OTI Racing is eyeing the 2013 Caulfield Cup with imported stayer Pakal after the four-year-old recorded a stunning six length victory in the Legacy 2013 Badge Appeal Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Pakal, who was having just his second start in Australia, was given a brilliant ride by jockey Patrick Moloney just behind the leader and showed impressive acceleration to race away from the rest of the field when asked for an extra effort with two hundred metres left to run.
OTI Racing co-founder Terry Henderson admitted that he was surprised by the performance but said he never had any doubts about the class of the gelding.
“He has been a pretty good horse and in the class that he was in had he been fit we would have expected him to run really well,” Henderson said on RSN.
“He is a Group 1 runner-up in France.
“Given that Mick (Price) thought he needed the run we were absolutely stoked by what happened on Saturday.”
Trainer Mick Price indicated after the race on Saturday that Pakal would contest the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield on August 31 before stepping up to Group 1 level for the Underwood Stakes (1800m) on September 21 but Henderson said this morning that the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) may be the best option to qualify the son of Lord Of England for the Caulfield Cup (2400m).
“He won’t have enough weight to get into the Caulfield Cup yet,” Henderson.
“It is tempting to go to the Naturalism because it is an exemption race for the Caulfield Cup and you can protect your weight,” Henderson said.
“It would be a lovely situation to have a horse that was capable of getting into the Caulfield Cup by winning the Naturalism but still staying on fifty and a half kilograms.”
OTI Racing is chasing their first victory in the Caulfield Cup with the fourth place finish of Manighar in the 2011 edition of the race their best result.