2013 Caulfield Cup betting favourite Hawkspur has drifted since the barrier draw was conducted on Wednesday but trainer Chris Waller remains confident that the four-year-old can give him his first ever Caulfield Cup victory – if he gets a bit of luck on Saturday.
Hawkspur will jump from barrier fourteen after the emergencies are removed and while Waller admits that the outside gate is far from ideal he told Racing Ahead that he believes every Caulfield Cup runner needs luck to go their way to be successful this weekend.
“The barrier draw is not ideal but regardless of where you draw in any race you need a bit of luck and he just needs that little bit of extra luck tomorrow,” Waller said.
“We are hoping he is the best horse in the race; if he is he can win but if he is not he won’t win.
“He has been set for this race and he is spot-on.”
Hawkspur showed during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival that he is capable of producing strong on-pace efforts but in his four starts this preparation has swooped late from the back of the field.
Waller has kept his cards close to his chest regarding the tactics of Hawkspur tomorrow but said that the Group 1 winner may have lost some of the tactical speed that he exhibited as a three-year-old.
“I will say that he is a pretty adaptable horse and those three wins in Queensland were all on the pace but he has been a different horse this prep,” the leading trainer said.
“I think some of that early speed is gone so obviously we can only deal with what we have got.
“Trying to give him every possible chance is the most important thing – you can’t win a Caulfield Cup sitting three wide unless you are a world beater which he is not.
“If he gets a bit of luck from the gate he can win it.”
Heading into the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival Beaten Up, Foreteller and Royal Descent were considered Waller’s leading chances in the Caulfield Cup but Hawkspur has stormed into favoritism after his impressive performances in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Waller has admitted that Hawkspur’s improvement has caught him by surprise but feels that the four-year-old is a deserved favourite for the Caulfield Cup.
“He has been a rather unassuming sort of horse; if I had said he would be the favourite for the Caulfield Cup six months ago everybody would have laughed at me including myself,” Waller said.
“He has had the right preparation and won the right races along the way.
“Winning that Chelmsford, over a mile, really gave his Queensland Derby form a bit of a push and that is the reason he is one of the favored runners tomorrow.”
Waller will have four chances to end his Caulfield Cup drought; with Royal Descent, Kelinni and Moriarty also in the field.