Despite a second-placed finish for Ashrun in the Geelong Cup, the Ciaron Maher trained horse will feature in the Melbourne Cup in just under a fortnight.
The gelding needed a top-three finish to meet the race’s ballot clause and snuck into second in a photo finish during Wednesday’s race which was won by 10-year-old Amade.
“It’s a bit like winning a race, I’m really chuffed,” Ashrun owner Jamie Lovett told Racing.com.
“(I was looking at the photo finish thinking) ‘Don’t run fourth’.
“I’m delighted for the owners. It’s a group of owners who have been with us since the start.
“To get him back to a Melbourne Cup (is incredible). Hats off to the Maher-(David) Eustace camp, to rehab the horse after three years is incredible.
“I think he gets to Flemington on the big day, he’s probably not a winning chance but I can see him running top five, top six.”
Veteran stayer Amade took out the $500,000 Geelong Cup after the inspirational ride from Zac Spain and although the gelding is entered for the Melbourne Cup the owner says it’s unlikely to run.
“I doubt (he’ll run) but we’ll keep the dream alive and we’ve got the Queen Elizabeth earmarked,” owner Phillip Stokes said.