A number of star spring hopefuls including 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking took to the track at Flemington on Friday in winter practice trials in preparation for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Shocking was the surprise winner of last year’s Melbourne Cup and is preparing to make it back-to-back wins in the world’s richest handicap on Tuesday November 2.
VRC Oaks winning mare Faint Perfume, trained by the legendary Bart Cummings, is currently sitting at the top of the SportingBet pre-nomination markets for the Melbourne Cup at $15.
Faint Perfume is one of a number of stable stars aiming to give Cummings his unprecedented 13th Melbourne Cup victory this November, and was joined in the trials on Friday by So You Think.
So You Think worked well on the steeple course at Flemington, jockey Michael Rodd reporting the horse felt good and had come back from his spell in top form.
Cumming has named this Saturday’s Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at the same track as the four-year-olds first up spring start.
Meanwhile, Faint Perfume is expected to resume racing the following week in the Group 2 J J Liston Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, where she will likely face off against Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes winner Shoot Out.
Local trainer David Hayes also enjoyed an early boost of confidence for the spring with solid trial wins by two of his top thoroughbreds, Irish Lights and Shaaheq.
Both were impressive on Friday and will come back in a fortnight, Thousand Guineas winner Irish Lights in the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) and Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up Shaaheq in the Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.
Fastnet Rock mare Irish Light’s main spring target will be the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on September 18, while improving filly Shaaheq could possibly be aimed at the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m).
2010 Melbourne Cup nominations close tomorrow, Tuesday August 3, and we will be the first to publish the list of horses vying for a spot in the 24-runner final field.
With the announcement of the nominations, betting markets for the Melbourne Cup will begin to heat up at bookies around the country including Ladbrokes.com.au.
Make sure you get in early to secure the best Melbourne Cup odds and bookmark this page to read the latest Melbourne Cup news and view the final field and form for the 150th edition of this great race.