Opie Bosson counting the days to the Caulfield Cup with Mongolian Khan

New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson was disappointed not to win Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes on Mongolian Khan but he knows a bigger prize might be only seven days away.

The New Zealand and n Derby winner was made the $4.60 favourite for the Caulfield Cup after his eye-catching third to Criterion in the Caulfield Stakes. It is the first of two targets trainer Murray Baker  set Mongolian Khan  after his impressive autumn.

“I don’t know what would have happened if I got clear at the top of the straight,” Bosson said. “His last 100 metres was outstanding, he was really trucking to the line. He is just looking for the 2400 metres now. That run couldn’t have been any better and I can’t wait for next week.”

Baker has twice had to settle for second in the Caulfield Cup – with n Derby winner  Nom Du Jeu in 2009 and Harris Tweed the following year.

“Mongolian Khan is on track and we know he is going to be better at 2400 next week,” Baker said.

Ladbrokes firmed Mongolian Khan to $6.50 after his  run on Saturday, but by Sunday he was a  $4.60 favourite.

“He was hard to miss. It reminded me of Ethereal’s  third in the race to Northerly in 2001 and she went on to win both cups,” Ladbrokes’ Paul Di Cioccio said. “The weight-for-age races are always the best guide to the Caulfield Cup and he has been finishing on their heels in those races and got to a trip that suited him better on Saturday.”

The n Derby form appears to be a strong reference with Hauraki, runner-up at Randwick to Mongolian Khan in April, on the third line of betting with VRC Oaks winner Set Square at $9.

The Japanese once again have a strong hand with Fame Game at $8 and Hokko Brave at $11. Hong Kong-based Zac Purton has flown in from Hong Kong to give Fame Game his final gallop at Werribee on Monday morning.

Purton  won the race last year on Admire Rakti for Japan and the TAB’s Glenn Munsie said they offer the X-factor in the race in the punters’ minds.

“If you take a line through Admire Rakti last year, they were too good for our stayers. Even though he had top weight he won easily,” Munsie said. “Fame Game has been a loser in our book for a long time and they haven’t forgotten to back Hokko Brave with us either. Mongolian Khan is the other one in the top three because of what he has done this spring. Personally, I don’t see this group of n stayers having the depth and quality of last year. Set Square is the one that stands out. She has been set for the race and comes out of the Turnbull Stakes, where she ran  third, and that looks strong form, as usual. I find it hard to find Hauraki because he struggled in Melbourne in the autumn and it will be his first time there since.”

There are still a number of well-fancied horses struggling to make the field, even though Turnbull winner Preferment and the impressive Herbert Power winner Amralah will not accept.

Godolphin trainer John O’Shea is disappointed that it looks like the in-form Complacent will miss the final field. He is behind raider Quest For More in the order of entry.

“If Complacent gets a run James [McDonald] will ride him. If he doesn’t he will be on Hauraki. It is a tough year when a horse like Complacent can’t get in the Caulfield Cup,” O’Shea said. “We were hoping to have three, but Magic Hurricane, even though he won the Metropolitan last start, looks no hope.”

There is hope for those  outside with Kris Lees to make a final decision on whether Lucia Valentina  accepts after she gallops on Tuesday.

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