Unusual Suspect barely rated a mention in the lead up to the Caulfield Cup but now the American runner is being talked up as a genuine Melbourne Cup prospect.
He finished just over three lengths away from Southern Speed in sixth position on Saturday but it was the manner of his run that has everyone talking.
Unusual Suspect was the only horse in the field to break the 36 second barrier for his final 600m and that wasn’t the only honour he earned.
His final 1000m was the fastest at 59.96 thanks to the quickest closing splits over the 400m and 200m.
This is made especially impressive given he had far from the easiest run after settling at the tail of the field in the early stages.
After coming off the bend he was caught in a big group of horses and had to pick and weave a path across the final few furlongs.
Despite that his sectionals were still the best and many see a lot of upside in the horse for when he hits the 3200m at the spacious Flemington track.
Trained by Mick Kent the seven year old now looks to be somewhere near the form that saw him win the G1 Hollywood Park Turf Cup in California last year.
“He ran a great race,” Kent said.
“He has a great chance in the Melbourne Cup as the two miles will suit him and he will really enjoy racing at Flemington.”
He will have one more start before the Melbourne Cup when he runs in the Mackinnon in two weeks time.
He will get a rematch with Southern Speed in that event although she’s unlikely to press on to the Melbourne Cup.