A spot in the 2018 Melbourne Cup is still a long way away for Runaway who led all of the way to win today’s Group 3 $350,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Runaway is currently number 49 in the order of entry with 50.5kg for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 and even with the a substantial weight penalty for today’s win, still would be struggling to make the final field for the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’.
Runaway races in the red and white colours of Rosemont Stud and manager Anthony Mithen was testing the waters with Racing Victoria’s head handicapper Greg Carpenter to try and get the four year old into Australia’s greatest staying race.
“Will we talk him up and say there was no stopping him today and he needs about 8 kilos and we go straight to the Melbourne Cup,” Mithen said with tongue in cheek.
“You know what I will do, I will leave it to Greg Carpenter. He is the best judge in the business and a horse that runs third in a Derby as a three year old, wins a St Leger, Aussie bred, twenty minutes that way, we bred him, I think that he deserves his spot and I reckon Greg will too.”
Runaway had shown his tough staying potential with a win in the Listed $200,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington in April and was strong at the end of the 2400m today.
“They had no chance of running him down, and he had no intention of stopping,” Waterhouse said.
“And he won’t either when he runs again.”
Runaway ($16) was racing without the blinkers today and winning jockey Stephen Baster was able to settle the four year old into a smooth rhytym out in front and he had a strong kick in the straight to record a three quarters of a length win over his stablemate Northwest St Passage ($9.50).
The well fancied Finche ($4.80), with Hugh Bowman in the saddle, tried hard to fill third spot while the $3.20 favourite Withhold never threatened in the run home to finish eighth.