Caulfield Cup failure December Draw can redeem himself at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) after pleasing trainer Mark Kavanagh since finishing near the tail of field two weeks ago.
Kavanagh says that December Draw is feeling one hundred per cent and going back to his favourite track will help the seven year old bounce back to his best.
“There’s nothing wrong with the horse, nothing at all,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s back to his favourite track and he’s back to his favourite distance so who knows?” he said.
“He should get into the perfect spot from the barrier and get his chance.”
Kavanagh said the December Draw’s seventeenth placing in the Caulfield Cup was over exaggerated with Michael Rodd sitting up on the gelding when he knew he couldn’t run out the 2400m.
“Michael realised he didn’t stay the trip because the first three riders gassed themselves and never gave themselves any chance so he sat up on the horse,” Kavanagh said.
“He rode him as much as he could but the horse was flat so he sat straight up, actually, his poor performance was much more magnified because he sat up on it.”
December Draw hasn’t been in the winner’s circle since winning last year’s Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 2 but was almost back to his best with two Group 1 placings in his Caulfield Cup lead up.
At his second run back from a long spell, December Draw ran third to Ocean Park in the $400,000 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on October 22 at weight for age and followed that up with another third to Green Moon in the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 6.
New Zealander Ocean Park is lining up for his fifth straight win this Spring and will be hard to beat again after taking out the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley last week.
The Mike Moroney trained Glass Harmonium, who has been out of form of late, has the pacifiers back on to help him win back to Mackinnon Stakes.
Glass Harmonium has developed a bad habit of missing the start, giving himself no chance after running his best races in front as he did in winning last year.
Predictably Ocean Park is the short priced Mackinnon favourite at $1.55 with Alcopop the next best at $5.50 in front of December Draw at $8.50 and Glass Harmonium at $11.