Multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Bonneval has been cleared to take her place in the final field for the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval had been under an injury cloud since finishing sixth to Gailo Chop in last Saturday’s Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
Bonneval was showing signs of lameness in her off foreleg and had been monitored all week by Baker’s stable vet and Racing Victoria’s vets and today was given the green light to take her place in the Caulfield Cup.
“We had two vets check Bonneval on Thursday afternoon and she has been cleared to run,” chief steward Terry Bailey told racing.com.
“She was trotted up at Flemington where she is staying and our vets also inspected scans of her suspensory ligaments that had been provided by Murray Baker’s stable vet.
“In our opinion her condition has improved in the past 24 hours and we are satisfied she is fit to start.”
While Racing Victoria stewards insisted that Bonneval wasn’t one hundred per cent in her action, Baker and race jockey Kerrin McEvoy were adamant that the mare was fine.
McEvoy tested the mare our in trackwork on Wednesday and Thursday morning and said that she felt in great shape.
“I’ve been happy with her, I had a canter on her yesterday (Wednesday) and she felt fine and then this morning just did some nice striding work over seven furlongs on the dirt and she seems free as a bell in my opinion,” McEvoy said.
“And happy coming off the track, she is bouncing and full of herself and seems really bright, I would be surprised if she is not right to take her spot on Saturday.
“I haven’t been asked for my opinion, I’m not a vet, I’m a jockey but the way she feels is fine, she is happy.”
Bonneval kicked off the Melbourne Spring Carnival in great style with a win in the Group 2 $250,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at The Valley on September 9 following by a win in the Group 1 $750,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 1.
During her three year old season Bonneval proved to be the best staying filly in both New Zealand and Australia with wins in the Group 1 NZ$300,000 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham and in the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick.
Bonneval has drawn awkwardly at barrier fourteen in the seventeen horse Caulfield Cup field and has drifted in the betting from $6 to be marked at $8.50 on Thursday afternoon with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Irish stayer Johannes Vermeer with Ben Melham to ride drew barrier two and is currently the $4.40 favourite for the Caulfield Cup following his eye catching second to Gailo Chop in the Ladbrokes Stakes.