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English trainer Andrew Balding is not fazed by having Lord Van Percy back-up from the Lexus Stakes to the Melbourne Cup.

Thirtieth in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup, Lord Van Percy must win the Lexus Stakes to gain a start next Tuesday.

European stayers are not known for racing twice in the space of three days and Lord Van Percy will be having his third run – if he starts in the Melbourne Cup – in 24 days.

Balding said it was rare for European stayers to race within three weeks of their last run.

“We might back-up the sprinters a little bit quicker but the European approach with stayers is to give them three weeks between runs,” Balding said.

“But having said that he’s not a typical stayer.

“He’s a close-coupled horse, he’s a little smaller than your average European stayer and I think that’s to our advantage if you’re looking to back-up.”

After arriving in Melbourne with the first shipment of horses on September 27, Lord Van Percy made his Australian debut in the Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11.

Lord Van Percy finished fifth to Big Memory.

Balding said he was thrilled with the condition of Lord Van Percy, having not seen the stayer since he left Newmarket after quarantine towards the end of September.

“He had the run in the Herbert Power but I was amazed when I saw him out here,” Balding said.

“He’s in great condition in his coat and physically and mentally he looks in a great place.

“I’m looking forward to a good showing from him.”

Balding said the flat, roomy track at Flemington will suit Lord Van Percy who finished second to Melbourne Cup hopeful Mutual Regard in the Ebor at York, a race regarded as UK’s premier handicap event.

 
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