Lindsay Park head trainer David Hayes is tipping all four runners He’s Our Rokkii, Ventura Storm, Boom Time and Harlem, to race well in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Harlem is the most fancied in the Caulfield Cup market order at $10 with Ladbrokes.com.au and gets in to the field with the light weight of 51.5kg after qualifying with his win in the Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) (2000m) at Caulfield on September 23.
The Lindsay Park Team of David Hayes and his son Ben and Tom Dabernig have been changing around the race day gear on Harlem who will wear blinkers for the first time in the Caulfield Cup after carrying the winkers to victory in the Naturalism Stakes and then when fifth to Amelie’s Star in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 7.
Hong Kong based jockey Chad Schofield will ride Harlem who has drawn the pole position in the seventeen horse field.
“He will be right on the back of the pace. Last time he drew one he won, which was the Naturalism,” Hayes said.
“The blinkers are a positive going on. He has responded well in them in track work.”
“We put the winkers on for the Naturalism to qualify and he did that. In the Bart Cummings we didn’t want to change the gear and we have just been waiting to put blinkers on this horse, we really feel he will respond well.”
“Fit and a really good chance.”
Ventura Storm is also fairly prominent in the betting for the Caulfield Cup at $12 and the European import ran his best race last start since joining the Lindsay Park Team when six and a half lengths second to Winx in the Group 1 $500,000 Seppelt Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 7 and Hayes said that the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup is his distance.
“Since he has been in Australia he hasn’t raced in a race that is at his distance which is a mile and a half to two miles,” Hayes said.
“He has been qualified so we have been under no pressure, we have just been getting him fit trying to peak him for this race and the Melbourne Cup.”
”I would expect with that gate and D Oliver he will be very hard to beat I think.”
Ventura Storm has drawn nicely at barrier four with big race jockey Damien Oliver in the saddle.
Hayes considered the consistent Boom Time to be over the odds at $51 and expects the six year old to be given a good ride by Cory Parish from barrier three after the pair combined for a last start fourth to Lord Fandango in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
“The fourth is better than it reads because they went suicidal pace and all the leaders ran last and he was fighting out the finish,” Hayes said.
“So he will get a beautiful run, very fit. Tough colt in form, much better chance than his odds suggest.”
Hayes is not totally dismissing the chances of the $126 outsider He’s Our Rokkii who is fit and well and will be ridden quietly from barrier fifteen with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
“He is out of form, but healthy and well, he is the outsider of the field,” Hayes said.
“He is going to be ridden absolutely cold and look for miracle runs and that often works with a horse.
“I have saddled up a lot worse longshots.”
The Aidan O’Brien trained Irish stayer 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.
Sharing the second line of betting at $8 is the top weight Humidor and the Kiwi mare Bonneval who was cleared to run in the Caulfield Cup when inspected by Racing Victoria vets yesterday.