Favourite Johannes Vermeer will take advantage of his good barrier draw and take up a forward position when the gates open for the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Aidan O’Brien trained Johannes Vermeer draw barrier two in the seventeen horse Caulfield Cup field and connections advised Racing Victoria stewards that the Irish stayer will race on the pace this week.
Johannes Vermeer put himself right into calculations for this week’s assignment with an eye catching second to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last Saturday after settling in the second half of the field.
Racing Victoria stewards released the following statement on twitter.
“Change of Tactics: 21-10-2017 Caulfield R8 – No.3 Johannes Vermeer – positive, ideally 3rd-5th.”
O’Brien said that Johannes Vermeer had enough tactical speed out of the barriers to take up a forward position and that will be the instructions to Ben Melham.
“He’s a quick breaker, he’s usually settles well and he usually quickens well,” told Sky Sports radio.
Melham takes over the reins from Katelyn Mallyon and the Golden Slipper winning jockey had a good look at the Irish stayer’s first Australian run in the Ladbrokes Stakes.
“He showed good speed from the barriers the other day. He relaxed nicely after that and he’s got a good change up of speed as well,” Melham said.
“So he’s an ideal sort of horse for a Caulfield Cup.”
Johannes Vermeer is the winner of the 2015 Group 1 €250,000 Criterium International (1400m) at Saint Cloud in France and the Galileo stallion’s recent form has been good, highlighted by a flashing second to Gailo Chop in Ladbrokes Stakes.
Johannes Vermeer has been solid in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au since the barrier draw on Tuesday and is now a clear $4.40 favourite for the Caulfield Cup.
On the second line of betting at $7.50 is the top weight Humidor just ahead of the Kiwi mare Bonneval ($8) who was cleared to run in the Caulfield Cup when inspected by Racing Victoria vets yesterday.
A win by Johannes Vermeer in the Caulfield Cup will lift O’Brien’s Group 1 wins for the current racing season to twenty-five to equal the world record set by legendary US trainer Bobby Frankel in 2003.