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We’re double-handed at Cranbourne today including Buffalo River in the feature Cranbourne Cup.

Buffalo River (pictured) is one of the outsiders for the feature but has Damien Oliver sticking with the seven-year-old in the $500,000 contest after his improved run to finish third in the Crystal Mile (Gr 2, 1600m) at Moonee Valley at his latest start.

"He gets Damien Oliver on once again and he knows him so well and he's a horse that it certainly helps to have an association with him. He's drawn well in barrier four and it gives him every chance from the draw to not have to do as much early work to get into a forward position, as he had to earlier in his prep. But I don't think he has to lead if a few others want to take it up.” Mike said.

Mike has an eye on the weather forecast, saying he doesn't want it too dry and he doesn't want it too wet. The Cranbourne track is currently rated a Good 4 with a slight chance of rain overnight and into race day. "The weather looks to be changing day to day, but we'll definitely run him in the Cup and as much as he doesn't want it too dry, he also doesn't want it too Heavy as we saw last year in the Cranbourne Cup.”

Buffalo River ran in last year's Cup, the year the race distance was reduced from 2025-metres to 1600-metres sharing the topweight of 60kg but struggled on the Heavy 10 track, finishing eighth of 12 runners, with jockey Jordan Childs reporting post-race that he didn't handle the deteriorating surface.

I know he was plain in some of his earlier runs this preparation but he's really matured and we've changed tack with him a bit, doing more dressage with him between races, which he's really enjoyed, and he showed it last start when while he didn't win, he still held on in the straight. We're looking forward to what he can show us on Saturday.”

Ceasar is our other runner in the last race over 1300 metres with Jordan Childs to ride.

It is the first start this preparation for the four-year-old who has pleased in his jumpouts and trackwork.

“He had a good preparation last time and he’s done well leading into today,” Mike said. “He’s been placed both his first-up runs before and I’m expecting him to run well today in what looks a strong race which you would expect on Cup day.

“The favourite Arran Bay looks the one to beat and he’s drawn out wide with us so it will be an interesting watch.

“As I said, I’m really happy with him and with ordinary luck I’m expecting him to run well.”

[12 Nov 22]


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