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Classy Kiwi Trio Press Cups Claims
Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will have a better idea of how their high profile Melbourne Cup trio are progressing after this weekend, reports NZ Racing Desk. The champion Cambridge trainers will be represented by star mare Bonneval in Sunday's Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield, while Jon Snow and Lizzie L'Amour will line up at Moonee Valley tonight in the Gr3 JRA Cup (2040m) and Gr2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) respectively. Dual Oaks heroine and reigning New Zealand Horse of the Year Bonneval is the best supported of the New Zealand-trained Cups entries and Baker says she has improved since her impressive first-up win in the Gr2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago. "I'm very happy with her. She's doing everything right," Baker said. "She's healthy and fit and still on the up. It's a good field on Sunday but you can't dodge anything at this stage. You've just got to front up. I'm sure she'll run another honest race." Baker is hoping Australian Derby winner Jon Snow can improve after finishing sixth in the Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) and eighth in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) in his first two runs this spring. "He's working well but he's back to handicap racing and he's got to give a lot of weight away. Up in distance though, he should go well," Baker said. "We just need to get up into that distance racing. He'll probably go to the Herbert Power [Gr2 over 2400m at Caulfield on 14 October] then the Caulfield Cup. He's already assured of a start in the Cup." As for Lizzie L'Amour, the Zabeel mare will likely have to win one of her next two starts to make the Caulfield Cup field given her precarious position in the order of entry. "She's been going all right the whole way through. She had that fibrillation last start but she trialled at Flemington a week later and everything was fine," Baker continued. "She's as right as we can get her. She might be looking for a bit further than a mile. We just need to get her going but we're happy with her."