RACING fans in the south-west will cast their eyes over the Caulfield Cup with keen interest with Winsolw Trainer Ciaron Maher saddling up race favourite Jameka.
Maher is confident he has Jameka in peak condition going into the famous $3.15 million race.
The lightly raced four-year-old mare is the raging favourite at odds of $3.40 for the richest 2400 metre race in the world.
Maher also has outsiders Set Square and Pemberley in the Caulfield Cup as he attempts to win his eighth group one race.
“I'm delighted with how Jameka has come up this time,” Maher said.
“She's had a faultless preparation.
“Her four runs in on the back of her autumn campaign have been excellent.
“Her effort to run second in the Turnbull has topped her off for the Caulfield Cup.
“She will appreciate coming back to a handicap race.
“She's well weighted and with any luck I think she'll be in the finish.
“I could not get her any better for a feature race.”
The former Warrnambool Emmanuel College student said Set Square and Pemberley were not the roughest runners in the race.
“Set Square’s chances are tougher here because she's drawn the widest barrier,” Maher said.
“She's looking for the 2400 metres. She's turned into a dour stayer.
“Pemberley is ticking over really well. He was a bit stiff in the Herbert Power Stakes and his efforts to win two country cups at his two previous runs with big weights were good.
“He's a real light-weight hope at big odds.”
Throssell, Chloe In Paris, Beach Life and Arohata are Maher's other runners on the 10-race card.
Throssell and Beach Life will run in the group three $500,000 Ladbrokes Classic over 2000 metres for Maher.
"I'm prepared to forget Throssell's last start failure at Flemington,” Maher said.
“He pulled up with atrial fibrillation. We've put blinkers on him for the first time.
“He's worked well in them. I reckon he will improve sharply.
"I'm confident the 2000 metre will suit him.
“We've aimed his campaign around a start in the $1.5 million VRC Derby later this month that has been his goal and we've got no reason to divert from that race.
"Beach Life was caught a bit wide in the run last time.
"He's improved with each start. We've also put blinkers on him for the first time to sharpen him up. He should run all right."
Darren Weir’s Warrnambool stable has a strong representation with Real Love, Telopea, Calvin Williams and Hellbent acceptors on the tough program.
Turnitaround resumes for Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams in a $150,000 group three race.