Euroa-based horseman David Hayes has named the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth next month as a back-up option for his top import Jet Away if they miss out on a run in the Melbourne Cup field 2013.
The Cape Cross stallion is fighting to make the 24-horse field for Tuesday week’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
They currently sit 30th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry following the release of 47 second declarations for Flemington’s famous Race 7 this week.
Formerly prepared in Great Britain by Sir Henry Cecil, Jet Away has been racing down under with Hayes since early in the year.
Their opening two starts yielded back-to-back autumn wins including the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield.
After a six month spell they returned at Flemington this month when seventh, beaten under two lengths first-up by giant slayer Happy Trails in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
Improving on that run next start Jet Away ran a brave fourth behind the Lloyd Williams-owned Fawkner as a 9-1 shot in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 having been forced to run wide over the final 1200m.
Now their Melbourne Cup dream goes on the line at Victoria Derby Day this Saturday, Jet Away nominated for the $1 million Group 1 Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
With their Caulfield Cup jockey Damien Oliver sacked by connections for his ride, triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss has been booked for the Mackinnon mount on Jet Away.
Boss will have to pull out a winning effort too to ensure both he and the horse get a start on Melbourne Cup Day, the jockey’s previous Melbourne Cup mount Puissance De Lune spelled after pulling up lame post Cox Plate.
Despite being far from guaranteed a Melbourne Cup run, the bookies are taking no chances with Jet Away.
In the latest Melbourne Cup odds they pay $17 with markets firmly led by last year’s runner-up, the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente at $6.50.
Should Jet Away fail to win the Mackinnon and get into the Melbourne Cup, Hayes is looking at a trip to Western Australia for a shot at the 2013 Railway Stakes at Ascot on November 23.
It could be a tough ask however as the galloper would be dropping right back in distance down to a mile, which they haven’t raced over since winning the Bendigo Yalumba Golden Mile in their Australian debut in mid-March.
The 2013 Mackinnon Stakes results are going to play a huge part in determining the Melbourne Cup field and betting markets, so make sure you stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest.
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