The spring fortunes of promising stayer Lamasery have been resurrected to the point where his trainer wants to press for a Melbourne Cup start.
Lamasery will make a belated southern debut when he steps out in the $200,000 Bendigo Cup on Wednesday.
The Bendigo Cup has turned out to be trainer David Vandyke’s only Victorian chance to have the Metropolitan placegetter book a Melbourne Cup start.
“We have encountered a few speed humps since the Metropolitan,” Vandyke said.
“There was the long float trip from Sydney and then he didn’t settle in well when he first got to Melbourne.
“Since then he’s had a bruised heel which we have been working hard on.
“It’s OK now but overall he’s been in the wars.”
Lamasery figures among the Bendigo acceptances after pleasing Vandyke with a solid gallop at Flemington.
“His work was good on Saturday and he seems to be in a good head space,” Vandyke said.
“He’s also back on his food so I expect him to run well at Bendigo.”
It’s been a spring carnival roller-coaster for Lamasery since Vandyke switched his focus to Melbourne.
The stayer’s heel issue flared after an easy trial win at Cranbourne last week.
“He’ll go into (the Bendigo Cup) with a three-quarter plate (shoe),” Vandyke said.
“He’s been working in one and everything seems fine.
“(The trial) showed us he is not done with yet this preparation.”
Lamasery was among 47 horses paid up as second Melbourne Cup acceptances on Monday and Vandyke thinks a Bendigo Cup victory would clinch a start in Australia’s richest race.
“If he wins at Bendigo there is a good chance of him getting into the Melbourne Cup field and provided he pulled up OK then we’ll have a shot,” Vandyke said.
In a Melbourne Cup where Australian-bred horses will be outnumbered by imports and internationally-trained stayers, Lamasery promises to be a parochial tip if he sneaks into the field.
“I would be quite happy for him to fly the flag for Australia,” Vandyke said.
A field of 13 has accepted for the Bendigo Cup, including At First Sight, the Lloyd Williams-owned stayer who was prominent in Melbourne Cup betting before a setback because of a virus.
Geelong Cup runner-up Tanby will give Williams two chances at Bendigo while Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse has accepted with Two For Tea and Western Symbol.
Sahara Sun adds an international touch to the race with Dwayne Dunn to ride for trainer Luca Cumani.
TAB Sportsbet reported strong early backing for At First Sight when it opened betting.