Part owner Simon O’Donnell is fearing Bauer, his best chance in next Tuesday’s $6million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) may miss the cut.
The 2008 Melbourne Cup runner-up is 29th in this year’s order of entry, five positions away from obtaining a Cup run.
The nine-year-old grey passed the first ballot clause of the Cup when running an unlucky third to Dunaden in the Geelong Cup on October 19.
That effort fully qualified Bauer but this low Cup weight of 52kg with his age hasn’t promoted him to a certain start.
“It’s touch and go,” O’Donnell said.
“What we won’t see, I don’t think, this year is the normal attrition rate (of the Cup field).
“With so many internationals in that top 18 or 20 horses, I don’t believe we’ll see as many starting to drop out of the race as we generally do when there’s a lot more Australian and New Zealand horses involved.”
O’Donnell is also part owner of Cup qualifiers Manighar, Drunken Sailor and Sahara Sun who currently are in the 24 position with Sahara Sun on a knife’s edge at 24.
Other horses may jump into the starting line up if they qualify through the Bendigo Cup on Wednesday, Lexus Stakes (2500m) or Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday thus demoting Sahara Sun who in Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup)
All four of O’Donnell’s horses are trained by the highly successful Luca Cumani.
“There’s nothing anything anyone can do.” O’Donnell said.
“Luca will continue to train him to run in the Melbourne Cup.
“If that’s not the case come Saturday night well we’ll re-adjust to something a little later in the week.”
Sara Cumani, Luca’s wife, has indicated that if Bauer gets to 25 in the order of entry, the stable would be willing to scratch one of the other three.
Bookmakers have Bauer shorter than the other three runner at $16 in front of Drunken Sailor $31, Manighar $41 and Sahara Sun $101.
Cumani also hinted Bauer will be retired after the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and become a clerk of the course horse at Flemington.