Racing to be a rebel in the Andrew Ramsden
A start in the Melbourne Cup is up for grabs for the winner of the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington.
The dream for trainers Amy and Ash Yargi would be to secure a start in the Melbourne Cup for their stayer Rebel Racer.
But the pair are also realistic and have set their immediate goal for the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm next month.
However, should Rebel Racer win the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington on Saturday, then the Melbourne Cup dream would be alive.
Success in the Andrew Ramsden provides the winner a ballot exemption into the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November.
Rebel Racer has already shown his staying prowess with victory in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville in March which was the geldings third start for the Yargis.
At his most recent start, Rebel Racer finished second last in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on April 22, but Ash Yargi is prepared to put the pen through that run.
"Craig (Newitt) felt like the horse was at his top the whole way," Yargi said.
"He didn't get a breather at any stage, whereas in the Adelaide Cup the horse was ridden in a similar manner, but Craig said he got an 800-metre rest which was all he needed.
"Stepping up to 2800 metres is ideal for him and we're just hoping he can run a nice race and if he wins that's a nice bonus."
Yargi said Rebel Racer will need luck from his wide draw – 16 in a capacity field of 22 that includes four emergencies – especially as the stayer is an on-pace galloper.
"It is a big field and a strong race, but when we looked at the Adelaide Cup, it was quite a strong race as well and he ran one of the fastest Adelaide Cups recorded so far," Yargi said.
"I did think when the barriers came out to not have the same scenario that happened at Mornington, so we'll try and avoid that by taking a forward position but with a sit could be an option for him.
"We'd love to have a horse in the Melbourne Cup, but the dynamic of that race has changed over the years, especially with the imports coming over.
"I feel a horse like him maybe 30 years ago would have been the perfect Melbourne Cup horse.
"But we feel the Brisbane Cup would be right up his alley and then something like the Sandown Cup at the end of the spring.
"But plans may change if we're successful on Saturday."
The road to the Lexus Melbourne Cup continues on Saturday 13 May when The Listed Lexus Andrew Ramsden provides another opportunity to win a Golden Ticket into Australia's most famous thoroughbred race. Tickets selling fast, don't miss out!