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Ad R8 The Map ridden by Damian Lane wins the Lexus Andrew Ramsden at Flemington. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

The Map lands Melbourne Cup berth

18 May 2024 Written by Racing & Sports

The Map has secured a Lexus Melbourne Cup berth with her victory in the Andrew Ramsden at Flemington.

Six months of planning has paid off with The Map earning a 'Golden Ticket' into the Melbourne Cup

The Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) at Flemington on Saturday grants the winner a ballot exemption into the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November. 

Trainers Dan Clarken and Oopy Macgillivray planned their assault on Saturday's race after The Map won 'the other' staying race at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day last year. 

Sent out the $3.90 favourite under Damian Lane, The Map held off a late challenge by Mostly Cloudy ($6.50) by a half-length with Excelleration ($6.50) a nose away third. 

The Melbourne Cup is 171 days away, and MacGillivray said The Map would have a three-or four-week break before preparing for the Melbourne Cup. 

"We'll let her chill and then start again," MacGillivray said. 

"We're in the Melbourne Cup, now we have to get her fit and we don't have to run her and get any weight penalties. 

"That would be our first plan. 

"She just missed out last year, but in our heart of hearts, we always felt she was up to it." 

The Map is a rising six-year-old and is still reaching full maturity. 

MacGillivray said continued work had been instrumental in producing the product The Map now is. 

"She's kept eating, as she just keeps getting more and more self-assured," MacGillivray said. 

"Every time she comes out, she does it a bit easier, and it was a beautiful ride from Damian Lane

"He sat in there amongst all those horses, he didn't get anxious, he let her do her thing. 

"Once she was out, there was no stopping her." 

MacGillivray did have a few anxious moments inside the final 200m when The Map was fighting out the finish with Excelleration. 

The Richard Cully-trained Excelleration nosed out The Map in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville in March and MacGillivray had flashbacks of that finish. 

It is expected Jamie Kah will stick with The Map in the Melbourne Cup having ridden the mare on three occasions, for two wins and the close Adelaide Cup defeat. 

Kah rode the mare to victory in Adelaide on May 4, but commitments in Brisbane forced her north on Saturday. 

"It's Jamie's ride for sure, but I'm happy to be the fill-in in a $500,000 race and get the job done," Lane said. 

"It's an important race for them to get into the Melbourne Cup and they can plot a path now. 

"She settles really well in the run, stays well, and she got the job done well today."