Even though December Draw started favourite in last year’s Caulfield Cup, trainer Mark Kavanagh still doesn’t know if the seven year old import will be able to run out a strong 2400m.
December Draw will line up in his second Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield tomorrow after finishing almost twenty-five lengths from the winner Southern Speed last year and Kavanagh will have to dismiss his first attempt at the distance.
The European import raced midfield and when Michael Rodd wanted to go forward at the 500m, December Draw failed to respond and subsequently it was discovered that he had sustained a broken split bone, but luckily no ligament or tendon damage and was sent to the paddock.
”He’s only ever had one run beyond 2000 metres and that is when he was galloped on in last year’s Caulfield Cup so we don’t know if he’ll stay,” Kavanagh said.
“We didn’t get a chance to have a look at him over 2400m.”
December Draw was in outstanding form last year and was rightfully posted the Caulfield Cup favourite after stringing together three wins over 2000m in the lead up including a win in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
Kavanagh has been bringing December Draw along steadily for another attempt at the Caulfield Cup and while he hasn’t been winning, his form has pleased the top trainer.
”Last year he was pretty cranked up as he had to win and qualify for the Caulfield Cup,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s was a little bit big when he came back in work but I’ve been quite happy with his progress.”
“He’s a bit closer to them in the weights this year. It’s not the same race as it was last year, he was a short priced favourite in that.”
At his second run back from a long spell December Draw showed that he was back on track with a fighting third to Ocean Park in the Group 1 $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 22 followed by another third to Green Moon in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6.
Those two efforts have seen December Draw been installed as the $7.50 second favourite to another English import Glencadam Gold who is the top pick at $5.50 after taking out the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6 for Gai Waterhouse.
December Draw was one of the few fancied runners who drew reasonably and will jump from barrier eleven if the emergencies don’t get a run.
With the early pace in the race looking to be drawn outside December Draw, Michael Rodd will be able to slot in nicely as front runner Glencadam Gold glides forwards with the Peter Moody trained Voila Ici and take up a good position midfield.
International stayers Dunaden and My Quest For Peace are on the next line of betting at $9 with the shortest of Moody’s three runner’s Lights Of Heaven at $9.50.
Southern Speed is at $26 as she attempts to make it back to back Caulfield Cups after beating Green Moon last year.