Hawkspur is on top of the 2013 Melbourne Cup tips for leading trainer Chris Waller who could have up to three runners in the field for the $6 million Group 1 event at Flemington next Tuesday.
Waller has confirmed that Hawkspur and Foreteller will take their place in the Melbourne Cup field and he remains hopeful that Kelinni will earn a start either by winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday or by natural attrition.
All the money in Melbourne Cup betting markets has come for internationally-trained horses in the past 48 hours, like Tres Blue and Voleuse De Coeurs, and Hawkspur has been a forgotten horse at odds of $16 following his unlucky seventh place finish behind Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) after starting the race as favourite.
Waller believes that Hawkspur deserves a bit of luck and, despite the strong performance of Foreteller in the Cox Plate, considers the four-year-old his leading 2013 Melbourne Cup tip.
“He has been set for the race all along,” Waller told Thorough Media.
“He is a Queensland Derby winner and is coming off very unlucky runs in both the Turnbull and the Caulfield Cup last start.
“He just needs a little bit of luck to go his way and he is the right horse to win the race.”
Waller said on Monday that Foreteller was only a five percent chance to run in the Melbourne Cup, with the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) set to be his main aim, but he revealed that the Dansili gelding is now a certainty to compete in ‘the race that stops a nation’ after he recovered well following his fourth place finish in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
“He has come through it really well,” Waller said.
“The Moonee Valley track was a credit to all concerned over the weekend, they hosted 18 races, and the last race of the card was the Cox Plate and it provided a good surface that the horses didn’t jar up on.
“Fortunately he has pulled up well from the race.
“It is a big step-up to two miles for him but know is the time to try it and it is just a dream to have a runner in the Melbourne Cup.
“He is there and he may as well go around.”
Kelinni is currently 25th in the 2013 Melbourne Cup order of entry but with stablemate Moriarty and Mr Moet above him, both of whom are unlikely to take their place in the field, he could sneak into the race without having to win the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Saturday – a race that he won last year before finishing fourth in the Melbourne Cup.
Waller admits that Kelinni is not performing as well as he was this time last year but he is hopeful that the Refuse To Bend gelding will improve when he is stepped up in distance.
“He is not going as well and there is no real reason for it,” Waller said.
“He did have a setback at the start of his preparation when he had a bout of colic and since then we have been on the back foot.
“His run in the Caulfield Cup was ok, he wasn’t beaten far, and we know that he will get two mile.
“We have come this far and we won’t be turning back.”
Punters currently agree with Waller’s 2013 Melbourne Cup tip and have Hawkspur ($16) as the shortest of his three runners from Foreteller ($34) and Kelinni ($81).