A race named in honour of one Hall of Fame trainer will be used by another Hall of Fame inductee to help get their honest stayer Motivado into the field for the Melbourne Cup this spring.
Euroa-based David Hayes is eyeing the $120,000 Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington Racecourse on Turnbull Stakes Day, Saturday October 5, as a lead-up run for English import Motivado into the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) back at the track on the first Tuesday of November.
Previously prepared in Britain by Sir Mark Prescott, the now five-year-old Motivator gelding has been with Hayes since the start of the year.
Having won just two of their 13 starts in Europe and not once being stepped up to stakes company they came to their Aussie trainer very much untapped.
Their debut down under back in late April was an unremarkable fifth at Caulfield over 1800m.
They were quick to improve on that however when taken to Adelaide in May where they beat home Shiny Buttons to win the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2500m).
Motivado again proved their staying potential when racing in their third state in as many starts this time at Randwick on May 25 when second to Fiumicino in the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2400m) in the wet.
Boasting obvious ability Hayes is keen to test them at the highest level this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival eyeing off the world’s richest handicap on November 5.
“He did a great job in his first preparation and he’s definitely improved,” Hayes told Racing Victoria this week.
However there’s some work to do between now and then if Motivado is to make the coveted 24-horse Melbourne Cup field this year.
This is where the Bart Cummings race comes in which will likely be their second-up start for their spring prep.
“He’s qualified for the Melbourne Cup but he would haven’t the handicap (to get a run) yet,” Hayes said.
“He’s tracking well. I hoping to kick him off in August and he’s being set for The Bart Cummings.
“He’ll maybe start off over 2000 (metres), or maybe a mile, it just depends on how he works in the next couple of weeks.”
The attraction of The Bart Cummings is the likely weight penalty the winner would attract for the Melbourne Cup handicaps.