Surprise Baby has secured ballot-free into the 2019 Melbourne Cup by winning The Bart Cummings at Flemington this afternoon.
The son of Shocking was unlucky not to gain entry into the Race That Stops A Nation when he finished a nostril second in the Andrew Ramsden here in winter, and all focus for Paul Preusker and team was on this race.
Jordy Childs settled the horse off the early pace set by Wolfe, Muntahaa and Alfarris, and enjoyed a calm run past the post the first time and across the back.
Childs was forced wide when the field turned for home and it appeared as though the horse simply had too much work to do, but his class rose to the surface and his superior turn of foot was the difference in winning.
“It was just a peach of a ride from Jordy,” a relieved Preusker said after the race.
“I think he’ll improve a lot off today. He’s not wound-up; I’ll strip him better again, you know. It’s just a matter of getting home and letting my feet hit the ground, and we’ll come up with another plan again.
“That’s me – I love the Melbourne Cup it’s always been the Melbourne Cup for me. I’ll grant this and treasure this forever.”
With all focus firmly set on today and Surprise Baby’s performance in The Bart Cummings, Presuker revealed that his path into the great race is yet to be confirmed.
“I’m in two minds. I don’t mind going straight to it, you know. I’ll keep it open,” he said.
Childs delivered a patient ride to win The Bart Cummings on Surprise Baby and is thrilled with the prospect of a ride in the Melbourne Cup.
“Just thrilled for Paul and the whole team up at Horsham. They’ve done a fantastic job with this horse and to have him in the Melbourne Cup, it’s a massive thrill to be a part of it,” Childs said.
“He’s got 52.5kgs in the Melbourne Cup at the moment, so we’ll see what penalty he gets today.”