Kings Will Dream owner feeling Caulfield Cup nerves
IF THE excitement of winning a Mornington Cup seven months ago is anything to go by, then one could only imagine how Geelong's Jane Doolan is feeling on Caulfield Cup morning.
A former trainer in her own right, Doolan owns a share in today's favourite, Kings Will Dream, who booked his ticket to the Group 1 feature with a five-length romp in the Mornington Cup back in March.
On paper, the stars are aligning for the five-year-old chestnut gelding, who boasts six wins and five placings from 12 starts.
Two weeks ago, the Darren Weir-trained galloper pushed arguably the greatest horse we've seen, hitting the front at the 200m mark of the Turnbull Stakes, only to get reeled in by triple Cox Plate champion Winx.
It's that sort of form that has Kings Will Dream installed as a $5 favourite for today's $5 million race.
"His first two runs this time in I was pretty relaxed actually, and then when we got to the front with 100m to go in front of Winx the other day, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we're going to beat her'," Doolan admitted.
"She managed to get out and do her usual 'whoosh' down the outside, but I'll be honest, I was a bit weak at the knees after that.
"But I think I will be a bit nervous come Saturday."
It will be a year next week since Doolan and friend Val Moors bought into the rising Irish-bred stayer after a day out at the Cox Plate gave them the idea to buy into a horse.
They gave Ballarat trainer Weir a call and he had just acquired the son of Casamento from overseas. The rest is history.
Five straight wins over summer and autumn culminate in victory in the Listed Mornington Cup; with it, a ticket into today's Caulfield Cup.
Doolan said she was enjoying everything that came with ownership, including a week of festivities such as Tuesday morning's barrier draw.
"We may never get the opportunity again so we may as well lap it up and enjoy the ride," Doolan said.
"We went down to the barrier draw and they were calling out a few numbers and names before we were picked.
"I saw barrier six was still there and I said to my friends, 'That would be a nice draw'. Not long after that, (syndicator) Brad Spicer was called up to pick a number, which he picked number six, so we were totally thrilled with that.
"All we need now is a good ride and luck during the run and we'll see what we can do."
Craig Williams is set to ride, and while a win today would guarantee a Melbourne Cup start, Doolan said the stable was more likely to give the lightly raced horse 12 months to target next year's two-mile race.