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Jakkalberry-wins-american-st-leger

Jakkalberry winning the American St Leger in August

Botti optimistic of nice run from Jakkalberry

Japan: Marco Botti is hopeful Melbourne Cup third Jakkalberry can defy his big odds in Sunday's Japan Cup, but the trainer is well aware of the task facing his contender.

The six-year-old fared best of the European raiders in the Flemington showpiece, finishing two and a half lengths behind Green Moon.

It was another creditable run from the son of Storming Home who landed the inaugural American St Leger at Arlington Park in August and was third to the high-class Cirrus Des Aigles in the Dubai Sheema Classic in March.

Despite those efforts he is 33-1 to become the first European-trained winner of the Japan Cup since Alkaased triumphed for Luca Cumani in 2005.

Botti, who trains Jakkalberry for Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, T Porter Et Al, said: "I'm very pleased with his condition. I spoke to the lad looking after him this morning and he seems well and fresh.

"It was a good performance in the Melbourne Cup. We were very pleased, he finished well and he's a tough horse who has taken the trip well so we're looking forward to the Japan Cup."

Botti, speaking to At The Races, added: "He had a couple of days quarantine, but is in normal exercise now. The opposition is very tough and the Japanese horses are top class. It's going to be very competitive, but coming back to a mile and a half will not be a problem.

"Hopefully the ground will be fine - he wants good ground. We are hoping he'll run a nice race."

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe second and Japan's Horse of the Year for 2011 Orfevre heads the betting for Sunday's Group 1 at 6-4, while Gentildonna, who landed Japan's fillies' Triple Crown this season, is next at 7-1.

Arc winner Solemia is 10-1, two points shorter than Cumani's Melbourne Cup fifth Mount Athos.

 
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