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Newmarket trainer Hugo Palmer was happy with barrier fifteen for Wall Of Fire after the British stayer was able to scrape in the final field for the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Wall Of Fire was on the borderline of making the final twenty-four horses for the Melbourne Cup but with the withdrawal of Jon Snow and Qewy, who were rated above him in the order of entry, the five year old was included in the final field.
Palmer was very excited to have a runner in the Melbourne Cup and wasn’t at all worried about drawing barrier fifteen.
“I have been scared all week that we would be number twenty-five so we are ten inside that and delighted to be in the field,” Palmer said.
“He is not a front running type so we are pretty happy in the middle of it.”
Wall Of Fire has had one run in Australia since arriving from England and made up plenty of ground in the straight to run second to Lord Fandango in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Palmer said that he expects Wall Of Fire to handle the big open spaces of Flemington better than Caulfield and has no doubt that the five year old will run out the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup.
“I think Flemington will suit him much more so than Caulfield,” Palmer said.
“The nature of the track, the long sweeping turn and the much longer straight I think will be much more to his advantage which is great.”
“I think the phenomenal thing about him is that he has a turn of foot.”
“This horse won his maiden as a two year old over 1200m.”
“When I was out here everyone said that for a European horse had to win over 2000m to have the speed for the Melbourne Cup. He has won over 1200m and he has also won over 2900m.”
“We have to prove that we have the stamina to stay the extra 300m but I believe he has and I am really excited about his chances.”
“He looked in need of every yard of the trip in the Herbert Power so I hope the extra four furlongs will be to his benefit.”
Wall Of Fire has had a trouble free preparation and Palmer was able to snap up the services of top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams for the Melbourne Cup.
“He has thrived since he has been out here. He goes to the beach every day and it is totally different for them,” Palmer said.
Wall Of Fire is well in contention in the betting for the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au having him marked at $13 on Sunday.
Last year’s winner Almandin is a drifting $8.50 favourite just ahead of Marmelo at $9, Humidor at $9.50 and Johannes Vermeer at $10.
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