Neasham camp cautious on Numerian in Ted Van Heemst Stakes 2023

There is no knock on Numerian since he arrived in Perth, but Rob Archibald says the eight-year-old will need to be at his top to win the Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Archibald believes if Numerian can run close to the level he displayed earlier this year in Brisbane and Melbourne, he has the class to win the Perth Cup lead up race, but he’s cautious.

Numerian, trained by Annabel Neasham, finished runner-up to Cascadian in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington, beaten ¾ of a length after leading for the majority of the race.

Holding that form in elite company two starts following, Numerian filled the same placing when he pushed Huetor to a neck second in the Doomben Cup (2000m).

But it’s been slim pickings for Numerian since the Doomben second and that’s the concern for Archibald, further evidenced when coming up empty handed in the spring.

A son of Holy Roman Emperor, Numerian hasn’t fired a shot in three attempts and tackles Perth for the first time after a seventh to Stroke Of Luck in the Beauford (2300m) at Newcastle.

Archibald says Numerian has settled in well to his new environment, but needs to rediscover his best effort to be capable of winning on debut in Perth.

“He’s in good order and Liz, who has been looking after him for the a month or so has been really pleased with him.” Archibald told Tabradio.

“All the reports have been good and obviously a bit of time between runs, but the freshen up we felt would do him the world of good.

“I think he’s going to have to improve a little bit on the way he’s been going, but he’s a class horse.

“He has to get back to that old form where he ran second in the Australian Cup and second in the Doomben Cup.

“Those sort of performances I think he has to get to and that type of level to be winning here.

“The distance should just about be perfect

“His best form is very much up to these, but you have to respect the locals who are seasoned performers.

“I’m certainly not taking the race lightly and hopefully he can get the job done.

“He’s a class horse and on his day if right he can certainly be up to these.”

The Ted Van Heemst Stakes has attracted a six-horse line up with Numerian to come out of gate two for jockey, Clint Johnston-Porter.

“It will be interesting to see how it plays out,” Archibald said.

“Happy to have CJ (Clint Johnston)-Porter on and glad he’s had a chance to sit on him.

“He said he gave him a nice feel and was happy with him.”

The Neasham camp are back in Perth hoping to go one better after stable star Zaaki ran an agonising second to Dom To Shoot in the Group 1 Northerly Stakes (1800m).

Archibald said Numerian will progress to the Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1 if he pulls up well from the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.

Online bookmaker Tabtouch Fixed Odds has Numerian at $4. Casino Seventeen the $3.30 favourite.

Zoumon is $3.70, Marocchino $3.90, The Velvet Queen $7.50 and Startrade the outsider, currently at $20.

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