Glencadam Gold remains the favourite for the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday despite coming up with the horror gate of twenty-one at the barrier draw for the 2400m Group 1 $2.5m Handicap.
With the field restricted to eighteen runners, Glendacam Gold will jump from barrier seventeen with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden the only other runner drawn outside of the Gai Waterhouse trained stayer.
Waterhouse’s imported five year old has been backed in from 100-1 when Caulfield Cup markets were released and after being unbeaten at four Australian starts, including the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6, Glencadam Gold is rated the favourite at $5.00 after touching $3.90 before the horror draw.
Part Owner Barry Pang is still confident going into the Caulfield Cup even though he selected the nightmare gate at the barrier draw function at Caulfield today.
“We’re fortunate in that most of the fancied horses are drawn out with us so that at least gives us a bit of confidence,” Pang said.
“As Gai always says, the way her horses are trained, luck plays as little role as possible because they all have the early pace. I had a quick chat to Shane (Templeton) afterwards and he said look Voila Ici inside you, you could follow him across, possibly we can still be in a good position.”
“He’s one of those that can do it at both ends of the race which is fantastic so we’ll probably need a bit of luck in the early part of the race to get a good position, but he can finish his race off well.”
Veteran jockey Jim Cassidy replaces Tommy Berry on the Caulfield Cup favourite and Pang is certain the big race rider will have enough experience to overcome the wide draw.
“Jimmy, he’s done this before and he’s drawn badly before and he’s been able to work things out and still win the race. Hopefully he can do it again on Saturday.”
French galloper Dunaden will have to jump from the outside gate and even though Craig Williams said earlier in the week that the top class stayer will need a good barrier draw, stable representative Geoffrey Faber was still confident that the Melbourne Cup winner will be in the finish.
“Nobody wants to be out there but if you are ever going to be out there you want fancied horses on your inside and that’s what we got, so that’s going to help our cause,” Faber said.
“I don’t want the horse seeing daylight for the first mile of the race, I really don’t. He gets fired up these days, he’s such an enthusiastic horse now, he’s really turned his action on, so he’s gotta get cover for the first mile.”
“The horse couldn’t physically be in better shape and personally I think he is in career best form.”
Dunaden is now a $8.50 chance with Williams striving to make amends for last year’s disappointment when he missed out on the winning ride on Dunaden in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington because of suspension.
Lights Of Heaven looks the top pick from Peter Moody’s three runners drawing favourably at eight and is rated a $10 chance.
“I had her from day one where the other two are both in their first preps with me,” Moody said.
“Voila Ici’s form I think has been very good for this sort of race, his racing pattern you would think will suit this race, he’s a Group 2 2800m winner in France which seems to be the best staying form in the world for the last four or five years. Sneak A Peek has worked every bit as good as any of these horses at home including Manighar.”
“Lights Of Heaven has done the job in the Autumn into the Winter in Brisbane and I was very pleased with her last run in Sydney.”
Moody was fairly happy with the wash up from the barrier draw with his imports Sneak A Peek coming up with gate ten while Voila Ici will have to cross the field early to take up a forward position jumping from fifteen if all the emergencies fail to gain a start.
“I very pleased with my three going in. I’m going to have one up front, one forward of midfield and one in the second half if the pace is dynamite.”
Last year’s winner Southern Speed came up with gate fourteen while 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain came up with barrier nineteen and could come in three spots with the emergencies out.