Lightly weighted mare Samovare needs to win the Group 3 $150,000 Bendigo Bank East Malvern MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday to gain a free entry into the Caulfield Cup.
Samovare has only 50kg in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 and is equal seventy-seventh in the order of entry but the winner of the Naturalism Stakes is exempt from the ballet for the Caulfield Cup.
Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes is hoping that Samovare can continue her good Spring form and win the Naturalism Stakes to guarantee her a spot in the famous 2400m Handicap at Caulfield.
“Samovare is very promising and could not have been more impressive at Moonee Valley last start,’’ Hayes told The Daily Telegraph.
“She is a quality mare and we are chasing a ‘slot’ in the Caulfield Cup with her.”
Samovare is weighted on the minimum with 54kg in the Naturalism Stakes and will jump from barrier seven in the capacity sixteen horse field with Noel Callow on board replacing Damien Oliver.
Oliver has been aboard the Savabeel mare for her last three runs for two seconds over 1400m at Flemington before a win in a BenchMark 84 Handicap over 1600m at The Valley on September 9.
The Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig will saddle up four runners in the Naturalism Stakes with Samovare the best fancied of the quartet at $9 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Stablemate Harlem is also well in contention at $10 ahead of Harlow Gold at $17 and Boom Time at $21.
Hayes will be looking for good performances from all four runners but said that Harlem is the one to follow as a Melbourne Cup prospect.
“Harlow Gold and Boom Time are in the race and they can go well but I would be keeping a close eye on Harlem from a Melbourne Cup point of view,” Hayes said.
“He ran well in the Sydney Cup back in the autumn even though he didn’t handle the wet track.
“I think Harlem is a bloody good horse and he will be hard to beat in the Bart Cummings in a couple of weeks.’’
The Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 7 is an important lead up race for the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Stampede is the winner of his last three starts and heads the market order for the Naturalism Stakes at $5 ahead of Abbey Marie at $6 and two from the Darren Weir stable, Amelie’s Star at $6.50 and Big Duke at $9.
Stampede was a two times winner over 2000m in May in the Listed $150,000 Wagga Gold Cup and in the Group 3 $125,000 Chairman’s Handicap at Doomben and resumed from a spell to win the $120,000 Craig Opie Cup over 1600m at The Valley on September 9.