Jamie Poulton believes Irish raider Yeats is the one they all have to beat in next Tuesday’s Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
The trainer of Caulfield Cup flop Land’n Stars gave an ominous warning to locals when he suggested that the Aidan O’Brien-trained Yeats, who is Coral’s 4-1 joint favourite with Tawqeet, had ‘more class’ than Irish stayer Vinnie Roe.
That is a strong endorsement considering Vinnie Roe ran second behind champion mare Makybe Diva in the 2004 renewal and a gallant fourth on an unfavourable hard track behind stablemate Media Puzzle in 2002.
“He’s got more class than Vinnie Roe,” Poulton said. “He’s won at Group One weight-for-age in England, he’s top-class over two miles. He’s absolutely devastating.”
Poulton is sure Yeats has the class to overcome the Australian style of racing, which the trainer believed contributed to Land’n Stars’ dismal effort in the Caulfield Cup when he failed to beat a runner home.
“At Caulfield, there was no gallop. It was a slowly run race and that didn’t suit my horse,” said Poulton.
“They went that slowly and I knew we were in trouble when they had to sprint.
“But Yeats can overcome it. He’s top class.”
However, Yeats will have to carry the top weight of 59kg, an impost which Poulton said could prove the stumbling block.
“Let’s hope the handicapper has done his job,” he said.
As for his own horse, Poulton believes the seven-year-old could be set for a sharp improvement in the Melbourne Cup.
He thinks the horse has derived plenty of benefit from working at Melbourne’s bayside beaches.
“I’ve been taking him to Carrum beach. He’s looking very well and seems very happy. I’m confident he’ll make a better show of it at the bigger track (Flemington),” he added.