Michael Rodd says he’s excited about Caulfield Cup favourite December Draw who is an odds-on chance to confirm a start in the $2.5 million race by winning Saturday’s Naturalism Stakes.
The imported Medecis six-year-old has drawn barrier one in the 2000m Group Three event and if he wins he is exempt from the Caulfield Cup ballot but is liable to receive a penalty.
“Yes he does excite me,” Rodd said of the Mark Kavanagh-trained gelding.
“We just haven’t got to the bottom of him. We’re still learning about him. He’s only had the four starts here in Australia for three wins and a second.
“Mark’s still learning about him. I’m still learning about his racing pattern. He keeps stepping up every time we raise the bar.
“We’ve got to get him into the Caulfield Cup and he gets in with 54kg on Saturday so he’s going to be pretty hard to beat.”
December Draw is weighted to carry the minimum of 50kg in the Caulfield Cup and 50.5kg in the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“It looks like the minimum weight in the Caulfield Cup is going to go up to 52kg and maybe ever higher than that,” Rodd said.
“It just depends what accepts and what penalty he gets on the way through but if he gets around 53 (kilograms) I’ll definitely be pushing (to ride him).
Rodd’s riding weight is listed at 54kg but he can get down to 53kg with notice.
December Draw’s six wins from 20 starts have been in the 1600m to 2000m range and he hasn’t raced at less than 1523m or at more than 2000m.
Rodd admitted that there was some query about whether the horse was bred to get further.
“I guess his pedigree is a little bit of a worry and he’s got such a brilliant turn of foot,” he said.
“You worry he might lose that if he does step up beyond the 2000 metres.
“Also he could just be very bloody good you know. That’s what good stayers possess, they’ve got that good turn of foot at the end of a staying trip and that’s what this bloke could be.”
December Draw dominates the Naturalism market at $1.75 ahead of Lucky Eighty Eight at $10.