With less than a week until the gates open for this years A$5m Caulfield Cup (2400m), Kiwi contender Jon Snow is ready to tackle the slew of international raiders set to contest the event.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman prepared five-year-old has made steady improvement in his first three runs of this campaign and will strip in peak condition for Saturday’s contest.
A last start seventh behind wonder mare Winx in the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington was a better run than it appears on paper, with Forsman happy to put the performance behind him as the team apply the final touches to their charge.
“I guess we were a little disappointed last time, especially as he had put in such a super run for third over a mile in the start before that,” he said.
“When you analyse it though, it did turn into a bit of a sit sprint which just isn’t his go at all. He needs the speed on and a true staying contest to show his best.
“His work since then has been very good and he is ready to run a top race, particularly if we can get some give in the ground.”
Forsman has been studying the long-range weather forecasts for Melbourne in recent days as he knows some cut in the ground will be just what the doctor ordered for the Iffraaj gelding.
“I’m pretty sure we pulled the right rein in running him at Flemington as opposed to the Caulfield Stakes yesterday, like we did last year,” he said.
“The track got very firm yesterday which makes it a tough task to back up seven days later on a similar surface.
“There has been some rain forecast later in the week but you just never know what you will get. He goes best when there is some rain around so it would be nice if the forecasters were right.
“Regardless of what we do strike he has had a good prep and we have done what we feel is best for him.
“I’d like to think he will be in with a solid chance although it looks like a very good field, especially with the large number of international horses in contention.”
Jon Snow, who currently sits at $51 on the TAB Fixed Odds market, will be ridden by Damian Lane who replaces Stephen Baster for the race.