David Hayes admits there is a twofold purpose in his decision to commit Ventura Storm to a seven-day back-up in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
Ventura Storm sits 27th in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and a win with a likely penalty would be enough to secure a start at Flemington.
The import contests Saturday’s 2500m race a week after being caught with the backmarkers when finishing 10th in a slowly run Caulfield Cup.
“He’s a horse that I wanted to give two mile-and-a-half races to before the Melbourne Cup and this fits in nicely,” Hayes said.
“He didn’t have a race last week.
“I reckon he’ll race in a much more handy position and he’ll run a much more competitive race.
“It’s a good Moonee Valley Cup this year and if he happened to win the race and got a penalty that wouldn’t hurt either in getting into the Melbourne Cup.”
The Lindsay Park stable has poured the work into Ventura Storm this campaign.
And Hayes believes the stayer is going better than at the same stage last year where he finished 13th in the Caulfield Cup and 21st in the Melbourne Cup.
Hayes, chasing a second Melbourne Cup after Jeune’s win in 1994, hopes to have two runners in this year’s race.
After a gallop at Moonee Valley on Tuesday it was decided to bypass Saturday with Jaameh to concentrate on next week’s Hotham Handicap at Flemington.
Jaameh is 59th in the latest Cup order and the Hotham provides the winner with a ballot exemption.
Jaameh has two 2500m victories under his belt at Flemington and was a last-start second to Avilius in The Bart Cummings.
“We’ll give him his shot in the Hotham,” Hayes said.
“If he was to win and get in the Cup with a lightweight, I reckon he’d give it a shake.”