New Zealand trainer Murray Baker said there was no need to give his Caulfield Cup winning four-year-old Mongolian Kahn a run in the Mackinnon Stakes on Derby Day this Saturday three days out from his two mile test in the 2015 Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
The Cambridge-based Baker has saddle-up five previous runners in the ‘race that stops a nation’, but is yet to win the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) that Mongolian Khan is on track for this spring.
Back in 1990 Baker came close to winning the world’s richest handicap when his champion Underwood Stakes winner The Phantom ran second behind record breaking winner Kingston Rule.
That same horse returned form a two and a half year stint on the sidelines to finish a brave third in the 1993 Caulfield Cup behind the David Hayes-trained Fraar who scored a win as a 30/1 outsider, but then ran unplaced behind Vintage Crop in the Melbourne Cup that year.
This season Holy Roman Emperor stallion Mongolian Khan enjoyed his second elite level win in Australia taking out the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17, defeating the British raider Trip To Paris by a half-length.
He will now back-up straight into the Melbourne Cup, Baker untempted to run him this weekend in the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
“He’ll pretty much have a normal week,” he told Racenet.
“He’s not running Saturday. There’s no need to and I don’t want to risk him when he’s right.”
The last Melbourne Cup winner to come straight out of a Caulfield Cup run was third-placed Delta Blues for Japan in 2006.
This year Japan is back for another win with Caulfield Cup sixth placed Fame Game who is clear $4 favourite in futures Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the full Derby Day line-up this weekend.
Mongolian Khan occupies the second line of the all-in Melbourne Cup odds at $8 equal with Trip To Paris, trained by Ed Dunlop who trained Red Cadeaux for his three Melbourne Cup seconds including behind Protectionist 12 months ago.
Baker is pleased with the way his galloper came through the Caulfield Cup and said he had come on well since the win with one more solid gallop planned ahead of his shot at the 3200m, a distance his trainer is confident he’ll run.
“He stays well and he’ll be ready for the 3200m,” Baker said.
“He’s come on since the Caulfield Cup and we’re really happy with him.
“He was going really strong at the finish of the Caulfield Cup and he was one of the last horses to pull up.”
Mongolian Khan is out to become the first New Zealand-trained Melbourne Cup winner since Ethereal (2001) who was also the most recent of 12 previous Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double winners.
To back Mongolian Khan to win the Melbourne Cup at the hottest odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au today where quoting the code SPRINGBONUS will also see your first deposit matched dollar for dollar up to $700 for a short time only!