Jakkalberry rated a serious Cups threat
By Robert Grant
08:31 AEST Tue Aug 21 2012

American St Leger winner Jakkalberry has been stamped a major contender for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups with his Australian owner predicting a top-five finish in both races.

"We know he's a serious horse, we know he's a serious staying horse," Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock's Darren Dance told Melbourne radio station RSN.

"We know that he's going to be a genuine two-mile type horse - everything he's done has indicated that.

"He won and he won well ... we were pretty pleased with the way he hit the line.

"I will tell you today that horse will finish top five in both those races if we get firm conditions."

Dance said Jakkalberry was sent to Chicago where the stayer's preferred dry track conditions prevailed.

"Basically the horse performs better on firm surfaces," he said.

"We raced him in Ascot (in England) over the carnival and it was a very wet track.

"He ran a nice fifth but he really didn't attack the line like we know he can.

"Obviously they've had the wettest summer there in about 40 years and as luck would have it I've got a firm track horse."

After that experience, Dance said Jakkalberry's plans were immediately changed.

"We hatched a plan only in the last couple of weeks to bypass Newbury and, when they put the St Leger on at Arlington Park, we said 'yep, that's the race we need to go to'.

"It's 2700 metres, a firm surface, a similar track to what he'd be racing on in Australia."

Jakkalberry was purchased in February, the result of a search by the stable for a European horse to campaign in the spring carnival.

He was bought in Italy and brought to England to be trained by Newmarket-based Italian trainer Marco Botti.

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