French import Casterton will race with the blinkers on for the first time when he lines up in the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Casterton will be having his second start for the Chris Waller stable and his second start on Australian soil after making his debut down under when sixth to Runaway in the Group 3 $350,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 24.
Waller is expecting some improvement from Casterton with the blinkers on and is hoping for a shower or day in the lead up to the last day of the four day 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival on Saturday.
“He comes out of the same race as Finche, being the Geelong Cup, and he ran well that day and will certainly improve with the run,” Waller said.
“Corey Brown is aboard, he has drawn a bit wide in gate thirteen but over the 2600m distance I am sure they will find their positions quite early and give him a chance to finish off.”
“He has the blinkers on which has certainly sharpened him up in his track work.”
“He is a horse that has very good wet track form so hopefully we get a shower or two of rain at Flemington on Friday afternoon or perhaps Saturday to keep the track in a nice range like a good 4 or slightly worse.”
“Ultimately I think he is going to be a horse for the Sydney Autumn Carnival and a definite Sydney Cup prospect.”
Casterton is the winner of three of his thirteen starts in Europe with his best victory being in the Listed €52,000 Prix Lord Seymour (2400m) at Longchamp in France on April 15.
Corey Brown takes over from Michael Walker on Casterton who will jump from barrier thirteen in the fourteen horse Queen Elizabeth Stakes field while Waller will also saddle up Libran who will jump from gate four with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Libran is coming off a last start third in the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on October 27 and has been allocated the top weight of 58kg.
Betting for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au has the Lindsay Park trained Jaameh as the $4.60 favourite with Libran marked at $8 and Casterton at the double figure odds of $15.