A revamped programme may see Gingernuts line up on the final day of Melbourne Cup week.
The Caulfield Cup is definitely off the menu for Gingernuts, but a one-race Melbourne campaign is still on the cards.
Following yesterday’s Livamol Classic write-off, the Caulfield Cup became a bridge too far. With just two preparatory runs at 1400 and 1600 metres behind him, the only option for Gingernuts to be ready for that race was a midweek flight to Melbourne for next Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes, followed by a back-up into the 2400-metre handicap on Saturday week.
“That would be too tough, too many uncertainties, we wouldn’t want to put him through that,” said co-trainer Stephen Autridge. “Now we’re hanging out for the Livamol to be run in the next fortnight, then we could go to Melbourne for the weight-for-age 2000 metres on the last day of Cup week.”
The race referred to is the former Mackinnon Stakes, which was until two years ago contested on the opening day of Melbourne Cup week, but is now renamed as the Emirates Stakes with a stake of A$1.5 million on November 11.
“Winx would be obviously the horse they would all have to beat if they were to add the Flemington race after the Cox Plate,” Autridge said. “But I don’t think that’s their plan and with a bit of luck Gingernuts would have the advantage of fresh legs against horses that have been racing through the carnival.”
A decision around rescheduling the Livamol Classic is expected to be announced tomorrow, with one possibility touted being a transfer of the October 22 Otaki meeting to Hastings and the weight-for-age feature being added to that programme.