Leading jockey Craig Williams has revealed that he would like to see Cavalryman take up a forward position in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field at Flemington next Tuesday.
Cavalryman was settled towards the tail of the field in the 2012 Melbourne Cup before he ran impressive closing sectionals to finish 12th behind Green Moon, but Williams does not believe that the Halling entire needs to be ridden cold in ‘the race that stops a nation’ next week.
The veteran stayer led from start to finish when he recorded a tough win in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10 and Williams told RSN that Cavalryman’s lack of acceleration means that his best chance of winning the Melbourne Cup is to be settled close to the speed in the early stages.
“Everyone that saw him here two years ago would have seen that he got a long way back,” Williams said.
“This year he won his second race start this season and he made all the running at Newmarket, but there wasn’t much pressure in the race.
“It just showed to me that he is quiet versatile in where he can position.
“He doesn’t have a huge acceleration, but he is very solid at two miles and there is no doubt that I have a few options with this horse because he can race back like he did at Goodwood or he can make all like he did at Newmarket.
“I think it is great going into a race knowing that your horse is quiet versatile where you have options as a jockey.
“There is no doubt that when the barrier draw comes out I can assess the race, but there is no doubt that because he is one paced it would be more favorable to be in a more forward position.”
Cavalryman is considered a nine-year-old in Australia and along with fellow veteran stayer Red Cadeaux will have the opportunity to become the oldest horse in history to win the Melbourne Cup.
Old stayers do not have a strong record in the Melbourne Cup, but Williams said that Cavalryman does not feel like a nine-year-old in trackwork on Sunday and pointed to the fact that the Godolphin stayer had only had 38 race starts during his racing career.
“He doesn’t have any sharp acceleration, but he is very solid and the further he went into his work the better he felt, so I am very happy with him and his form coming out,” Williams said.
“He is a nine-year-old, but he is in career best form.
“His two mile form is excellent and the way that this year is shaking up he is going to be very competitive.
“He doesn’t feel like a nine-year-old.”
Cavalryman is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $26 to deliver Godolphin their maiden win Australia’s most popular race.