Returning to racing in typically competitive form this time in, trainer David Hayes is confident in a brave performance from five-year-old Stipulate this afternoon, who remains steady at generous $21 Caulfield Cup odds.
Claiming three wins and a further eleven minor places from his 23 career starts so far, Stipulate began his racing career under the guidance of the late, great Sir Henry Cecil in Britain; completing two runs under Lady Cecil before transferring to the care of Hayes partway through 2013.
Pleased with the condition of the Dansili gelding leading into the Caulfield Cup, Hayes concedes the feature race is a huge test for Stipulate but is confident he is more than capable of a standout performance.
“He’s been a fairly easy horse to train ever since he arrived here and he really has acclimatised very quickly,” Hayes told The Age.
“Saturday is of course a major test for Stipulate after some promising efforts during this spring carnival.
“It’s just a feeling I’ve got that he mightn’t be a true stayer; he could be too brilliant for the longer journeys. If the track’s not too hard and he gets that perfect run that you need in Caulfield Cups, he could be right in the finish with luck.
“I really think he’s going to be at his peak on Saturday, especially health and fitness wise and I hope his best will be good enough to win the Caulfield Cup.”
Unable to figure when beating just one runner home in his Australian racing debut; the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) in 2013, Stipulate quickly built to the task over three autumn starts this year; placing sixth in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) first-up before claiming second in the Silver Thomas Hanley Handicap (1600m) and third in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m).
Taking out the Listed Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) and immediately firming in early Caulfield Cup odds as a result, the gelding out of Indication was unlucky to be blocked for a run a seventh in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 20th, but finished a credible fifth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) last time out.
Confirmed to leave from the ideal barrier 4 and partnered by Dwayne Dunn, Stipulate is can be taken at generous $21 Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.