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Wide barrier puts Tom Melbourne’s Easter Cup in doubt

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The outside barrier in the capacity sixteen horse field has diminished Tom Melbourne’s chances of running in the Group 3 $150,000 Le Pine Funerals Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Tom Melbourne, above with blue and gold hoops, running second to Oceanographer in the 2016 Lexus Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Tom Melbourne, above with blue and gold hoops, running second to Oceanographer in the 2016 Lexus Stakes at Flemington. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Co-trainer Lee Freedman is not keen to see Tom Melbourne work hard from the outside gate and will discuss with connections if the six year old will be kept for another day.

“We are just thinking about (scratching) at the moment,” Freedman told racing.com on Thursday morning.

“He’s drawn very poorly and from that start at Caulfield you have got to do a lot of work up the hill to get up near the lead, which is where we want to ride him.

“The alternative is probably to run in an 1800m race at Flemington on ANZAC Day.

“We’ll give that a good bit of thought today and make our mind up.”

Tom Melbourne showed plenty of promise working his way up through the grades but hasn’t won a race since taking out the Listed $170,000 Albury Gold Cup (2000m) at Albury in March last year.

The six year old has been placed four times since in good company including a second to Oceanographer in the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington during the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival, but has struggled to find the winner’s stall and is coming off a last start tenth to Humidor in the Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11.

Daniel Moor takes over from Glen Boss on Tom Melbourne who was taken to Cranbourne for a 1550m barrier trial on April 3 which he won by five lengths.

On Thursday Tom Melbourne was listed as the $4.20 favourite for the Easter Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au and if he was to come out the market order would get a huge reshuffle.

On the second line of betting at $5.50 is the Danny O’Brien trained Second Bullet who has drawn barrier eight with Katelyn Mallyon in the saddle.

Second Bullet was a winner three starts back in an 1800m Handicap at Caulfield on February 11 and is coming off a last start sixth to Master Of Arts in the Group 3 $120,000 James Boag’s Premium Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) at Morphettville on March 4.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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