Connections of Irish mare True Self are counting on horses higher up the ballot order not being accepted for the Caulfield Cup as their best hope to gain a start in the $5 million race.
The Willie Mullins-trained mare has been scratched from Saturday’s Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield which affords the winner a ballot exemption into Saturday week’s Cup.
True Self was brought to Australia by OTI Racing for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups after they reached an agreement with the mare’s Irish owners.
Of the 14 runners remaining in the Herbert Power, 13 are still in Caulfield Cup contention, although the trainers of Steel Prince and Ventura Storm have indicated they will bypass the race while Sweet Thomas is nominated for the Melbourne Cup only.
True Self’s owners will be cheering for Self Sense or Qalfila, already safely in the Caulfield Cup field, along with Sweet Thomas or Glory Days, 24th in the ballot order, on Saturday as all other Herbert Power runners sit below True Self who is 28th.
The final ballot exemption race into the Caulfield Cup is Wednesday’s Coongy Cup (2000m) after which the final field is announced and barriers drawn.
The Coongy Cup has attracted 37 nominations including five Caulfield Cup entries.