Caulfield dress rehearsal
Four-year-old mare Bonneval goes into Saturday’s Group I A$1 million Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in a rich vein of form.
After 10 career starts, the Murray Baker and Andrew trained daughter of Makfi has won seven, including three Group I races in her current winning sequence of six.
The dual Oaks winner has captured the imagination of the racing public on both sides of the Tasman, and boasts impressive victories in the Group II Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Group I Underwood Stakes (1800m) this campaign.
‘‘She just keeps winning and winning good races. People love a horse that keeps raising the bar and winning impressively,’’ Forsman said.
Bonneval is disputing Caulfield Stakes favouritism with Hartnell, but she is alone at the top of markets for the Group I A$3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21.
‘‘She’s going really well and she’s just about to let go of the last bit of her winter coat so she’s looking good at the right time,’’ Forsman said.
‘‘She’s shaping like she’s looking for a staying trip, looking for further than the 2000m on Saturday, but there’s no doubt she’s got the class to win.
‘‘They rode Hartnell back last time so it will be interesting to see if they go forward with him on Saturday but we’ll be riding our race with both of ours.’’
Joining Bonneval in the Caulfield Stakes is Baker and Forsman’s Group I Australian Derby winner Jon Snow, a smart last-start winner of the Group III JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley and also using Saturday’s race as a lead-up to the Caulfield Cup.
‘‘He’s thrived over there,’’ Forsman said of the Iffraaj entire.
‘‘The question with him is 2000m weight-for-age, he’s not ideally placed because he’s another one now looking for 2400m. We’re just looking for another good, solid run from him ahead of the Caulfield Cup.’’
Bonneval was already assured of a start in the Caulfield Cup before her Underwood win made her exempt from ballot and Jon Snow has a start guaranteed at sixth spot on the order of entry but stablemate Lizzie L’Amour remains less certain of a start at 20th on the order for the 18-horse field.
The Zabeel mare will seek to further enhance her chances of a start when she tackles Sunday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).
‘‘We’re really happy with her. She was unlucky last time at Moonee Valley but she should get her chance on Sunday,’’ Forsman said.
‘‘If she’s going to be competitive in a Caulfield Cup, she should probably be winning the Cranbourne Cup.
She needs to show that she deserves her chance and while Cranbourne is a tight-turning track and probably not ideal for her, hopefully she can get the breaks and take advantage of her opportunity.’’
Bonneval could make it seven wins on the bounce when she contests Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes.