German import Ashrun has secured the final available spot in Tuesday’s $7.5 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) thanks to a patient ride from Kerrin McEvoy in the Group 2 Hotham Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.
The five-year-old was having just his second run down under after finding the line for fourth in the Geelong Cup – a form line that continues to produce promising Melbourne Cup runners year after year.
McEvoy was booked to ride for the five-year-old for the first time on Saturday and found himself with plenty of work to do with a slow tempo set in the early goings.
The pair found themselves last on the fence rounding the final turn, forcing McEvoy to shift out wide before pushing the button to run down Jamie Kah and Sound.
Trainer Andreas Wohler won the Melbourne Cup back in 2014 with Protectionist and looks to have a realistic shot at winning another.
Ashrun carried 61kg in the Hotham, but will get in nice and light carrying only 53kg on Tuesday hoping to become the first horse since Shocking in 2009 to complete the Hotham – Melbourne Cup double on the short backup.
“I was a bit worried on the way around because he didn’t jump well and didn’t have the position we wanted to have, then they slowed it up, but as Kerrin said, he went into contention really quick and he just kept on going” Wohler told racing.com following Saturday’s win.
“We just have to see how he comes out of this race, but at first moment he looks fine, but we just have to freshen him up, do everything for his mind and just keep him well.”
Ladbrokes bookmakers have reacted according to Ashrun’s win, firming the German raider from $51 into a tidy $15.
Sound was extremely unlucky not to gain a spot in the Melbourne Cup for the second year in a row.
Michael Moroney’s six-year-old was on the short backup after running sixth in last week’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup, but seemed to appreciate having the in-form Jamie Kah back in the saddle as the pair unleashed a huge run along the rail.
There was no such luck for race favourite Schabau, while Brimham Rocks and Future Score both finished third in a dead heat.
Ladbrokes’ All-In Melbourne Cup market can be viewed here.