Despite recent results, Daqiansweet Junior can run a competitive race in the Melbourne Cup for a few reasons, according to owner Terry Henderson.
The five-year-old is a $41 outsider with Ladbrokes after finishing out of the placings in his past three starts – The Bart Cummings, MRC Foundation Cup and Heatherlie Stakes.
But before that, he won the Adelaide Cup and went on to finish third in the Sydney Cup for Phillip Stokes’ stable – both over the 3200m distance which he will run at Flemington on Tuesday.
“The results don’t really tell how well he’s gone, to be honest,” Henderson, the CEO of OTI Racing, told HorseBetting.com.au.
“The results aren’t all that flash, but in fact they were pretty good runs.
“From that point of view, we’ve been pretty happy.”
Daqiansweet Junior will also enjoy the wide 13 barrier on soft ground and – most importantly – looks in great shape.
“We’re really happy with him. We’ve given him a prep completely aimed at this race,” Henderson said.
“Obviously, we knew he could run two miles from Adelaide and Sydney.
“His chances will be even better with some further sting out of the ground on the softer ground.
“And the barrier draw enables him to stay out of trouble. Hopefully he can get in a one or three-wide line.
“He’s really well. Phil Stokes is a good, old-fashioned horseman.
“He likes his chances.”
Daqiansweet Junior’s Melbourne Cup jockey, Daniel Moor, echoed those thoughts.
“He really switched off and got into a lovely rhythm, and we actually worked to the line very well,” he said after a trackwork session last week.
“He pulled up great and recovered pretty quickly. He’s moving well and is in great order.”
Stokes also said that his five-year-old looked primed to finish strongly in Australia’s revered $8 million race, following his final piece of serious work last week.
“He worked very well to the line and was nicely on the bit,” he said.
“He’s just done a lap of canter over 2000m and then gradually worked into and finished off strong.
“That was a very good piece of work and he could probably go another lap.
“I’m very happy with him.”
Like Stokes, Henderson sees good long-distance ability in his stallion.
He purchased the horse privately on the recommendation of bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo, in the weeks after his third in the Manawatu Classic for the Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman stable on April 3 last year.
“It’s only been (17) months since his first run in Australia,” Henderson said.
“Staying ability (impressed me about him after coming to Australia). Just a really legitimate, good old-fashioned New Zealand-type stayer.”
Henderson believes Stokes’ judgment on their stayer being in good shape is accurate, which could be good news for punters chasing some value before the 2022 Melbourne Cup.
“He (Stokes) might be a bit older than some of them, but he’s not old-fashioned in his techniques,” Henderson said.
“He’s a very forward thinker. And the experience he’s had overseas (in Japan and the US) – I think he’s won races with every horse that we’ve had with him.
“He’s right up to the mark and has a beautiful property (Pakenham) where he trains from.”
OTI Racing will also have Green Fly starting for Anthony & Sam Freedman in the In Memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II over 1400m on Cup Day.
“He’ll also like it wet and he’ll be short of his best distance, but he will run a nice race,” Henderson said of his four-year-old colt.
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