David Hayes-trained English import Motivado has won the Group 3 Queens Cup (2500m) at Morphettville on Saturday and in the process qualified for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
The 5YO was formerly trained by Sir Mark Prescott at Newmarket. He was sold to Australian interest after he finished 4th as favourite in the Ebor Handicap last August.
Since he arrived in Australia, he has two starts finishing 5th at Caulfield 1st up before his victory in the Queens Cup last Saturday. He has now passed the ballot for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
In other news, the 2012 early Melbourne Cup favourite Mount Athos won the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2700m) at Chester by 9 lengths on the weekend.
The Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos was a luckless runner in last year’s Melbourne Cup in which he flashed home to finish 5th behind Green Moon.
Cumani said attention will now turn to how he can get Mount Athos to Melbourne in the best possible shape for this year’s staying championship without catching the attention of the handicapper.
“It’s going to be a balancing act, we’d obviously like to win a couple more races if we can with him but at the same time we want to fly under the radar so that he doesn’t pick up too much weight.”
Cumani said Mount Athos would have two or three runs leading into the Melbourne Cup as the gelding races best when he’s fresh and his races spaced.
He said the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2400m) at Royal Ascot is likely to be the next start for the 6YO son of Montjeu.
By Owens Wong