Champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller was upbeat at Flemington on Tuesday morning after his three Caulfield Cup runners gave him “no surprises or disappointments” when going through their paces ahead of Saturday’s first major.
Royal Descent, Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal all worked on the course proper. Royal Descent was the pick of the three running 1200m in 1:22.97 with the last 400 metres covered in 25.34 seconds.
“Their work is basically done now, it was just maintenance gallops,” Waller said. “I don’t even time their gallops, I like to just keep a good eye on them and make sure they’re happy and well.
“Royal Descent was good, very good. Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal also worked on the course proper and both of their riders were happy.
“I thought Royal Descent was nice and sharp and Who Shot Thebarman was good too.”
Bookmakers regard Royal Descent as the pick of Waller’s 2015 assault with the six-year-old mare at $13 with Sportsbet ahead of Who Shot Thebarman at $26 and Grand Marshal at $34.
Royal Descent is having her second try at the feature handicap after starting the $7 second favourite when finishing a close fifth behind Fawkner two year’s ago but her trainer says the older mare is better equipped for what lies ahead this weekend.
“She’s stronger,” Waller said. “As a four-year-old mare she’d have been best described as a four-year-old filly. Physically she was only a shadow of what she is now.
“On that basis we probably should be a bit more upbeat about her chances this week because she started pretty close to favourite in 2013 when she loomed up, wasn’t strong enough and felt the track a bit.”
Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshal are both regarded as better punting prospects for the Melbourne Cup but their trainer said he believes both horses will perform strongly provided luck’s on their side when barriers are drawn on Tuesday afternoon at 5pm.
“I’ve got no doubt Who Shot Thebarman will be a better Flemington horse but if he draws well and gets a good run, he’ll certainly be finishing off well,” Waller said.
“Grand Marshal is a two miler that’s in an important lead-up race and it would be nice to see him charging home into sixth, seventh, eighth. That would be perfect for him.”
The Caulfield Cup is the only leg of the Australian racing grand slam jockey Glen Boss is yet to win and he’s aboard Royal Decent while Blake Shinn rides Who Shot Thebarman and Hall of Famer Jim Cassidy will be aboard Grand Marshal. – Racenet.com.au