Chris Waller-trained Kelinni is into the Melbourne Cup after winning the Lexus Stakes (2500m) in impressive fashion at Flemington today.
The Refuse To Bend gelding received a lovely run well back on the rails and had all the luck in the straight, finding clear running, while several other horses could not find a clear passage.
Bart Cummings-trained Dare To Dream was trapped behind a mountain of horses with 200 metres to go but flashed home to finish second.
Waller was delighted to have a runner in the 2012 Melbourne Cup and is confident the five-year-old can run well on Tuesday.
“It’s a great feeling to be apart of the race,” Waller said.
“It’s (the Lexus Stakes) proven to be a pretty good form race in the past
“The horse has been a model of consistency, a good second in a Group 1 race last start
“We purposefully kept him for this race, hoping that he could qualify and still have some life left in him and if we had run him before today we would have run the risk of running him too many times.”
Waller said he was confident that Kelinni can run a strong 3200 meters and his sentiments were echoed by jockey Nash Rawiller.
“He got a very sweet run today and showed an excellent turn of foot when the gap opened for him and I don’t think staying will be a problem,” Rawiller said.
Pre-race favourite Gatewood received a lovely run on the rail but wasn’t able to show his usual acceleration in the final furlong and will miss the Melbourne Cup.
Stawell based-stayer Excluded battled on bravely to finish third while Luca Cumani-trained Ibicenco finished an unlucky fourth.
Kelinni has been shortened into Melbourne Cup odds of $21.