Reigning Hong Kong champion jockey Zac Purton expects his Caulfield Cup mount, Japanese stayer Admire Rakti, to race in a handy position in the $3m Spring Carnival feature at Caulfield on Saturday.
Purton is like most of the racing participants who are trying to dissect the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) and is trying to sort out where the speed in the race will come from following the unexpected scratching of Japanese front runner Bande because of soreness in a front tendon.
Purton got an early feel of Admire Rakti when he rode the topweight in trackwork last Saturday morning and said in his blog on Racing.com that the seven year old felt a bit on the fresh side.
“I suspect that because he’s on the fresh side – he gave me a feel when I rode him in work last Saturday that he was fresh – and he’s at Caulfield for the first time in front of the big crowd when you combine it all it gives me the impression that he’ll be sharp on the weekend. Therefore I expect to take up a reasonably handy position in running,” Purton wrote.
“I’m on a horse from Japan so I need to be mindful of how he likes to race and I think if the other Japanese horse Bande was in the race, it would have been run at a genuine tempo. Normally when that happens the race is run a lot cleaner.”
Admire Rakti hasn’t raced since finishing thirteenth in the Group 1 US$2.5m Tenno Sho Spring (3218m) at Kyoto on May 4 but did finish fourth to Gentildonna in the Group 1 US$5.88m Japan Cup (2400m) at Fuchu, Tokyo on November 24 last year.
Purton also said that he was not sure what to expect from Admire Rakti who can be quite temperamental on race day and that would affect the way he races in the run to the winning post for the first time.
“I’ve had a brief chat with connections of Admire Rakti and he’s quite a temperamental horse, it depends what kind of mood he’s in on the day. He can sometimes jump well and want to be right there on the speed and then other days he sort of flops out of the gates and gets back in the field and just grinds away,” Purton wrote.
With a lack of genuine pace in the race, Purton is expecting the speed to slacken off in the middle stages which could create a traffic jam approaching the home, something the champion jockey will want to avoid.
“It’s when they fly to the winning post and then steady up down the back and then all sort of bunch up and coming to the home turn there’s only four lengths between the whole field, that’s when it gets really messy. It’s hard to know how the race will play out after Bande’s scratching on Friday,” he added.
Purton has been making regular trips back from Hong Kong during the Spring Carnival and was successful on the Chris Waller trained Sacred Falls in the Group 1 $350,000 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on September 20.
Admire Rakti is well up the market order for the Caulfield Cup and is marked as a $10 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Turnbull Stakes winner Lucia Valentina the clear cut favourite at $3.80.
The Peter Moody pair of Brambles, $9, and Lidari, $9.50, are continuing to attract plenty of support while the best supported runner of Chris Waller’s four Caulfield Cup starters is Junoob who also is solid in the betting at $10 with Admire Rakti while Australian Oaks winner Rising Romance is marked at $14.