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Night's Watch_Foundation Cup_HR copyNight’s Watch Tackles Caulfield Cup

At the beginning of the spring Darren Weir hatched a plan to get Night’s Watch into the A$5,000,000 Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and tomorrow will see Weir’s aim realised as the son of Redwood takes his place in the feature staying race. 

Bred and part owned by Gerry Harvey’s NZ Thoroughbred Holdings Ltd in conjunction with OTI Racing (and partners), Night’s Watch is one of just two New Zealand bred runners listed to run in the Caulfield Cup in a field where the 18 horse field is comprised of 13 internationally bred horses, the final three being Australian bred horses. Night’s Watch has been in superb form this spring, winning the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes and finishing close up in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at weight-for-age at Moonee Valley, while he gets into tomorrow’s race with just 52kg.

Damian Lane has been aboard Night’s Watch through most of his recent starts, but the 52kg is beyond Lane’s riding limits and star apprentice Ben Allen will take the mount. Allen is no stranger to Night’s Watch have won twice on the horse last season (from just two rides) and reunited with the gelding in last week’s Caulfield Stakes Gr.1 in which he finished sixth to Benbatl carrying 59kg.

Night’s Watch received no favours when the barrier draws came out on Wednesday, being allotted no.18 of the 20 acceptors. Jockey Ben Allen summed up the draw well though when he said, “At first I was a bit flat after seeing the barrier, but at the same time his racing pattern shouldn’t be too greatly affected by it.”

“He’s a get back horse and we should be able to ride him conservatively and be part of that second wave coming into it. Allen said that while it was a strong rendition of the race, it is also even. I thought he was good last week but he can be much better than that. He was carrying a heavy weight and the track was firm and he didn’t really give his all."

“With him coming down in the weights and hopefully Caulfield is getting some rain, a bit of cut out of the track will help him heaps. If he gets the right run, he will be a much better horse than he showed me last Saturday.”

After racing at weight for age last week, Night’s Watch will carry just 52kgs under handicap conditions on Saturday with Allen taking an optimistic view to tomorrow’s feature, “I am hoping he has one more good run in him on Saturday. I think if he brings his best he will be right in the finish.”

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