Oceanographer lands Cup berth
Oceanographer confirmed his place in Tuesday's Emirates Melbourne Cup after claiming a last-gasp victory in the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
Oceanographer edges out Tom Melbourne to win the Lexus Stakes
Charlie Appleby's British challenger finished with a rattle when third behind front-running stable companion Qewy in the Geelong Cup less than a fortnight ago and was a hot favourite to get back on the winning trail under Kerrin McEvoy.
It did not look good for Oceanographer's supporters rounding the home turn, with the market leader still last and the pacesetting Tom Melbourne looked set to score after going clear.
However, once straightened up, Oceanographer engaged overdrive and got up to land the extended mile-and-a-half prize by half a length.
Appleby said: "The team down here have done a great job freshening the horse up since Geelong. I saw him on the track this morning jumping and kicking, so we knew he was in good form.
"Kerrin gave him a great ride. There was always a pace angle in the race and we were going to ride him how we have been doing of late – by dropping him in.
"The track suited him as the straight is longer at Flemington than Geelong and we're delighted."
The winner of the Lexus Stakes is given automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup and Oceanographer is set to be part of a five-strong Godolphin team.
Appleby will also saddle Qewy, Saeed bin Suroor is set to run Beautiful Romance and Secret Number and John O'Shea has ante-post favourite Hartnell.
"It's great for our team to have the two runners and fantastic for His Highness (Sheikh Mohammed) to have the five," the trainer added.
"Hartnell is favourite, I think Oceanographer is second favourite with some bookmakers here now and Qewy is in good form as well.
"Saeed has his two runners, so it's really exciting for all of us."
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