A good barrier draw will give professional placegetter Tom Melbourne every chance to break through for a maiden Group 1 win in the $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Tom Melbourne has been in the runner’s up stall on four occasions from his last five starts, including a second to Happy Clapper two starts back in the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on September 30.
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller said after Tom Melbourne worked at Flemington on Tuesday morning that if Tom Melbourne draw a nice barrier he would be hard to beat in the Kennedy Mile.
“Tom is flying,” Waller told racing.com.
“He doesn’t know he has been beaten in a few of his runs that he run second. We have told him he has won. They have been pretty small margins.”
“I think he is going great. He didn’t do taxing work this morning (Tuesday), just kept him on the bridle. I think that is how Tom likes to work.”
“The Emirates (Kennedy Mile) is his type of race. You don’t often see horses winning by big margins, a horse just diving late.”
“What you have to respect with Tom is that he has been up against it all prep. He has had either big weights and beaten by light weight chances. He has had bad draws and had to overcome them, in particular second in the Epsom, and again in the Toorak last start.”
Tom Melbourne, who is one of six runners Waller will saddle up in the Mile feature on Derby Day, drew barrier six in the final fourteen horse field with Glen Boss in the saddle again.
Boss knows Tom Melbourne well and as well as teaming up with him in previous campaigns, was aboard in the Epsom and his last start sixth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 $500,000 United Petroleum Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14.
Waller’s other runners in the Kennedy Mile are McCreery (barrier 13), Egg Tart (barrier 10), Omei Sword (barrier 8), Shillelagh (barrier 2) and All Our Roads (barrier 1).
Toorak Handicap winner Tosen Stardom is one of two Darren Weir runners and has drawn in the second half of the field at gate nine with Damian Lane in the saddle again.
Stablemate Lucky Hussler was also back in the winner’s stall last start with a three lengths victory in the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m) at The Valley on October 28 but will have to overcome the outside barrier in the fourteen horse field if he is to record back to back wins.
In-form jockey Blake Shinn steered Lucky Hussler to victory at The Valley and has been booked to ride the Husson eight year old again.