Ad The Map wins The Macca's Run (2800m) on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day 2023. (Morgan Hancock/Racing Photos)

Golden ticket on offer in the Ramsden

10 May 2024 Written by Ryan Kellam

The Listed Lexus Andrew Ramsden (2800m) offers the second golden ticket into the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

First run as the Duke Of Norfolk Stakes in 1964 over two miles (approximately 3200m), the same distance as the Lexus Melbourne Cup. No horse has completed the Andrew Ramsden-Melbourne Cup double in the same year, however What A Nuisance was able to win the Duke Of Norfolk Stakes in 1984 and return to Flemington 18 months later to claim the 1985 Melbourne Cup.

In 2019, the Andrew Ramsden was reduced to a distance of 2800 metres with the winner offered a golden ticket into the Lexus Melbourne Cup. The Anthony Freedman-trained Steel Prince won an epic battle to the line with race favourite and main rival Surprise Baby. Jockey Damien Oliver was met with thunderous applause and was chaired through the mounting yard by his winning connections who had secured a spot for their horse in the great race.


7yo Brown Gelding by EXCELEBRATION (IRE) from RARE SUBJECT

Trainer: Richard Cully

Career: 19-7:6:1


Won 2024 Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) – Launceston

Won 2024 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) – Morphettville


The Lexus Melbourne Cup dream is well and truly alive for the connections of Excelleration after winning a thrilling Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) for former jumps jockey turned trainer Richard Cully who is based in Ballarat.

A few niggling injuries and setbacks have hindered Cully’s opportunities to get the horse out to the sort of distances he believed he would excel at. After showing promise early in his racing career, Excelleration has slowly gone through his grades and has continued to raise the bar at each start.

He took out the Great Western Cup (1950m) before heading down to Tasmania and claiming the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) on the way to his Adelaide Cup success.

Excelleration is another graduate of the Flemington Winter Racing Series as a past winner of a heat of the Banjo Paterson Series winning over 2000 metres in June of last year.

He seems to be over his issues now and is showing his full potential and will be one of the main chances to claim a golden ticket into the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The Map


Trainer: Dan Clarken & Oopy MacGillivray

Career: 27-8:3:3


4th 2022 Group 3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m) – Morphettville

Won 2023 The Macca’s Run (2800m) – Flemington

Won 2024 Listed JRA Plate (2006m) – Morphettville

2nd 2024 Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) – Morphettville

2nd 2024 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) – Morphettville

Won 2024 Group 3 Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) – Morphettville


The Map announced herself as a stayer going places during last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival when she put on a dominant staying performance to win The Macca’s Run (2800m) on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day by four-and-a-quarter lengths.

Although she won her first start as a three-year-old over 1400 metres, it seems the further she goes, the better she gets. She finished fourth in the Group 3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m) behind The Amazonian at the end of her three-year-old season and finished her spring the following year winning the Sky Beau Series Final by four-and-a-half lengths, also over 2500 metres.

Connections tried to get her into the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup with a run in the Geelong Cup, getting back in the field as is her normal pattern, but she was unable to make an impression, dashing the hopes of a Cup weight penalty and a subsequent spot in the big race. She still made her presence felt on the first Tuesday in November with her emphatic victory in The Macca’s Run, showing what The ‘real’ Map is capable of.

Her Adelaide runs since that day have been fantastic, winning the Listed JRA Plate (2006m) and Group 3 Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) as well as finishing runner up in both the Group 3 Lord Reims Stakes (2600m) and Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m), when only narrowly beaten by the Ballarat-trained Excelleration.

She’s proven she loves Flemington, the spring and anything over a mile and a half. The Map is definitely a mare you want to keep close tabs on.

Samuel Langhorne (NZ)

4yo Bay Gelding by SHOCKING from NOSECONDPRIZE (NZ)

Trainer: Mick Kent

Career: 11-4:1:2


Won 2024 William Newton VC Handicap (2500m) – Flemington


If ever a horse should be handed a golden ticket into the Melbourne Cup based on name alone, it’d be hard to go past Samuel Langhorne. The reality is the golden ticket for that has already gone to Mark Twain after he won the Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m).

