Leon MacDonald knows from personal experience that his Caulfield Cup aspirant Dalasan has the right form lines to win the famous staying event.
In 2011, he trained Southern Speed to win the race and in her final run before the Caulfield Cup she finished fourth in the Turnbull Stakes, the same position Dalasan filled in the lead-up race this year.
And although Southern Speed was a mare, she carried 52.5kg, the same impost given to Dalasan.
MacDonald will be viewing Saturday’s race from Morphettville with his training partner Andrew Gluyas and he said it was going to be a big hour for South Australian racing with Gytrash and Behemoth in The Everest and Dalasan in the Caulfield Cup.
MacDonald is confident Dalasan will run well but he also knows Group One races aren’t easy to win.
“He’s drawn a bit awkwardly in 14 but he’s got Willie Pike on and he couldn’t be riding any better, plus he’s only got a light weight,” MacDonald said.
He also regards Dalasan’s second in the South Australian Derby as a good form reference for the Caulfield Cup.
“He was beaten by a smart horse in Russian Camelot and the third horse was the Victoria Derby winner Warning in the strongest South Australia Derby for years,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald was pleased with Dalasan’s fourth in the Turnbull Stakes when he was beaten less than half a length and finished behind Chris Waller’s trifecta of Caulfield Cup runners in Verry Elleegant, Toffee Tongue and Finche.
“He got slightly crowded at the top of the straight but you’ve got to expect obstacles in a race and Jamie Kah gave him a great ride,” MacDonald said.
“This is the race he’s set for and he has the weight to be a winning chance.”