Brambles has been the best backed horse in 2014 Caulfield Cup betting markets in the past 24 hours and trainer Peter Moody is happy with the condition of the talented galloper heading into the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Brambles looked as though he was going to miss out on a run in the Caulfield Cup, but the withdrawals of both Gris Caro and Dandino meant that he gained a start in the $3 million event and punters were quick to throw their support behind the Group 1 winner.
The Savabeel gelding was available at Caulfield Cup odds of $21 when he still the second emergency, but there has been a wave of support for the six-year-old in the past 24 hours and he is now into a quote of $10.
A win in the 2014 Caulfield Cup would cap off a fabulous story for connections of Brambles as well as an outstanding trainer performance from Peter Moody due to the circumstances surrounding the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign of the OTI Racing-owned stayer.
Brambles was one of the star three-year-old performers of the 2011/2012 racing season and he was rated a genuine chance for the 2012 Melbourne Cup, but a range of injury problems kept him away from racing for two years.
The gelding made his long awaited return to racing during the winter period in Melbourne and Moody admits that at the time the thought of Brambles running in a race like the Caulfield Cup seemed like a pipe dream, but the leading trainer told Racing Ahead that he has been thrilled with the way that the tough stayer has improved at each of his race starts this preparation.
“A lot of people behind the scenes have done a lot of work with this horse over the past couple of years as my staff has,” Moody said.
“He was one of the better three-year-olds of the season and then he was off the scene for two years.
“He has had that slightly unusual preparation where I knew he needed racing so I gave him a few turnarounds on the backend of winter there to blow the cobwebs away with a view to more realistically thinking that he would have a couple of spring runs and then get ready for the autumn.
“The further we have got into the prep the more the horse has pleased us and he has just continually thrived and done extremely well without.
“His form has been impeccable since.
“He had a terrific blow post that race (when third in the Turnbull Stakes), which suggested there was still some improvement and Luke Nolen said that he just peaked on the run.
“He is open to nice improvement and his gallops here subsequent to that run has been terrific.”
Jockey Luke Nolen was originally booked to partner Lidari in the Caulfield Cup, but the Moody stable made it clear from the start of the week that Nolen would take the ride on Brambles if he earnt a start, while Ben Melham would pick up the ride on Lidari.
Moody said that he always dictates which jockey will ride his horses in each race, but admits that Nolen has indicated throughout this preparation that he would prefer to ride Brambles over Lidari.
“I have always stated that has always been the way; I don’t give riders a choice in my yard,” Moody said.
“I like to dictate and elect what riders ride what horses, but Luke did indicate to me a while back that if it came to it he would probably ride Brambles over Lidari.
“He has questioned that decision probably a few times, but that probably suited me.
“Luke has won on both horses and Ben Melham, who has had a lot of success for the stable, has won on Lidari.
“We have riders on each horse that have had success on them and have great belief in them.”
Lidari and Brambles are both available at Caulfield Cup odds of $10 to give Moody his first ever win in the Group 1 event.