A bold showing from Tom Melbourne in the Group 2 $200,000 Tattersalls Club Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday could see the Irish import step up to Group 1 company later in the Spring Carnival.
Tom Melbourne has had one run for trainer Chris Waller for an unlucky second to Kingsguard in the $100,000 Spring Preview Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on August 12 and the premiership winning trainer is keen to see how he performs against tougher company on the weekend.
“He was very unlucky,” Waller said.
“It’s an interesting race from his perspective. If he shows he’s got good speed second-up I’ll probably target a race like the Epsom or the Toorak with him.
“I think he’s a better handicapper than a weight-for-age horse just at the moment because he’s still got a nice rating (94).
“Saturday will tell us whether we’re dreaming about running him over the mile in big races, or whether we should be stepping up to the longer distance races.”
The Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) is run at Randwick on September 30 while the Group 1 $500,000 Toorak Handicap (1600m) is run at Caulfield a fortnight later.
Tom Melbourne was previously trained by Lee and Anthony Freedman and was able to win five times for the stable from seventeen starts.
Tom Melbourne is well in demand in the betting for the Tramway Stakes at $6 at Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Ecuador as the $3.80 favourite.
The Kris Lees trained Invincible Gem is next in the betting at $4.20 just ahead of the well performed Happy Clapper at $4.80.
Michael Walker takes the ride on Tom Melbourne who will jump from barrier eight in the ten horse Tramway Stakes field while the front running Ecuador, with Adam Hyeronimus in the saddle, will jump from gate seven.
Tom Melbourne has been tested in Group company in the past with his best efforts being a second in the Group 3 $150,000 Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 15 and in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington followed by a third in the Group 3 $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington all during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.