A field of last chance Melbourne Cup hopes are set to face off in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes 2013, nominations for the Victoria Derby Day support act now out.
There is a bumper day’s racing scheduled for Flemington Racecourse this weekend to kick off the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, including four Group 1 races.
One of those, the Mackinnon Stakes, offers a ballot exemption into Tuesday week’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) to the winner.
The other Derby Day race that has a Melbourne Cup 2013 ballot exemption on offer is then the $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
While less prestigious and worth less in prize money than the $1 million Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), the Lexus Stakes is held over an extra 500m which often looks a more attractive option for the dour stayers looking to sneak into the Melbourne Cup field.
This year the Lexus Stakes attracted 25 nominees, all but four of which were among the 47 Melbourne Cup second declarations taken today by Racing Victoria.
Three of the Lexus Stakes nominees are guaranteed a run in the two mile classic sitting inside the top 24 on the order of entry with:
- Sea Moon (5th): Robert Hickmott-trained Herbert Power Stakes winner, also first past the post in the Bart Cummings but regulated to second upon protest, best fancied of these for the Melbourne Cup paying $13 in the latest futures markets
- Ethiopia (13th): Pat Carey’s 202 Australian Derby winner, hasn’t won a race since often finishing at the tail end of the field including their last start 13th in the Caulfield Cup, dead last in the Melbourne Cup last year and $101 roughie for this year’s race
- Mourayan (16th): Sydney Cup winner over the 3200m back in April, last time out was eighth to stablemate Seville in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick, before that was a seventh to Foreteller in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington
The remaining Melbourne Cup hopes then sit between 25th and equal 43rd on the ballot, needing to win the Lexus Stakes and secure that ballot exemption to be there in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
2013 Lexus Stakes nominees needing a win to secure a Melbourne Cup start:
- Kelinni (25th)
- Ibicenco (26th)
- My Quest For Peace (27th)
- Moriarty (28th)
- Precedence (29th)
- Mr O’Ceirin (31st)
- Forgotten Voice (32nd)
- Moudre (33rd)
- Julienas (34th)
- Kingdoms (35th)
- Araldo (37th)
- Ironstein (38th)
- Motivado (39th)
- Let’s Make Adeal (40th)
- Vaquera (41st)
- Bass Strait (=43rd)
- Garud (=43rd)
- Ruscello (=43rd)
Of the above, the shortest-priced in Melbourne Cup betting at $31 is Moriarty for Chris Waller out to improve on their Caulfield Cup 10th.
Waller’s other Lexus Stakes hope is then last year’s Melbourne Cup fourth placegetter Kelinni, a $61 chance this year who ran ninth in the Caulfield Cup.
The two Waller stablemates are among the nine gallopers dually nominated for the Mackinnon Stakes – Lexus Stakes on Saturday along with: Sea Moon, Julienas, Let’s Make Adeal, Moudre, Mourayan, Sea Moon, Precedence and Mr O’Ceirin.
The Mackinnon is the preferred option for the Bart & James Cummings-trained Precedence who today earned a 1kg weight penalty for their Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) win on the weekend.
It wasn’t enough to assure them a start however for 85-year-old Bart who has 12 Melbourne Cup trophies in the cabinet from 87 runners in the world’s richest handicap.
As for Mr O’Ceirin, trainer Ciaron Maher is leaning towards the Lexus Stakes after the Naturalism Stakes winning six-year-old ran 11th in the Caulfield Cup on October 19 where the track was too firm for their liking.
“It’s well known that he likes a bit of sting out of the track and the track was pretty firm on Caulfield Cup Day and he jarred-up a little bit but he seems OK now,” Maher told Racing Victoria.
“He’ll be entered for the Lexus and I’ll just see how he is during the week.”
From the above list of hopefuls some of the more notable also include last week’s Geelong Cup winner Ibicenco, UK raider Forgotten Voice who was outclassed when fifth at Geelong and Bart Cummings winner on protest Araldo.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest on the Lexus and the Melbourne Cup 2013.
In the meantime why not get behind your early Melbourne Cup selections online at the best prices through Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus welcome bet offer!
2013 Lexus Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 02/11/2013
|1||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||99|
|2||BASS STRAIT (NZ)||David Hayes||95|
|3||BRIGANTIN (USA)||Pat Carey||99|
|5||FORGOTTEN VOICE (IRE)||Nicky Henderson||105|
|6||GARUD (IRE)||Michael Moroney||90|
|7||GRAND SUNDAY||Wendy Kelly||67|
|8||IBICENCO (GER)||Peter G Moody||107|
|10||JULIENAS (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||106|
|11||KELINNI (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|12||KINGDOMS (NZ)||John O’Shea||95|
|13||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||95|
|14||MORIARTY (IRE)||Chris Waller||108|
|15||MOTIVADO (GB)||David Hayes||93|
|17||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||110|
|18||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||105|
|19||MY QUEST FOR PEACE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||106|
|20||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||107|
|21||RUSCELLO (IRE)||Ed Walker||80|
|22||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||115|
|23||TUSCAN FIRE||Dan O’Sullivan||101|
|24||VAQUERA (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||95|
|25||VERDANT (GB)||Robert Smerdon||96|