Johannes Vermeer outright Cup favourite

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October 17, 2017 - 05:45 PM

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Irish horse Johannes Vermeer has firmed to $4.60 favourite to give Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien a world record-equalling 25th Group One win for the year in the Caulfield Cup.

Johannes Vermeer, who will jump from gate two in Saturday’s $3 million handicap, stormed home for second in Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in his Australian debut.

His Caulfield Cup jockey Ben Melham’s confidence has been further buoyed after Tuesday’s draw.

“Everybody saw his run the other day and more importantly he’s pulled up well,” Melham said.

“He’s a horse who backs up really well so he’s got a lot of things in his favour.

“And he’s got a favourable draw now.

“It would obviously be very special to me. Especially to be able to do it for Aidan O’Brien and more importantly it would be a milestone for him.”

Johannes Vermeer was at $5.50 before the draw while Humidor remains second favourite at $6 after drawing barrier seven in the field of 17.

The 2015 Caulfield Cup-winning trainer Murray Baker, who is in partnership with Andrew Forsman in New Zealand, has Australian and New Zealand Oaks winner Bonneval and Australian Derbywinner Jon Snow in the race with the pair drawing 14 and six respectively.

Bonneval is at $7 with Jon Snow at $11.

Despite a report after Saturday’s unplaced Caulfield Stakes run that the mare pulled up lame, Baker said Bonneval seemed “perfect” going into Saturday and he didn’t consider there was a problem at all after the weekend.

He said Jon Snow would be thereabouts near the pace from his draw while Bonneval usually gets back to the second half of the field.

“I can’t pick between them,” Baker said.

“They’re two different types of horses. One runs up there and the other is a backmarker. So I’ll be happy to see one of them in the frame.”

Along with Humidor, Victoria’s premier trainer Darren Weir has Amelie’s Star in the Cup and the mare is on the fourth line of betting at $8.50 after drawing barrier 13.

Weir was due to have three runners but Japanese horse Admire Deus, one of the leading pre-post contenders, suffered a serious leg injury in trackwork on Tuesday morning.

Naturalism Stakes winner Harlem has the inside barrier while Sir Isaac Newton has the widest gate.

Market 💰: View the Caulfield Cup odds