Oceanographer secured a place in the 2016 Melbourne Cup field with his win in the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Saturday and trainer Charlie Appleby believes that the Melbourne Cup contender has come through the run in outstanding condition.
Oceanographer made his Australian racing debut with a fast-finishing third behind Qewy and Grey Lion in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 19 and he stamped himself as a Melbourne Cup hope with his fast-finishing victory in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
The Sea The Stars gelding will be having his third race start in less than two weeks in the Melbourne Cup, but Appleby told Racing Ahead this morning that he could not be happier with Oceanographer’s condition.
“I am delighted after seeing him this morning,” Appleby said.
“Since his run he has not left an oat and I gave him a job out on the track at Werribee yesterday.
“He looked well then and this morning he had another easy canter and the rider said that he felt great.
“Visually on the eye he looks bright and full of himself.
“We won’t know until the gates open, but what we are very happy with is that he has regained his weight and all the signs are good.
“He is one of those horses that are on that upward curve and he is enjoying life over here.
“On the back of winning the race the other day you would hope that he comes out with a bit of confidence.”
Oceanographer started his 2016 racing season with a flat effort at Newmarket and he failed to beat home a runner in the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2011m) at Royal Ascot.
He returned to winning form with a victory at Doncaster on July 30, but he was no match for Melbourne Cup rival Heartbreak City in the Ebor Handicap (2816m) at York on August 20 before he made the trip to Australia.
Oceanographer is currently available at 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $8.50 with Ladbrokes and he is on the second line of betting behind fellow Godolphin galloper Hartnell ($5.50).