South Australian trainer Grant Kluske has to pinch himself to make sure it’s not a dream he has a runner in the Caulfield Cup.
The Kluske-trained Go Dreaming snuck into Saturday’s Caulfield Cup as number 18 in a 20-horse field which has two emergencies.
That doesn’t matter to 55-year-old Kluske who has only been training for two years after making a semi career change on his 50th birthday from selling real estate.
Based at Strathalbyn, Kluske learned the horse training craft from the late Mick Whittle, and while no clone, he has adapted a number of his methods.
Whittle was renowned for working his horses from a car around the paddocks of his Strathalbyn property, a practice Kluske has adopted.
“He had a Fairlane, I’ve got a Falcon,” Kluske said.
Go Dreaming was bought for $9000 with ambitions of a Strathalbyn or Port Lincoln Cup but has managed bigger prizes including the Onkaparinga Cup at Oakbank and the Listed Japan Trophy at Morphettville last year.
Kluske was looking at last year’s spring carnival but aborted those plans after Go Dreaming finished midfield at Morphettville last September.
Go Dreaming’s spring campaign has been plagued by wet tracks until his last start fourth in the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley on September 30.
“At Moonee Valley the other night that’s the first time he’s had a run on top of the ground this campaign and he really needed it, but he pulled up well,” Kluske said.
“We got back at 11 o’clock to where we were staying. I went out at five o’clock the next morning to pick him up to go home and he’d licked out the bowl.
“I was that pleased with him.”
Part of the Go Dreaming story is Kluske giving Katelyn Mallyon her first Caulfield Cup ride.
Kluske said he’d watched Mallyon win last week’s Herbert Power Stakes on Assign but was impressed with her ride on the Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned stayer when second to stablemate Almandin at his previous start.
“He was hanging and lost lengths but she stuck with it and I was impressed with her,” Kluske said.
“That’s one of the reason’s Katelyn got the ride. My horse doesn’t hang but I know if there is trouble she’ll be quick to respond.”
Although Kluske is relatively new to racing, his family has been involved for a long time and Go Dreaming wears their lilac and red colours.
There have some punters also dreaming of a Go Dreaming victory with the stayer shortening from $301 to $101 after coming up with barrier one in Tuesday’s draw.