Yu­catan rock­ets into Mel­bourne Cup favouritism

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK HER­BERT POWER STAKES

YU­CATAN has emerged as the “Mel­bourne Cup win­ner in wait­ing” af­ter an ex­tra­or­di­nary Her­bert Power Stakes tri­umph as the in­ter­na­tional con­tin­gent took an iron grip on the ma­jor cups.

Over­shad­owed by sta­ble­mate The Cliff­sof­mo­her in rep­u­ta­tion and per­for­mance, Yu­catan stormed into cal­cu­la­tions for next week’s Caulfield Cup and the Mel­bourne Cup with dev­as­tat­ing vic­tory. A $101 Caulfield Cup chance pre­race, Yu­catan is now Lad­brokes’ $7 third favourite for Satur­day’s Group 1 be­hind Youngstar ($5) and Kings Will Dream ($5.50).

He is now joint favourite at $9 for the Mel­bourne Cup with Avil­ius ($9) in a mar­ket where six of the top eight con­tenders are trained in the north­ern hemi­sphere.

Reel­ing off a blis­ter­ing, race-end­ing 22.78sec split be­tween the 600m and 200m, Yu­catan ($6.50) was al­lowed to al­most walk to the line in beat­ing Brimham Rocks ($9.50) and an­other raider, A Prince Of Ar­ran ($31).

The sheer non­cha­lance of the win stunned even part-owner Nick Wil­liams. Asked where Yu­catan, a lightly-raced Galileo, ranks among Mace­don Lodge’s army of fea­ture race con­tenders, Wil­liams said: “He sits right up there now.

“I’d be say­ing he’s the Mel­bourne Cup win­ner in wait­ing.

“The way he won there to­day, he’s only got to get a run. I’m speech­less, re­ally.”

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