The Lindsay Park trained Harlem’s chances of running in the 2017 Melbourne Cup are still alive after he was passed fit to run in today’s Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.
Harlem needs to win the Lexus Stakes to gain a start in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday and was cleared of an eye injury by Racing Victoria Vets at a second inspection this morning.
Racing Victoria Stewards released the following statement on twitter this morning.
“Flemington R4 – No.2 Harlem passed RV veterinary examination (eye issue) this morning.”
Harlem is currently twenty fifth in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and needs to win the Lexus Stakes today to find a place in the final twenty-four which will be decided this afternoon.
Harlem is a well supported $3.90 favourite for the Lexus Stakes with Ladbrokes.com.au but is rated as a $41 chance for the Melbourne Cup.
Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes, who trains in parthenrship with his father David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, said that Harlem worked well on Tuesday morning at Flemington and that the six year old will run well in the Melbourne Cup if he can win the Lexus Stakes.
“I thought his gallop on Tuesday was really nice and smooth,” Hayes said.
“I don’t mind him running in the Lexus,” he said.
“I think he’ll need the run and if he wins he’ll be spot-on for the Cup.”
Harlem is coming off a last start eighth to his stablemate Boom Time in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21 and will jump from barrier four in the ten horse Lexus Stakes field with Dwayne Dunn in the saddle.