The weekend’s feature race favourite Big Duke...
Tom Melbourne was once again a good thing beaten at Eagle Farm on Saturday as the punters favourite ran second behind Order Again in the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m).
The New Zealand galloper trained by Brian Smith opened as the $5.50 second-elect with Ladbrokes and found himself back inside the winners’ circle after claiming a handicap race over 1500m at Eagle Farm back in March.
Long time jockey Larry Cassidy retained the ride and found the perfect spot down the straight to challenge the leading Tom Melbourne at the 100m mark. Order Again’s turn of foot was on full display racing from the middle of the pack two-wide to win by three quarters of a length.
Cassidy likened Saturday’s win to Order Again’s victory in the Group 3 Grand Prix in 2017 on the same track. Since then the five-year-old import has won only twice, and after a difficult prep Cassidy was happy to give full credit to the stable.
“All honours to the stable Brian (Smith), he’s done a fantastic job with him. He’s a horse that’s had a lot of problems and he won on this day three years ago, and today was his day” Cassidy said after the race.
“I got a beautiful run from a good draw; they went along nice and I probably got there a little bit soon. I had to take the split when I got it and I knew he was going to let down and let down he did.”
The Lord Mayor’s Cup is often an ideal lead-up race into the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in a fortnight’s time back at Eagle Farm.
Smith told Channel 7 on Saturday that he would “keep him going” in this year’s Carnival, although Order Again remains a $61.00 chance for the Stradbroke.
“It’s just great, he’s been a difficult horse but when you step up to weight for age and he just had luck and running today. He’s a good horse, but we’ve had so many problems” Smith went on to say.
As for Tom Melbourne, Saturday marked the 10th time the famous second place-getter has been beaten as the favourite since he won the Albury Gold Cup in March 2016.
Godolphin’s Duca Valentinois also ran on well for fifth.
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