Trainer Chris Waller is relying on Patrick Erin to get the all clear to run in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday to give him a chance of qualifying for the 2018 Melbourne Cup.
Patrick Erin is number 37 in the order of entry for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday and the former New Zealand trained stayer has hit a couple of hurdles in trying to secure a place in the top twenty-four for ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’.
Patrick Erin found winning form for Waller with a nose victory over his stablemate Brimham Rocks in the Group 1 $750,000 The Heineken 3 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 29 but then missed out on two important Melbourne Cup qualifying opportunities.
Waller scratched Patrick Erin from the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley because of a wide barrier and then he was forced to withdraw the seven year old from Wednesday’s Group 3 $350,000 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo after he returned an elevated temperature.
Waller will do further tests on Patrick Erin and is confident that he will be able to take his place in the Lexus Stakes and a win will see him exempt from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup.
Waller released the following statement regarding Patrick Erin on twitter.
“Patrick Erin was scratched from the Bendigo Cup due to a very minor elevation in his temperature. Whilst this temperature remained within normal parameters, it was decided to err on the side of caution and scratch him.”
“We will take a blood sample from Patrick Erin tomorrow (Thursday) and that will determine if he runs on Saturday in the Lexus Stake with the view of qualifying for the 2018 Melbourne Cup.”
Patrick Erin has drawn barrier eight in the thirteen horse Lexus Stakes field with Metropolitan winning jockey Corey Brown in the saddle again.
Ladbrokes.com.au have Patrick Erin marked at $13 for the Lexus Stakes while his stablemate Brimham Rocks is well fancied at $5.50 and would also gain a start in the Melbourne Cup if he was to win on Saturday.
The Charlie Fellowes trained English stayer A Prince Of Arran has been installed the $4.20 favourite for the Lexus Stakes just ahead of Lindsay Park trained Jaameh at $4.50.
A Prince Of Arran has drawn barrier seven with Michael Walker on top again after he steered the English raider into third place behind the Melbourne Cup favourite Yucatan in the Group 2 $400,000 Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Mark Zahra takes over from Walker on Jaameh (barrier 2) who has worked his way up through the grades with a win at Flemington over 2500m two starts back before finishing second to Avilius in the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 6.