All twelve international second acceptors for the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington were passed fit yesterday by the Racing Victoria’s veterinary surgeons.
Dr Brian Stewart and Dr Grace Forbes inspected the visitors at the TAB International Horse Centre in Werribee, giving the all clear to Admire Rakti, Red Cadeaux, Cavalryman, Protectionist, My Ambivalent, Seismos, Royal Diamond, Mutual Regard, Gatewood, Willing Foe, Au Revoir and Lord Van Percy.
Twelve of the Internationals are still in contention for the Melbourne Cup with Lord Van Percy needing to win the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday to secure a spot in the final twenty-four horse field.
Chief steward Terry Bailey also said that the Lloyd Williams owned, Robert Hickmott trained Melbourne Cup contenders Fawkner, Green Moon, Sea Moon and Amralah were inspected at their Mt Macedon base and also passed fit.
English import Amralah is still way down in the order of entry at thirty-seven but a top three finish in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday will see the Teoffilo five year old sneak into the field.
Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding is expecting a bold showing from Lord Van Percy in the Lexus Stakes and is quietly confident that he will win and take his place in the Melbourne Cup field.
“I’m looking forward to a good showing from him,” Balding told AAP.
“I think that Flemington will suit him really well and he will have every chance.
“He has got to win the Lexus to get into the Melbourne Cup, but I think that he has a big chance in the Lexus.
“He’s in great condition in his coat and physically and mentally he looks in a great place.”
“He had the run in the Herbert Power but I was amazed when I saw him out here.”
If Lord Van Percy did win the Lexus Stakes, Balding would have no qualms about backing up the stayer in three days, a practice that English and European trainers don’t usually adapt.
But Balding thinks the Lord Van Percy is the exception.
“We might back-up the sprinters a little bit quicker but the European approach with stayers is to give them three weeks between runs,” Balding said.
“But having said that he’s not a typical stayer.
“He’s a close-coupled horse, he’s a little smaller than your average European stayer and I think that’s to our advantage if you’re looking to back-up.”
Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti heads the Melbourne Cup market order at $4.80 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Lucia Valentina at $7, German stayer Protectionist at $7.50, Cox Plate runner up Fawkner at $8 and Irish galloper Mutual Regard at $10.