Big Memory is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $41, but the imported will likely need to win the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday to earn a place in the field for the Group 1 event at Flemington on Saturday.
Big Memory currently sits in 28th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry and unless there is at least four withdrawals of horses above him in the ballot he will not be guaranteed a start in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Trainer Tony McEvoy admits that it would be ideal if Big Memory was already assured of a place in the Melbourne Cup field, but he told RSN this morning that he would be running the Duke Of Marmalade gelding this weekend even if he was a certain Melbourne Cup starter.
“We have just missed really, but the way things are falling apart in the Cup you never know,” McEvoy said.
“He will run in the Lexus Stakes on Saturday.
“I would have run him (if he was qualified for a Melbourne Cup start), but I probably would have run him in the Mackinnon instead of the mile and a half.
“As we have to win to get in I think that he is a better chance of winning a Lexus than a Mackinnon.”
Big Memory forced his way into the Caulfield Cup field when he scored a tough staying win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11 and he was far from disgraced when tenth behind Admire Rakti in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) a week later.
McEvoy blames himself for Big Memory not finishing even closer to the winner in the Caulfield Cup, but he is thrilled with the form of the five-year-old and believes that he still has plenty of quality racing in front of him – even if he misses out on a place in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
“I am annoyed at myself,” McEvoy said.
“We made the decision to go back because I just didn’t want this young horse getting caught out on a limb and having to do a lot of work, but as it turned out they just went that slow that I couldn’t believe how slow they went.
“It cost us a genuine chance really and he ran a fabulous race considering the circumstances.
“I can’t recall them going that slow in a Group 1 race and it was very frustrating.
“He is a young, very sound horse that is just arriving.
“He has a couple more years of very good racing ahead of him.”
Admire Rakti is currently available at Melbourne Cup odds of $4.80 and remains a clear favourite from Protectionist ($7), Lucia Valentina ($7.50), Fawkner ($8.50) and Mutual Regard ($10).