A record 11 internationally-trained horses will complete their mandatory two-week quarantine period in Australia the morning of Saturday, 13th October, allowing them to compete on Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day and chase in excess of AUD $5 million in prizemoney, on the opening meeting of the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Carnival.
The highest-rated horse of the 11 entered is Godolphin’s multiple Group 1 winner Benbatl, the early favourite for the AUD $1 million Ladbrokes Stakes (2,000m). Irish jockey Pat Cosgrave will fly to Australia to ride the son of Dubawi, and will stay in Melbourne to partner Benbatl’s Group 1-winning stablemate Best Solution in next Saturday’s $5.15m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2,400m).
Benbatl’s trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, told the Godolphin website:
“The reports I have received about the horse are good. We are very happy with him, and Saturday’s race should set him up nicely for the Cox Plate.”
The Ladbrokes Stakes field will include two overseas raiders: Aidan O’Brien’s The Cliffsofmoher (formerly known simply as Cliffs Of Moher), ridden by Mark Zahra, and Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby-trained Blair House is also entered for the Group 1 contest.
Blair House will be ridden by English jockey James Doyle, who was on board Jungle Cat when he made a triumphant Australian debut in the Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1,400m) last month.
Jungle Cat will aim to stretch out to a mile and claim a second Group 1 during the Spring Racing Carnival when he lines up in the Aquis Toorak Handicap (1,600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
As well as Jungle Cat and Blair House, Doyle will also partner Appleby’s sprinter Comicas in The Big Screen Company Weekend Hussler Stakes (1,400m) and Spirit Of Valor in the Group 2 Keno Schillaci Stakes (1,100m) on Saturday.
O’Brien is launching a three-pronged attack on that race, with Spirit Of Valor’s Ballydoyle stable companions Fleet Review (ridden by Dwayne Dunn) and Intelligence Cross (Emmet McNamara) also set to make their Australian debuts for the Irish maestro.
A Prince Of Arran, trained by Charlie Fellowes and ridden by Michael Walker, Saeed bin Suroor’s stayer Prize Money, who will be piloted by Cosgrave, and the O’Brien-trained Yucatan (James McDonald) complete the set of internationally-trained competitors in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2,400m), which affords the winner a ticket to the Caulfield Cup.