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One of the key support races on the Victoria Derby Day card this Saturday at Flemington is the $250,000 Group 3 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) where a crack field of stayers will face off, many with the hopes of securing the 2011 Melbourne Cup ballot exemption on offer to the winner.
Set to run as Flemington Race 2 at 12:00pm (AEDST), the 2011 The Lexus Stakes has attracted a 16-horse final field, 12 less gallopers than originally nominated for the handicap showdown.
Notable defectors from the Lexus Stakes 2011 at acceptance stage include a number of runners that will instead contest the other Melbourne Cup exemption race on the Derby Day program, the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) with the Robert Hickmott-trained trio Midas Touch, Linton and Mourayan; and the Chris Waller-trained The Verminator.
Topweight of the Lexus Stakes field, and likely favourite in the soon-to-be released markets at Luxbet is the Gai Waterhouse-trained Tullamore on 57kg.
Tullamore is one of four horses for Waterhouse at Saturday’s meeting, the Hall of Fame trainer also represented in the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) by pinup mare More Joyous and the day’s feature race – the $1.5 million Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) with Niagara who has blown out in the Luxbet markets after drawing the extreme outside gate.
Drawn in barrier nine of 16 with Nash Rawiller engaged, five-year-old Savabeel gelding Tullamore comes into the Lexus on the back of two solid staying performances when third to Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup on October 15 and then second to Melbourne Cup favourite Americain in the Moonee Valley Cup last Saturday.
Right on the verge of a start in the $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) next Tuesday sitting 25th on the order of entry and paying $19 in the Luxbet markets, a win in the Lexus will ensure Waterhouse is dually represented in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Waterhouse’s confirmed Melbourne Cup starter is five-year-old Don Eduardo mare Older Than Time who is 22nd on the order of entry.
Third in the Sydney Cup back in autumn, Older Than Time is also engaged in The Lexus Stakes this weekend and will jump out wide from gate 15 with hoop-of-the-moment Craig Williams in the mount.
Two other Lexus Stakes starters are also safely sitting inside the top 24 in Melbourne Cup order of entry with Jeff Lynd’s Kiwi galloper Booming (21st) and the David Hayes-trained Tactic (23rd).
Booming is the second heaviest weighted runner for the Lexus on 56.5kg and has drawn ideally with barrier two while Tactic, due to be ridden by overseas-based hoop Brett Prebble, will jump from gate eight as they look to improve on their recent poor form.
The sole The Lexus Stakes acceptor that is not entered for the Melbourne Cup 2011 is Anthony Cummings’ Newcastle Gold Cup runner-up Home On A Wing.
All of the remaining horses are currently in Melbourne Cup calculations, and all need to win on Saturday to guarantee their spot in the field.
Other notable The Lexus Stakes hopes and their current position in the Melbourne Cup ballot include:
- Moyenne Corniche (27th) – Brian Ellison-trained European comes off a third in the Herbert Power Stakes which was their debut run down under, one of the best runs in that race and they should have come on from then, out wide in gate 13 so will need to find their position here but if they can settle should be among the top finishers
- Niwot (33rd) – Veteran Galileo seven-year-old was an eye-catching second to Mourayan in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) two starts back but a horror barrier 17 draw hampered their chances in the Caulfield Cup last-start when they finished 12th, can improve o that from gate seven on Saturday
- Green Moon (34th) – Shortest-priced of Lexus acceptors in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet aside from Tullamore, Green Moon is paying $21 but needs to make the field first, certainly have the ability to do just that with a win here following on from their tough second to Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup
They are then followed by:
- Spechenka (35th)
- Showcause (36th)
- Macedonian (37th)
- Galizani (39th)
- Anudjawun (40th)
- Raffaello (42nd)
- Midnight Martini (43rd)
- Reprisal (45th)
Any one of these gallopers could win The Lexus and move into the Melbourne Cup starting line-up, so now is the time to get behind your favourites in the current pre-field Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet.
Full markets on the 47 horses still in the running can be found right now at Luxbet, the bookie for all your spring carnival needs.
Luxbet will also have the best Victoria Derby Day markets and offers including an exclusive Exotic Tote + 5% Bonus offer on every Flemington race this Saturday, so sign up with Luxbet today for access, and enter the code BONUSBET when making your first deposit to get that deposit matched dollar for dollar as a bonus bet valued up to $500!
2011 The Lexus Stakes Final Field & Barriers
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1421X83832||TULLAMORE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||9||57kg||106|
|2||10112X0505||BOOMING (NZ)||Jeff Lynds||Dwayne Dunn||2||56.5kg||105|
|3||1585X89212||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||6||56kg||103|
|4||2DX2235013||MOYENNE CORNICHE (GB)||Brian Ellison||Mark Zahra||13||56kg||103|
|5||40121X0720||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dean Yendall||7||55kg||101|
|6||196X86X9X0||TACTIC (GB)||David Hayes||Brett Prebble||8||55kg||101|
|7||11142X0653||OLDER THAN TIME||Gai Waterhouse||Craig Williams||15||54kg||103|
|8||4125X00781||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||Timothy Bell (a)||16||53.5kg||98|
|9||2X0X0X0396||RAFFAELLO||Patrick F Ryan||Ms Nikita McLean||10||53.5kg||98|
|10||19129X8034||SHOWCAUSE||Frank Ritchie||Craig Newitt||5||53.5kg||98|
|11||9435X00678||MACEDONIAN (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||4||53.5kg||95|
|12||9111X58143||MIDNIGHT MARTINI||Mark Kavanagh||Michael Rodd||14||53.5kg||93|
|13||2071553097||SPECHENKA||Ben Ahrens||Danny Nikolic||1||53.5kg||93|
|14||322X004454||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||Corey Brown||12||53.5kg||89|
|15||7001X98214||REPRISAL||David Hayes||Brenton Avdulla||3||53.5kg||82|
|16||7284317206||HOME ON A WING||Anthony Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||11||53.5kg||89|
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