Horse Racing

Harmysian chases Melbourne Cup dream

Image: Pat Scala

Victory at the RM Ansett Classic will help the Harmysian pass a voting clause for the Melbourne Cup.

Coach Clayton Douglas is working towards having his first ever Melbourne Cup champion with the race at Mornington being an integral part of that plan.

Harmysian heading to List RM Ansett Classic (2400m) on Saturday with Douglas hoping a win will lead to Group 2 Herbert power stake (2400m) at Caulfield on 8 October.

Douglas sees winning that race as a chance to win a penalty for Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in Flemington on November 1 and moved up the ballot order.

The Harmysian qualify for the start of the Melbourne Cup if successful on Saturday but will remain in the entry order.

“If he wins on Saturday, it’s all right, he’ll go to Herbert Power in two weeks and then we’ll work it out after that where he loses,” Douglas said.

“He needs to raise his score and a penalty to get into the Melbourne Cup. He’s unlikely to get it on Saturday, but he might get into Herbert Palace. “

Douglas said Harmysian’s campaign went smoothly this time around.

He successfully finished second at Sandown over 1800m at Benckmark 70 before surging 2040m in Moonee Valley last time, unlucky to finish 5th.

“He’s back this super-prepared,” Douglas said.

“All three runs went well, and he was probably a bit unlucky the day before being organized around The Valley.

“He hit the ball firmly, especially at the handicap over 2000 metres.

“He came out of the last prep round in third place 2400 metres, so in this prep we will move up to fourth place.

“It looks like this is the right race on his home circuit and when it comes out, with good distance between runs, we thought it would be a good race to shoot.”

If Douglas’ hopes of a start in the Melbourne Cup are gone, he says there are plenty of other options for the Harmysian including Geelong CupMoonee Valley Cup and even Sandown Cup at the end Melbourne Spring Festival.

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