Irish stayer Mutual Regard has had his first look at Flemington in preparation for the Melbourne Cup.
Trained by former champion jockey Johnny Murtagh, Mutual Regard has been based at Werribee since arriving in Melbourne on September 27.
Murtagh’s stable apprentice and travelling track rider Ross Coakley accompanied Mutual Regard to Flemington on Tuesday morning where the gelding had a look at the raceday stalls and the mounting yard before working a lap of the track.
Coakley said it was important to give Mutual Regard a look at the Flemington layout and to also change up his routine.
“We just wanted to give him a day away,” Coakley said.
“By taking him to Flemington we were able to take him through the whole raceday procedure, bring him to the stalls where he will be standing before, bring him out to the mounting yard to let him have a look around and then we did a nice bit around the track.”
Coakley said Mutual Regard cantered off before increasing the tempo from the 1400m, picking up his work partner at the 600m in a solid hit-out to the line but doubts whether the gelding will return for another look at Flemington.
Formerly prepared in England by Sir Mark Prescott, Mutual Regard has had three runs since joining Murtagh’s stable for two wins and a third.
Among his wins is one of the UK’s most important handicap races, the Ebor at York over 2816m on August 23.
That was the last time Mutual Regard has been seen in action but Coakley said the gelding performs well fresh and was in tip-top condition upon arrival in Melbourne.
“Up to now he’s always run well fresh,” Coakley said.
“We put our mind to the Melbourne Cup once we were guaranteed a run.”
Murtagh, who was in Melbourne to oversee the early stages of Mutual Regard’s stay, is not due back until October 26 while a jockey is still to be confirmed for the gelding.