Japanese stayer Bande has been in Australia for just under a fortnight and connections are confident that the progressive galloper is on track for the 2014 Caulfield Cup on October 18.
Bande and Japanese rival Admire Rakti were given their first serious piece of work since arriving in Australia at the Werribee International Equine Centre and Bande, who worked alongside travelling companion Raizan, impressed onlookers with the way that he performed.
Travelling Stable Representative Hiroshi Ando told Racing Ahead that everything had gone to plan with Bande since he arrived in Australia ten days ago and is confident that the Authorized entire is on track for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) that will be run at the home of the Melbourne Racing Club on October 18.
“He is terrific and is really great,” Ando said.
“Everything went really well; Mr. Yahagi came over last Sunday and was really pleased about it.
“It wasn’t really sharp, sharp but it was the first time he has been in Australia and galloping.
“The handicap (for the Caulfield Cup), we are very pleased about it.
“There are plenty of good European horses and they have ability too, but I can’t say how good he is.
“I think that he can show something in the Caulfield Cup for the Australian people.”
Bande and Admire Rakti will both make their Australian racing debuts in the Caulfield Cup and they will be facing off against each other for the second time in their racing careers.
Admire Rakti finished just in front of Bande in the Group 2 Daishoten Stakes (3016m) at Hanshin in Japan on March 23 earlier this year and Ando does not believe that there is much difference between the two stayers.
“He is a good horse too and I hope that both horses run very well,” Ando said.
“There was one length or something (between them) and I don’t think that there is much difference between Admire Rakti and Bande.
“Maybe Bande if he can keep a good pace (as the likely leader in the Caulfield Cup), while Admire Rakti is an off the pace horse and if Bande goes too fast he could catch us.”
Bande is currently equal favourite in the 2014 Caulfield Cup betting market with Lucia Valentina at a quote of $9, while he is available at Melbourne Cup odds of $13.