Imported galloper Caravan Rolls On has taken a step closer to gaining a Melbourne Cup start with victory in the Geelong Cup.
Caravan Rolls On became the fifth successive northern hemisphere-bred stayer import to win the 2400-metre race, following in the footsteps of Americain (2010), Dunaden (2011), Gatewood (2012) and Ibicenco last year.
Ridden by Craig Williams, Caravan Rolls On scored by three quarters of a length from Marksmanship with Like A Carousel a long neck away third.
Caravan Rolls On is 45th in the order of entry into the Melbourne Cup and Racing Victoria Handicapper Greg Carpenter will announce a penalty – if any – on Thursday.
Americain and Dunaden both received 0.5kg penalties for their Geelong Cup victories before going onto claim the Melbourne Cup while the lighter weighted Gatewood and Ibicenco were both penalised 1kg.
Trainer Danny O’Brien only took over the training of Caravan Rolls On for his current preparation after the entire had raced in Melbourne last spring, registering a win in the 3200-metre Sandown Cup for Peter Chapple-Hyam.
“I was going to give him a run or two in the autumn and he was just taking a while to adjust,” O’Brien said.
“He wasn’t enjoying the really hard ground.
“I spoke to the Qatar guys and said if you can give this horse a bit longer break he’ll be spot on for the spring.”
O’Brien said Caravan Rolls On had been in work at his Barwon Heads property since May.
Geoffrey Faber, the Australian manager for Qatar Bloodstock, said the Geelong Cup holds a special place for Sheikh Fahad Al Thani who scored with Dunaden.
Williams said Caravan Rolls On would not be out of a place in the Melbourne Cup if he was to make his way into the race.
“He runs two miles, he’s in great form and this race is a good lead-up race,” said Williams.
Placegetters Marksmanship and Like A Carousel are likely to head to The Lexus (2500m) at Flemington on November 1 in an attempt to secure a Melbourne Cup berth.
Cup plans for Sertorius are over with the gelding heading for a spell after an arduous autumn campaign eventually took its toll with the $4.80 favourite finishing in eighth position.
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