Trainer Ciaron Maher is tipping Jameka to win the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) and he will go the Flemington today with very little pressure on his shoulders.
Jameka scored a runaway three lengths win in the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup on October 15 and will step out in the Melbourne Cup as one the of the top fancies as the $8 second favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The four year old mare was hit with a 1.5kg penalty for her Caulfield Cup win and a 0.5kg penalty for her win in the Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) (2000m) at Caulfield on September 17 and will have to carry 54.5kg in the Melbourne Cup with Nick Hall set to give her another dream run from barrier three in the capacity twenty-four horse field.
Jameka will be Maher’s second Melbourne Cup runner and he said that he felt more pressure when he had to saddle up $201 chance Mr O’Ceirin in the 2014 Cup.
Mr O’Ceirin ran up to his odds and beat one runner home when twenty-first behind German stayer Protectionist.
“I don’t really feel any pressure with Jameka because I am very, very confident with her,” Maher told The Courier-Mail.
“It was far more pressure when I had Mr O’Ceirin, who had poor form on good ground.
“Half of the owners wanted to run in the Melbourne Cup, because they thought they may not get the opportunity to have a Cup runner again.
“And half the owners didn’t want to run, so it turned into a bit of a shitfight to be honest.
“But I guess I am generally a pretty calm person in what is a very competitive game.
“The one thing that has probably helped me is I have always had at least one nice horse in my stable. And that probably alleviates any stress.”
Jameka is the winner of two Group 1 trophies and as well as winning the Caulfield Cup, proved to be the superior staying filly during the 2015 Melbourne Spring Carnival with a win in the Group 1 $1m Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington.
Jameka also mixed it with the colts and geldings during the Sydney Autumn Carnival with a gallant second to Tavago in the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 2, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
The John O’Shea trained Hartnell heads up the Melbourne Cup market order at $5.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au in front of Jameka at $8 and last Saturday’s Lexus Stakes winner Oceanographer at $9.