Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse will saddle-up two Melbourne Cup entries in the Lexus Stakes 2015 field at Flemington Racecourse this Saturday shooting for the ballot exemption for the world’s richest handicap on offer in the Derby Day clash.
A final field of 13 faces off in this year’s $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m), one of two races along with the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on the Victoria Derby Day line-up offering the Melbourne Cup ballot exemption.
Due to jump as Flemington Race 5 at 2:25pm (AEST), the Lexus Stakes is also part of the offer at Ladbrokes.com.au of an Extra 50% on your very first Fixed Odds winner in Races 1 – 5 on Saturday!
Two of the 13 Lexus acceptors are prepared by Waterhouse who won the 2013 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente and is hoping to get Excess Knowledge or Bohemian Lily into the capacity 24-starter field for this year’s two mile classic via a Lexus win.
Excess Knowledge carries 56.5kg on Saturday from barrier nine with Dwayne Dunn aboard the Monsun stallion who comes off back-to-back seconds over the mile and a half at Caulfield including the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) won by Amralah.
Third in the same race was the fellow Waterhouse-trained Bohemian Lily, the four-year-old O’Reilly mare going on to run third again beaten the same four length margin in last Saturday’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day.
Bohemian Lily has winning form up to 2020m and carried 53kg in the Moonee Valley Cup giving her a one kilo rise to handle with Jim Cassidy aboard from a gun gate five draw in the Lexus Stakes.
In the latest Melbourne Cup order of entry Excess Knowledge (51kg) and Bohemian Lily (50kg) sit 32nd and 33rd respectively and so need the win on the weekend to make the cut.
Also with multiple Lexus Stakes acceptors is fellow Sydney trainer Chris Waller.
Waller has the two top weights in the field with Junoob (58.5kg) and Hawkspur (57kg) drawn wide in gates 10 and 12 respectively.
Neither are still in the mix for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3 and both come off a top three finish last start.
Former Queensland Derby winner, the now six-year-old son of Purrealist Hawkspur had 56kg and Hugh Bowman aboard last start for a Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) third at the start of the month.
He rises in weight this weekend but has Cox Plate winning hoop Bowman retaining the ride, Hawkspur looking to continue to frank the form out of the Bart Cummings after runner-up Our Ivanhowe ran third in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) next time out.
There are three last start winners in the Lexus Stakes line-up this season including the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Elhaame in gate four with Brad Rawiller aboard the visiting British galloper.
Elhaame debuts down under in the Lexus looking to join Bin Suroor’s Melbourne Cup contingent currently sitting equal 37th in the ballot, the Acclimation gelding coming off back-to-back wins back home.
Also coming off wins are the James Cummings-trained Ruling Dynasty who beat home Junoob in a Listed 2400m Randwick clash on October 17 and Darren Weir’s proven 2400m Zabeel mare Zanteca who gets in on the 54kg minimum.
Other notable Lexus Stakes hopes include the Robert Hickmott-trained Chance To Dance coming off a fifth to Magic Hurricane in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney and John O’Shea’s third in the same elite level Randwick lead-up Havana Cooler.
Check out the full Lexus Stakes 2015 field, barriers, jockeys and weights below then head to Ladbrokes.com.au and quote the code BONUS150 when you deposit $50 to enjoy $150 in bonuses!
2015 Lexus Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 5 (2:25pm) – 31/10/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||0084×75092||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||10||58.5kg||105|
|2||33075×0003||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||12||57kg||102|
|3||15x11x5722||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse||Dwayne Dunn||9||56.5kg||101|
|4||6316×41211||ELHAAME (IRE)||Saeed Bin Suroor||Brad Rawiller||4||56kg||100|
|5||4321x6x185||CHANCE TO DANCE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Craig Williams||11||55.5kg||99|
|6||x362Lx6063||HAVANA COOLER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3||55.5kg||99|
|7||12156×2181||RULING DYNASTY||James Cummings||Tommy Berry||1||54.5kg||97|
|8||2121×69233||BOHEMIAN LILY (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Jim Cassidy||5||54kg||98|
|9||0535×86826||THUNDER LADY (NZ)||John Sargent||Chris Parnham||7||54kg||94|
|10||x88x000306||ETHIOPIA||Pat Carey||Patrick Moloney (a)||6||54kg||93|
|11||74x5421x46||MANALAPAN (IRE)||Ciaron Maher||Luke Currie||13||54kg||90|
|12||23314×8821||ZANTECA (NZ)||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||8||54kg||80|
|13||104110×927||HIGH MIDNIGHT||James Cummings||Sam Clipperton||2||54kg||79|