The connection between the two horses comes from American writer Samuel Langhorne, who went by the pen name, Mark Twain. He wrote of the Melbourne Cup;

'Nowhere in my travels have I encountered a festival of the people that has such magnetic appeal to the whole nation. The Cup astonishes me.' - Mark Twain

Further to that, Samuel Langhorne is out of Pentire (GB) mare, Nosecondprize (NZ) who is out of Pentire (GB) mare, Pinders Prize (NZ), the dam of, you guessed it, Mark Twain. Adding to the poetry, both horses are by 2009 Melbourne Cup wining stallion, Shocking, making them three-quarter brothers on the dam side.

Samuel Langhorne is going to need more than poetry to get himself into the race that stops a nation™. The lightly raced gelding has strung three wins on end this year, his most recent being at Flemington on ANZAC Day over 2500 metres in the William Newton VC Handicap.

He is definitely a stayer on the rise and is in the capable hands of Mick Kent.

Berkeley Square

4yo Bay Gelding by TERRITORIES (IRE) from BAHAMAS

Trainer: Dan O’Sullivan

Career: 18-5:3:1


Won 2022 Listed Exford Plate (1400m) – Flemington

4th 2022 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) – Caulfield

Won 2022 Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) – Moonee Valley

2nd 2024 Australian Cup Prelude (1800m) – Flemington

Won 2024 VOBIS Gold Heath (2000m) – Caulfield


A promising juvenile has had a recent return to form, winning his first race since he won the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) back in the spring of 2022. Starting an easing favourite, he produced a sustained run from the back of a small field, under a patient ride from Luke Currie.

After missing nearly a full year due to and pedal bone injury in his foot, trainer Dan O’Sullivan was delighted to see the horse show his obvious talent and get back to somewhere near his best.

His return to Flemington this time will be the first time his run past 2500 metres, the last time being the 2022 Victoria Derby in which he was well-fancied, finishing three-and-a-half lengths sixth behind the Chris Waller-trained, Manzoice.

O’Sullivan believes the horse may be looking for further now and puts his Derby blemish down to immaturity, he’s always believed he would be a horse that would excel over a distance.

He was an exceptionally talented three-year-old and is just starting to find his feet up against open age horses.

Esti Feny (HUN)

9yo Bay Gelding by PIGEON CATCHER (IRE) from EJTIHAAD (IRE)

Trainer: Matthew Smith

Career: 34-8:4:3


Won 2018 HUN Gd1 Hungarian Derby (2400m) – Kincsem Park (Budapest) HUN

Won 2018 HUN Gd1 Kincsem Stakes (2400m) – Kincsem Park (Budapest) HUN

Won 2018 HUN Gd2 Hungarian St Leger (2800m) – Kincsem Park (Budapest) HUN

4th 2022 Group 2 Q22 (2200m) – Eagle Farm

3rd 2022 Group 3 Tatt’s Cup (2400m) – Eagle Farm

Won 2023 Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) – Gosford

Won 2024 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) – Mornington


It’s rare to have a Hungarian Derby winner at Flemington, possibly even unprecedented, but Esti Feny has made himself at home in Australia, after a brief stint in Germany, and into the care of Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith, who now also has a training base at Flemington.

Amazing when you consider only around 100 thoroughbreds are foaled every year in Hungary.

His first Australian win came some 46 months after his arrival into the country, taking out the Listed Gosford Cup (2100m) at healthy odds. It was a triumph for the stable who had been extremely patient with the gelding after spending two full years off the scene through injury after his first Australian start in 2020 in the Canberra Mile (1600m).

He ran in the highest-rated Australian Cups in twenty years behind Cascadian and Pride Of Jenni and returned to the winner’s circle, again at healthy odds, in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m). The win handed Esti Feny ballot exemption from the 2024 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Esti Feny is engaged to run in the Gosford Cup (2100m) on Saturday, the scene of his first Australian win.

He is yet to miss a place at 2400 metres and beyond since landing in Australia and his staying prowess could well keep him right in this.

