Japan’s Caulfield Cup contenders Bande and Admire Rakti will be heading in different directions once they clear quarantine on Saturday.
Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton, in town to partner Sacred Falls in the Caulfield Stakes, will ride Admire Rakti in a gallop at Werribee on Saturday ahead of the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
Speaking through an interpreter, Takahide Ando, assistant to Bande’s trainer Yoshito Yahagi, said they planned to give Bande a canter on the Caulfield track on Saturday to familiarise the horse with the circuit.
“Most important is for him to adapt to Caulfield racecourse,” Ando said.
“We are going for an easy canter and then schooling in the paddock and schooling on the racecourse.”
The $9 second favourite for the Caulfield Cup, Bande, with stablemate Raizan, had a serious hitout at Werribee on Wednesday.
Cantering off from the 2000m mark and increasing the tempo from the 1400m and again from the 1000m, Bande ran home his last 600m in 35.13s.
“This morning we are very happy,” Ando said.
“I talked to (Bande’s) trainer last night about what he wanted to do and we just followed his order.
“He moved very well and I think we will be making him sharper for racing.”
Ando said Yahagi was due to arrive in Australia next Wednesday to put the finishing touches on Bande for the Caulfield Cup.
“Sometime next week, we will practice for barrier but will not pop out, just go in and out,” Ando said.
“He’s a fast beginner and he’s quiet in barrier also. He’s a businessman. Once in barriers, he knows to start my business.”
Admire Rakti followed a similar routine to Bande on Wednesday, running the last 1000m of his gallop in 1:04.5s and final 600m in 35.42s.
Also speaking through an interpreter, track rider Kiyoshi Shikato said Purton would be on hand to exercise Admire Rakti on Saturday in a similar type of workout.
“Zac Purton will come to gallop him on Saturday morning, but not too fast,” Shikato said.
“He’s improved a lot since he came here compared to Japan. He’s in good condition.”
Shikato said Admire Rakti wouldn’t head to Caulfield for a look at the course before the Caulfield Cup.