The step up to two miles on Tuesday November 3 is the big issue facing the Chris Waller-trained Beaten Up who doesn’t have his master horseman convinced he’s a genuine Melbourne Cup 2015 shot over 3200m.
The Beat Hollow eight-year-old is right on the border of making the 24-starter field for Tuesday week’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) sitting 24th on the ballot for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
He could be surpassed in the order of entry by the winner of the Mackinnon Stakes and or Lexus Stakes at Flemington Victoria Derby Day this Saturday, the gelding nominated for both races offering a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner.
Waller confirmed to Racing Victoria that the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) would be the veteran’s last lead-up into the world’s richest handicap, a race he could saddle-up four hopes in.
After the magic Cox Plate win of Winx in record time at Moonee Valley last Saturday to break Waller’s ‘Major’ maiden, he is hoping to keep the good times rolling into Melbourne Cup Day.
He is confident the Melbourne Cup distance will be a non-issue for at least two of his four second acceptances, 42 second declarations taken on Monday, with proven Group 1 winners Who Shot Thebarman and Grand Marshall.
Upset Sydney Cup winner in the autumn, Grand Marshall pays $26 to win Waller his first Melbourne Cup in the latest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Best Tote or SP + 20% in Races 1 – 4 on Melbourne Cup Day.
Second in the same Sydney two mile clash, Waller’s 2014 Melbourne Cup third placed Who Shot Thebarman is his “genuine two miler” and is at a shorter $15 in futures Melbourne Cup betting that is led by Japan’s Fame Game ($4).
Also at a quote of $15 on the back of a Cox Plate ninth is last year’s Victoria Derby winner Preferment, the four-year-old Zabeel stallion undefeated at Flemington with two Group 1 wins from as many starts at the famous Victorian track.
Beaten Up meanwhile is an 81/1 shot in the current futures markets, the eight-year-old not having won since the 2013 Doomben Cup in Brisbane over 2000m over two years ago.
Two back he was second past the post in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) behind Magic Hurricane before a fifth in the Listed Tattersall’s Cup (2400m) at Randwick on October 17.
Waller is hoping he improves on that in Saturday’s Mackinnon Stakes and can give connections something to cheer about in the Melbourne Cup with a better effort than the odds suggest.
“Realistically, he’ll struggle to win a Melbourne Cup but we can’t deny the owners the chance of running in the race,” he said.
“There’s been upsets in the past and who knows, when he gets to two miles he might just grow another leg as well, like Grand Marshal did in the Sydney Cup (at 51/1).
“With a horse like him I might do something a bit different in modern days but something that was used so effectively in the previous years – run in the Mackinnon Stakes over 2000m.
“Just take the edge off him a touch so that he relaxes but still keeps him fit and happy to run a strong two miles four days later.”
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