Only eight horses in history have done it and on Tuesday British raider Ruscello will attempt to win the Lexus Stakes – 2013 Melbourne Cup double.
Just last Saturday the Ed Walker-trained five-year-old earned an 11th hour shot at the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) when they earned a ballot free ride in the 24-horse field with their Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) win at Flemington.
It was the gelding’s second run down under after a very close second at Caulfield last month, and obviously their first look at the famous Flemington course.
Not having been tested at Group level in Europe yet, Ruscello was a triple figure roughie in Melbourne Cup odds pre-Lexus.
But their gritty long neck win in the Derby Day handicap convinced connections, including Australia’s OTI Racing, they were worthy of a shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’.
They made a final acceptance then, which would push the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence out of the Cup field for the first time in four years, and now Ruscello gets their chance to become the sixth internationally-trained Melbourne Cup winner.
They are still rough in the markets though paying $61 to upset a crack field, arguably the best we’ve seen in recent years, and have work to do after drawing the ‘visitor’s gate’ 24 of 24.
Young apprentice hoop Chad Schofield, who only just won the Cox Plate at 19-years-old, replaces Ruscello’s Lexus jockey Kerrin McEvoy and is thrilled with the chance.
“It doesn’t get any better than this, I have to pinch myself, it’s a dream come true,” Schofield told The Daily Telegraph.
“I had six or seven Cup offers, and Ruscello actually wasn’t one of them, but when he won the Lexus, I walked straight up to connections of the horse and told them to put my name in hat. Then I got the ride a couple of hours later. It’s terrific.
So can they overcome the odds against them and score a boilover in the roughest Melbourne Cup result in decades?
#24 Ruscello – Horse Form
- Barrier: 24
- Weight: 50kg
- Jockey: Chad Schofield (a)
- Trainer: Ed Walker
- Owners: O T I Management P/L, Mr L Bellman, Uthmeyer Racing, Mr J C Higgins, Mrs E Gare, Irish Golfer, O T I Ruscello, Malvern Choir 3
- Age: 5YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Cape Cross (IRE) from Sea Picture (IRE)
- Career: 18-5-3-4
- Win: 28%
- Place: 67%
- Last 6: 33321
- Prize Money: $233,699
- Track: 1-1-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2013 Melbourne Cup Odds: $61
Yes – Ruscello Has Genuine 2013 Melbourne Cup Claims
- Apprentice hoop Chad Schofield rides, Schofield just won the Cox Plate with an outside chance Shamus Award
- Some punters that bet by the numbers might like the fact horse number 24 is in gate number 24
- Eight horses before them have won the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double so it can be done, most recent was only a few years back too with Shocking (2009)
- Is statistically the right age (five here) as 5YOs have won 43 Melbourne Cups, equal with 4YOs
- One of the few in the field with a previous Flemington win to their name
No – Ruscello Won’t be the Melbourne Cup 2013 Winner
- They are drawn in the far outside barrier 24 of 24 which is a long way out in such a big field
- On a three day turnaround having run (and won) the Lexus just last Saturday
- Weren’t really set for the Cup and weren’t being targeted (or likely) trained for the testing two mile classic
- Has no real black type experience here or at home
- Schofield, 19, has never ridden in a Melbourne Cup
- Are the lightweight of the field carrying only 50kg, that’s nothing on their back and four kilos less hen what they carried to victory in the Lexus Stakes
- Looks better Place chance as they have one of the best place rates of the field (67%)
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