Maluckyday has won one of the key Victoria Derby Day races, storming home to take out the $250,000 Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington earning a free pass into the 2010 Melbourne Cup field.
The Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained four-year-old Zabeel gelding has now earned a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption, set to run in the 24-horse field if connections chose to pay the final acceptance fee today.
In The Lexus Stakes, Gai Waterhouse’s stablemates Once Were Wild and Herculian Prince took the early lead and set the pace.
At the top of the straight, The Metropolitan winner Herculian Prince lead over Once Were Wild by a length, the pair well clear of the rest of the field.
Then on the turn the field bunched right in, Linton sitting very wide on the turn.
At the 400m mark Once Were Wild had the lead by three lengths, but was beginning to tire as had Herculian Prince 100m earlier.
Then over the last few hundred metres, Maluckyday displayed a brilliant turn of foot and raced clear into the lead to win by two lengths over the Lloyd Williams-owned Linton and Once Were Wild holding on for a solid third place finish.
The Lexus Stakes results have ruled out the likes of Alcopop, Herculian Prince, Mourayan and Red Ruler from making the Melbourne Cup field.
Emerging stayer Maluckyday, now a winner of four of their seven career starts, may not be accepted for the 2010 Melbourne Cup but the decision will be made by connections later this afternoon.
In other Melbourne Cup news, Jessicabeel finished dead last in The Lexus Stakes and will be examined by Racing Victoria stewards for a third time after the run to see if she is fit to take her place in the Melbourne Cup next Tuesday.
The action at Flemington continues with Race 3 the $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m), the fillies feature set to jump at 12:35pm (AEDST) and our top pick is Brazilian Pulse so get on her now through Luxbet!
2010 The Lexus Stakes Finishing Order & Results
|1st||12||MALUCKYDAY(11)||Jim Cassidy||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||53.0||2-35.10|
|2nd||5||LINTON(5)||Glen Boss||Robert Hickmott||55.5||1.8L|
|3rd||7||ONCE WERE WILD(6)||Michael Walker||Gai Waterhouse||55.0||2.0L|
|4th||8||MOUDRE(1)||Craig Williams||Ciaron Maher||54.5||3.0L|
|5th||10||COUNT ENCOSTA(4)||Craig Newitt||John P Thompson||53.0||5.2L|
|6th||4||RED RULER(12)||Michael Rodd||John Sargent||56.5||8.0L|
|7th||3||MOURAYAN(13)||Steven King||Robert Hickmott||56.5||8.2L|
|8th||9||PURPLE(7)||Mark Zahra||Peter Snowden||54.5||8.3L|
|9th||11||CEDARBERG(2)||Chris Symons||Pat Carey||53.0||12.5L|
|10th||14||GOTHIC CROWN(14)||Darren Gauci||Todd Balfour||53.0||24.5L|
|11th||13||STANSTILL(3)||Luke Nolen||Michael Kent||53.0||27.0L|
|12th||2||HERCULIAN PRINCE(8)||Glyn Schofield||Gai Waterhouse||57.0||28.0L|
|13th||1||ALCOPOP(10)||Blake Shinn||Jake Stephens||57.0||29.3L|
|14th||6||JESSICABEEL(9)||Hugh Bowman||John O’Shea||55.0||39.3L|