Caulfield Cup: What the trainers and jockeys are saying

The 17-strong Group 1 Caulfield Cup field looks wide open and we've taken a look at how the trainers and jockeys are rating their chances of victory.

Connections of the contenders for the $3 million Spring Carnival feature having been speaking to newspapers and media outlets and giving their thoughts ahead of Saturday's big race.

We round-up what the trainers and jockeys have been saying to the media:

1. Humidor

Jockey Damian Lane: "I'm very excited. The Caulfield Cup is the Caulfield Cup. There's a lot of great chances in the race so he's going to need luck in running. But if he gets the right run I'm sure he can run really well."

2. Marmelo 

Jockey Hugh Bowman: "He had a pretty firm gallop on Friday and I feel that it did its job because he was much more on the bridle (on Tuesday), much more alert and aware of what he was up to. It's a long time since he's raced over 12 furlongs and we are aware of that. He's here for the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup is obviously a good stepping stone towards that, but judging on what I'm feeling, I think he'll run a very good race on Saturday. I just want a trouble-free run and if things go our way there's no reason why he can't win the race."

3. Johannes Vermeer

Jockey Ben Melham: "I wasn't fussed about where I drew because I'm on a horse in good form that is ready to back-up well. That (stall two) just makes it a little better and everything is working perfectly. He showed good speed from the gates the other day and has good change-up speed so he's an ideal Caulfield Cup horse."

T.J. Comerford, travelling foreman to Aidan O'Brien: "He's come out of the race (Caulfield Stakes) very good, he's benefited from that run. He looks way better this week than he did last week. I think he's just come into himself. He takes to his racing well, he looks well, he's healthy. It's a bit different now because now you're under the spotlight more and people are expecting big things from him, but if things go to plan I don't doubt that he'll be on the premises."

4. Jon Snow

Trainer Murray Baker: "He is going along really well and I heard there could be a bit of rain, which would really help him. He is also going to better at the 2400 metres. I'm hoping the forecast is right because it will help on Jon Snow and Bonneval. Both horses are right on target."

5. He's Our Rokkii

Trainer David Hayes: "Even though He's Our Rokkii drew 15 he is going back and being ridden dead cold."

6. Sir Isaac Newton

Jockey Katelyn Mallyon said: "I will go forward and hopefully lead the race as soon as I can get there. There are a couple of frontrunners like Kiwi Jon Snow who will also look for the front, but I will have Sir Isaac wherever he is comfortable rolling along. Fingers crossed Sir Isaac can show us what he really can do on Saturday as his best is certainly good enough."

7. Ventura Storm

"I was really hopeful that Harlem and Ventura Storm would draw inside eight and they did. Providing they beginning well, there will be no reason why they couldn't get a cosy run and I think my two colts are going to be very hard to beat. They have got here in perfect shape."

8. Wicklow Brave

Trainer Willie Mullins: "Wicklow Brave actually worked very well (on Tuesday morning) but that outside draw will test him."

9. Inference

Co-Trainer Wayne Hawkes said: "He's done everything right, he's had a good run into the race, if he's good enough, he'll certainly be there. "We had the one-eyed blinker on him in the VRC Derby, and he ran pretty good, so we'll put the full blinkers back on him and see how he goes."

10. Single Gaze

Jockey Kathy O'Hara: "Single Gaze’s last two runs have been super. Actually, all her runs this spring have been very good. She has kept improving with every start. She was run off her feet first-up then she ran well in the Makybe Diva Stakes before her two good Caulfield efforts. I thought her fourth in the Caulfield Stakes last week was a top run for a horse getting ready for a 2400m race on the quick back-up. She is racing like a horse looking for 2400m now. In Brisbane over the winter she won up to 2200m. I don’t think the trip will be a problem for her."

11. Bonneval 

Trainer Murray Baker: "There is nothing amiss with her and she’ll be ready to run the race of her life. I think she is going to be better over the 2400 metres and with more pressure in the race because she is just a very good stayer. It is the race we have had our eyes on from the start of the preparation."

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy: "It is great to be on this mare who has got a great record at a mile-and-a-half and she has won around Caulfield."

12. Hardham

Trainer David Brideoake: "I'm just so happy with how he's done since that run (on October 1). We all had a meeting and decided to give him his chance and I like horses that are on the improve. He's got a lightweight so I'm happy to give him his chance. Craig (Newitt) rode him quite early in his career and I thought he will be able to do a good job. He's a very experienced rider around Caulfield and he's also a good rider on colts and stallions."

13. Boom Time

Trainer David Hayes: "Boom Time should get the right run from three."

Jockey Corey Parish: "Barrier three's ideal for him. It means I should be able to cross horses in barrier one and two quite easily, and there's speed outside of me so it's just a matter of what they want to do to where I can be. If he can back up well, he'll settle better on Saturday and finish off super. He's got 52kg. I think he can [back up well]...he was the only horse last-start to be up on the pace and finish off well. And this way around is ideal for him."

14. Abbey Marie

Trainer Mick Kent: "We can get her to settle midfield. She'll be finding a spot - we won't be wasting the barrier. Hopefully she's not too far off them. I couldn't be happier (with her prep). All the runs have been good and she did a bit of work this morning. I don't know if she's good enough. With Johannes Vermeer and Humidor and that other horse (Bonneval) I am not sure, but we sort of feel that we're not far behind Bonneval and if that's any indication we're giving ourselves some sort of show."

15. Harlem

Trainer David Hayes: "I think he loomed up and knocked up in the Bart Cummings. It was one of those races that was a gut buster, but he only got beaten a head by the Melbourne Cup favourite. They went so hard and he wasn't quite fit enough for that last start. If they run it like that on Saturday he will be fine. I have worked him in blinkers since, because when Almandin got on his outside he wasn't happy. With the blinkers, he has really responded – he has relaxed and quickened in his work. I have been waiting the whole prep for the right time to use the blinkers. I put the winkers on him to qualify him, but I have waiting for the grand final for the blinkers. They could be the X-factor. He has genuinely been peaked for this race and the Melbourne Cup. He will run really well on Saturday and even better in the Melbourne Cup."

16. Amelie's Star

Trainer Darren Weir: "The (barrier draw with 13 for Amelie’s Star] is a bit sticky.”

17. Lord Fandango

Trainer Archie Alexander: “Lord Fandango was impressive last start (in the Herbert Power), he has a low weight and is ridden by someone (Ben Allen) who knows him really well. He has a good draw, is a course and distance winner and...he’s improving fast and we might not have got to the bottom of him yet.”


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Caulfield Cup: What the trainers and jockeys are saying

The 17-strong Group 1 Caulfield Cup field looks wide open and we've taken a look at how the trainers and jockeys are rating their chances of victory.

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