Kiwi stablemates Bonneval and Jon Snow’s 2017 Melbourne Spring campaign will be aimed towards the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
The two rising four year olds gave Cambridge co-trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman a three year old classic double at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival with Bonneval winning the Group 1 $1m James Boag’s Premium Australian Oaks (2400m) and Jon Snow claiming the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m).
“Obviously they are both Caulfield Cup candidates, so that would be the target at this stage unless one of them puts their hand up and says they are good enough to take on Winx (in the Cox Plate),” Forsman said.
“I think otherwise we’ll be steering in that direction.”
Forsman has reported that Bonneval and Jon Snow have both returned to work in good order and are already a month into their Spring preparation.
“They are both stronger but obviously you’d expect that going from three to four-year-old,” Forsman told AAP.
“We couldn’t be happier at this stage but there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge.
“We’ll probably look at giving them a trial here in early August and then get them over to Melbourne in the middle of August.”
Forsman admits that it will be hard task taking on the older horses in the Spring after competing against the three year olds in the Autumn but knows it is possible after Murray Baker was able to win the 2015 with Mongolian Khan who had won the Australian Derby in the Autumn.
“It’s not easy to win an Oaks or a Derby, but I guess you’ve always got to be mindful they’re coming off rain-affected tracks against their own age, and then getting to Melbourne against the older horses at weight-for-age is always a different ball game,” Forsman said.
“Only a select few can take that step up and we were lucky that Mongolian Khan was good enough to do it. And we’re pretty confident these two have the class to do that, so hopefully everything works out between now and then.”
Bonneval and Jon Snow are likely to make their first Spring Carnival appearance in the Group 1 $1m Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2.
In early Caulfield Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, Bonneval shares favouritism at $17 with Queensland Oaks winner Egg Tart, Rosehill Guineas winner Gingernuts, Australian Cup winner Humidor and multiple Group 1 winner Hartnell while Jon Snow is rated a $34 chance.
Early market order for the 2017 Caulfield Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $17 Gingernuts, Bonneval, Hartnell, Humidor, Egg Tart, $21 Articus, Fame Game, Frontiersman, Our Century, Ruthven, $26 Bondi Beach, Big Duke, Crocodile Rock, Exospheric, Francis Of Assisi, Scottish, Varizabad, Yankee Rose, $34 Jon Snow, Grey Lion, Kinema, Oceanographer, Perfect Reflection.