Michael Moroney’s upset Stradbroke Handicap...
Andreas Wohler’s German raider Ashrun is tipped to secure the 11th hour Melbourne Cup start via a win in Saturday’s 2020 Lexus Hotham Stakes at Flemington.
A key early feature on the Victoria Derby Day race program, the Group 3 $200,000 Lexus Hotham Stakes (2500m) is always highly-anticipated as the winner secure a slot in the 24-horse $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup field the following Tuesday.
The final make-up of horses in the iconic two-mile showdown can completely change with the Lexus Stakes results, which will be the case this weekend should the favourite Ashrun salute.
The French-bred Authorized entire currently sits 28th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry and needs to win on the weekend to make the starting line-up in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Currently right on the cusp of a run in 24th spot on the ballot is the Willie Mullins-trained mare from Ireland True Self, with her connections sure to be sweating over the Lexus.
Runner-up in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay over 3000m in France during August, Ashrun debuted in Australia on October 21 in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
He only managed to run fourth to Steel Prince however, but is tipped to atone second-up sitting top of the Lexus Hotham Stakes odds at $4.20 through Ladbrokes.com.au despite going up to the 61kg top weight in the race.
A further three Melbourne Cup hopefuls are under $10 in the Hotham Stakes betting markets including the Robert Hickmott-trained Schabau ($4.40) who is 39th on the Melbourne Cup ballot following Monday’s third acceptances.
The six-year-old entire has a stellar record at Flemington (6:3-0-1) in easier grade and has come close in his two recent assignments at the track and distance including running fourth to Persan in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2510m) on October 3.
The early Lexus Stakes market mover backed in from $7.50 to $5.50 is the Paul Preusker-trained Admire Robson, the Japanese-bred galloper to be ridden by big race specialist Glen Boss from barrier four.
A seven-year-old son of Deep Impact, Admire Robson has had just a dozen starts for four wins and four further minor placings, and is out to atone for the midfield seventh in The Bart Cummings that has left him 42nd on the Melbourne Cup order of entry.
The other best in betting include the Matt Cumani-trained Future Score ($7) and Sound ($8.50) for Michael Moroney who also both require a win to continue a bid towards the Melbourne Cup in 2020.
2020 Lexus Hotham Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||1853x5x224||ASHRUN (FR)||Andreas Wohler||Kerrin McEvoy||2||61kg||105|
|2||x7691x8382||BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||5||60kg||103|
|3||x7000x3240||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Craig Williams||11||60kg||103|
|4||21023×6937||PLATINUM INVADOR (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||8||59.5kg||102|
|5||5x532x5226||SOUND (GER)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Kah||6||59.5kg||102|
|6||13770×7006||AZURO (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Melham||7||58kg||99|
|7||11x1253x61||FUTURE SCORE (IRE)||Matt Cumani||Fred W Kersley||10||58kg||99|
|8||0352×67807||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||William Pike||1||57.5kg||98|
|9||x6804x2414||ATTORNEY (FR)||Matthew Smith||Jye McNeil||3||57kg||97|
|10||x111x7x334||SCHABAU (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Mark Zahra||9||56.5kg||96|
|11||1x214x7x67||ADMIRE ROBSON (JPN)||Paul Preusker||Glen Boss||4||56kg||95|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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