A START in the Melbourne Cup is on the line for Lord Fandango when he runs in today’s Bendigo Cup.
Trainer Archie Alexander said if Lord Fandango won, he would definitely try and secure a start in the Melbourne Cup, which would give him his first runner in the event.
“Hopefully we can win and secure a little penalty which would push him up a bit, but if not I’d need to see him run well and at least run a place to run in the Melbourne Cup,” Alexander said.
Lord Fandango is one of four Bendigo Cup runners still in the mix for the Melbourne Cup. The others are Kiwi stayer Sir Charles Road (No.25), Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s Dal Harraild (No.36) and Chris Waller’s Patrick Erin (No.38).
Lord Fandango needs a big run in the Bendigo Cup to push his case for a spot in the Melbourne Cup. Picture: Jay TownSource:News Corp Australia
Lord Fandango has had two starts this campaign, running on each time for a first-up third in the Benalla Cup and then a sixth in the Herbert Power at Caulfield.
“He’s toned right up and he's ready to run to his best,” Alexander said. “He’ll be suited by the Bendigo track and I think on his best form he’d go close. All the signs are there that’s where he’s at but he’s just got to prove he can do it again.”
Alexander has decided to take the blinkers off Lord Fandango for the Bendigo Cup so he can relax with a view to him running out 3200m. Darren Weir’s Furrion is a $2.25 favourite with TAB. Lord Fandango is second favourite at $6.50.
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Four horses will contest the Bendigo Cup who are still in the Melbourne Cup — PATRICK ERIN (1), DAL HARRAILD (2), LORD FANDANGO (3) and SIR CHARLES ROAD (4). They take on Darren Weir’s boom galloper FURRION (6) and Lloyd Williams’ SIR ISAAC NEWTON (5).
FURRION (R8, No.6 $2.25)
He suffered his second defeat in eight starts last start, when third in the Cranbourne Cup, but he wasn’t suited by the tight track nor the bump he copped at the top of the straight. Darren Weir has set him for this race and he’ll relish the 2400m.
Furrion is the horse to beat in the Bendigo Cup. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
BOLEK (R4, No.1 $2.90)
Showed a stack of talent at his first preparation which produced two wins and two placings. Jumped out well at Flemington recently.
JAWS OF STEEL (R10, No.3 $7.50)
Best work was in the closing stages when he flew home for first-up fourth at Moe behind stablemate and rival in this SUPERHARD (R10, No.7). He’ll get back and finish on strongly.
JIM CROWLEY was England’s leading jockey in 2016 and he’s in town to ride Muntahaa in the Melbourne Cup. He’s also Shadwell’s contracted rider and he will make his Australian debut at Bendigo today riding JAWWAAL (R2, No.5 $3) and ESHTIRAAK (R9, No.10 $2.90) for them.
VELOUCHER (R2, No.10 $10)
“He’s a nice horse in the making and he’ll probably need the run in a strong maiden but he should be running on nicely.”
SHEHROZ (R7, No.3 $12)
“Tough win last start at Ballarat as he was trapped wide. He’s worked well since and should run a big race.”
Archie Alexander is hoping Lord Fandango can secure a start in the Melbourne Cup with victory in the Bendigo Cup. Picture: Andrew TauberSource:Supplied
LORD FANDANGO ((R8, No.3 $6.50)
“He’s at his peak third-up. Everything indicates he’s back to his best and if he runs up to his best he’ll go close.”
FASTNET LATINA (R10, No.2 $12)
“He finished on nicely second-up at Caulfield after good first-up run. He’s got the ability to win this and he looks over the odds.”
Fellowes puts Prince to the test
CHARLIE Fellowes is venturing into unknown territory with Prince Of Arran, contemplating a Melbourne Cup pathway most European trainers would avoid.
Compelled to run his stable flag-bearer in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes at Flemington to earn a Cup slot on Tuesday, Fellowes said backing up a horse so quickly in England was virtually unheard of.
But he’s prepared to break from convention to become the first British trainer to snare Australia’s most famous race — at the age of 32.
“It’s amazing that no British (trainer) has won,” Fellowes said. “It’s testament to how hard it is to win. If we get in, the race will really suit him. The way you guys run two miles over here, it will be right up his street.
“He’s got a turn of foot and I actually think I’ve been running him over too far.
English stayer Prince Of Arran will line up in the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“When I saw him work with the two sprinters (Godolphin’s Comicas and Jungle Cat) here the other day, I thought, ‘Maybe you are quicker than I’ve given you credit for’.
“(Foreman) Tom Charlton, who was out here with Withhold, messaged me after he worked. I was asleep and (he) sent me a video and said, ‘You’re running your horse over the wrong trip’. He pulled five lengths clear of the two of them. This year he’s improved out of sight.”
Fellowes worked for Lee Freedman 10 years ago and would love nothing more than to emulate the Cup-winning feats of his former boss.
The Lexus — and post-race recovery — are the stumbling blocks for Prince Of Arran, who is No.29 in order of entry for the 24-horse Cup field. Prince Of Arran ran third to Yucatan in the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield.
Originally published as Lord’s last-ditch bid to secure Cup start
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