Waller has last chance for Melbourne Cup runner

Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has one last chance to have a runner in this year’s Melbourne Cup with Kelinni and Permit looking for a last minute passage into the Australia’s greatest race next Tuesday when they run at Flemington tomorrow.


Kelinni is Chris Waller's last chance to make the Melbourne Cup. Photo by: Steve Hart

The in-form Kelinni is number thirty-eight in the order of entry in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington while Permit is three places higher at thirty-five.

Both the Waller gallopers need to win the Group 3 $250,000 The Lexus Stakes (2500m) to gain a ballot free entry in the Melbourne Cup field which will be finalized before the last race at Flemington tomorrow.

“They both need to win to get into the Melbourne Cup and we’re realistic about their chances,” Waller said.

“Kelinni is certainly the form horse of the two and if he wins the race he deserves to be there.

“And if he doesn’t win the race he wasn’t going to win the Melbourne Cup this year anyway.”

Waller hasn’t run Kelinni since finishing second to Glencadam Gold in the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 6 but has kept his fitness levels up with a 1200m Warwick Farm barrier trial last Friday.

“He’s a stayer on the rise and I’ve cautiously kept him away from the hustle and bustle and we’ve got him ready to run,” Waller said.

“He’s rock hard fit and we’ve just spaced his run after a couple of tough runs. He had a 1200m burnout at Warwick Farm last week and he hasn’t done any fast work since.”

The Refuse To Bend five year old came through his grades in the early part of the Spring and showed great staying potential in taking out the Group 3 $125,000 Alea Actuarial Consulting Colin Stephen Quality (2400m) at Rosehill on September 29 prior to the Metropolitan.

If Kelinni was to gain entry into the Melbourne Cup with a win in the Lexus, he would drop from 57kg to the luxury weight of 51kg on Tuesday.

Waller admits that stablemate Permit has been struggling of late and has removed the blinkers and added the ear muffs hoping for the six year old to regain some good form.

“Permit is out of form after what looked like his first two runs were a good platform for this preparation,” Waller said.

“I’m not sure what’s wrong with him, it’s nothing obvious. We’ve tinkered with his gear and put some ear muffs on him and taken the blinkers off.”

“If he showed his old form he’d be up to a race like the Lexus but he is struggling to recapture that form.”

While most of the Lexus field is looking to gain exemption from the Melbourne Cup ballot with a win, jockey Glen Boss will be trying his hardest to get English stayer Gatewood across the line first.

If the Geelong Cup winner fails to win tomorrow and misses out on a Melbourne Cup spot, Boss could be without a ride in the Race That Stops The Nation on Tuesday.

Gatewood received a 1kg Melbourne Cup penalty for winning the Group 3 $300,000 Centrebet Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 24 but even with 52.5kg, the John Gosden trained stayer is still only thirty-three in order of entry.

Gatewood is the $3 favourite for tomorrow’s Lexus Stakes with Excluded at $6 aand the Bart Cummings trainer Dare To Dream is at $6.50 and Exceptionally at $7.50.

Kelinni is a $11 chance with Nash Rawiller to ride and Permit is at $26 with Corey Brown  in the saddle.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.