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Night's Watch CaulfieldBig Weekend Ahead for Redwood at Caulfield

Redwood has a big weekend ahead of him with runners in the Ladbrokes (Caulfield Stakes) Gr.1 and the Herbert Power Stakes Gr.2 as both Night’s Watch and Rising Red look to cement their position in next week’s A$5,000,000 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup.

The feature meeting at Caulfield will see the exciting Night’s Watch tackle his first Group 1 assignment when he steps out in the A$1,000,000 Group 1 Ladbrokes Stakes against a star-studded field which includes the likes of the imports Benbatl, The CliffsofMoher, Blair House, along with local ‘residents’ Humidor, Tosen Basil, Harlem, Homesman, D’argento, and Unforgotten.

Night’s Watch has been in sparkling form this preparation and has undeniably gone to a new level. The Darren Weir-trained gelding stepped up to weight-for-age for the first time in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Gr.2 where he finished third, beaten just 0.3 of a length by Magic Consol and Homesman, with subsequent Epsom Handicap winner Hartnell back in fourth. Night’s Watch captured his first Group victory at his following start when he came from well back to nail Rising Red (Redwood) in the Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) Gr.3 – an effort which has assured him a start in next week’s Caulfield Cup should his connections elect to run.

Night’s Watch has had a three week break since last racing in the Foundation Cup, and providing he performs well on Saturday, it is likely Weir will back him up in the Caulfield Cup next Saturday. Night’s Watch has been ridden primarily by Damien Lane this preparation and even though he received a 1kg re-handicap in the Caulfield Cup for winning the Foundation Cup, he will only carry 52kg in the Caulfield Cup which is below Lane’s comfortable riding weight, necessitating a change of rider which will see quality apprentice Ben Allen take over the ride.

Allen has been a regular rider for Weir and has a sound knowledge of Night’s Watch, having had two rides on him last season for two wins, and he has been aboard the gelding in a lot of his preparatory work during this campaign. Allen will take the reins this week in the Caulfield Stakes and should he run in the Caulfield Cup he will continue his association with the gelding, taking the mount at 52kg.

The final race on the card on Saturday at Caulfield will see the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Rising Red look to push himself into Caulfield Cup calculations when he runs in the A$400,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes over 2400m. The runner-up to Gingernuts in the 2017 NZ Derby, Rising Red was off the scene for some time when incurring a leg injury in Sydney, but given a long break he resumed in Brisbane in the winter and won the Group 3 Premier’s Cup, while his two runs this preparation have been fantastic, running second to Moss ‘n’ Dale when resuming over 1600m, and beating all but Night’s Watch in the Group 3 Foundation Cup.

A win in the Herbert Power on Saturday would see Rising Red exempt from ballot for next week’s Caulfield Cup, and the 2400m is sure to hold no fears for the son of Redwood.


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