White Marlin Begins Cup Journey at Sandown

Last Updated 4 Apr 2023 | Commercial content | 18+
White Marlin Begins Cup Journey at Sandown

RACING MELBOURNE CUP, Tim Clark rides White Marlin to win race two the Macca s Run during the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup. Photo: IMAGO

Even this early in the year we’re getting a sense of how the Melbourne Cup field might just shape up.

We know that Floating Artist is beginning a comeback, while we await news on Earl Of Tyrone who is to miss the Sydney Cup.

Now this weekend, we should know more about whether we’ll see favoured horse White Marlin when we get to watch the Melbourne Cup live on November 7. Gai Watrerhouse and Adrian Bott’s plan is now coming together.

Easter Cup the First Port of Call

Way back in November last year, White Marlin’s trainers plotted a route to the Melbourne Cup 2023.

Still unbeaten after five runs, three of which have come in Australia, White Marlin has already scored on Melbourne Cup Day. In 2022, he destroyed his field in a minor stayers’ race over 2800 metres. Since then, he’s essentially been booked in for the big one.

Now, Waterhouse and Bott’s plan can come to fruition. White Marlin has been nominated for the Easter Cup on Saturday. A Group 3 race, the Easter Cup is staged over 2100 metres at Sandown.

A win there is the ideal, though this is a prep for another slightly bigger target in May. Flemington is calling once more.

Andrew Ramsden Could Guarantee Cup Place

After the Easter Cup, the main target for White Marlin this autumn is the Andrew Ramsden Stakes.

Though run at Listed level, one lower than the Easter Cup, the race at Flemington over 2800 metres offers ballot exemption for the Melbourne Cup. The race is due off on May 13.

Many trainers target races offering “golden tickets” for the Melbourne Cup. Gai Waterhouse has admitted this was always the plan. She has spoken recently to say that the team is trying to get White Marlin to qualify early. The Andrew Ramsden is their best chance to make this happen, the Easter Cup being a great stepping stone.

Teammates Challenging for Favouritism

The Easter Cup hasn’t been used an awful lot to start horses off on their Melbourne Cup journey. It seems that it is perfect for White Marlin, however.

Gai Waterhouse is particularly keen on Sandown as a track. She reckons this the perfect place to start off her horse.

White Marlin may well make his mark at Sandown, but he has a big challenger in the market and that is his stablemate Goldman. That horse has already punched his ticket for the Melbourne Cup. He won the Roy Higgins Quality, a Listed race over 2600 metres last month.

Speaking about her big two, Waterhouse understandably did not split them. Both labelled as “talented”, the two are different. Goldman has a little more filling out to do, while White Marlin is closer to the finished article. It’ll be interesting to see the market after White Marlin reappears.

Read more news about the Melbourne Cup.

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