By Craig Young
Grahame Begg produced the “ace” card when fitting winkers to the stable’s Caulfield Cup contender Secret Admirer which galloped in the gear at the track yesterday morning.
The Randwick horseman is confident the stable’s multiple group 1 winner Secret Admirer is ready for Saturday’s Caulfield Cup while the Randwick horseman warned not to forget about Sakhero and Tigress Baby.
The lightly raced duo continue the development phase at Canterbury on Wednesday where Sakhero contests the opening event while Tigress Baby goes round in the fourth.
“Sakhero is a horse that is learning what it is all about and is now up to a distance [1900m] that should suit,” Begg said on Tuesday shortly after arriving back in Sydney having supervised Secret Admirer’s cup gallop at Caulfield that morning.
“Sakhero has drawn well and should get a good run and the blinkers go on. He needs them, he has lacked a bit of concentration but has worked well in them and I give him an each-way chance.”
Sakhero has been to the races on three occasions and each time has improved on the previous performance while Tigress Baby debuted at Canterbury on October 3 when third behind Vital.
“She ran very well at her first start,” Begg said.
“She was a little green, missed the start a little and hit the line strongly. She has gone on with it since that run and although it is a hard race she has a good chance.”
And so to Secret Admirer which followed up placings in the Warwick Stakes, Chelmsford and George Main when closing late for fifth in the Epsom Handicap.
Secret Admirer claimed the first group 1 when winning the Flight Stakes last year and she returned in the spring to claim the Epsom Handicap.
On both occasions Brenton Avdulla was on board and the jockey and mare reunite in the Caulfield Cup.
“Brenton was at Caulfield this morning to ride her in the gallop and he was very happy with her,” Begg said.
“She galloped for the first time in winkers and I thought she was happy enough in them. You are pulling every ace out of the pack, we are now in the championship rounds.
“She worked over 1200m and strode home nice over the last 600m. I think she is as ready as she can be.”
While stepping out to the 2400m for the first time “may be the great uncertainty”Begg is confident it will be a fast run Caulfield Cup due to Gai Waterhouse’s runaway Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold and the import Voili Ici.
“I’d be surprised if Glencadam Gold got a picnic in front,” Begg said.
“Peter Moody’s Voili Ici is a bold front running type so there should be some speed on. It is a high pressure race, always is, and my mare appreciates that.
“She was getting home good in the Epsom, she is down to 53kg and I think that is a very good weight for a five-year-old mare.”