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Botti Confirms Jakkalberry & Crackerjack King For Melb
UK-based Italian trainer Marco Botti confirmed Australian-owned 6YO entire Jakkalberry (Storming Home-Claba Di San Jore, by Barathea) will begin his Gr1 Melbourne Cup campaign in Saturday week's UK Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes (12 furlongs) at Royal Ascot. Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock purchased Jakkalberry & a 50% stake in his half-brother Crackerjack King (also bound for Australia) earlier this year. Last start Jakkalberry finished 3rd in March's UAE Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2400m) at Meydan & Botti told Racing Victoria: "It's very exciting. Jakkalberry proved with his run in Dubai that he's among the best stayers here & a good horse for the Melbourne Cup. His Sheema Classic run was very good & we know how good that form is now (finishing just behind international Gr1 starts Cirrus Des Aigle & St Nicholas Abbey). He's pleased me since his return from Dubai & I expect him to run well next week. My only concern would be soft ground. His best form is on good ground." Meanwhile 4YO entire Crackerjack King (Shamardal-Claba Di San Jore, by Barathea) won last month's Italian Gr1 Premio Presidente Della Repubblica (2000m) at the Capannelle in Rome to take his record to 7 wins (also including 2011's Gr2 Derby Italiano over 2200m at the Capannelle & 2010's Listed Premio Campobello over 1800m at San Siro) from just 8 starts. Botti said his main target was the Gr1 Cox Plate in October, but his path to Australia's weight-for-age championship "could take in stops in either the UK or the US". In addition, Botti also revealed he could bring another of his stars, the 5YO entire Planteur (Danehill Dancer-Plante Rare, by Giant's Causeway) to Australia "but plans still to be finalised for the French Gr1 winner" noting : "It's not definite he'll come to Melbourne, but it's something we are strongly considering. I would love to win a Gr1 in England with him first."