Big chances on both sides of ditch
Bonneval and Jon Snow among Forsman stars on show in Australia
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.
Francaletta (centre) contests the Breeders Stakes tomorrow.