Melbourne Cup hope Brambles has drawn midfield in the final field for the 2014 Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Leading Caulfield trainer Peter Moody will use the weight for age Mackinnon Stakes as the final lead up for Brambles heading to next Tuesday’s Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
“It is a great story given his recovery from a tendon injury that kept him off the track for two years,” OTI co-owner Terry Henderson told Racing Ahead.
“It is a remarkable effort by Pete and Lee Everson to get this horse back to where he is.
Brambles has drawn barrier nine in the fifteen horse field on Saturday and is currently a $26 chance in Melbourne Cup betting with Ladbrokes.com.au.
English galloper Side Glance is looking for back to back wins in the Mackinnon Stakes after leading most of the way to win for Jamie Spencer last year.
Spencer rode Side Glance in last Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley when fourth to Adelaide but Craig Williams takes over the reins this week with the front running eight year old to jump from gate seven.
Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller will saddle up four runners with Cox Plate fifth Foreteller drawing the worst at barrier ten.
Moriarty has drawn the best of the quartet at three with He’s Your Man coming up with gate five and Hawkspur to jump from eight.
Hong Kong based leading international jockey Joao Moreira is returning to Australia to re-unite with He’s Your Man after the pair claimed the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 4.
Kiwi trainer Donna Logan decided to scrap plans for Rising Romance for this year’s Melbourne Cup even though the tough staying mare finished a gallant second to Admire Rakti in the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18.
Instead Logan will send Rising Romance around on Saturday at weight for age and will jump from barrier twelve with regular jockey James McDonald in the saddle again.
Dual Kiwi Group 1 winner Costume will be making her first Australian appearance and comes to Melbourne following her win in the Group 1 NZ$250,000 WFA Livamol Classic (2040m) at Hastings, NZ, on October 4.
Sydney based Blake Shinn has taken the ride on the Graeme and Debbie Rogerson trained mare who has come up with barrier two.
The David Payne trained Criterion is backing up after finishing a close up seventh in the Cox Plate last week and will no doubt get a good covering run from the inside gate with Corey Brown taking over from James McDonald.
The Roger Varian trained Farraaj will be making his Australian debut following a win and a last start fourth at York in England and will jump from the outside gate with English based jockey Andrea AtzenI to ride.
English import Amralah could find himself in the final field for the Melbourne Cup for trainer Robert HIckmott if he could win the Mackinnon Stakes with Chad Schofield to ride from gate four.