Bart Cummings is hoping to sneak another Melbourne Cup contender into the top 24 with two of his horses contending in tomorrow’s Group 3 Lexus Stakes.
Dandaad and Naval Escort are both entered in the Lexus however both horses need to win the race in order to compete in the Melbourne Cup.
Six year old Dandaad is currently second-favourite in the Lexus Stakes behind Shocking and will be ridden by Corey Brown after jockey Claire Lindop was suspended.
The gelding has proved his ability on the track at last year’s Melbourne Cup day over 2800m and is definitely one of the stronger contenders in the Lexus Stakes.
Cummings’ other Lexus contender is Naval Escort, the lowest ranked contender for the Melbourne Cup.
The four year old will be ridden by 2008 Melbourne Cup winner Blake Shinn however as the gelding has only taken out two races from 14 starts, he needs to improve his form if he wants to be taken seriously in tomorrow’s and Tuesday’s races.
Cummings is already guaranteed a start in the Melbourne Cup with Viewed, Roman Emperor and Allez Wonder however a fourth runner could only add to the Cup King’s domination in the $5.5 million race.
Dandaad and Naval Escort are just two of nine runners in the Lexus Stakes with Mark Kavanagh’s runner Shocking as the race favourite and the only Lexus contender guaranteed a Melbourne Cup start.
Shocking will also have to put up a fight against Anthony Cummings’ four year old Nothin’ Leica Cat which will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy.
Nothin’ Leica Cat could be Cummings’ sneaky hope for this weekend’s race after finding her form again in her last two starts.
The mare ran a solid second in the Queensland Oaks and a fourth in the AJC Australian Oaks however it was her first time win against open company which proved her potential as a Group 1 horse.
The horses which must win the Lexus Stakes in order to qualify for the top 24 in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup are:
- Cats Fun – (30th in Melbourne Cup order of entry)
- Six O’Clock News – (32nd)
- Hoorang – (33rd)
- Cape Breton – (34th)
- Dandaad – (36th)
- Nothin’ Leica Cat – (37th)
- Britomart – (39th Not QF)
- Hume – (40th Not QF)
- Naval Escort – (42nd Not QF)