The jockey-trainer and the former Alice Springs horse out to stun Melbourne

Ben Dorries - Friday October 13

Shayne Cahill will have only one bloke to blame if the horse he trains cops a bad ride at Caulfield on Saturday. Himself.

Desert Lashes is the former Alice Springs horse aiming to get to the Group I Manikato Stakes with jockey-trainer Shayne Cahill

The Adelaide Cup winning jockey is a dual license holder in his home state and will not only saddle up mare Desert Lashes but ride her as well in the Group III Cape Grim Beef Steaks (1200m).

While plenty of English and Irish internationals will launch their spring campaigns at Caulfield on Saturday, $5 chance Desert Lashes has come a long way too.

As her name suggests, the four-year-old mare hails from the red centre of Australia where she was formerly trained by Lisa Whittle in Alice Springs.

She won eight in a row to start her career, including the Listed Redelva Stakes at Morphettville, with her only loss a narrow last start defeat at Morphettville.

She is now in the care of jockey/trainer Cahill who has set her on an ambition campaign.

Cahill, 42, reckons she will win at Caulfield on Saturday as part of a mission he hopes might see her force her way into the Group I Manikato Stakes field at Moonee Valley on October 27.

Desert Lashes currently sits 35th in the order of entry for the 14-horse Manikato field but Cahill reckons she has at least the same talent as fellow Adelaide galloper Viddora, who sits 22nd.

Regardless, Cahill reckons he has found a good jockey to ride her in Melbourne.

"If I happen to put in a bad ride on her, I won't have to get back to the mounting yard to cop abuse from the trainer … I am the trainer so I'll abuse myself while I'm still on the horse," Cahill quips.

"I took out my dual license since last year and while riding us still my main income, I would really like to make a career out of training.

"It is hard to do both because it is very demanding with the time management side of things and I'm always flat out.

"There are some funny moments though when I stand in the mounting yard in my silks waiting for instructions from the trainer, and then I realise I have to give myself the instructions."

Cahill hasn't ridden Desert Lashes in all of her Adelaide starts as he is happy to put other jockeys on board and he also can't ride under 56kg.

Cahill insists Desert Lashes has huge talent and he had nominated her for the Group I Goodwood at Morphettville in May before injury ended that campaign.

She almost pulled her hamstring off the bone but is now back to full fitness and Cahill, who won the 2012 Adelaide Cup aboard Rialya, feels his speedy mare will win at Caulfield on Saturday.

"She is a really good horse, a professional racehorse who is not hard to ride," Cahill said.

"I think this is a really winnable race for her and the black type would look good on her breeding resume in the future.

"If she wins this race it will give me some extra confidence about aiming for the Manikato.

"We might battle to get a run there – but I look at Viddora, who is higher than her in the order of entry and I really don't think there is much between them.

"If we don't get to the Manikato there might be another mares race around the corner for her."


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