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Gai Waterhouse has scratched Tullamore from Saturday’s Lexus Stakes with the gelding almost certain of a Melbourne Cup start with the scratchings of Linton and Sahara Sun.

Their withdrawals move Tullamore to 23rd in the order of entry for the 24-horse field with the winners of the Lexus and the Mackinnon guaranteed a start.

There is still a possibility he could miss a start if the winners of the last two exempt races are headed to the Cup but Waterhouse is happy the stayer has done enough to gain a spot in the Melbourne Cup final field.

If he had to race in the Lexus, Tullamore would have fronted up three weekends in a row prior to Tuesday’s Cup.

Five-year-old Tullamore, winner of the Brisbane Cup earlier this year, has finished third in the Caulfield Cup and second in the Moonee Valley Cup at his past two starts.

He is at $26 in Melbourne Cup betting with TAB Sportsbet.

Waterhouse still has Sydney Cup runner-up Older Than Time in Saturday’s Lexus, with the mare already inside the top 24 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.

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