Kerrin McEvoy’s red-letter week was made even sweeter yesterday after the Melbourne Racing Club gave his Caulfield Cup (2400m) mount Julienas the nod over import Forgotten Voice for the last spot in Saturday’s major.
Gai Waterhouse’s Colin Stephen winner, which subsequently chased home Seville in The Metropolitan, will take the 18th and final spot in the field.
Forgotten Voice, with Brett Prebble booked, was made first emergency with Sneak A Peek, Ibicenco and Oasis Bloom the other three horses relying on scratchings to gain a start in the $2.5 million feature.
Darley’s retained rider McEvoy had already enjoyed a flying start to the Melbourne spring carnival when partnering Long John to victory in the Caulfield Guineas on Saturday.
And now he’ll have the chance to ride three Group 1 winners in the space of a week should Guelph, a dominant $1.35 favourite, win the Thousand Guineas as expected at Caulfield today.
Julienas’s elevation into the field was only made possible after the connections of Eagle Farm Cup winner Quintessential retired the mare yesterday morning.
It left the MRC to agonise over whether to include former European jumper Forgotten Voice in the final field at the expense of Waterhouse’s tough stayer.
Forgotten Voice’s last start was a win in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood over the Caulfield Cup distance.
Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said the decision was difficult. ‘‘Both horses were equally qualified, but Julienas’s performance to finish second in the Metropolitan gave him the nod,’’ Carpenter said.
McEvoy has already won the Melbourne Cup with Viewed (2000) and the Golden Slipper on Sepoy (2011), leaving the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate as the only majors he hasn’t collected in Australian racing’s grand slam.
Tommy Berry will partner Waterhouse’s other Caulfield Cup starter Glencadam Gold. The barrier draw will take place in Melbourne this morning.
Early betting on the Caulfield Cup has Chris Waller’s Hawkspur as the warm favourite with all agencies.
As much as $4.50 is on offer with Ladbrokes while import Dandino is on the second line of betting with Ladbrokes ($6).
The only other runners under double figures are Royal Descent ($8.50) - a stablemate of Hawkspur - and Kiwi star Silent Achiever at $9.
Lloyd Williams has a vast hand in the Melbourne Cup but his sole Caulfield Cup runner Fawkner is a $15 chance.
Hawkspur will be ridden by veteran Jimmy Cassidy. Already a two-time Caulfield Cup winner, Cassidy will take his lifetime Group 1 tally to 100 should he salute the judge.
His most recent cup success was in 2000 on Diatribe.
Race 10 — 5.45pm Saturday BMW Caulfield Cup (G1) 2400m
(Apprentices cannot claim) Prize money: $2,500,000; 1st $1,500,000 and trophies $50,000; 2nd
$375,000; 3rd $200,000; 4th $110,000; 5th $90,000; 6th-8th $75,000.
1 — X650 Manighar (tdmh)L Nolen 58
2 — X221 Dandino (dm)Craig Williams 56.5
3 — 0X50 Ethiopia (d)R McLeod 56.5
4 — X805 Waldpark (d)B Avdulla 56
5 — X820 Glencadam Gold (d)55.5
6 — X984 Mr Moet (m)J Bowman 55.5
7 — X753 Fawkner (mn)Nicholas Hall 55
8 — 11X7 Jet Away (tm)D Oliver 55
9 — X077 Kelinni (dm)S W Arnold 55
10 — 0415 Moriarty (d)C Newitt 55
11 — 7000 My Quest For Peace (dh)C W Brown 55
12 — 7145 Hawkspur (dm)J A Cassidy 54.5
13 — 4312 Julienas (d)54.5
14 — 1210 Mr O’Ceirin (tmh)D Dunn 54.5
15 — X066 Silent Achiever (dm)G Boss 54.5
16 — 2320 Royal Descent (dmn)N Rawiller 54
17 — 5070 Tuscan Fire (dm)53.5
18 — X738 Dear Demi (m)J B Mc Donald 53
19 — 1211 Forgotten Voice (d)54.5
20 — 0543 Sneak A Peek (dm)54
21 — 5180 Ibicenco (th)54
22 — 9252 Oasis Bloom 51.5