Damian Lane turning Japanese for Caulfield Cup 2023

Racing Victoria and Melbourne’s metropolitan racing clubs all undertake their own international recruiting campaigns, but some perform the role without being on the payroll.

Damian Lane is something of an unofficial scout in Japan and earlier this year he was doing his best to ensure Japanese representation in the Spring Carnival majors.

The horse Lane worked hardest on, Silversonic, didn’t make it to Melbourne but Melbourne’s leading jockey is more than happy to be with the Tatsuya Yoshioka-trained Breakup in Saturday’s $5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

“Silversonic was actually the main one I was advocating for, he didn’t end up coming unfortunately, but it was a nice result to pick up Breakup and it’s great to have him out here,” Lane said.

“He’s got some really strong formlines in Japan. He mixes his runs a little bit, but his best form is certainly good enough (to win).”

No one is better placed to compare Australian horses with their feted Japanese rivals than Lane, who has undertaken regular trips to The Land of the Rising Sun since 2019 and has enjoyed amazing success, including five Group 1 wins.

Two of those, the Takarazuka Kinen and Arima Kinen, came aboard Lys Gracieux, on whom Lane also won the 2019 Cox Plate.

That victory came a week after Lane won the Caulfield Cup on another Japanese galloper, Mer De Glace.

“He has better form that what Mer De Glace had, although Mer De Glace was coming through,” Lane said.

“He’d won three or four in a row (going) up in class and was an untapped a little bit whereas, with Breakup, what you see in the form is what you’re going to get.

“He’s probably achieved a little more, but Mer De Glace was on an upward trajectory.

“It’s not easy to win the races he (Breakup) has run in and that reflects in his winning strike rate a little bit, but he’s been racing at a high level for a long while now.”

A six-year-old son of Novellist, Breakup has won five of 21 starts including the Group 2 Copa Republica Argentina (2500m) in November last year.

Three of his four starts this year have been in Group 1 races, two of them won by Equinox, including his most recent outing, in the Takarazuka Kinen on June 25, when Breakup was a seven-length 12th.

Breakup will start from barrier five in the Caulfield Cup, which will be a lead-up to the 2023 Melbourne Cup and while Lane suspects he will be even better suited in the Melbourne Cup, he expects his class to carry him a long way at Caulfield.

“I think looking at his form he’s going to prefer past 2400 metres and, with the Melbourne Cup in mind, they might be using this as a bit of a step race, but that doesn’t mean he’s not good enough to win this as well.”

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