Trainer Chris Waller will make a last minute decision to confirm or not if Melbourne Cup hopeful Patrick Erin takes his place in the Group 2 $500,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on Saturday.
Patrick Erin is currently number 48 in the order of entry for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 and Waller is trying to find a way of pushing him up the ladder and a win at The Valley on the weekend could attract a weight penalty that would move him closer to a start in the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’.
Patrick Erin has drawn barrier fourteen in the original draw of fifteen plus three emergencies but could jump from gate eleven if all of the emergencies failed to gain a start in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
Waller has also nominated the former Kiwi stayer for the Group 3 $350,000 Bendigo Cup (2400m) at Bendigo next Wednesday and the master trainer is considering that as an alternative to running on Saturday and attracting a Melbourne Cup penalty.
“Unfortunately he hasn’t drawn very well and he does need to win a race to get his rating up even higher to get a start in the Melbourne Cup,” Waller said.
“In my opinion he is a two mile horse but he obviously hit form when winning the Group 1 Metropolitan last start.”
“We opted not to run in the St Leger because of the wet track and the fact that it is not a Group race yet he couldn’t get a re-handicap.
“It is either here from the wide draw or wait until the Bendigo Cup on Wednesday but a decision will be made closer to Saturday whether he runs or is saved for Bendigo where we are hoping to get another win next to his name.”
Patrick Erin had failed to win a race for Waller since arriving from New Zealand in five starts prior to scoring a nose win over stablemate Brimham Rocks in the Group 1 $750,000 The Heineken 3 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on September 29.
Corey Brown is booked to ride Patrick Erin who is marked at $13 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
Waller has four horses listed in the final field for the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and as well as Patrick Erin will saddle up veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman (Tye Angland, barrier 7), dual Oaks winner Egg Tart (Kerrin McEvoy, barrier 3) and tough stayer Libran (Hugh Bowman, barrier 2).
In a wide open betting race, The Taj Mahal sits at the top of the market order at $5.50 ahead of Tosen Basil and Trap For Fools at $8 and Egg Tart and Libran at $9.50.