Talented stayer Like A Carousel was rated virtually no chance of success in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Saturday when leaving at triple-figure odds, but will be set for an appearance in this year’s edition of the Melbourne Cup after boxing on for a commendable third.
Jumping from the gates well, Chad Schofield immediately settled Like A Carousel within the field of eleven, allowing early leaders Hartnell, Don Doremo and Au Revoir to set a reasonable pace past the post the first time.
Finding a good rhythm in transit, the Helike gelding pressed forward rounding onto the final straight and found a clear racing line; locking in a good sprint battle with clear favourite Hartnell and poking clear in the final 100m to round out the minors behind Chris Waller-trained quinella Grand Marshal and Who Shot Thebarman.
Thrilled with the performance mustered by the five-year-old in the Sydney Cup, trainer Ken Keys believes his plan to find his campaign target third-up is the key to a competitive performance for Like A Carousel.
“We went in with the specific plan of being up here at our third start and that, I think, was the trick to make him run so well,” Keys told Racing Victoria on Sunday.
“He’s come through it terrific. He pulled up really good this morning, so now we basically have a spell and start again.
“He’d been going well, people just probably hadn’t recognised it,” Keys said. “What he is a two-mile horse and until he gets to that distance, he’s only just going.
“His Mornington Cup run didn’t look any good on paper but if you look at his last 100 metres it was fabulous and we just thought we were in a good spot with him.
“We were stoked to see him run so well.”
Confirmed he has returned to the paddock, Keys sees no reason why Like A Carousel cannot be a credible contestant in this year’s edition of the Race That Stops a Nation.
“There’s nothing really for him now other than the Andrew Ramsden (at Flemington on 23 May) and I think it’s been proven by anyone that’s had a crack at the Andrew Ramsden that it’s too late in the season to do that and then have a crack at Melbourne. You just don’t have enough time to have a spell,” Keys said.
“So, we’re just hopeful that his rating might get a big enough jump out of yesterday (Saturday) to consider that we can have a crack at the Melbourne Cup with him.
“The last report I had, which was last week, was good so he’ll just have a little bit longer out and come back with the idea of being part of spring.”
Following his impressive Sydney Cup performance on Saturday, Like A Carousel has posted two career wins and a further ten minor place finishes through a total of 27 competitive starts.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best early 2015 Melbourne Cup odds, for which Like A Carousel can be taken at a particularly generous quote of $81 for success.