Bonneval shooting for seven straight

Bonneval on her way to another win in the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes last start. (Photo: Darryl Sherer).

Top-class Cambridge mare Bonneval goes into Saturday’s Gr.1 A$1 million Caulfield Stakes (2000m) in a rich vein of form.

After 10 career starts, the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained daughter of Makfi has won seven, including three Group Ones in her current winning sequence of six.

The dual Oaks winner has captured the imagination of the racing public on both sides of the Tasman and boasts impressive victories in the Gr.2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) and Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) this campaign.

“She just keeps winning and winning good races. People love a horse that keeps raising the bar and winning impressively,” said Forsman.

Bonneval is disputing Caulfield Stakes favouritism with Hartnell, but she is alone at the top of markets for the Gr.1 A$3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21.

“She’s going really well and she’s just about to let go of the last bit of her winter coat so she’s looking good at the right time,” said Forsman.

“She’s shaping like she’s looking for a staying trip, looking for further than the 2000 metres on Saturday, but there’s no doubt she’s got the class to win.

“They rode Hartnell back last time so it will be interesting to see if they go forward with him on Saturday but we’ll be riding our race with both of ours.”

Joining Bonneval in the Caulfield Stakes is Baker and Forsman’s Gr.1 Australian Derby winner Jon Snow, a smart last-start winner of the Gr.3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley and also using Saturday’s race as a lead-up to the Caulfield Cup.

“He’s thrived over there,” said Forsman of the Iffraaj entire.

“The question with him is 2000 metres weight-for-age. He’s not ideally placed because he’s another one now looking for 2400. We’re just looking for another good, solid run from him ahead of the Caulfield Cup.”

Bonneval was already assured of a start in the Caulfield Cup before her Underwood win made her exempt from ballot and Jon Snow has a start guaranteed at sixth spot on the order of entry, but stablemate Lizzie L’Amour remains less certain of a start at 20th on the order for the 18-horse field.

The Zabeel mare will seek to further enhance her chances of a start when she tackles Sunday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup (2025m).

“We’re really happy with her. She was unlucky last time at Moonee Valley but she should get her chance on Sunday,” said Forsman.

“If she’s going to be competitive in a Caulfield Cup, she should probably be winning the Cranbourne Cup.

“She needs to show that she deserves her chance and while Cranbourne is a tight-turning track and probably not ideal for her, hopefully she can get the breaks and take advantage of her opportunity.”

– NZ Racing Desk.