This Saturday will see the running of the richest mile and a half handicap in the world with the $3m Caulfield Cup set to light up the Heath. However, Team Feek will be targeting a mile and a half handicap of a different kind just an hour and a bit north of the famous race.
The $18,000 0-58 at Bendigo awaits the much improved ZOFFANY ROSE, a luckless runner when a solid sixth on her home track almost 10 days ago. The consistent daughter of Zoffany was well fancied in the 2450m Benchmark 58 and after taking up a beautiful run in transit, a subsequent slipping of the saddle saw the 4yo mare and her rider Jess Eaton courageously work to the line without any luck to finish just five and a half lengths from the winner in an exemplary performance.
'When you take in to account that the saddle slipped, it really was a tough effort to stay within six lengths of the winner' Said David Feek from his Mornington base.
'We thought she would go close before the mishap so we're hoping for a touch of luck on Saturday against what looks a similar class of field. Hopefully we can bounce back to winning form'.
I would've preferred a better gate but Jess can ride her where she is comfortable and hopefully slot in somewhere behind the leading runners'.
Jess Eaton will take another 2kg off the 58.5kg with Zoffany Rose well placed to bounce back in a very open but achievable assignment.
Back home on Sunday we look towards the lightly raced galloper MERCURY ROCKS stepping out over 2000m in the lucrative Class 1 Vobis Gold Handicap. The race is worth $20,000 with an additional $20,000 to Vobis Gold registered horses should they salute. David and Coral believe Mercury Rocks is well suited in the $40,000 race, having performed well at his first go over the 2000m at Ballarat almost a month ago.
'He'll be much better suited having had the run over 2000m and it's never easy to win straight out of maiden grade, he's still very lightly raced'. Said Coral Feek after working the 4yo this morning.
'He seems to like his races well spaced and we are bringing him along patiently. It's just his fifth career start and had he drawn a better gate I would've been much more confident'.
'We'll need some luck from there as it's a tricky start from the 2000m at Mornington, however we are very pleased with the horse and with an ounce of luck he can figure prominently'.
Mercury Rocks was an impressive maiden winner at Bendigo over 1600m in early September and heads in to Sunday's race at home having had plenty of time to come through his last start. Local hoop Jake Noonan rides in what looks to be a typically competitive Class 1 Handicap and hopefully the gelding can build on his early record and notch up win number two.
Best of luck to the Team Feek runners on a big Caulfield Cup weekend.