Trainer Ciaron Maher has no worries that his Caulfield Cup winning mare Jameka can run out a strong 3200m in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 1.
Even though Jameka hasn’t got the pedigree to be a stayer, Maher can see her handling the two miles on the way she won the 2015 Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks over 2500m at Flemington as well as her three lengths romp home in winning the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup over 2400m at Caulfield on October 15.
“She gives every indication to me she will run two mile,’’ Maher told the Herald Sun.
“Her breeding doesn’t suggest that, but she doesn’t know that and she is an exceptional athlete.
“Two miles, I think, is a speciality distance. Not a lot of horses get it.
“She definitely has all the attributes and qualities needed to run the trip, I think.”
Maher had Jameka peaking on Caulfield Cup Day and he is happy with the way the mare has come through the run and is hoping to have her at her best again on the first Tuesday in November.
“We aimed to peak her for these two races (Caulfield and Melbourne Cups),’’ Maher said.
“She improved into the Caulfield Cup and, hopefully, she improves again.”
“She had a few easy days on Mordialloc beach and seems nice and bright. She did a piece of work at Sandown on Saturday. Her work was good and strong.’’
Jameka earned automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup as well as a 1.5kg penalty for winning the Caulfield Cup which took her re-handicapped weight to 53.5kg but that looks like increasing again by 1kg at final acceptance time on Saturday when Big Orange and Our Ivanhowe’s weight of 56kg is lifted to the mandatory 57kg top weight required for the Melbourne Cup, forcing all the weights to be raised 1kg.
Jameka sits on the second line of betting for the Melbourne Cup at $7 with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the John O’Shea trained Hartnell who heads up the market order at $4.60.
Hartnell is coming off a demoralizing eight lengths defeat by Chris Waller’s super mare Winx when second in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
The Cox Plate had been billed as a match race between Winx and Hartnell, but the Godolphin owned galloper along with the rest for the field didn’t even see which way Winx went in the run down the Moonee Valley straight.
Maher can see that Cox Plate run taking a bit more out of Hartnell than the stable has said and he is happy for Jameka to take him on in the Melbourne Cup again after she finished three and a quarter lengths behind him when second in the Group 1 $500,000 Yellowglen Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2.
“Obviously it’s not going to get a lot of confidence out of that run,” Maher said.
“I’ll take any little advantage we can get.”
Early Melbourne Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Hartnell, $7 Jameka, $10 Bondi Beach, $11 Heartbreak City $13 Almandin, , $15 Scottish, $17 Big Orange, Exospheric, Wicklow Brave, $19 Almoonqith, $21 Curren Mirotic, $26 Grand Marshall, Who Shot Thebarman, Oceanographer, $31 Qewy, Grey Lion, Our Ivanhowe, Real Love, Secret Number, $41 Beautiful Romance, Gallante, Tally, $51 Assign, $61 Excess Knowledge, Howard Be Thy Name, De Little Engine, $81 Pentathlon, Sir John Hawkwood, Tom Melbourne, $201 Vengeur Masque, $301 Rose Of Virginia, The Bandit.