Harlem out to book Cup berth
THE Lindsay Park team already has two Melbourne Cup-bound stayers and hopes another will cement his spot via the Lexus Stakes.
Ventura Storm and Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time are safely in top 24 for next Tuesday’s famous 3200m-handicap at Flemington.
Stablemate Harlem sits No. 27 in the most recent ballot order and the stable is planning to run him in tomorrow’s Lexus (2500m) at Flemington.
The winner of the Stakes earns a ballot exemption into Melbourne Cup.
“At the moment we’re hoping to have three in the Cup,” co-trainer Ben Hayes said.
“Harlem looks like just not getting in so we’ve got to go for the Lexus with him.”
Ventura Storm came out of his unplaced Caulfield Cup run with a hoof issue but Hayes said the import was over that and on target for the Cup.
“Ventura Storm worked over a mile on Monday and his work was great,” Hayes, who trains in partnership with his father David and cousin Tom Dabernig, said.
Harlem continued preparations for Saturday with a workout on the course proper at Flemington on Tuesday with Victoria Derbybound stablemates Eshtiraak and Justice Faith.
“I thought his gallop this morning was really nice and smooth,” Hayes said.
Harlem won the Naturalism Stakes on September 23 before finishing fifth in The Bart Cummings at Flemington.
He then finished eighth to stablemate Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Hayes said he bounced out of that race and believes he copes well with racing.
“I don’t mind him running in the Lexus,” he said.
think he’ll need the run and if he wins he’ll be spot- on for the Cup.”