Flemington track upgraded for Melbourne Cup

By: Mark Mazzaglia
November 3rd, 2015

The Flemington track has been upgraded to a Good 3 prior to the running of the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) today.

Jockey Craig Williams will ride outsider Hokko Brave in the Melbourne Cup. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Jockey Craig Williams will ride outsider Hokko Brave in the Melbourne Cup. Photo by Adrienne Bicknell.

Racing on Melbourne Cup Day kicked off on a Good 4 rated track but was upgraded after the running race 4, the $100,000 Lavazza Short Black (1400m).

But the controversy of the track bias that was apparent on Derby Day last Saturday is still in contention today.

On Saturday most riders were trying to get back to the inside fence down the Flemington straight and today it has been no different.

Top Melbourne jockey Craig Williams, who will ride Japanese stayer Hokko Brave in the Melbourne Cup, said there were good patches and bad patches following his ride on eleventh placegetter Lordag in the Lavazza Short Black.

There’s places where you want to be and places where you don’t want to be,” Williams said.

Hugh Bowman will ride the Chris Waller trained Preferment in the Melbourne Cup and said that the inside bias was still prevalent after he finished second on Good Prospect.

“It’s a bit firmer than it was on Saturday but it does appear to be having the same bias,” Bowman said.

Hong Kong based jockey Zac Purton built up his confidence for Fame Game in the Melbourne Cup after he got off to a flying start, riding the first winner on the ten event program on Concealer in the Group 3 $150,000 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m).

Purton said that the track felt nice and firm and there was still a hint of bias towards the inside.

“It felt good to me,” Purton said.

“It’s nice and firm. Just how I want it. Obviously the horses back towards the fence again showed that they had a bit of an advantage.

“I’m a little bit worried about the bias but it’s only early in the day. We’ll wait and see.”

Fame Game remains at the top of the Melbourne Cup market order at $5 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Caulfield Cup runner up Trip To Paris at $8 and Preferment at $10 while Williams’ mount Hokko Brave is one of the outsiders of the field at $41.

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Melbourne Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au: $5 Fame Game, $8 Trip To Paris,  $10 Preferment, Max Dynamite, $17 Almoonqith, $20 Criterion, Our Ivanhowe, $21 The United States, Who Shot Thebarman, Bondi Beach, $26 Red Cadeuax, $31 Hartnell, The Offer, Excess Knowledge, Gust Of Wind, Sky Hunter, $41 Kingfisher, Hokko Brave, $51 Grand Marshall, Snow Sky, $61 Big Orange, $81 Quest For More, $101 Prince Of Penzance, $101 Sertorius.

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