Jameka will fly the flag for Australia in a field dominated by strong international hopes in Saturday’s $3 million Caulfield Cup.
The Ciaron Maher-trained mare – a $3.40 favourite with Sportsbet – enters the famous race in good form after an impressive second behind the outstanding Hartnell in the Turnbull Stakes.
While Real Love might be Jameka’s only local challenger in the Group 1 showpiece, imports Scottish, Articus and Exospheric all have strong claims.
“Jameka has prepared really well,” Maher told The New Daily.
“Her work has been really good and this has been her target race.
“She’s had two really good runs at the 2000m, is in good form and runs on her home track.”
Star trainer Maher also has Pemberley and Set Square in the field and thinks they are both at weights where they could spring a surprise.
He added that with many of the international horses, it was hard to line up their form.
The runner-by-runner form guide
1 – Preferment (Barrier 15 – Form – 10×454)
Trainer: Chris Waller Jockey: Hugh Bowman
Comment: Four-time Group 1 winner improved in the Turnbull Stakes but was still three lengths off Jameka.
Third in this race last year. German import had a big winter but this looks tough.
Freedman and Oliver have form in this race. Certainly in the mix.
First Australian start for the UK galloper. Steps up in distance but should be there or thereabouts.
Another one starting for the first time in Australia. Prefer others.
Form a concern for the Victoria Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner. Home track may help, though.
Won Geelong Cup and Sandown Cup last spring but this looks beyond him.
Comfortably won The Metropolitan at Group 1 class. Beat Real Love in Brisbane Cup. Will be in the mix.
Last run was a fifth in Munich. Winning first-up here looks beyond Articus.
Held on for third in the Turnbull Stakes after hitting the lead. Others too good here.
Deserved Cup favourite after dominating the Naturalism Stakes. Remarkably consistent at Group 1 level and looks to have improvement left. The one to beat.
Way behind Jameka in the Naturalism – but that was on a soft track. The likely good conditions will have her right back in it. Expecting a big run.
Won The Oaks in 2014 but hasn’t won since. Like Maher’s other hopes more.
Hasn’t won since 2014 but has run second four times in last six starts. Very good last week – don’t discount him.
Is race-fit with five runs under his belt. Might surprise at good odds.
Been winning in the country and flew home late for third last week.
Fairytale runner of the Cup – Go Dreaming is Strathalbyn trainer Kluske’s first runner in the race and is the first horse he bought when he took out a trainers’ licence two years back.
Can stay and is yet to be seen over his preferred distance this preparation.
If it runs, it won’t win.
Luke Sheehan’s Caulfield Cup tips:
2. Real Love
3. Sir John Hawkwood
Other Saturday selections:
Caulfield Sprint – Wild Rain
Tristarc Stakes – French Emotion
Luke Sheehan is also a racing journalist with Racing.com