After what was arguably our most successful weekend ever at OTI, we now look ahead to Lord Fandango lining up in the 2017 Caulfield Cup.
It has been a dream spring for trainer Archie Alexander and his progressive five-year-old Lord Fandango this campaign. His first run at Ballarat was where he put the writing on the wall, with an excellent 2nd over 1600m, a distance we knew would be too short for him. In his second start in the Benalla Cup, he finished strongly to win by half a length, in a victory that just looked like he had a lot more to give. Two weeks later, he beat a stronger field even more comfortably to win the Group-2 Herbart Power Stakes and book himself a ticket into the Caulfield Cup. The magnitude of the win is best shown by his time; 2:27.67, a time quicker than the last 9 Caulfield Cup’s over the same distance and track that Lord Fandango ran last weekend. It was also over a second quicker than Jameka’s performance last year.
While the Caulfield Cup is another massive step up from his race last weekend, he has embraced and thrived with the progression to this date. The Group-1 Race has a start time of 4:30 pm and a field of 17. Originally, we believed Lord Fandango would be a horse for next spring, although with his performances this campaign, he has now gone on to be a genuine Caulfield Cup contender. With a good barrier; barrier 9, he will ideally get a lovely position in the race and then with the featherweight of 50kg’s, his jockey Ben Allen will look for a run at the top of the straight and hopefully he will be able to produce the finish he showed last weekend and be right there in the finish.
Before the Caulfield Cup, however, we do have two runners at Bendigo on their annual Beach Party Race day. Star D’Vega features in the second race of the program. The 1600 3YO maiden race will commence at 1:41 pm. After an 11-week break since her last run, we will be expecting her to start showing some of her potential. Andrew Mallyon will ride from barrier 6. So Far Sokool is our other runner and features in Race 4 at 2:51, a 1100m BM64 3YO Fillies race. The Listed placegetter in New Zealand is looking to recapture her form in New Zealand and win her first race in Australia in a race where she finds a much easier task. Mitch Aitken will ride from barrier 8 and carry 58.5kg’s in a race where we are expecting her to be very competitive.
The last of our weekend runners is Tristano in Seymour on Sunday. After a good second 3 weeks ago, hopefully, he can do one better than his last start and get his first win. With Jordan Childs carrying 58.5kg’s and from barrier 7 he gets every chance to add a win to his three placings to date.
Good luck to all connections involved.