Today Chris Waller’s consistent import Kelinni earned a ballot-free ride straight into the Melbourne Cup 2012 field next Tuesday with their Lexus Stakes win, but just how will that form stack up in the 152ndrunning of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Before their hard-fought win in the $250,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) Refuse To Bend four-year-old Kelinni was 38th in the order of entry for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) with 51kg.
They are now through to the capacity 24-horse Melbourne Cup final field which will be released later this afternoon and published right here at Races.com.au followed by the official Melbourne Cup barrier draw at 6:30pm (AEST).
Kelinni was at a quote of $151 in the bookmaker.com.au at bookmaker.com.au before their Lexus Stakes triumph and was quickly slashed to $21 after, but is their form and is the horse worth a look in for punters?
Before their Lexus Kelinni had good form in Sydney finishing top two in six of their seven starts since July including their win the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) in September when ridden by Glyn Schofield, who is a chance for the Melbourne Cup 2012 ride, and their second to Glencadam Gold in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) with Jim Cassidy aboard.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold is also Melbourne Cup bound, a $51 chance in the markets, and they beat Kelinni home by four lengths in the Metrop.
Last year’s Lexus Stakes winner Niwot won the Derby Day feature by three lengths, Kelinni only won by a nose, before going on to run four lengths away eighth to Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup as the best finishing of the Australian-bred horses.
And like Niwot, Kelinni will carry just 51kg in the Melbourne Cup with jockey still to be confirmed.
Niwot did return in the autumn in Sydney however to run top four in both the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW before their victory over 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient in the Sydney Cup over the two miles.
As Waller pointed out today, the Lexus Stakes has been a nice form race for the Melbourne Cup in recent years.
In 2010 the Hawkes-trained Maluckyday won the Lexus before finishing a brave second to Americain in the Melbourne Cup, and the year before Shocking completed the 2009 Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double.
Whether Kelinni is quite up to that class however is questionable and it is a very tough edition of the Melbourne Cup in 2012 with a massive amount of international talent including the past two French-trained winners in the mix.
Regardless of the form and what happens from here, Waller is just over the moon to have a horse he tipped to win only an “ordinary Saturday race” in the Melbourne Cup field.
“This is the cream on the cake,” Waller said after the Lexus win.
“Tuesday is the bonus.
“I just try and buy bread-and-butter horses, Saturday winners.
“I’m not over there looking for Cup horses.”
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