Baby Jaycee will have to overcome her tender age, Million Dollar Chase winner McInerney and box 5 to give veteran Heathcote trainer Bob Douglas his second Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup finalist, 21 years after his first.
In the 2001 Cup Final, Douglas, 74, had the $3.70 favourite Carlisle Jack, which finished fourth to Classic Capri.
“In 56 years in the game, I’ve only nominated two dogs for the Cup heats. Baby Jaycee is the third,” Douglas said.
“In 56 years in the game, I’ve only nominated two dogs for the Cup heats. Baby Jaycee is the third.”
“The other two were Dashing Eagle (1992) and Carlisle Jack.
“Dashing Eagle ran second in his heat and was a reserve for the final.
“Carlisle Jack was the fastest qualifier – Brett Lee didn’t make it – but he drew box six and we were beaten by Classic Capri.”
Baby Jaycee, which will celebrate her second birthday on January 1, is the second youngest sprinter engaged in Saturday night’s eight star-studded ‘must win’ Cup heats.
The Victorian starlet is 18 days older than NSW visitor Zipping Orlando (heat 4, box 8); they’re the only Cup contenders born in 2021.
WATCH: “And it’s the Babe!” Melbourne Cup contender BABY JAYCEE (B1) was a commanding all-the-way winner at Sandown Park on October 20, defeating ZIPPY TESLA (B3) in a BON 29.39sec.
Baby Jaycee was beaten at her first three starts but has proceeded to win 10 of her next 12, including three of her last four at Sandown Park, each of her victories at the home of the Melbourne Cup coming in the 29.30s.
Drawn in box 5 for heat 2, Baby Jaycee is the $3.80 second elect in Sportsbet’s market, behind Western Australian Amplified (box 1), the $3.50 favourite, with McInerney (box 4) at $3.90, while she’s $26 in ‘All In’ betting.
“I wouldn’t have put her in if I didn’t think she was up to it,” Douglas said.
“She’s only a baby but you don’t know where she’ll be in 12 months, so you roll the dice.
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“I would’ve liked her to draw ‘the red’ but I never worry about box draws. You play the cards you’re dealt and against this class of dog you’re always going to need a bit of luck.
“Her age is probably against her, but in saying that, she is a little bit forward in experience for her age.
“She’s run in the 29.30s at Sandown and she hasn’t only done it once, she’s done it three times.
“McInerney won the Million Dollar Chase and is coming off the Topgun and the Shootout, so he’s got a fair bit on us in experience.
“If she can split in the 5.00s – and she’s done that three times too – she should be in it, but she has to lead. She’d have to be a good three (lengths) in front down the back, because there’s some strong dogs in the race.
“One thing about her is that she doesn’t surrender. She finds that little bit extra when she gets challenged, which I know is something they look for in young horses.”
A daughter of Bernardo and Leprechaun Storm, Baby Jaycee boasts a Melbourne Cup-winning pedigree, with her maternal great grand-dam, Glamorous, a half-sister to Betty’s Angel and Miss Mini Mouse, which ran the quinella in the 2006 Cup Final for trainer/breeders Paul and Diane Bartolo.
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