Track Manager Jason Kerr has responded to criticism from jockeys and trainer concerning the hardness of the Caulfield track and is pouring more water onto the surface leading up to the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday.
With a forecast of 27 degrees for Melbourne on Saturday accompanied by high winds, Kerr will put between five and six mm of irrigation on the track on Friday afternoon.
“It seems these days they want more water on the track and not as hard as in the past, so that’s what we are doing,” Kerr told Racing Network this morning.
“I’m just doing some research on what we’ve done with the track in recent years, and in the last few years we’ve had an upgrade from a dead 4 to a good 3 about races four or five, and we’ve started with 5.3 (penetrometer reading).”
“I’m at 5.53 now and it will be up in that high dead range again in the morning.”
“We will be right up in the high dead range in the morning because of the conditions forecast tomorrow, but it shouldn’t get hard because of all the water we’ve put on the track this week.”
To add to the scenario is that the Melbourne Racing Club has scheduled the Caulfield Cup to be run as the last of ten races, making the track have to cope with a high work load over a longer period of time before getting to the highlight of the day.
Premiership winning jockey Glen Boss led the chorus against the hard track at Caulfield last Saturday when several of his mounts felt the rock hard ground after the track was ungraded from a dead 4 to a good 3 after race three.
“I took it up with the stewards because we can’t have the best horses running around on tracks like that, especially when we want to see them next week, and in the weeks after that,” Boss said in his Herald Sun column.
“Super Cool went OK in chasing Atlantic Jewel. But the horse really felt the ground.”
Boss reported to trainer Mark Kavanagh that Super Cool had trouble stretching out due to the hard track when third to Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
Kavanagh subsequently aborted plans to back up Super Cool in the Caulfield Cup and will now start the four year old in next week’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
“He felt the track last Saturday as it was pretty hard. I don’t see it improving again on Saturday,” Kavanagh told the Herald Sun earlier in the week.
Kavanagh will now be without a runner in the Caulfield Cup while Boss will be aboard Kiwi mare Silent Achiever who is in with a great chance.
The Roger James trained Silent Achiever is on the third line of betting at $8 behind stable mates Hawkspur at $4.80 and Royal Descent at $6.50.