This Saturday the Melbourne Cup Carnival concludes with a crack nine-race Emirates Stakes Day program at Flemington where one of the major support races features five gallopers eligible for a $100,000 bonus if they win the $250,000 Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).
The bonus is being offered by Racing Victoria to any horse whose connections paid the hefty final acceptance fee for the 2011 Melbourne Cup but was then balloted out of the $6 million showdown.
With the 2011 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, scheduled as Flemington Race 8 at 4:30pm (AEDT) on Saturday, offering $150,000 to the winner the first prize plus the bonus would give the horse total prize money equal to running fourth in the Melbourne Cup.
Of the five stayers eligible for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes bonus, the top fancy is Luca Cumani’s popular grey nine-year-old Bauer who was the hard luck story of the Melbourne Cup having missed out on a start by one position sitting 25th on the order of entry at final acceptance stage.
Bauer, last seen running a brave third to subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden in the Geelong Cup on October 19, is currently the clear $2.30 Queen Elizabeth Stakes favourite at Luxbet.
Drawn in barrier five of the 14-horse field, Saturday will likely be the veteran’s final career start before they prepare for a permanent position as a Clerk of the Course horse in Australia.
“We’ll make a decision on his future after the race but, personally, I would love to see him win and then retire to become a clerk of the course,” OTI Racing director Terry Henderson said.
The remaining quartet of horses to challenge Bauer for the $100,000 bonus on Saturday are:
- Peter Moody’s Zabeel six-year-old Macedonian ($5.00 Luxbet) coming off a third to Niwot in The Lexus Stakes
- Gerald Ryan’s Sydney stayer Ironstein ($11 Luxbet) who ran fourth to The Verminator in The Metropolitan two starts back
- The John Steffert-trained Kiwi raider Back In Black ($41 Luxbet) last seen running sixth in the Bendigo Cup
- Ben Ahren’s Queensland visitor Spechenka ($41 Luxbet) coming off two disappointing seventh place finishes first in the Geelong Cup and then The Lexus stakes
Also racing in the Queen Elizabeth on Saturday is the fellow Cumani-trained Sahara Sun.
A former Chilean racehorse, Sahara Sun is also likely to make a permanent relocation to Australia to race on after the spring.
He joins a growing list of European raiders from Cumani’s stables to become end-of-career Aussies along with Manighar and Drunken Sailor.
Manighar, fifth in the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, is a possible rival to last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain in the $350,000 Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown Saturday week, a race they finished third to Zipping in 12 months ago.
Peter Moody has been named as the trainer in mind for Manighar in Australia, while Michael Moroney will be behind the preparation of Drunken Sailor who finished 12th in the Melbourne Cup this year.
“At the moment it’s probably 50-50 whether Manighar runs in the (Zipping) Classic,” Henderosn said.
“He’ll go to Peter Moody after that race, while Drunken Sailor will go to Mike Moroney.
“We’re yet to decide on a trainer for Sahara Sun.
“There’s not much point to them going back to England to race in handicaps, the money is better here and they have good options.”
To get in on the last of the spring carnival showdowns and finish off the season with a win, head to Luxbet where all the best betting odds and options can be found.
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