Trainer David Hayes was delighted with the 2014 Caulfield Cup barrier draw for Stipulate and he believes that the inside gate will help the imported galloper run out a strong 2400 metres in the Group 1 event.
The Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) was the original 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Stipulate after he resumed with a strong win in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on August 30, but Hayes changed his plans for the Dansili gelding after he finished seventh in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20 and fifth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
Hayes has never been convinced that Stipulate is a genuine 2400 metre horse, but he believes that the five-year-old will have his best chance of running out the trip when he jumps from barrier four in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday.
“I would have been worried if he drew a bad barrier,” Hayes told RSN this morning.
“I don’t normally worry about barriers, but I was just thrilled to see him get that barrier.
“It means he can probably get an easy run in the first half of the run and then look for luck in the last half.
“If he relaxes he will run the mile and a half, but if he gets up on the chewey and pulls a bit like Jet Away did last year he probably won’t.”
While Hayes has concerns about whether Stipulate can run out a strong 2400 metres, he has no such queries about the form of the talented galloper and was happy with his performance when he ran home well in the Turnbull Stakes.
“If the track came up a dead four I would be thrilled and I really reckon that his win on the dead four at the start of the season was exceptional and it was against a good field; he beat good horses like Brambles pretty easily,” Hayes said.
“His run was probably as good as The Offer the other day, he beat him home, and outside of the top three his was one of the better runs.”
Stipulate is currently available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $21, while Lucia Valentina ($4.40) remains a clear favourite from Bande ($8), Admire Rakti ($10) and Lidari ($13).