A refreshed Mark Kavanagh, recently returned from a holiday in the Greek Islands and Istanbul, is looking forward to the spring with excitement – and with good reason.
The Flemington trainer has a wealth of talented horses getting ready for a crack at the spring riches, including Maldivian and Whobegotyou who are among the leading contenders for the Victorian Horse of the Year Award which will be announced on Sunday night.
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“They’re both wonderful horses. It would be great if one of them could win it,” Kavanagh said.
With the entries now closed for the big three races of the spring, the former jumps jockey’s horses dominate 2009 Cox Plate Betting with Caulfield Guineas winner Whobegotyou the $6 favourite in TAB Sportsbet’s opening market ahead of last year’s winner Maldivian at $10.
Shocking is on the third line of 2009 Melbourne Cup betting at $21 with Whobegotyou at $31.
“At this stage Whobegotyou is right on target to resume in the Liston (at Caulfield on Saturday week) and from there he’ll go to the Dato Tan Chin Nam (at Moonee Valley on September 12),” Kavanagh said.
“We’re aiming him at the Cox Plate at this stage and, who knows, he might go on to the Melbourne Cup.
“Maldivian has a little tear in his back. He’s torn a muscle and is a couple of weeks behind.
“He did it a couple of weeks ago and we were concerned at first but we’ve checked him right out and he’ll be back and may be ready to resume in the Memsie (at Caulfield on August 29).”
Kavanagh described Maldivian’s all-the-way Cox Plate victory as very satisfying.
“He’d had a few injuries and it was 53 weeks between wins,” he said.
“I’d like to think he could come back and do it again but we are a bit behind the eight-ball now so we’ll wait and see.
“In a couple of weeks we’ll really know with him. He certainly loves Moonee Valley so it will be pretty exciting if we can get him to the race.”
Kavanagh said Shocking, who has won three of his eight starts and is undergoing a Caulfield Cup preparation, would resume in the Gay Icarus Hcp (1400m) at Caulfield on Memsie Stakes day.
“We always knew he was way above average. He went ahead in leaps and bounds in the autumn and those horses that take off quickly and improve the way that he did always give a good indication,” Kavanagh said.
“His effort in the Queensland Derby on a bog track that he never handled was sensational and he’s a horse that’s on the way up.”
Kavanagh named Maldivian, Whobegotyou, Shocking and Easter Cup runner-up Raffaello as his best Melbourne Cup prospects at this early stage.
The stable is also enthusiastic about several other horses including Group Two winner and Group One-placed Sea Battle, who will resume in the Memsie, Group Two winner Champagne Harmony, Group One-placed Cats Whisker, Group Two-placed Lamarr and Group Three winner and Group Two-placed Dr Doute’s.
Article by Mark Ryan Aapracing
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