David Hayes is banking on Stipulate’s good barrier draw to help overcome a distance query in the $3 million Caulfield Cup.
Stipulate has an inside gate in the 2400-metre handicap in his first try over the Cup journey.
“He’s got to be a slight query at the distance but the barrier might negate that if he can get a beautiful run,” Hayes said.
The import races in the same colours as Jet Away who finished fourth in last year’s Caulfield Cup and produced arguably the run of the race after being caught off track and used up in the middle stages.
Hayes said Stipulate’s owner Douglas Taylor was keen for the gelding to get his chance in Saturday’s race.
“I’ll be giving him a lot of credit if it wins,” Hayes said.
Stipulate scored a convincing first-up win in the Heatherlie Handicap at Caulfield before finishing seventh in the Underwood Stakes.
He ran fifth in the Group One Turnbull over 2000m last start when Craig Williams was aboard.
“Straight after the race the other day, Craig thought he might be a fast-pace mile horse or 1800-metre horse,” Hayes said.
“But then I watched the replay and he finished as well as The Offer. His run was really solid.
“It was a good fifth, I was just a bit disappointed on the day because I thought he could win.
“Taking my mind off that and looking forward, it was a good lead-up to the Cup I thought.”
Stipulate is at $21 and will be ridden by Dwayne Dunn, the jockey who combined with Hayes to win the 2006 Caulfield Cup with another import in Tawqeet.