Caulfield and Melbourne Cup favourite Fame Game is settling in well at the Werribee International Quarantine Centre after arriving from Japan last weekend.
Fame Game and Japan’s other Melbourne Spring Carnival Cup’s hopeful Hokko Brave are in Australia to contest both the Group 1 $3m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17 and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
The Japanese invaders are hoping to claim one or both of the two major Carnival prizes and repeat last year’s winning effort by Admire Rakti in the Caulfield Cup.
Fame Game’s trainer Yoshitada Munakata is happy with the way the six year old stallion has travelled from Japan and sent him out on Wednesday morning for a light workout on the Werribee all-weather track.
“There’s no problem so far so I’m happy with him,” Munakata said.
“He lost a bit (of weight on the flight) but he already gained the weight back, so it’s all good.”
Fame Game had his last run in Japan on May 3 for a second to world class stayer Gold Ship in the Group 1 US$2.5m Tenno Sho Spring (3200m) at Kyoto and Munakata said that he left his home stable a very fit horse and it wouldn’t be hard to keep him at his top.
“We just need to keep his condition well and keep him happy,” Munakata said.
At his previous start Fame Game took out the Group 3 US693,000 Diamond Stakes (3400m) at Tokyo, Japan, on February 21.
Fellow Japanese trainer Yasutoshi Matsunaga said that Hokko Brave has travelled okay and he will step up the stayer’s work load gradually over the next few days.
“He’s very good at travelling so he didn’t lose much weight, didn’t get much stress,” Matsunaga said.
“Actually we sent him out on the track on Monday and we just saw how he was reacting and we decided to give him two more days off because it’s a long trip.”
Hokko Brave also went around in The Tenno Sho and was beaten just under two lengths, finishing sixth.
Top Hong Kong based jockey and last year’s Caulfield Cup winning jockey Zac Purton has been booked to ride Fame Game during the Spring Carnival while Craig Willimas will be aboard Hokko Brave.
As well as Japan winning last year’s Caulfield Cup with Admire Rakti, Japanese stayers Delta Blues and Pop Rock quinelled the 2006 Melbourne Cup.
In early Caulfield Cup betting Ladbrokes.com.au Fame Game is at the head of the market order at $9 with Hokko Brave marked at $13.
While in the Melbourne Cup market order Fame Game is also the top pick at $8 with Hokko Brave listed as a $15 chance.