Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
The gamble from English trainer Archie Alexander to set up a base at Ballarat in Victoria has paid off, the young horseman emotional after his German-bred stayer Lord Fandango earned a start in Saturday week’s Caulfield Cup field winning the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes 2017.
All ten runners in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) field on Caulfield Guineas Day needed the ballot exemption on offer to the winner for the Group 1 $3 million BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) sitting outside the top 18 on the order of entry for the mile and a half classic on October 21.
Previous equal 34th on the Caulfield Cup ballot, five-year-old Lord Of England is now a livewire shot at the first leg of the Spring Cups double after outstaying his rivals in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes results.
The stallion came off a win on September 29 in the Benalla Cup (2046m) and ate-up the extra metres going up in distance for his Group race debut.
Previously prepared in Europe, the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes was just the sixth run down under for Lord Fandango and his first trip to the big city at Caulfield Racecourse.
The horse is currently weighted just 50kg for the Caulfield Cup, so even with a penalty for his Group 2 win, is a huge hope for the lucrative staying showdown back at the track in seven days’ time.
“You would have to think if we give him an easy week, he’s got to go to the Caulfield Cup as a great chance with a light weight,” Alexander said post-win.
“It’s going to be hard to hold the owners back.”
Apprentice Ben Allen jumped on Lord Fandango in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes, which was run at a hot pace with the Lloyd Williams-owned favourite Aloft pressing on to take up the lead with Boom Time early.
Aloft held his spot at the front ahead of the Charlie Appleby-trained raider Kidmenever after settling, while all the eventual placegetters were racing right off the pace at the back.
Approaching the turn for home Kidmenever moved up and took the lead from a tiring Aloft who drifted right back to finish last.
The other raider in the line-up, the Hugo Palmer-trained Wall Of Fire coming off a Group 3 Geoffrey Freer second at Newbury in Britain in late August, was also making up ground running on from the tail end.
With 300m left to travel, Allen began to chime in with Lord Fandango ($12) closing quick, drawing clear for a three-quarter length win over Canford Cliffs stallion Wall Of Fire ($9) carrying 58kg top weight.
Rounding out the Herbert Power Stakes Trifecta in third was the Darren Weir-trained Gallic Chieftain ($4.60).
“He’s a horse that stays really well,” Alexander said of Lord Fandango.
“Over 2000 [metres] he’s not even getting worm and today at the 2400m the Lloyd Williams’ horse [frontrunner Aloft] set it up for him.
“It’s not really a surprise, but it’s very special.
“He’s got a great set of lungs, he stays.
“He’s very, very tough.”
History is against Lord Fandango heading into next weekend’s Group 1 as Master O’Reilly (2007) was the last horse to complete the Herbert Power Stakes – Caulfield Cup double.
2017 Herbert Power Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 4 – 14/10/2017
|1||11||LORD FANDANGO (GER)||Archie Alexander||Ben Allen (a)||–||2||53kg||$12|
|2||1||WALL OF FIRE (IRE)||Hugo Palmer||Mark Zahra||1L||9||58kg||$9|
|3||8||GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR)||Darren Weir||Dean Yendall||1.4L||7||53kg||$4.60|
|4||2||BOOM TIME||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Cory Parish||2.4L||6||56.5kg||$8.50|
|5||6||ANNUS MIRABILIS (IRE)||Stuart Webb||Luke Currie||4.4L||3||55.5kg||$51|
|6||10||FANATIC (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Beau Mertens (a)||4.8L||4||53kg||$31|
|7||9||HARLOW GOLD (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Chris Parnham||10.8L||1||53kg||$20|
|8||7||KIDMENEVER (IRE)||Charlie Appleby||Glyn Schofield||14.05L||8||55.5kg||$7|
|9||5||ALOFT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ben Melham||31.05L||10||55.5kg||$4.20F|
|10||3||FOUNDRY (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Michael Dee||32.55L||5||56kg||$7.50|
|–||4||GALLANTE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||–||0||–||–|
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