John Gosden’s British Melbourne Cup hopeful Gatewood leads a smart 13-horse field for the Lexus Stakes 2012 this Saturday, the handicap one of two Victoria Derby Day races offering a ballot exemption for the Melbourne Cup to the winner.
Due to jump early in the day as Flemington Race 2 at 12:00pm (AEST), the $250,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) is shaping up as a cracker in 2012 with a field full of stayers making a last ditch attempt to sneak into the Melbourne Cup field the following Tuesday.
Heading the Lexus Stakes field is international galloper Gatewood who has come up trumps with barrier three, triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss retaining the ride.
Boss was aboard the stallion for their smart Geelong Cup victory on October 24 and hopes to be there again on Melbourne Cup Day.
Gatewood may have won the Geelong Cup and earned a 1kg weight penalty but it wasn’t enough to get them into the Melbourne Cup field, the horse currently 33rd on the order of entry and a $26 chance in the bookmaker.com.au markets.
Equal 58kg topweight with Gatewood in the Lexus Stakes this year is then the Robert Hickmott-trained Tanby who may also be a last-start winner but who has drawn at the opposite end of the field in the far outside barrier.
The Galileo six-year-old took out the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington at the start of October and is two above Gatewood sitting 31st in the Melbourne Cup ballot, but further down the betting markets at a quote of $67.
All of the horses in the Lexus Stakes field are using the race as a hopeful springboard into the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) with other big name entries including the Michael Moroney-trained Sabrage, Geelong Cup failure Exceptionally, the Chris Waller-trained Permit and Luca Cumani’s European visitor Ibicenco.
Meanwhile the notable non-acceptors for the Lexus Stakes 2012 include Moudre who will go straight into the Melbourne Cup 2012 and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold who has been suffering heat in one of their legs.
“He is not running Saturday,” Waterhouse said.
“I’m still confident he will be there Tuesday. He doesn’t need to run again before the Melbourne Cup.”
See below for the complete 2012 Lexus Stakes field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2012 Lexus Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 2 – 12:00pm (AEST) – 03/11/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||14×1113271||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||Glen Boss||3||58kg||103|
|2||21x0x04841||TANBY||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||13||58kg||103|
|3||311Px82605||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||11||57.5kg||102|
|4||31×2211412||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||9||57kg||101|
|5||x32x42x7x7||IBICENCO (GER)||Luca Cumani||Kerrin McEvoy||2||56.5kg||100|
|6||22x6x51182||EXCLUDED (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Craig Williams||12||55.5kg||98|
|7||21315×5392||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Vlad Duric||5||55.5kg||98|
|8||00021×2337||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dean Yendall||4||55kg||98|
|9||3011508135||DAME CLAIRE (NZ)||Pat Carey||Peter Mertens||6||55kg||95|
|10||403164×920||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)||David Hayes||Mark Zahra||1||55kg||95|
|11||4002×06550||SABRAGE||Michael Moroney||Damien Oliver||7||55kg||94|
|12||3x111x637||DARE TO DREAM (IRE)||Bart Cummings||James McDonald||10||55kg||90|
|13||116×295266||PEAL OF BELLS||Gwenda Markwell||Jim Cassidy||8||55kg||86|