old mare Jameka beat home the boys in the Caulfield Cup by a runaway three lengths carrying 52.5kg.
She and Southern Speed (2011) are the only Caulfield Cup winning mares since Sheila Laxon’s brilliant New Zealander Ethereal (2001).
Ethereal was the last horse to complete the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double and if any trainer can prepare a horse to repeat the feat this spring, Cassidy believes it is Baker.
“How good is he? Every year he comes across from NZ and wins a big race,” he said.
“The horses are tough, typical Kiwis.”
Bonneval is currently allocated the same winning Caulfield Cup kilos as Jameka and Southern Speed, making her an excellent light weight chance to salute for the punters.
The flying mare and champion 3YO Kiwi filly from last season has also been set to contest the Group 1 $6 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Flemington on November 7.
The latest Melbourne Cup 2017 odds have her listed at $13.
“Take some of that now and go and wait in the queue,” Cassidy quipped.
To back Ethereal this weekend and at the best price to do the Spring Cups double head to Ladbrokes.com.au.
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