Trainer David Hayes is leaning towards scratching his veteran mare Fictional Account from Saturday’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2012 field and saving her for the $200,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The seven-year-old Stravinsky mare is one of 11 gallopers currently accepted to contest the $250,000 Group 2 Drake International (Moonee Valley Gold) Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley this Cox Plate Day, the race scheduled to run as the sixth at 3:55pm (AEST).
Hayes however is likely to withdraw Fictional Account, last seen running a distant 10th to Glencadam Gold in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6, and run her in the 2012 Lexus Stakes instead.
Fictional Account is still an outside chance for the big one this spring with Hayes eyeing off a start in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
The mare however needs to win a lead-up race and earn a sizeable weight penalty if they are to make the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field as they currently sit 47th on the order of entry with just 50kg.
As such they are one of the roughies in Melbourne Cup betting at bookmaker.com.au paying a juicy $101.
Fictional Account is also at long odds for the Moonee Valley Cup this Saturday at a quote of $26, the open markets currently led by three equal favourites with Bart Cummings’ market mover Precedence, Luca Cumani’s European raider Ibicenco and the Robert Hickmott-trained Midas Touch.
Hayes knows that even if Fictional Account scores an upset in the Cup this Saturday it will unlikely be enough to earn her a spot in the Melbourne Cup starting line-up and that the Lexus Stakes, which offers a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner, is their best chance of making the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“If she wins at Moonee Valley it won’t get her into the Cup with the way the Cup isn’t falling away this year,” Hayes said.
“I think we’ll pass and wait for the Lexus Stakes.
“She’s going really well and I think she’ll run very well.
“That’s why we’re going to go for one crack (at getting into the Cup).”
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