Trainer Saab Hasan remains confident that Shoreham can earn a place in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field and he confirmed that the tough stayer will contest the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Shoreham currently sits at number 26 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry and he needs to win the Lexus Stakes to be guaranteed of a start in the Group 1 event at Flemington next Tuesday.
The Reset gelding has been unable to record a race win this preparation, but Hasan told RSN that he believes the five-year-old is in the best form of his career and he is confident that the gelding would finish in the prizemoney if he was given an opportunity in the Melbourne Cup.
“We paid up and we are keen,” Hasan said of the Lexus Stakes.
“The horse galloped this morning and he galloped sensational.
“He won his gallop hard held and he pulled up like he hasn’t gone around, so it looks like we are going to have to gallop him again on Thursday.
“He is 99.5 percent there, but I want him 101 percent right going into this race.
“Everybody says attrition rate, but I don’t hope that any horse gets injured and that is just my view.
“If he is good enough and he deserves to be there then he is there and if he is not he is not good enough.
“I know in my heart that if he does get a run that he can run top ten and it is $120,000 for top then.
“The horse is flying and he has never been going better.”
Shoreham produced one of the best performances of his career to date when he worked home strongly to finish seventh in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4, but he finished a disappointing sixth in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) last Wednesday.
Hasan believes that there were plenty of excuses for the lackluster performance of Shoreham in the Geelong Cup and he hopes that the Melbourne Cup hopeful can return to his best with Jim Cassidy on his back in the Lexus Stakes.
“The horse is fine, he is just having no luck lately,” Hasan said.
“I guess we were a bit of a victim of the jockey.
“He drew wide and obviously we didn’t want to push forward and be caught five wide, so we elected to go back early and he got into a bit of trouble around the back.
“We got further back than we wanted to and the track was not really satisfactory that day in my view.
“As a result Shoreham lost a shoe and the other one was coming back when he came back to scale.
“That was all reported in the stewards report and we believe that he failed due to track conditions.
“However, Chris (Symons) was forced to take off out wide and he covered a lot of ground on the horse and up the hill he was working.
“The horse’s run probably came to the end and not have a near side front shoe made it awkward for him to get his grip in and he looked ordinary, but I can assure you that the horse is absolutely flying.”
Shoreham is currently available at the lengthy 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $81.