The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
German horseman Andreas Wohler is in with a shot at securing his second ‘Loving Trophy’ with his international galloper Ashrun claiming the coveted eleventh-hour slot in the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup field via a Derby Day win in the Hotham Stakes.
In 2014 Wohler won the ‘race that stops a nation’ with Protectionist and he returns on the first Tuesday of November six years on with another Australian Bloodstock-raced stayer, Ashrun donning the same colours.
The French-bred son of Authorized showed nice improvement off his lead-up fourth in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) 10 days ago to earn the final Melbourne Cup ballot exemption for the two-mile classic.
The Geelong Cup form held-up once again with the recent Group 2 Prix Kergorlay runner-up handling a hefty 61kg in the Group 3 $200,000 Lexus Hotham Stakes (2500m) to come from last to first.
It was a patient ride by the event’s now three-time winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy who didn’t panic despite Ashrun being slow into stride and racing at the back without any pace in the race.
“I was a bit worried on the way round,” Wohler admitted post-race.
“He didn’t jump up well and didn’t have the position we wanted…but he just kept going.”
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Hush Writer bowled along in the lead setting only a moderate tempo, which didn’t suit the top-weight who was tucked away on the fence last.
McEvoy however was able to work his way into the finish coming with a late run out wide to swoop the field and hold off the Michael Moroney-trained Sound who was given a peach of a ride by the in-form Jamie Kah back on the inside.
The Lexus Hotham Stakes results also featured the second dead-heat for third from the opening four races at Flemington with nothing between Brimham Rocks and Future Score on the line.
Ashrun has been slashed from $51 into $15 in the pre-field Melbourne Cup 2020 odds online through Ladbrokes.com.au.
He attempts to complete the Lexus Stakes – Melbourne Cup double for the first time since Shocking (2009).
“It’d be great,” Wohler said of potentially winning his second Melbourne Cup trophy.
“We just have to see how he comes out of this race.
“We’ll freshen him up and do everything for his mind and just keep him well.”
In winning the Lexus having previously sat 28th on the order of entry for Tuesday’s time-honoured Cup, Ashrun has also denied fellow international, the Willie Mullins-trained True Self (24th) her start in the capacity 24-horse Melbourne Cup field.
The official 2020 Melbourne Cup field of final acceptances will be announced at 4:30pm (AEDT) this afternoon, followed by the all-important Melbourne Cup barrier draw an hour later.
In the meantime, click here for the updated all-in Melbourne Cup 2020 betting markets following the Lexus Hotham Stakes win by Ashrun.
2020 Lexus Hotham Stakes Results
|1||1||ASHRUN (FR)||Andreas Wohler||Kerrin McEvoy||2||61kg||$5.50|
|2||5||SOUND (GER)||Michael Moroney||Jamie Kah||0.1L||5||59.5kg||$7.50|
|3||7||FUTURE SCORE (IRE)||Matt Cumani||Fred W Kersley||1.1L||9||58kg||$12|
|3||2||BRIMHAM ROCKS (GB)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||1.1L||4||60kg||$6.50|
|5||8||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||William Pike||1.6L||1||57.5kg||$10|
|6||10||SCHABAU (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Mark Zahra||3.6L||8||56.5kg||$4.80F|
|7||11||ADMIRE ROBSON (JPN)||Paul Preusker||Glen Boss||4.1L||3||56kg||$5|
|8||6||AZURO (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ben Melham||5.6L||6||58kg||$81|
|9||4||PLATINUM INVADOR (NZ)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||8.35L||7||59.5kg||$51|
|10||3||HUSH WRITER (JPN)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Craig Williams||9.85L||10||60kg||$21|
|9||ATTORNEY (FR)||Matthew Smith||Jye McNeil||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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