Oceanographer will head into the 2016 Melbourne Cup after he recorded a fast-finishing victory in the Lexus Stakes at Flemington this afternoon.
Oceanographer was settled in the second half of the field and he was at the tail of the field when the field entered the straight, while Tom Melbourne took up the running and kick away when asked for an extra effort.
Tom Melbourne looked as though he would be extremely hard to catch, but Oceanographer ate up the ground in the final stages of the race and picked up his rival in the final 100 metres.
Kerrin McEvoy has had an outstanding record on Godolphin stayers during the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival and he was delighted to record another big win in the Lexus Stakes for the racing operation.
“The stable said to just try and time my run and it was perfect to have something to aim at,” McEvoy said.
“He was steady early and nice and relaxed and I was pretty rapt when I straightened up because I knew that I was finishing.
“I had Tom Melbourne to aim at and I was pretty happy at the 100.”
Trainer Charlie Appleby was full of confidence heading into the Lexus Stakes following Oceanographer third place finish in the Geelong Cup and he was delighted to see his stayer get the job done.
Appleby confirmed that Oceanographer will press on to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) and he is bullish about the chances of the Sea The Stars gelding.
“Kerrin has given him a fantastic ride,” Appleby said.
“He went out there and basically told us what he was going to do and I said we aren’t going to tell him what to do because he is on fire.
“I thought that the track would suit him more so than Geelong – at Geelong he just lost his balance coming around the turn.
“We can go and have another day on Tuesday.
“He has taken it all very well and he is thriving out here.
“We will get him back, we will freshen him up as much as we can and we look forward to Tuesday.”
Chad Schofield has been booked to ride Oceanographer in the 2016 Melbourne Cup and the Lexus Stakes winner is into Melbourne Cup odds of $8 in the betting market with Ladbrokes.