December Draw’s Caulfield Cup chances have been cemented even further after the gelding drew barrier 11 for this Saturday’s race.
The five-year-old, who will jump from gate nine should the four emergencies not gain a run, is in the ideal position to continue his winning streak.
Trainer Mark Kavanagh was thrilled with the favourable draw.
“It’s a good barrier we can use a bit of speed to get across,” Kavanagh said.
“He’s got the chance to quicken from there and stay out of trouble.”
Kavanagh believes December Draw deserves his place as favourite for the $2.5 million race.
“He’s got plenty of courage (even though) he’s not the biggest bloke there,” he said.
“You can’t fault his form (and) he’s improved every time so we’re looking forward to (the Caulfield Cup).”
December Draw won his last start in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes by a nose ahead of Glass Harmonium and Playing God, who will not feature in the Caulfield Cup field.
“He pulled up the best after the Turnbull. That (run) really brought him on,” Kavanagh said.
“It is pretty exciting because he has improved every run.
“I believe he’ll run (the 2,400 metre distance for the first time), we’ll have to wait and see.”
December Draw is looking to gain entry into the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup on November 1 in this weekend’s race.
“He has to finish in the first eight to pass the ballot clause,” Kavanagh said.
“If he doesn’t do that we’ll probably have to go to The Lexus (Stakes) or the Mackinnon (Stakes).”
Top weighted horse Mighty High has drawn barrier one for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
Stable representative George Moore said that they were incredibly thankful for the inside draw.
“With gate one he can really sit wherever he wants,” Moore said.
Moore said that the Hong Kong-based Mighty High had flourished since arriving in Melbourne.
“He’s settled in here really well,” he said.
“After the Caulfield Stakes he ate all his feed.
“I expect him to run a good race.”
The five-year-old gelding finished fourth in last weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.
“Darren (Beadman) was very happy with his last run,” Moore said.
“(He ran) fourth with a slow pacing and a slow tempo… (and he) finished off great the last 200 metres,
“I’m expecting him to run a lot closer (on Saturday).”
George Moore’s father, trainer John Moore, is eager to win his first group 1 race in Australia with Mighty High.
“One place dad wants to win is Australia,” he said.
“We’ve been trying really hard to win a Group race anywhere, (but) we keep placing.”
Last start’s JRA Cup winner Dream Pedlar drew wide with barrier 19 but remained undeterred.
“It’s a good year to be here,” trainer Troy Blacker said.
“I’d like to run top eight because that’s where the money is and if we could get higher that would be well and good.”
Blacker has enlisted the help of jockey Chris Symons to ride Dream Pedlar in the race.
“One of the main reasons I booked him is because he rides quite vigorously,” he said.
“We’ll just take it in our stride and see what happens.”
Notable draws also include Lucas Cranach (3), Hawk Island (14), Green Moon (17) and Absolutely (22).