Yalumba Stakes: game of cat-and-mouse
Mark Kavanagh says Saturday’s Group One Yalumba Stakes at Caulfield could develop into a classic cat-and-mouse affair between his Cox Plate favourite Whobegotyou and his last-start conqueror Heart Of Dreams.
The Mick Price-trained Heart Of Dreams defeated Whobegotyou by a long neck in the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 19 after the runner-up made a long run and hit the front in the straight.
"It’s going to be a cat-and-mouse tactical race, the best ride will win it," Kavanagh said.
"Mick’s horses have the tendency of saving their best for Caulfield.
"He’s (Whobegotyou) not far from it (his peak) now. You’d expect a forward showing from him.
"He hit the front and just died last time but he’s certainly improved a lot since then."
Whobegotyou will be ridden by Damien Oliver, who won the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) on him two starts back at Moonee Valley, and he will be aboard the Street Cry four-year-old in the $3 million Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Michael Rodd, who rode Whobegotyou in the Underwood, chose Maldivian as his Cox Plate mount ahead of Whobegotyou but doesn’t have a ride in the eight-horse Yalumba.
Oliver is after his fourth Yalumba win having landed the race on Naturalism (1993), Danewin (1995) and Northerly (2001).
"The owners wanted the jockeys of both horses to have a ride on them before the Cox Plate to make sure they had a feel of them," Kavanagh said.
Rodd, who has been aboard Maldivian in his three Group One wins including last year’s Cox Plate, gets back on him in Saturday week’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Kavanagh is after his second Yalumba victory having won the race with Maldivian two years ago.
Caulfield Guineas day has been a good one for Kavanagh in the past two years as he won the Guineas with Whobegotyou last year while in 2007 Divine Madonna gave him a double by winning the Toorak following Maldivian’s Yalumba success.
Kavanagh has the chance to repeat the double this year with Whobegotyou in the Yalumba and Raffaello in the Toorak.
Whobegotyou is $2.20 favourite with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Heart Of Dreams at $3.50, Master O’Reilly and Nom Du Jeu ($9), Vision And Power ($10) with Baughurst next best at $12.
Raffaello is at $6 in the Toorak with Black Piranha, just shaded by $5.50 favourite Raheeb.
By Mark Ryan