Leading Melbourne jockey Michael Rodd is hoping that the expected quick tempo in the 2014 BTC Cup will help Spirit Of Boom make up ground from the back of the field in the Group 1 event on Saturday.
Spirit Of Boom has been settled in the second half of the field in all four of his runs during his autumn preparation and made up plenty of ground to finish second behind Lankan Rupee in both the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 22 and the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 8 before winning the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 21.
The Sequalo entire was settled at the tail of the field by jockey Tim Bell in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on April 26 and made up significant ground in the final stages of the race, but was unable to catch stablemate Temple Of Boom, who held-on to score narrow victory.
Rodd told Racing Victoria that he was impressed with the way that Spirit Of Boom finished in the Victory Stakes and said that he is hoping the likes of Buffering, Snitzerland and Tiger Tees will set the BTC Cup up for the backmarkers this weekend.
“His last run was fantastic on a day they weren’t making a lot of ground,” Rodd said.
“He’s obviously going to be back in the last couple, but it’s only a small field which suits us because we don’t have as many horses to have to go past and we won’t be as far from them.
“It looks like there’s going to be not bad pace in the race, Buffering is there and Tiger Tees and Snitzerland, so hopefully the tempo will be a little bit stronger than the other day and he can get home late.”
Spirit Of Boom will be having his third straight start in the BTC Cup, after finishing fifth behind Sea Siren in 2012 and sixth behind Your Song last year, but Rodd believes that the six-year-old is in the best form of his career and has his best chance of winning the Group 1 this weekend.
“I rode him probably 12 months ago (in the 2012 VRC Sprint Classic), maybe a little bit longer, but he’s a horse that I’ve followed all the way through,” Rodd said.
“He’s definitely at his best now, which is good.
“The best time for a stallion to go out is at the top of their game and he is definitely that at the moment.”
Spirit Of Boom is currently available at 2014 BTC Cup odds of $5.50 and is on the second line of betting from dominant favourite Buffering ($2.20), while Tiger Tees has been the market mover and is now into a quote of $9.