Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has a Caulfield Cup spot in his sights for his French import He’s Your Man as he steps up to a more suitable distance in the Listed $120,000 Sportingbet Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
He’s Your Man will be having has third run for the Waller stable and the step up to 2000m will definitely help his chances after being placed twice at Flemington, second over 1400m on January 1 and then third over 1720m on January 18.
The Cape Cross five year old’s two wins in France were both over 2400m, the same distance as the Listed $350,000 Mornington Cup at Mornington on February 12, his next race start after Saturday.
And a win in the Mornington Cup gives automatic entry into this year’s Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
He’s Your Man will wear the blinkers for the first time and Waller’s Melbourne foreman Justine Hales is also looking forward to a better showing as the distances get longer.
“Definitely the further he goes, the better he’ll be,” Hales told AAP.
“First-up he ran really well fresh. We tried not to do too much with him before his last start but he just showed he needed more ground.”
Top Melbourne jockey Craig Newitt has stuck with the French import after having ridden him at his two Melbourne starts and is sure to have him in a handy position from barrier eight.
Gai Waterhouse is also looking for a quick entry for the Caulfield Cup with her up and coming stayer Laidback Larry who will be ridden by Damien Oliver for the first time and will follow the same path as He’s Your Man to the Mornington Cup.
Laidback Larry has improved with every run and Waterhouse considers the O’Reilly four year old a genuine Caulfield Cup chance if he continues to step up to the plate in the higher quality races.
Waterhouse was very excited after Laidback Larry made it four wins in succession leading all the way over 2000m at Randwick in the TAB Rewards BenchMark 85 Handicap on January 18, declaring the gelding a definite Spring Carnival contender.
“We’ve got a huge opinion of this horse, along with Ecuador, and they’re the two most exciting young stayers in my stable,” Waterhouse said.
“They’re lightly-raced and they keep making the quantum leaps. He’s a free-rolling horse who will make the weight-for-age improvement, I’m sure.”
Laidback Larry and the David Hayes trained Extra Zero look the pace in the race but Oliver will no doubt want to cross the field from barrier thirteen and set the tempo.
Perth stayer God Has Spoken is also lining up at Caulfield with trainer Neville Parnham having freshened the seven year old up after running second to Black Tycoon in the Group 2 $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on January 1.
God Has Spoken is one of three runners Parnham will saddle up at Caulfield with Steve Parnham to ride, the other two are 1000m specialist Excelorada in the Listed $120,000 W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) and stakes winner Bippo No Bungus in the $80,000 Thomas North BenchMark 90 Handicap (1400m).