Mostly Cloudy chasing Lexus Melbourne Cup start

1 November 2023 Written by Racing & Sports

A start in the Lexus Melbourne Cup is up for grabs for the winner of the Archer Stakes at Flemington.

The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Mostly Cloudy is making a last-ditched effort to find a start in the Melbourne Cup

A place is up for grabs in the Group 1 race over 3200m on Tuesday for the winner of Saturday's Group 3 Archer Stakes (2500m) at Flemington

Just seven horses have accepted for Saturday's race of which five are racing for a ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup. 

The field limit for Tuesday's Melbourne Cup is 24, but 32 horses remain in contention for a start. 

At this stage Ladies Man is the highest of Saturday's runners in the Cup Order of Entry, sitting 25th and is followed by Athapascan (26), United Nations (27), Kalapour (30) and Mostly Cloudy (32). 

The remaining two horses in the Archer – Gan Teorainn and Speak – are not entered for the Cup. 

Mostly Cloudy won over Saturday's course and distance on September 16 before finishing fourth in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) on October 7. 

Busutiin said the small field and a liking for Flemington gives Mostly Cloudy his chance of gaining a last-minute start in the Melbourne Cup. 

"He likes Flemington, he likes the distance and he's going very well," Busuttin told RSN. 

"We were looking at the easiest way to try and slot in. 

"We looked at the Moonee Valley Cup, but we thought that would be strong enough, and then even the Bendigo Cup, but then we thought The Archer might be weaker than that and it looks that way. 

"We know he stays. 

"Is he classy enough to win a Melbourne Cup, probably no, but he's won over two miles a couple of times in Europe, and I think if he got into the Cup he would run well and be in that bracket where you think you could run in the top ten."