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Veteran stayer Precedence will have a new set of colours when he runs in his fourth, and probably last, Melbourne Cup.

Dato Tan Chin Nam’s familiar black and white checks will be replaced by the different shades of Irish green of co-owner Sir Patrick Hogan who has bred many Cup winners but never had one in his colours.

Dato Tan and trainer Bart Cummings have won four Cups together but nine-year-old Precedence is their sole entry this year.

Precedence, Craig Williams

Precedence, Craig Williams – Photo by Sharon Chapman

Bart Cummings has won an incomparable 12 Melbourne Cups and if Precedence can defy his age and the overseas horses, it will be the first for Cummings’ training partner, grandson James.

After missing out on a 2013 Cup start as the 25th horse in the ballot order for the field of 24, Precedence is safely in this year and has recovered from an injury scare.

The gelding was cut in a scrimmage in last week’s Moonee Valley Cup.

“He seems fine now and will have a gallop on Saturday morning,” Dato Tan’s racing manager Duncan Ramage said.

“He has had three goes at the Cup in Dato’s colours so this time he goes around in Sir Patrick’s.”

A Cup win would also move Precedence’s sire Zabeel within one of his own sire Sir Tristram’s Group One record.

Sir Tristram produced 45 individual Group One winners while Zabeel, who was retired from active duty at Hogan’s Cambridge Stud last year, sits on 43.

Hogan imported Sir Tristram from France to be the foundation stallion at Cambridge and he produced three Melbourne Cup winners – Brew, Empire Rose and Gurner’s Lane while Zabeel also has three – Might And Power, Efficient and Jezabeel.

Japan’s Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti is the dominant Cup favourite ahead of Lucia Valentina, a daughter of Zabeel’s Cox Plate-winning son Savabeel.

 
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