MANAGING part-owner Darren Dance could hardly be happier with import Jakkalberry for his Australian debut in the $2.5m Caulfield Cup today.
Dance says the Italian stayer is as well as he can be physically, has a perfect barrier and ideal track conditions.
As far as the Ballan district-based Dance is concerned, Jakkalberry’s chance of figuring in the finish will come down to the right luck and whether he has the required class.
While Jakkalberry is set to go, last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed will not run.
She was scratched late yesterday and will be saved for next week’s WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.
Dance is optimistic that the rewards for his determination to buy a high-class stayer to win Melbourne’s big spring Cups will be seen at Caulfield today.
“Ideally I’d like to end up midfield, three-wide with cover,” Dance said.
For Dance, who heads the syndication group Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, Jakkalberry will line up to give him his biggest success in racing, having already provided one of his greatest thrills merely by making the field. “It struck me this week when I saw the final field and my horse was in it,” he said.
“That was just fantastic.”
Jakkalberry is trained by England-based Italian Marco Botti and will be ridden by Irish jockey Colm O’Donoghue, who believes he and the horse can comfortably achieve victory.
“ He’s very adaptable, has tactical speed, he can stop and start and he settles in his races,” O’Donoghue said..
O’Donoghue at least has the advantage of having ridden at Caulfield and he’s studied closely the patterns of the Caulfield Cup.
“You’ve got to be quick early, it can be the difference between winning and losing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Robert Smerdon says the early stages of today’s Tristarc Stakes will be crucial for star mare Mosheen, who the trainer believes is getting close to her peak form.
Mosheen’s spring carnival had to be altered early in the campaign after she had to have surgery to repair a throat issue.
After two unplaced runs, the multiple group 1 winner then bounced back in the group 2 Blazer Stakes (1410m) in her last start at Flemington.
The group 2 Tristarc (1400m) at Caulfield will be the mare’s final lead-in to the group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), which will take place in just in two weeks.
That race will replace the Cox Plate as her main spring aim following the setback early in her campaign.