The Lloyd Williams stable’s Cups prospects leapt dramatically early on Saturday with a two state double, Mourayan taking out the Group Three Craven Plate at Randwick and Tanby scoring a narrow success over comeback galloper Maluckyday in the listed Bart Cummings Stakes at Flemington.
The latter won by a length from the Team Hawkes-trained Maluckyday, with Pat Carey’s game mare Dame Claire a head behind in third place.
The winner could now play a role in the big Cups races over the next month, with the Caulfield Cup or the Moonee Valley Cup as his next targets.
Wayne Hawkes was delighted with the return to top form of the one time crock Maluckyday, who, two years ago, ran second to Americain in the Melbourne Cup before succumbing to a series of ailments including pneumonia, which kept him off the track for a year.
The race generated controversy even before it began after stewards at Flemington scratched the pre-post favourite Exceptionally after a plea from the mare’s trainer that she might break down if forced to run on a firm track, which was rated a good (3).
Trainer Terry O’Sullivan made application to stewards before today’s first race, claiming that the predicted wet weather had not arrived and so he would be risking his mare if he ran.
’’If she goes around today and she pulls up sore, we’re out of business,’’ O’Sullivan said to chief steward Terry Bailey.
’’We had major issues last spring and ended up at the Ballarat vet clinic.’’
Bailey told O’Sullivan that the rule allowed a horse to be a late scratching only if there has been an upgrade or downgrade to the track condition. ’’But we have acceded to your request,’’ he told the relieved trainer.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.