Three scratch from Cup meet
THREE horses have pulled out of this afternoon’s open handicap race to bring the field to just three horses.
Lackadosh, Haizum and Final Crunch were all scratched yesterday, leaving Suntanned, Red Roller and Fuhrmidable to compete for the $4000 prize money at Thabeban Racecourse this afternoon.
Red Roller trainer Desiree Gill said jockeys would be assessing new plans in the lesser field.
"That makes it very hard tactically. It’s even harder than a full field," she said.
Fuhrmidable trainer Janet Melvin agreed.
"It’ll make it very interesting. Those races are usually harder than racing a full field," Melvin said.
The field for the race, the final of five at Thabeban Racecourse for the Melbourne Cup Race Day, originally featured six horses.
Haizum was one of the favourites to take out the race behind Suntanned, who will be going for a historic 20th win today.
Gill said she believed all the pressure would be on Kayla Cross, the young jockey atop Suntanned.
"He’s going for his 20th win so all the pressure will be on Kayla," Gill said.
"But I think Red Roller can win it."
The race will be a major challenge for three jockeys short of racing experience.
Cross, 19, will be up against Kazuki Mizobe, 19, and 18-year-old Dean McWhinney.
"It’ll be interesting to see what the kids do," she said.
With a small field in the open race, crowds will be keen to see excitement in the earlier races.
Caloundra trainer Hilary Dew will try to open his account in the first race when Canadian Chief hits the track in the 1090m class 2 handicap.
The horse was scratched from the third race of the day, where Monte Primo was the favourite.
Gill will ride Radjharah as it makes its racing debut in Bundaberg in the second race.
He will face stiff competition from All Diehard, the favourite to take out the 850m race.
One of the highlights of the day should come in the fourth race, with six horses scheduled to battle out the mile.
Racing starts at 1pm at Thabeban today.