Leading Jockey Luke Nolen was full of praise for the Caulfield track manager Jason Kerr on the preparation of the track for Caulfield Cup day after riding A Time For Julia to take out the first race of the ten card program.
Nolen brought A Time For Julia wide on the home turn and the filly did the rest to take out the 1400m Plate for three year old fillies on a dead track that he thinks will dry out during the day with a strong breeze blowing.
“With that southerly it’s probably going to dry out a little bit,” Nolen said.
“They probably need full credit the track staff here and Jason Kerr because I know the work he does. It’s been in fantastic order all three days.”
Nolen will be looking for his first win in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on the Peter Moody trained Lights Of Heaven who is firming in the market at $9 behind the $4.80 favourite Glencadam Gold.
Moody will also be looking for his first victory in the rich 2400m race with three runners and as well as Lights Of Heaven will saddle up imports Voila ici and Sneak A Peek.
Connections of 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain decided to let the eight year old take his place in the field after threatening to scratch because of the firmness of the track.
The early morning rating of a dead 4 was enough to convince trainer Alain de Royer Dupre and stable foreman Stephanie Nigge to run Americain who will need a reasonable cushion in the surface to perform at his best.
Nigge, who is overseeing the Australian preparation of Americain said that the stallion is in top order heading into today’s race and hopes the track doesn’t dry out too much during the day.
“I am confident he is doing everything right, the weight isn’t a problem and while I’d prefer the ground to be slow he has competed on good as well. I’m really happy with him,” Nigge said.
Americain will jump from barrier fifteen and is currently $21 while the Glencacdam Gold, who is expected to cross the field and lead, will come out of gate seventeen, one from the outside.