The always-popular Caloundra Cup 2022 race...
A final chance for nominated Melbourne Cup horses to make the starting line-up for the two mile classic exists in the Lexus Stakes 2017 field this weekend.
One of the most anticipated races on the all-Group Victoria Derby Day card on Saturday, this year’s Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) features 10 stayers.
Running as Flemington Race 4 at 1:40pm (AEDT), the Lexus Stakes offers a ballot exemption to the winner into next Tuesday’s Group 1 $6.25 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Currently eight of the horses in the Lexus Stakes field are still officially entered for the Melbourne Cup 2017 and all eight need to win on the weekend to make the 24 horse line-up in the famous Flemington Race 7 on November 7.
2017 Melbourne Cup Ballot Position of Lexus Stakes Horses
- Harlem (51.5kg) 27th
- Aloft (51.5kg) 28th
- Vengeur Masque (50.5kg) 30th
- Pentathlon (50.5kg) 31st
- Cismontane (50kg) =33rd
- Kellstorm (50kg) =33rd
- Guardini (53kg) 35th
- Alward (50kg) 36th
The David Hayes-led team already have two confirmed runners in the Melbourne Cup field with shock Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time and Ventura Storm to be ridden by Corey Parish and Regan Bayliss respectively.
After winning the first leg of the Spring Cups double, Lindsay Park are hoping to sneak in a third shot for the second event running Harlem in the Lexus Stakes three days before the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’.
Drawn in gate four with Dwayne Dunn, who partners the Chris Waller-trained Libran in the Melbourne Cup, Harlem is out to improve on a lead-up eighth behind his stablemate in the Caulfield Cup results.
Harlem carried only 51.5kg in the Group 1 and will need to be improving in the Lexus Stakes going up to 57kg.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer Robert Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams saddle-up the reigning champion Almandin next week and could also have Bondi Beach in the line-up.
In the Lexus Stakes the stable look to improve their Melbourne Cup contingent with Aloft chasing the ballot exemption from barrier five with Ben Melham aboard.
Melham partners the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish raider Johannes Vermeer in the two mile event next Tuesday, but will be out to get Aloft home first on Derby Day.
An $81 chance in futures Melbourne Cup betting, the import was disappointing last time out running second last when ninth in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Lexus Stakes runners coming off better lead-up runs including Vengeur Masque and Cismontane.
The Michael Moroney-trained Vengeur Masque was penalised a half-kilo for his last start win in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m), but still only sits 30th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry.
Cismontane meanwhile is one of two Lexus Stakes hopes for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Both.
The race’s 58kg top weight Ecuador is drawn barrier one and comes off a lead-up fourth in the Seymour Cup, but is not Melbourne Cup nominated.
Stablemate Cismontane is and ran a brave third behind the Waller-trained duo of Who Shot Thebarman and Libran in last Saturday’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) after a race up on the speed on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day.
Waller also has a Lexus Stakes runner looking to join his stablemates in the Melbourne Cup line-up with the in-form Alward to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, the Aqlaam gelding coming off a string of top two runs in Sydney.
2017 Lexus Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 4 (1:40pm) – 04/11/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||3380×34824||ECUADOR (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||1||58kg||105|
|2||4x386x5158||HARLEM (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Dwayne Dunn||4||57kg||103|
|3||1333x0x796||HAVANA COOLER (IRE)||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||3||56kg||101|
|4||x39x12x139||ALOFT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ben Melham||5||55.5kg||100|
|5||x621x02003||GUARDINI (FR)||Darren Weir||James Winks||2||55.5kg||100|
|6||2x542x9981||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||8||54kg||97|
|7||x232521033||CISMONTANE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||6||54kg||93|
|8||97860×0496||PENTATHLON (NZ)||John Wheeler||Jye McNeil||10||54kg||93|
|9||4×54114112||ALWARD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||7||54kg||91|
|10||1735111636||KELLSTORM (IRE)||Darren Weir||Ben Allen (a)||9||54kg||86|
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