Melbourne Cup hopeful Brimham Rocks has been left to fly the flag for trainer Chris Waller in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington today after stablemate Patrick Erin was withdrawn late on Friday afternoon.
Waller was hopeful of qualifying Patrick Erin for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday by winning the Lexus Stakes that would have leadfrogged him in the final twenty-four horse field in the famous two miler.
Patrick Erin had been out of luck since the former New Zealand trained stayer won the Group 1 $750,000 The Heineken 3 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 29.
Waller scratched the seven year old form the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on October 27 because of a wide barrier and then he was withdrawn from the Group 3 $350,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo on October 31 after showing signs of an elevated temperature.
Patrick Erin underwent a thorough test and blood samples were taken late in the week and he showed no signs of improvement and was subsequently withdrawn from the Lexus Stakes and forfeited any chance of running in the 20118 Melbourne Cup.
Brimham Rocks is coming off a last start second to Yucatan in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13 and is currently number forty in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup but a win in the Lexus Stakes will see him take his place in the final field.
“He comes into this race (Lexus Stakes) with great form,” Waller said.
“Most of his form this preparation has been behind good horses such as Avilius and Yucatan and they are good form races to come out of.”
Brimham Rocks is solid in the betting for the Lexus Stakes at $4.60 at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the English stayer A Prince Of Arran at $3.80 and on par with the Lindsay Park trained Jaameh at $4.60.
Yucatan is the current $4.60 favourite for the Melbourne Cup while Brimham Rocks is marked as a $61 chance.