The Melbourne Cup distance of 3200 metres has brought about the undoing of plenty of horses across the 153 years of the race and co-owner Terry Henderson admits that Lidari is no certainty to run out a strong 3200 metres in the Group 1 event at Flemington on Tuesday.
Lidari has generally produced his best form in Australia over a mile, winning the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington earlier this year in impressive fashion, but he was given an opportunity over 2400 metres in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) after hitting the line strongly in both the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 20 and Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4.
The Acclamation entire was well-backed in the lead-up to the Caulfield Cup at Caulfield on October 18 and he received a lovely run into the race, but he appeared to die on his run in the final stages to finish sixth.
Henderson said at the 2014 Melbourne Cup barrier draw yesterday that the pedigree of Lidari does not suggest he will be able to stay the testing 3200 metre trip, but he revealed that both jockey Ben Melham and trainer Peter Moody remain hopeful that the six-year-old can run out the trip.
“We are not sure and he is a question mark,” Henderson said.
“Acclamation’s normally don’t get much further than a mile in Europe, but he is a roll on horse and he has done everything right.
“Both Benny Melham and Pete think that he will run the distance, so it is a hope job.”
Lidari never ran over a distance greater than 2400 metres during his racing career in Europe, but he performed well in races like the Derby Du Midi (2400m) in Bordeaux in May of 2012 and the Derby Du Langue (2400m) in Toulon a month later.
Ben Melham will take the ride on Lidari in the Melbourne Cup and he will be riding in ‘the race that stops a nation’ for the first time in his career on Saturday, while trainer Peter Moody is chasing his first win in the race after previously missing the placings with Ibicenco (16th in 2013), My Quest For Peace (10th in 2012), Voila Ici (13th in 2012), Lights Of Heaven (16th in 2012) and Vouvray (15th in 2005).