Trainer Chris Waller is confident that the 2014 Caulfield Cup is the right race for Hawkspur and believes that the talented gelding can improve on his finish in the Group 1 event last year.
Hawkspur went into the 2013 Caulfield Cup as a clear favourite, but he was forced to settle well off the pace in the early stages of the race due to his wide barrier and he made up plenty of ground late, but was unable to play a factor in the finish and finished seventh.
The Purrealist gelding has drawn a better barrier for the 2014 edition of the Caulfield Cup and Waller believes that the five-year-old will be able to get a lovely run in the early stages of the ace race close to the speed with jockey Damien Oliver on board.
“It is a better draw,” Waller said.
“He had no luck last year; we watched the replay about twenty times last week and he went terrific.
“This is his distance and this is his race.
“He races better in the first half of the field than he ever does in the back half of the field.”
Waller has four runners in the 2014 Caulfield Cup field, with Moriarty, Junoob and Who Shot Thebarman joining Hawkspur in the race, but the leading Sydney trainer does not believe that it is a vintage edition of the Group 1 event.
He admits that the overseas-trained horses like Admire Rakti and Bande could prove the superior stayers and rates Lucia Valentina a good chance, but thinks that there are a number of question marks over the leading chances in the race.
“The overseas horses could come out and be too good, but you how hard it is to get these horses peaking and it is a big effort,” Waller said.
“Let’s hope they are not on top of their games, let’s hope the Lloyd Williams horses are in the twilight of their career, let’s hopes that The Offer is in a wet tracker and let’s hope Dear Demi can’t quiet run as well as she did last year.
“Stipulate is one, Lidari you could make a case for him.
“Lucia Valentina – it is the same as Royal Descent last year, are they strong enough to beat the boys in a pressure race.
“She did a fantastic job in the Turnbull and she is probably your winner, but can she carry it through?
Hawkspur is currently available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $17, while Junoob is rated the best of the Waller-trained chances in the race at $14.