The $6m question is whether 2011 Mackinnon Stakes hero Glass Harmonium will take his place in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.
The Mike Moroney trained galloper did what he does best by leading and fighting to win the $1m Group 1 event, his most important in Australia since arriving form the UK late last year.
Ridden by Damien Oliver, Glass Harmonium played up the barriers before the event but got down to business quickly.
Oliver set a good free rolling speed ahead of Ginga Dude with Sincero getting the worst of it out three wide.
At the home turn Mourayan and Rekindled Interest, who settled worse than midfield, moved into the race.
But Glass Harmonium never looked like stopping and beat a gallant Mourayan by three quarters of a length with Rekindled Interest a length away third.
Southern Speed who settled near the tail ran on well for fourth.
While Glass Harmonium is safely in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, connections might not accept believing 2000m is the best distance for the grey.
“I think 2000m is his best trip and when he can roll in front it really suits him,” Oliver said.
It was Oliver’s fourth Mackinnon Stakes winner and came on the ninth anniversary of the tragic death of his brother Jason.
“ It is a pretty special day for us, Jason is always with us forever,” he said
Moroney will leave a Cup start up to the owners.
“I thought he was quite relaxed today, he is a quality horse with a high cruising speed and he did it the hard way,” Moroney said.
“I don’t you will see many horses lead today and win, he is just a good tough horse with a good turn of foot.
“I think the owners have an hour to work out if he runs in the Cup.
“I have always had a question mark he could run out the two miles but if you are going to have a go at it, it is the right race to do it in and he is nicely weighted.”
From a Melbourne Cup view Mourayan was excellent fighting all the way to the line.
While Lloyd Williams would be happy with him Midas Touch disappointed finishing over eight lengths from the winner after moving into the race at the home turn.
He finished eighth just ahead of Cup entrants Precedence (9th) and The Verminator (11th) whose hope for Tuesday took a turn for the worst.
|1st||8||GLASS HARMONIUM(2)||Damien Oliver||Michael Moroney||59.0||2-2.72|
|2nd||4||MOURAYAN(8)||Hugh Bowman||Robert Hickmott||59.0||0.8L|
|3rd||12||REKINDLED INTEREST(5)||Dwayne Dunn||Jim Conlan||58.0||1.8L|
|4th||13||SOUTHERN SPEED(9)||Craig Williams||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||56.0||4.0L|
|5th||10||FORETELLER(1)||Corey Brown||Chris Waller||59.0||4.8L|
|6th||5||GINGA DUDE(4)||Michael Walker||Graeme Boyd||59.0||6.3L|
|7th||11||SINCERO(6)||Kerrin McEvoy||Stephen Farley||58.0||6.6L|
|8th||3||MIDAS TOUCH(3)||Nicholas Hall||Robert Hickmott||59.0||8.6L|
|9th||6||PRECEDENCE(11)||Steven Arnold||Bart Cummings||59.0||9.6L|
|10th||1||EFFICIENT(12)||Steven King||Robert Hickmott||59.0||13.6L|
|11th||9||THE VERMINATOR(10)||Craig Newitt||Chris Waller||59.0||13.9L|
|12th||14||LIGHTS OF HEAVEN(7)||Luke Nolen||Peter G Moody||56.0||21.9L|
|Src||2||WALL STREET||Nash Rawiller||Jeff Lynds|
|Src||7||LINTON||Michael Rodd||Robert Hickmott|