Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
Victoria’s leading trainer Darren Weir is looking to add to his 2018 Melbourne Cup numbers with one of his runners in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Weir already has imports Tosen Basil and Red Cardinal locked in for a spot in the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington next Tuesday and has three hopefuls, Sixties Groove, Gallic Chieftain and Yogi , running in the Lexus Stakes.
The winner of the Lexus Stakes, if included among the second acceptors for the Melbourne Cup, is exempt from the ballot and secures a spot in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’.
“I have two in the Cup, Red Cardinal and Tosen Basil, and they will have their final piece of work at Warrnambool on Friday morning,” Weir wrote in his column on Racenet .
“Then we have Sixties Groove, Gallic Chieftain and Yogi who are all trying to get in on Saturday (via the Lexus – Race 4).
“Sixties Groove is going well and has come on since the Moe Cup. He will give himself a chance from the good draw.”
“I thought Gallic Chieftain ran a nice race in the Caulfield Cup and he will present well and Yogi just needs things to go his way – if he has any luck I think Flemington and the trip will suit him.”
Craig Williams rides Sixties Groove (barrier 4) again after the pair combined form a win in the $150,000 Moe Cup (2050m) at Moe on October 18 while Damian Lane is on Gallic Chieftain (barrier 5) who is coming off an eighth in the Group 1 $5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20.
Yogi has drawn awkwardly at barrier ten with Dean Yendall taking the ride again on the six year old who is coming off a last start eleventh in the Group 3 $365,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 24.
Sixties Groove is the most fancied of the three Weir runners in the betting for the Lexus Stakes at $8.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Yogi at $12 and Gallic Chieftain at $15 while the English stayer A Prince Of Arran sits at the top of the market order at $4.20.
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