Oceanographer, riden by Kerrin McEvoy, after winning the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington.
Oceanographer, riden by Kerrin McEvoy, after winning the Lexus Stakes on Derby Day at Flemington. MAL FAIRCLOUGH

Lexus winner won't have troubles backing up, says trainer

ENGLISH trainer Charlie Appleby arrived in Australia in time to see Oceanographer win his way into the Melbourne Cup with a come-from-behind win in the Lexus Stakes.

Third behind stablemate Qewy in the Geelong Cup, Oceanographer needed to win yesterday's Lexus (2500m) at Flemington to gain an automatic Cup berth after hovering on the borderline.

Oceanographer's Lexus win means Appleby will have two runners - along with Qewy - for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation, which will have five all up.

After the win, Oceanographer was immediately elevated to $5 second favourite for the Cup behind Australian Godolphin horse Hartnell, which is trained by John O'Shea.

The Sheikh's other runners are Beautiful Romance and Secret Number from the Saeed bin Suroor stable.

"Whether he can win I don't know, but I do know he can back up,” Appleby said.

Tom Melbourne ($4.40) led the whole race but for the final 50m, going down by a long neck to the $2.70 favourite.

Another O'Shea-trained horse, Tally, was third but is not likely to run in the Cup, although he is qualified.

Kerrin McEvoy, who was aboard Oceanographer in the Lexus, has a previous commitment to the Lloyd Williams-owned Almandin on Tuesday, and Chad Schofield will ride Oceanographer in the Cup.

APNZ



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