Big chances on both sides of ditch

Bon­neval and Jon Snow among Fors­man stars on show in Aus­tralia

The New Zealand Herald - - RACING - Mike Dil­lon — Ad­di­tional re­port­ing NZ Rac­ing Desk

It’s a week short of 1900 days since An­drew Fors­man first strapped his trainer’s badge to his belt. How could the for­mer Track­side Tele­vi­sion staff mem­ber know within a hand­ful of years he would be co­pro­duc­ing the favourite into a A$3 mil­lion Caulfield Cup.

That, at least, will be the sce­nario if Bon­neval pro­duces what is ex­pected of her in to­mor­row’s A$1 mil­lion Caulfield Stakes. She is favourite for that and any­one who saw her dom­i­nant vic­tory over Hart­nell in the lead-up Un­der­wood Stakes won’t be bet­ting against her in ei­ther race.

Fors­man and train­ing part­ner Mur­ray Baker also have Jon Snow in to­mor­row’s race and another sta­ble­mate Lizzie L’Amour will join that pair in the Caulfield Cup to­mor­row week af­ter rac­ing on Sun­day.

Mean­time, Fors­man has to­mor­row’s $80,000 Group 3 Rich Hill Stud Taranaki Breed­ers Stakes to con­cen­trate on with one of the favourites Fran­caletta. The lightly raced high class mare comes off a handy fifth in stakes class at Awa­puni where noth­ing was in her favour.

“She had to go from win­ning eas­ily first-up at Hast­ings to 1550m in tough con­di­tions and she wasn’t quite ready for it.”

Fors­man says Fran­caletta is much more ready for this race.

“It’s a shame she couldn’t go back to a hand­i­cap race (she car­ried just 53kg at Manawatu) and has to carry 57kg like the rest of them, but she’s shown she can han­dle some pretty fair sorts. She’s worked up very well.”

The dan­ger at the Haw­era meet­ing is clearly last year’s win­ner Un­der the moon­light. She fairly flew into third over 1400 mon the first day at Hast­ings and pro­duced a sim­i­lar run for fourth be­hind Ginger­nuts on the mid­dle day.

Dif­fi­cult to as­sess Aide Me­moire’s shock­ing ef­fort for 13th on the mid­dle day at Hast­ings, par­tic­u­larly given he was a close sec­ond to Close Up on the first day. He is gen­uinely re­li­able when there is rain around. Thee Auld Floozie pro­duced only av­er­age ef­forts in two runs at Hast­ings, but it might be too early to drop off her.

The Baker/Fors­man sta­ble will be rep­re­sented in the $50,000 Team Weal­leans Mata­mata Cup by Eleonora. The high class mare could be vul­ner­a­ble. The foot­ing may be a touch worse than she prefers and her record in first-up ef­forts — no wins from three runs — is not as good as when sec­ond-up, where she has two wins from three runs.

Dif­fi­cult to beat in the Cup will be lo­cal Cote D’Or. She comes into this well on 53.5kg and does not seem to mind plenty of give in the track.

Another lo­cal Charles Road has clearly been aimed at this and is right in con­tention. So is Pa­corus. He re­sumes from a break and al­though he is bet­ter over more dis­tance he will be nice and fresh for the 1600m.

Go­ing back to Aus­tralia, Lizzie L’Amour runs in Sun­day’s A$300,000 Cran­bourne Cup and An­drew Fors­man says the pres­sure has come off some­what. “Orig­i­nally she was go­ing to have to win for force her way into the Caulfield Cup, but she is now safely in the field and that makes it a lot more com­fort­able if any­thing goes wrong.”

The po­ten­tial is there for it to go wrong for the Cam­bridge mare who has drawn bar­rier No14. “All three horses are in great shape,” says Fors­man, who will be at the races here to­mor­row.

So Mur­ray Baker will be re­ceiv­ing the hand­shakes? “Hope­fully.” A hor­ror gate has de­layed Sum­mer Pas­sage’s quest for an Aus­tralian Group One ti­tle.

Con­nec­tions were dealt a blow when the Mata­mata-trained colt was al­lot­ted the out­side gate for to­mor­row’s Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas and they have de­cided to by­pass the A$2 mil­lion fea­ture.

Sum­mer Pas­sage will now run in the Gr.3 Blue Sap­phire Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield next Wed­nes­day.

Picture / Tr­ish Dunell

Fran­caletta (cen­tre) con­tests the Breed­ers Stakes to­mor­row.

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