Leading European jockey Christophe Lemaire is confident that Bande will be the 2014 Caulfield Cup winner and give him his second major race win in Australia.
Lemaire has never previously ridden Bande, but he has a big opinion of the Authorized entire who finished third in the 2013 Group 1 Japanese St. Leger (3016m) and stamped himself as a genuine Caulfield Cup contender with a dominant five lengths win in the Listed Sapporo Nikkei (2600m) in Japan on August 10.
The French hoop told Racing Ahead this morning that Bande has the staying credentials to win the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this weekend and is thrilled to have the chance to ride the stayer in the $3 million event.
“I know that he is a very good Group horse over long distances in Japan,” Lemaire said.
“He is a very tough horse, maybe a little under the top Group 1 horses over there and I think that he goes to Australia with great expectations.
“He is a horse that likes to gallop, he likes good ground and he should be well suited to the course.
“He is a very nice, strong horse, he is a good galloper and he stays very well, which will be a big advantage for us in this field.
“I am very confident and I have a lot of confidence in the Japanese trainer because they know how to train horses for the big events.”
Lemaire has previous big race experience in Australia after taking out the 2011 edition of the Melbourne Cup with Dunaden, but will be having his first ride in the Caulfield Cup and his first experience at Caulfield racecourse on Saturday.
The Melbourne Cup winning jockey said that he has watched previous editions of the Caulfield Cup, studying the Caulfield track closely, and he is confident that the track will give neither himself nor Bande any problems on Saturday.
“I will know more about the track when I will walk on it on Saturday morning,” Lemaire said.
“It doesn’t look very hard to ride and I think that it is a flat course.
“There is no very difficult points all around the course and I am looking forward to walking on the track to see for real how it is.”
Bande has been one of the best backed runners in 2014 Caulfield Cup betting markets and he is now available at a quote of $8 to take out the Group 1 event this weekend.