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Caulfield Cup favourite gets prime barrier

JAPANESE invaders Admire Rakti (8) and Bande (10) have both drawn favourable gates for Saturday's $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m).

And the Kris Lees pre-race favourite, Lucia Valentina, has held her place at the head of the markets at $4.40 after drawing barrier 12 of the 22-horse field.

The strong staying mare will come into barrier 10 if the four emergencies fail to gain a start.

Lucia Valentina produced an impressive effort to win the Turnbull Stakes and will have the services of Group 1-winning specialist Kerrin McEvoy (pictured with the horse), who landed the race on All The Good in the 2008 Cup.

Last year's runner-up, Dandino, had no luck drawing the extreme outside 22.

Lidari, who gained a place in the field after My Ambivalent was withdrawn because of a stone bruise injury, continued his luck drawing barrier four.