Jockey Damien Oliver is confident that imported stayer Jet Away will run well in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday despite heading into the $2.5 million Group 1 event with only one run under his belt this preparation.
Jet Away was removed from the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) field at the request of owner Douglas Taylor and missed the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) after being found with mucus in his throat.
He finally started his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes and performed well; finishing seventh behind Happy Trails despite being severely hampered with 200 meters left to run.
Oliver said that he was happy with the Jet Away’s first-up run and believes that Cape Cross entire will go into the Caulfield Cup with plenty of improvement still in front of him.
“He is looking good,” Oliver said.
“He ran really well in the Turnbull without a lot of luck and I’ve worked him since and he has worked really well.
“He got a little bit of interference and he tightened up on the line and that was his first-up run so you would expect him to improve and come on from that.
“He probably isn’t one of the headline horses but I’m really pleased with the way he came through his run and I think that he is still a horse on the rise.
“I’m hoping that can run really well for us in the Caulfield Cup.”
Jet Away certainly has not had an ideal preparation for the Caulfield Cup but connections can take solace from the fact that in recent years a number of European-trained stayers have performed well going into the race fresh.
Dunaden won the 2012 edition of the Caulfield Cup without having a run in the three months leading up to the race, while Americain (fourth) and My Quest For Peace (fifth) did not have a lead-up run in Australia.
2008 winner All The Good had only three runs in the twelve months before the Caulfield Cup and, going back even further, 1998 winner Taufan’s Melody also went into the race on the back of a lengthy break.
Oliver is the most successful modern jockey in the Caulfield, winning the race with Mannerism (1992), Paris Lane (1994), Doriemus (1995) and Sky Heights (1999), and will join Scobie Breasley as the five-time winner of the event if he is successful on Jet Away this weekend.