RESPONSIBLE for an eye-catching run during last night’s opening round of Inter Dominion heats, Caligula is ready to surprise a few when the Championship moves to Bathurst on Wednesday.
First-up since July, Caligula began quickly to lead from barrier five before being eased to take a trail, eventually running fourth in his Club Menangle-based qualifier.
The Blake Fitzpatrick-trained squaregaiter has drawn to push forward again, this time over his “preferred” distance of 1730 metres.
Caligula will come from gate three.
“He was first up for four months over 2400 metres, which is not easy especially in such a class field,” Fitzpatrick said.
“He went into the series with improvement in him, deliberately underdone, and will get better as it goes on.
“The short trip is his preferred distance, he’s drawn well and is a good leader, so he will enjoy the conditions in the second round.”
Caligula’s preference for sprint races raises the obvious question about the Final, which is programmed to be run at Club Menangle on December 11.
The Group One is over 3009 metres.
“He has always been vulnerable over the long trip, but is relaxing better in his races,” Fitzpatrick. “If he is ever going to go well over distance it’s now.”