Two final races this weekend offer horses outside the top 24 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry a chance to make the field for the famous Flemington feature including the 2014 Lexus Stakes, the detailed form guide for which can be found right here.
Running as one of nine races on the all Group-race line-up for Victoria Derby Day on Saturday, this year’s $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) field features 13 hopefuls facing off in Flemington Race 5 at 2:15pm.
Clear favourite of the bunch at a firming price of $2.70 is the well-backed Signoff who opened at $3.80 through Ladbrokes.com.au before the punters came hard and fast for the Darren Weir-trained galloper.
The five-year-old son of Authorized sits 36th in the latest Melbourne Cup ballot and Saturday is do-or-die if he is to make the Melbourne Cup field for next Tuesday.
Allocated just 50kg for the Melbourne Cup, if he does manage to salute for the punters on Derby Day and make the cut he’ll be a fighting light weight chance in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Currently Ladbrokes, who have a $10 million payout waiting if you can pick the first seven over the line in the Melbourne Cup MegaFecta, are keeping Signoff safe in betting at $17 for the world’s richest handicap.
He’s equal seventh favourite in the all-in Melbourne Cup odds led by Admire Rakti ($4.80), who earned top spot with his Caulfield Cup win with the top weight a fortnight ago, despite not being guaranteed a run.
Runner-up in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield two back, last time out Signoff was a close third in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) on October 18 and will appreciate getting back up in distance on the weekend with winning form up to 2500m.
It’s a wide-open Lexus Stakes betting market following the firm top fancy with five other single figure hopes.
Those best fancied to upset Signoff in the Lexus are the OTI-raced Lord Van Percy ($7), triple Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva’s three-quarter sister La Amistad ($8), Herbert Power Stakes champ Big Memory ($8) and Geelong Cup winner Caravan Rolls On ($9) – all of whom need to win the Lexus to make the Melbourne Cup field.
It should be a cracking showdown then but should you back the favourite? Or is there an upset on the cards?
Lexus Stakes Form Facts
- Last year’s Lexus Stakes winner was the Robert Smerdon-trained Ruscello who came off a second at Caulfield before running second last in the Melbourne Cup
- This year Smerdon saddles-up #13 More Than Sacred who comes off a fourth in the Geelong Cup
- Geelong Cup winner #2 Caravan Rolls On is also in the mix needing the win sitting 27th on the Melbourne Cup ballot
- Ruscello jumped from a wide barrier 12 (of 14) draw with Kerrin McEvoy aboard
- This year McEvoy rides the Andrew Balding-trained UK raider #3 Lord Van Percy who comes off a Herbert Power fifth beaten only 2.15 lengths by Big Memory
- #1 Big Memory is also shooting for the Lexus Stakes win after a 10th in the Caulfield Cup last start when 2.75 lengths off current Melbourne Cup favourite Admire Rakti
- Big Memory is also carrying the equal 58kg top weight on Saturday along with #2 Caravan Rolls On and #3 Lord Van Percy
- Last year’s winning barrier (12) this year belongs to the Peter Moody-trained #3 Wish Come True who ran fifth in the Geelong Cup last time out and who is at $51 on the weekend
See below for the full Lexus Stakes 2014 form guide then head to Ladbrokes.com.au to back your favourites this weekend and in the Melbourne Cup in three days later at the guaranteed best odds!
2014 Lexus Stakes Form Guide