Garachico (GB)

5YO Bay Gelding by RIBCHESTER (IRE) from FRINE (IRE)

Trainer: Dom Sutton

Career: 19-1:2:3


3rd 2022 Group 3 Prix Noailles (2100m) – Longchamp FR

4th 2022 Group 2 Prix Hocquart (2400m) – Chantilly FR

3rd 2023 The Macca’s Run (2800m) – Flemington

2nd 2024 William Newton VC Handicap (2500m) – Flemington


In the care of a young up-and-coming trainer, Garachico started his career in France, winning his second start over 1800 metres as a two-year-old. It would be his only win to date, placing in the Group 3 Prix Noailles (2100m) at Longchamp in Paris at the beginning of his three-year-old season.

He was purchased by Sutton in late 2022 and was trained by Leon & Troy Corstens, where Sutton was assistant trainer at Flemington. He’s run some great races since his arrival to Australia without winning and has placed in his last two starts over 2500 metres, his last outing being at Flemington behind Samuel Langhorne.

He finished third behind a dominant The Map in The Macca’s Run (2800m) on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day last year with The Map running second in the Adelaide Cup (3200m) and winning the Port Adelaide Cup (2500m) comfortably last start.

Garachico has settled into his new stable well and is a stayer on the rise. It is important to note that Gold Trip had only won one race in France before he claimed the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Captain Envious (NZ)

5yo Bay Gelding by SAVABEEL from MY CENTRAL (ITY)

Trainer: Paul Preusker

Career: 20-6:3:3


3rd 2022 Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m) – Flemington

Won 2023 Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m) – Ballarat

Won 2024 Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) – Caulfield


Paul Preusker will be looking to go one better in his bid to land ballot exemption into the Lexus Melbourne Cup. In 2019, he was the trainer of Surprise Baby who narrowly missed golden ticket glory at the hands of Steel Prince, losing by a nose in what was a spectacular finish to the 2800-metre event.

Captain Envious appeared at the Melbourne Cup Carnival back in 2022, running third behind import Soulcombe, who went on to finish a barnstorming second in the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup behind Without A Fight.

Since that run, most of Captain Envious’ form has been around 2000 metres and the 2800 metres of the Lexus Andrew Ramsden will be the furthest he’s gone since that Queen’s Cup run.

He was brilliant in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) two starts back, taking a tight gap and pushing through to win well, registering a second stakes victory after his Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m) win at the end of 2023.

Last start in the Mornington Cup was an even effort behind Esti Feny. Tearaway leader Deny Knowledge set a solid tempo and Captain Envious stuck to the inside and held his ground in the run to the line.

Going up in trip and heading back to Flemington, it will be interesting to see how the Savabeel gelding fares, it could be the perfect opportunity for Preusker to finally land that golden ticket.

Good Oil (NZ)

5yo Grey Gelding by DALGHAR (FR) from SACRED COUNTRY (NZ)

Trainer: Andrew Forsman

Career: 27-4:6:3


3rd 2024 Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) – Ellerslie NZ

2nd 2024 Group 2 Auckland Cup (3200m) – Ellerslie NZ


Kiwi galloper fresh off his first Australian start in the Listed Mornington Cup, Good Oil has mostly been held back to go through the grades in his 27-start career and only recently has had the bar raised, acquitting himself well in two of New Zealand’s premier staying contests.

The gunmetal grey’s first attempt at stakes grade was a credible third behind Asterix in the Avondale Cup over 2400 metres at Ellerslie. He’s likes to lead or sit on a strong speed and was gallant in defeat in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m), staying on strongly for third.

He chased the leader all the way over 2200 metres, again at Ellerslie, narrowly going down to My Maebelline Girl before a fantastic run in the Group 2 Auckland Cup (3200m) where he had to work across from a wide gate to again track My Maebelline Girl everywhere she went.

Upon straightening, he raced to the lead, again staying on strongly only to be overhauled in the last 100 metres by New Zealand Cup winner Mahrajaan. The form line looks strong through Mark Twain who flew home into third before claiming a golden ticket at Flemington when he won the Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m) on TAB Australian Cup Day.

His first run in Australia wasn’t up to his usual standard but there may have been excuses. It was an oddly run race with Deny Knowledge racing well ahead of the pack, leaving Good Oil to chase from the 800-metre mark and also being hampered by a tiring Hopeful. His feature New Zealand runs were too good to ignore so he should get another chance.

Nominations for the Listed Lexus Andrew Ramsden close Monday 13th of May at 12pm.