A win by either of Gai Waterhouse’s two runners in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington will give the first lady of the Australian Turf two runners in next Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.
2014 Sydney Cup winner The Offer has already cemented a spot in the field for the 2015 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington and a win by either Excess Knowledge or Bohemian Lily will see her saddle up two runners in the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’.
The winner of the Lexus Stakes is exempt from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup if it is among the second acceptances and Excess Knowledge and Bohemian Lily are in this category at numbers thirty and thirty-one in the order of entry.
The final field for the Melbourne Cup is limited to twenty-four runners.
As well as Waterhouse’s two Lexus Stakes starters, eight other runners are vying for a spot in the final field of twenty-four for the Melbourne Cup.
James Cummings has Ruling Dynasty and High Midnight, while Elhaame (Saeed bin Suroor), Chace To Dance (Robert Hickmott), Havana Cooler (John O’Shea), Thunder Lady (John Sargent), Ethiopia (Pat Carey) and Zanteca (Darren Weir) are all in contention.
Excess Knowledge has been well supported at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Lexus Stakes, firming in from $6 to be the $4.20 favourite on race morning.
Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn will be having his first ride on Excess Knowledge who has raced into form with a last start second to Amralah in the Group 2 $400,000 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 10.
Stablemate Bohemian Lily on the other hand has had the wobbles in the betting and has eased from $8.50 to be a $11 chance today.
Bohemian Lily has been racing consistently without a visit to the winner’s stall with placings at her last three outings, including a last start third to The United States in the Group 2 $250,000 Melbourne Signage Concepts Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley last week.
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The Robert Hickmott trained The United States is currently claiming the last twenty-fourth spot for the Melbourne Cup but could loose that position if the winner of the Lexus Stakes leapfrogs him into the final field.
Lexus Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Excess Knowledge, $5 Havana Cooler, $7.50 Ruling Dynasty, Elhaame, $10 Chance To Dance, $11 Bohemian Lily, $13 Zanteca, $14 Hawkspur, $20 Junoob, $21 Thunder Lady, $34 Ethiopia, $41 High Midnight, $51 Manalapan.
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