Horse Racing News in Australia

Ben Allen to ride in Caulfield Cup 2017

Apprentice Ben Allen will be on a strict diet to ride Lord Fandango in the Caulfield Cup.

The Archie Alexander-trained former English stayer has 50kg in Saturday’s $3 million handicap and earned a ballot exemption into the 2400m-race by winning the Herbert Power Stakes with Allen aboard.

Under the conditions of Saturday’s victory, Lord Fandango cannot be re-handicapped.

Alexander considered lightweight senior jockeys Dean Yendall and Glen Boss, but they were both suspended at Saturday’s meeting.

Allen was hit with an excessive whip ban, but his six meeting suspension ends following the Pakenham races on Friday night.

Alexander said Lord Fandango had come through his win in top shape.

“He’s eaten up again overnight and looks bright and happy,” Alexander said.

“He just went for a swim again today and will have a nice easy week.

“With 50 kilos over a long distance it’s going to be a big help but it’s obviously a Caulfield Cup and there’s a lot of good horses in there.

“But I think he deserves his chance.”

The Herbert Power was Lord Fandango’s 16th start and his sixth in Australia.

He has progressed from winning a benchmark 78 race at Ballarat in April to his Group Two win on Saturday.

Six horses have completed the Herbert Power/Caulfield Cup double, the latest Master O’Reilly in 2007.

Lord Fandango’s win was one of three victories for OTI Racing on Saturday. They also won the Thousand Guineas with Aloisia and the Caulfield Stakes with Gailo Chop.

Following her win on Saturday, OTI Racing syndicate manager Terry Henderson was considering starting Aloisia in the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28.

But she will now run in The Vase over the same distance in the lead-up to the VRC Oaks at Flemington on November 9.

Henderson said a top-three finish in the Cox Plate could result in Gailo Chop running in the Melbourne Cup, for which he has 55.5kg.