Danny O’Brien will nominate and accept with Caravan Rolls On for this Saturday’s Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse, but it’s a race the trainer is hopeful won’t come to fruition.
O’Brien has his sights set firmly on the 2014 Melbourne Cup, and was hopeful the seven-year-old Caravan Rolls On would receive a big enough penalty following his Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) win last Wednesday.
The horse received a 1.5kg penalty but it was not enough to guarantee him a place on the Melbourne Cup final field.
O’Brien must now run Caravan Rolls On in the Lexus Stakes just three days previously but the trainer is optimistic there will be enough horses above Caravan Rolls On on the order of entry scratched from the race so he won’t have to start the 2014 Lexus Stakes, and risk lack of match fitness.
Silent Achiever and Black Tycoon were both withdrawn from the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Sunday, which means Caravan Rolls On has moved to the equivalent of 27th in the order of entry. He will need another three runners to drop out to make the final field of 24.
However if he runs and wins the Lexus Stakes, he’ll receive a guaranteed start in the Melbourne Cup 2014, pushing all horses on the order of entry without ballot exemptions down by one spot.
As it stands, Unchain My Heart – the eight-year-old mare who finished second last in the 2014 Caulfield Cup – is sitting in the coveted 24th spot.
UK mare My Ambivalent will receive a vet-check from Racing Victoria stewards after a gallop at Werribee on Tuesday, after she pulled up short following track work last Friday.
Second declarations for the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup will be released on Monday morning, with the top 35 horses undergoing veterinary examinations on Thursday or Friday.
Caravan Rolls On is currently offering odds of $34 in the Melbourne Cup betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, with Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti leading with a price of $4.80.
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