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Ken Keys will be hoping that his his Melbourne Cup aspirant, Like A Carousel, can continue his stable’s hot run of form when the chestnut contests the Group Three Lexus Stakes at Flemington this Saturday.
The five-year-old gelding is currently $201 with Sportingbet to win the race that stops the nation for which he is 35th in the order of entry, meaning he needs to win the Lexus to earn a ballot exempt entry into the 3200 metre handicap. The son of Helike and Carnival Ride (by Spinning World) will jump from barrier eight on Saturday and is currently $17 with Sportingbet to earn his ticket to the ‘big one’.
It will be no easy task, with 12 of the 13 runners in the Lexus all in the same position as Keys and Like A Carousel. Signoff is the $2.80 favourite to take out the mile feature after his last start third in the Group Three David Jones Cup.
OTI racing already have four gallopers in the top 24 for the Melbourne Cup with Brambles, Lidari, Au Revoir and Gatewood all expected to take their place next Tuesday, but they will be hoping for a fifth with Lord Van Percy contesting the Lexus and also needing the win to make the field. The English raider, $7.50 to win on Saturday, has had one start in Australia, running fifth in the Group Two Herbert Power Handicap at Moonee Valley on October 11. Lord Van Percy is currently $41 to win the Melbourne Cup with Sportingbet.
The winner of the Herbert Power earlier this month, Big Money, is rated a $26 shot for the Melbourne Cup with Sportingbet, but he also needs the win in the Lexus to gain a start. He is at $8 to win on Saturday and seize his spot in the Cup field while Caravan Rolls On, the winner of last week’s Geelong Cup, is $9 to score on Saturday and is also $26 with Sportingbet to salute in Australia’s most prestigious event.
One thing working in Like A Carousel’s favour is that Ken Keys is currently in outstanding form. Keys collected the top prize in Wednesday’s listed Bendigo Cup over 2400 metres when Bring Something put in a determined effort to claim the $250,000 feature.
Keys also trains boom three-year-old Rich Enuff which has won three from five, including the Group Two Danehill Stakes and Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude, and most recently ran second in the Group One Caulfield Guineas on October 11.
The chestnut colt will also line up on Saturday at Flemington where he will exit barrier 10 in the Coolmore Stud Stakes over 1200 metres. He is currently the $3 favourite with Sportingbet.