Dubai: Experienced Emirati handler Saeed Bin Surour believes Cavalryman has the class to run in a big race in Tuesday’s A$6.2million Emirates Melbourne Cup as Godolphin eye their first success in the two-mile contest, arguably one of the toughest flat races in the world.
The six-year-old son of Halling has contested most of the major stayers races in Europe and has the credentials to pull off an upset win at long odds of 50-1.
Bin Surour is no stranger to Flemington racecourse, having saddled Give The Slip to finish second in 2001 following a similar result with Central Park in 1999, and he is losing no sleep over the bookmakers’ assessment of his charge.
“You have got to be in the race to win it. We’ve seen horses win as favourites and at longer odds,” he said. “I’m not too concerned about that. I just want Cavalryman to run his natural race.
“He’s drawn in stall six , which is good, so I would like to see him break well and settle down with the pace. It’s a long race so [jockey] Frankie [Dettori] will have the time to improvise and change tactics if necessary.
“If he’s well positioned at the top of the straight I would give him a good chance of troubling the best in the field.”
Cavalryman’s rivals include the last two winners of the race, reigning champion Dunaden and 2010 winner Americain. Other notable contenders include Newbury Group 3 scorer Athos, last year’s runner-up Red Cadeaux and Maluckyday, who finished second to Americain.
Bin Surour, who has been on hand in Australia to oversee Cavalryman’s final preparations for the last ten days, is happy with what he has seen.
“I have been pleased with Cavalryman’s preparations and he heads in to the Melboure Cup in good order,” he told the Godolphin website.
“He won’t have a problem with the distance. His victory at Sandown earlier this season proved that he stays two miles and he goes well on all types of going, so the ground should be fine.
“This is always a very tough race but Cavalryman is a Group 1 winner and has the class to run a big race.”
Bin Surour was hoping to have two runners in the race but Lost In The Moment, who was a creditable sixth last year, missed the cut for the maximum 24-runner field.
Dettori has flow in from Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup meeting in America to take the ride on Cavalryman.