Top Kiwi trainer Murray Baker can’t tip between his stablemates Bonneval and Jon Snow when they face off in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Baker, who trains out of Cambridge in New Zealand with Andrew Forsman, said that Bonneval and Jon Snow’s racing patterns won’t alter following mixed fortunes at the barrier draw on Tuesday.
Backmarker Bonneval with new jockey Kerrin McEvoy to ride, has drawn barrier fourteen in the final seventeen horse Caulfield Cup field while on pace runner Jon Snow will jump from gate six with Stephen Baster in the saddle again.
“I can’t pick between them,” Baker said.
“They’re two different types of horses. One runs up there and the other is a backmarker. So I’ll be happy to see one of them in the frame.”
Murray said that reports of Bonneval pulling up a bit scratchy following her sixth to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday were off the mark and the mare is in top shape for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
“She seems perfect,” Baker said.
“It is a high-class field, there are 17 very good horses and there will be a lot of luck in the running.
“She is fit and she has a good record at 2400 metres – she has won two Oaks, so she should get the trip and she has a top-class jockey in Kerrin McEvoy.
“She will be in the second half of the field.”
Bonneval had been very impressive winning her two previous Spring Carnival outings with a victory in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on September 9 following by a victory in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.
Jon Snow has also been racing in fine form with a win two starts back in the Group 3 $200,000 MSC Signs JRA Cup (2040m) at The Valley on September 29 followed by a fighting third behind Gailo Chop and Johannes Vermeer in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
Bonneval is the more fancied of the two Baker and Forsman runners even although she has drifted in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au from $6 to be on the second pick at $7.50 while Jon Snow has firmed in a point to be rated at $12 for the Caulfield Cup.
Irish galloper Johannes Vermeer heads the market order at $4.20 and the Lloyd Williams owned, Aidan O’Brien trained five year old looked super impressive flashing home for second to Gailo Chop in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
The Darren Weir trained Humidor, who will carry the top weight of 56kg, is the third pick in the betting at $8 while his stablemate Amelie’s Star is also in contention at $8.50.