Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A field full of last chance Melbourne Cup hopes will face off in the Lexus Stakes 2014 at Flemington Racecourse this weekend with nominations for the Victoria Derby Day support act now out.
Running as one of nine Group races in Melbourne on Saturday, the $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) is one of the two last races offering a ballot exemption to the winner for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) back at the track on November 4.
This year’s Lexus Stakes nominations feature 24 stayers, many of which need to win in order to secure a spot in the coveted 24 starter Melbourne Cup field.
Melbourne Cup second declarations were taken this morning with 40 horses still in the mix for the world’s richest handicap.
The highest of the Lexus Stakes nominees on the updated Melbourne Cup ballot is the Robert Hickmott-trained Green Moon, winner of the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Last seen running ninth to now Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18, eight-year-old Green Moon is a $51 outsider in the latest Melbourne Cup odds to become a dual winner of the ‘race that stops the nation’.
Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams have a total of three Lexus Stakes entries this year having also nominated for Sea Moon and Amralah who sit eighth and 38th respectively in the Melbourne Cup ballot.
Melbourne Cup Nominated Lexus Stakes Hopes Outside Top 24
- Unchain My Heart (25th)
- Shoreham (26th)
- La Amistad (27th)
- Caravan Rolls On (28th)
- Big Memory (29th)
- Lord Van Percy (31st)
- Let’s Make Adeal (33rd)
- Marksmanship (34th)
- Wish Come True (35th)
- Like A Carousel (36th)
- Signoff (37th)
- Amralah (38th)
- Thunderbird One (40th)
Other current Melbourne Cup-nominated Lexus Stakes hopes outside of the Top 24 include Geelong Cup winner Caravan Rolls On (28th), Tony McEvoy’s Herbert Power Stakes champ Big Memory (29th) to be ridden by Tommy Berry and the Andrew Balding-trained Lord Van Percy (31st).
UK raider Lord Van Percy was runner-up to fellow Melbourne Cup entered Mutual Regard, who will be ridden by Damien Oliver in the big one, in the Ebor Handicap at York back in August.
On debut down under the Sir Percy gelding was fifth to Big Memory in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) on October 11, the race also producing fellow Lexus Stakes hope Signoff for Darren Weir.
Signoff ran second in the Herbert Power and was then third behind Contributer in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Moonee Valley on Caulfield Cup Day.
David Jones Cup runner-up Nobel Protector is another Lexus Stakes chance this weekend, Robert Smerdon’s imported European mare sitting 32nd on the Melbourne Cup ballot with the chance to go one better than her Aussie debut on Derby Day this weekend.
As for those Lexus Stakes runners ‘safely’ inside the Melbourne Cup top 24, the Michael Moroney-trained Araldo (24th) could be pushed out of the field by the winner of both the Lexus and the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Saturday that also offers an exemption.
High Chaparral seven-year-old Araldo was third behind the Chris Waller-trained Junoob in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney two back before a brave Caulfield Cup fifth last time out.
Moroney is yet to confirm 100% whether the veteran runs on Saturday however following the same path into the big one as 2000 Melbourne Cup winner Brew.
“I’ll just have to have a bit of a think about what we do with him,” Moroney told Racing Victoria.
“We would like to go straight into the Cup but the year that I won with Brew I would liked to have to but I couldn’t and we were right because if we hadn’t of won the (Lexus) we wouldn’t have made the field.
“It was either going to be the Mackinnon or nothing but now that he sits 24th it might have to be the Lexus or nothing.”
The Peter Moody-trained Turnbull Stakes runner-up Lidari (23rd) is also not yet guaranteed a run in the Melbourne Cup Tuesday week.
Araldo is currently the shortest priced of the Lexus Stakes nominees in the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $21 followed by Caravan Rolls On ($34), Lidari ($34), Big Memory ($41) and Lord Van Percy ($41).
See below for the full Lexus Stakes 2014 nominations then head to Ladbrokes.com.au for access to the juicy early futures Melbourne Cup betting markets to back your early picks before prices firm post-Derby Day!
2014 Lexus Stakes Nominations
Flemington Race 8 – 01/11/2014
|1||AMRALAH (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||104|
|2||ARALDO (GB)||Michael Moroney||100|
|3||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||100|
|4||CARAVAN ROLLS ON (GB)||Danny O’Brien||100|
|5||COUNT OF LIMONADE (IRE)||Mick Price||98|
|6||DON DOREMO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||74|
|7||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||103|
|8||GREEN MOON (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||111|
|9||LA AMISTAD||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||99|
|10||LE ROI (GER)||Tony McEvoy||99|
|11||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||99|
|12||LIDARI (FR)||Peter G Moody||105|
|13||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||96|
|14||LORD VAN PERCY (GB)||Andrew Balding||100|
|15||MARKSMANSHIP (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||97|
|16||MORE THAN SACRED||Robert Smerdon||98|
|17||MR O’CEIRIN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher||103|
|18||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||105|
|20||SIGNOFF (IRE)||Darren Weir||97|
|21||THUNDERBIRD ONE (NZ)||Francis Finnegan||89|
|22||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||99|
|23||WISH COME TRUE (IRE)||Peter G Moody||97|
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