Racing: Cauthen faces clash with Lankan Rupee at the Valley

By Wayne Booth

Last season's Listed McKenzie Stakes winner Cauthen. Photo / Darryl Sherer
Last season's Listed McKenzie Stakes winner Cauthen. Photo / Darryl Sherer

Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young could be forced to pit Cauthen up against the world's top-rated sprinter at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Their hand may be forced with their Darci Brahma 4-year-old well down in the order of entry for the A$120,000 Drummond Stakes (1200m), which would result in a clash with Lankan Rupee in the A$200,000 McEwen Stakes (1000m).

"He's a big, strong impressive horse. He's beaten Long John and Shamus Award and then things went wrong," Busuttin said yesterday.

"Ollie [Damien Oliver] said he seemed to work nicely this morning through the heavy going and he had a good blow afterwards.

"He'll certainly take improvement from whatever he does on Saturday. Ollie trialled him up last Friday and was pleased with how he went so we expect a good run on Saturday."

Busuttin said they preferred to start Cauthen, who hasn't raced for seven months, in the Drummond.

Lankan Rupee's trainer Mick Price has already said he expects his stable star to win the McEwen.

Meanwhile, Cauthen's stablemate El Roca looked sharp when he was put through his paces at Flemington yesterday.

The group one contender was ridden by Young and they clocked 36.03 seconds for the final 600m after moving away from the 1000m mark.

Sydney horsewoman Gai Waterhouse spent the early part of her birthday watching The Offer gallop at Moonee Valley yesterday.

And she took enough out of the trackwork session to know the Melbourne Cup favourite is capable of delivering a belated gift in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes on Saturday.

The Offer was ridden by Damien Oliver and he worked with stablemate Hippopus over 1400m to familiarise himself with the circuit.

The pair clocked 26.94secs for the last 400m, with The Offer just putting his head in front at the post, and Waterhouse was happy with the work.

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