Connections of front-running Japanese stayer Bande are happy with the way the top Caulfield Cup contender has switched himself on following a visit to Caulfield on Saturday morning.
Takahide Ando, assistant trainer to Yoshito Yahagi, took Bande from his Werribee International Quarantine Centre base to have a look at the tricky circuit before lining up in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield.
“Before we went to Caulfield it was too much relaxing, we were just a little bit worried,” Ando told the Herald Sun.
“After Caulfield, his head switch on for racing so we are very happy now. He is ready to go to racing now.
“Of course owner and trainer are looking for Melbourne Cup win but at the moment we are standing just before the Caulfield Cup. So we try to win the Caulfield Cup.”
Ando has also reported that Bande has improved since his last start five lengths all the way win in the Listed Japan Sapporo Nikkei (2600m) at Japan on August 10 and is ready to run a strong 2400m.
“He’s better than last time he run. I think he’s improving after that race. He’s ready,” Ando said.
Following his work at Werribee on Tuesday morning, Bande was put through the barriers to get familiar with the Australian starting stalls before Saturday.
“We just wanted to check him in the barriers and there’s no problem for him so we are happy about it,” Ando said.
Champion French jockey Christophe Lemaire takes the mount on Saturday and will no doubt take up a forward position from barrier ten in the eighteen horse field.
Lemaire is no strraanger to Melbourne racing following his win on French stayer Dunaden in the 2011 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Bande is the winner of five races from twelve starts with earnings over $1 million with wins up to 2600m in Japan.
In the latest Caulfield Cup betting Bande has firmed slightly and is now an $8 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina is a solid $4.60 favourite ahead of Bande with fellow Japanese stayer Admire Rakti at $10, Metropolitan winner Junoob at $14 just in front of Dandino, Who Shot Thebarman, Lidari and Rising Romance all at $15.