After Tuesday morning’s news that his previous 2014 Melbourne Cup mount The Offer wouldn’t be accepted for the ‘race that stops a nation’, goliath owner Lloyd Williams has come to Tommy Berry’s rescue.
Berry was notably disheartened hearing last year’s winning trainer Gai Waterhouse wouldn’t be accepting for her injured Sydney Cup winner The Offer for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), running at Flemington on November 4.
But disenchantment quickly turned to delight with Berry now assured of a run in the world’s richest handicap aboard one of two Williams-owned, Robert Hickmott-trained runners.
Williams and has his Macedon Lodge stables celebrated a Melbourne Cup win two years ago with Green Moon, his fourth victory in the two mile classic.
The now eight-year-old Montjeu gelding is in the Melbourne Cup mix again this year but is not one of the two possible rides for Berry in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Berry will partner with either Group 1 performing Beat Hollow seven-year-old Sea Moon or Teofilo stallion Amralah.
Green Moon and Sea Moon are both assured of a run sitting well inside the top 24 in the order of entry but five-year-old Amralah sits 38th on the ballot and so needs to win Saturday’s Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) to make the cut.
“I’ll ride either Sea Moon or Amralah should he run a place in The Lexus,” Berry said.
All three of Williams’ hopefuls are well down the Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Current Melbourne Cup odds have last start Caulfield Cup champ Admire Rakti as the $4.80 favourite.
Green Moon, last seen running ninth when beaten 2.65 lengths in the Caulfield Cup, meanwhile is a $51 outsider while Sea Moon, dead last in the Caulfield Cup crossing nine lengths off the Japanese-trained winner, is a $101 roughie shot.
Amralah is sandwiched between the two at $67, odds that will come in dramatically should he win the Lexus and earn the Melbourne Cup ballot exemption.
Regardless of their prices in the markets, Berry is just thrilled to be in with a shot at his first Melbourne Cup trophy following two previous unplaced rides.
“I’m very grateful that Mr Williams is giving me the chance to ride in the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
“Things haven’t really gone to plan but where there’s change there’s opportunity.”
Last year he partnered with highly spruiked French import Tres Blue for Waterhouse who could only manage to run third last (22nd) while in the 2012 edition won by one of his possible mounts this year, Berry partnered with Waterhouse’s sixth-placed Glencadam Gold.
The official 24-starter 2014 Melbourne Cup final field and barrier draw is due for release late Saturday afternoon following the Victoria Derby Day action live from Flemington Racecourse.
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