Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien believes that his star stayer Johannes Vermeer has all the attributes to win the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Ben Melham, above, rides Johannes Vermeer in the 2017 Caulfield Cup. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Ben Melham, above, rides Johannes Vermeer in the 2017 Caulfield Cup. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

O’Brien can see Johannes Vermeer taking full advantage of an inside barrier draw and then have plenty in reserve to challenge at the end of the 2400m.

“He’s a quick breaker, he’s usually settles well and he usually quickens well,” told Sky Sports radio.

“You need a horse with tactical pace who then relaxes and then can really quicken.

“I suppose it all adds up to you really need a good colt. He is pacy, a flat track should suit him. The lads are very happy with him.”

Johannes Vermeer gained plenty of supporters following his Australian debut at Caulfield last Saturday when a slashing second to all the way winner Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) which also gave O’Brien plenty of confidence heading into the Caulfield Cup.

“He settled well and quickened very well so we were delighted with his run,” O’Brien said.

Johannes Vermeer is the winner of the 2015 Group 1 €250,000 Criterium International (1400m) at Saint Cloud in France and the Galileo stallion’s recent form has been good, highlighted by a flashing second to Gailo Chop in Ladbrokes Stakes.

Golden Slipper winning jockey Ben Melham takes over from Katelyn Mallyon on Johannes Vermeer who will jump from gate two in the seventeen horse Caulfield Cup field.

Johannes Vermeer has been solid in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au since the barrier draw on Tuesday and is now a clear $4.20 favourite for the Caulfield Cup.

On the second line of betting at $8.50 is the top weight Humidor and the classy Kiwi mare Bonneval who still has to be checked by Racing Victoria vets before being cleared to run on Saturday.

A win by Johannes Vermeer in the Caulfield Cup will lift O’Brien’s Group 1 wins for the current racing season to twenty-five to equal the world record set by legendary US trainer Bobby Frankel in 2003.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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