The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Early Melbourne Cup favourite Yucatan has drawn a horror barrier 23 ahead of Tuesday’s $7 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
After what was a tumultuous week for the Aidan O’Brien hopeful, the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) winner will be hoping to improve during his second start on Australian soil next week.
The son of Galileo was caught deep last start and forced to run forward, but seemed to enjoy the pace after winning comfortably by a length and a half.
Owner Nick Williams, who also part-owns fellow stablemate The Cliffsofmoher, seems rather unfazed by the wide draw.
“What I really didn’t want was to get stuck in barrier one or barrier two with those sort of horses because they can be deadly” Williams said.
“I think the barriers in this race are largely irrelevant myself, it’s a big long run in to the first turn and to the 1000m, they’ll sort themselves out by then, the barriers will be fine.”
It’s fair to say the connections would be more concerned if Yucatan drew a low barrier, but of course, with jockey James McDonald on board again on Tuesday, we can expect a nice quiet ride approaching the home turn.
“We’ll look at the race over the next few days and make a plan for Tuesday” Williams said.
“James is flying at the moment, he won a Group 1 today, he’s been in and around the money all day and I’m sure that he’ll give them a good ride, the horse is going so well I’m sure he’ll ride him with a fair degree of confidence.”
O’Brien’s other hopeful, The Cliffsofmoher, wasn’t disgraced in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) last start running third. The five-year old will jump from barrier nine on Tuesday, which Williams thinks should suit jockey Ryan Moore nicely as the pair will look to find cover.
“That should suit him, that should be handy, Ryan Moore knows him well.
He knows how to ride him, he’s ridden him all over the world. I’m sure he’ll run very well, he’s a very classy horse, he ran well in the Caulfield Cup, Best Solution has got to be respected as well.”
Best Solution, the winner of the Caulfield Cup (2400m), will likely enjoy the run of the race from barrier six. The Godolphin frontrunner has won four straight starts dating back to July and currently holds the hopes of trainer Saeed Bin Surror, who is yet to win a Melbourne Cup.
Yucatan has remained steady at $5.50 with Ladbrokes, while Best Solution has firmed into $13.00.
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