The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Runaway has climbed up the order of the entry for the Group 1 $7.3m Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 after receiving a 1.5kg penalty for his Geelong Cup win.
Runaway was sitting in 49th position in the Melbourne Cup order of entry before his win in the Group 3 $350,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on Wednesday and is now a great chance of making the final twenty-four horse field after being elevated to number 28 with his penalty.
Racing Victoria Executive General Manager Greg Carpenter said that the all the way win by Runaway in the Geelong Cup was enough to earn the four year old a Melbourne Cup penalty.
“Runaway gave an outstanding performance yesterday to lead throughout in the Geelong Cup and was strong at the finish, holding off stablemate Northwest Passage and Finche,” Carpenter said.
“He was a progressive talent in his three-year-old season winning the VRC St Leger over 2800m and finishing third in the Group 1 South Australian Derby over 2500m.
“It is encouraging to see a VRC St Leger winner return in such good form as a four-year-old and Runaway will be very competitive in the Lexus Melbourne Cup with 52kg if he can secure a place in the final field of 24 runners.”
Runaway had shown his tough staying potential with a win in the Listed $200,000 VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington in April and was strong at the end of the 2400m in the Geelong Cup.
“They had no chance of running him down, and he had no intention of stopping,” Waterhouse said.
“And he won’t either when he runs again.”
It is just under two weeks from the running of the Melbourne Cup and at number 28 in the order of entry at the moment, Runaway has a greater chance to make the final twenty-four horse field as there is usually a few runners fall by the way side in the final lead up to the ‘Race That Stops A Nation’.
Runaway is still quoted as a $51 chance for the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Lloyd Williams owned Yucatan Ire as the $5.50 favourite ahead of the English stayer Magic Circle at $9 and Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution at $10.
Early betting for the 2018 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Yucatan Ire, $9 Magic Circle, $10 Best Solution, $11 Avilius, $14 Cross Counter, Muntahaa, $16 Duretto, Rostropovich, The Cliffsofmoher, Youngstar, $18 Marmelo, $21 Finche, $26 Red Verdon, $31 Kings Will Dream, Homesman, $34 Chestnut Coat, Sound, Tosen Basil, $41 Our Idaho, The Taj Mahal, $51 A Prince Of Arran, Ace High, Red Cardinal, Runaway, Thinkin’ Big, Vengeur Masque, Yogi, $61 or better the rest.