Derby Day 2013 Review

AAMI Derby Day 2013 Polanski

AAMI Derby Day 2013 Polanski

The final pieces for the next staging of the Melbourne Cup are falling into place, with the AAMI Victoria Derby Day come and gone. The feature race of the day was taken home by Polanski, as Complacent and Savvy Nature, the leading favourites for the race, fell away and were unable to chase down the winner, who outstayed his rivals impressively. However, with regard to the Melbourne Cup, the important races were spread around the racing schedule on Saturday, with the outcomes of the Mackinnon Stakes and the Lexus Stakes confirming, provisionally at least, the final field of 24 for the race on Tuesday. The barrier draw for the Cup was also made on Saturday.

In what was a slight upset in the Mackinnon Stakes, Side Glance stole away from the chasing pack to lead for most of the way and take the race. Ridden to victory by Jamie Spencer, Side Glance beat out Dear Demi, who will nonetheless have another crack at glory in the Melbourne Cup after staying 22nd on the Cup order of entry, and Moriarty, who needed to win to make it to the cup. The Andrew Balding-trained winner, unplaced in the Cox Plate last week, will not race in the Melbourne Cup. Mr Moet, who ran fifth, will not be taking up a place in the Cup after it was confirmed that he would be returning to Western Australia.

The Lexus Stakes, in which 14 Cup hopefuls started, was won by Irish horse Ruscello, with Kerrin McEvoy on board. Ruscello, who will run in the Melbourne Cup and will be ridden by Cox Plate winner Chad Schofield, it was confirmed after the race, beat out Let’s Make Adeal and Araldo to victory. Further good news came for the Ed Walker-trained horse, as Greg Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s handicapper, decided not to issue a Melbourne Cup penalty to Ruscello, who in his two races in Australia has scored one win and a second place. Ruscello will carry 50 kg into the Cup on Tuesday.

Precedence, who was omitted from Derby Day racing, is 25th on the order of entry, meaning that Bart Cummings could miss out on the race for the first time in years; though there is still the chance that Precedence could make the final field should there be any withdrawals from the current field of 24 runners.

Following Derby Day, Flemington track manager Mick Goodie has made the decision to leave the rail in the true position for Tuesday. Goodie has moved the rail out two metres for the race in recent years, but as the track is racing so well, as evidenced during Derby Day, Goodie has decided to leave the rail true for the first time since before 2002.

‘I couldn’t be more pleased with how it raced today,’ Goodie said. ‘It’s the best it’s been for years.’

Derek Peterson - Melbourne Cup Pundit and top racing tipster. Having picked the last four Melbourne Cup winners on the trot you'd expect Derek to be experienced enough to give a tip or two across the Melbourne Cup and the Spring Racing Carnival during this racing season.


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