Hayes calls Time on 63-year Cup record
BOOM Time's quest to become the first horse to win consecutive Caulfield Cups since Rising Fast 63 years ago begins at Flemington on Saturday, with trainer/owner David Hayes confident the unscheduled round-the-world trip following last year's Japan Cup hasn't affected the horse.
The six-year-old gelding, who won last year's Caulfield Cup at $51, hasn't raced since finishing 12th in the Japan Cup in November.
But a quarantine logjam in Australia late last year meant he had to go from Japan to Germany and then on to England before ultimately returning home.
"I am very confident the trip has actually done him the world of good," Hayes said.
"He is better in his skin and he looks more healthy than he has ever looked."
Boom Time will have two runs in the late autumn, starting with Saturday's Living Legends Mick Mallyon Handicap, before having a brief let-up ahead of the Spring Carnival.
With Boom Time sharpened up with a nice trial win at Tatura on April 17, Hayes is confident the entire will run well on Saturday, despite the heavy weight impost of 62kg, which is offset by Fred Kersley's 2kg claim.
"He has got to carry some weight (on Saturday), but he is in good form and his trials have been good, so I am sure he can run well," Hayes said. "Physically, he is looking as good as ever."
Hayes always planned to give Boom Time a light autumn, saying a trip to Sydney for The Championships was never an option.
"He doesn't go on the Sydney leg (clockwise)," he said. "By going to Japan, the plan was always to give him a run or two and then put him aside for the Caulfield Cup."
Boom Time was the Hayes family's fourth Caulfield Cup winner, following on from How Now (1976), Fraar (1993) and Tawqeet (2006), with last year's success particularly special given Hayes shared the training duties with his son, Ben, and nephew Tom Dabernig. He also owns the horse outright.
Hayes will take a four-pronged attack into the Robert Sangster Classic in Adelaide, including brilliant filly Catchy, who returned to her best form winning the Group 2 Arrowfield Stud Stakes last start.
The stable also has Formality, Tulip and Miss Gunpowder in the race, with Hayes delighted with how Catchy has progressed since her Sydney success.
"We will be pretty competitive," Hayes said of his four chances.
"Catchy seems to have come back from Sydney in great order and her trackwork has been terrific."
"At her best, she is one of the better fillies in Australia, so I am sure she is going to run well."