Trainer David Payne has warned punters to rule a line through Praecido’s Metropolitan flop, declaring he can bounce back at Randwick on Saturday.
Praecido had been working into form with fourth placings in the Kingston Town Stakes and Colin Stephen Quality before his 15th of 17 in the Metropolitan won by The Verminator.
The winner’s stablemate Bellagio Wynn fell near the 600m and Payne said Praecido copped the backwash.
“The horse fell in front of him and he copped a bad check,” Payne said.
“He was travelling quite well at the time.
“I wouldn’t even worry about it.”
Praecido sported winkers for the first time in the Metropolitan and will again wear them in the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
He is a $16 chance with TAB Sportsbet but the worrying statistic for punters is his strike rate, with just one win from 24 starts.
Payne defended Praecido’s poor winning record, pointing out that 18 of his runs have been in stakes grade with eight of those at Group One level.
“If you look at his form he has raced in the best company and he has won almost $500,000,” Payne said.
“He is fit and well and he stays all day.”
Praecido is 37th in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and if he wins on Saturday Payne is keen to press on to the first Tuesday in November.
“Definitely. You’ve got to have a ticket the way they’re falling away every week and he’s a sound horse,” he said.
Maluckyday won the City Tattersalls Club Cup 12 months ago before claiming the Lexus and beating all but Americain in the Melbourne Cup.
Of the 16 and four emergencies in this year’s renewal, 11 are still in Melbourne Cup contention.
They include the Gai Waterhouse-trained topweight Herculian Prince who is 19th in the Cup order of entry but has been struggling for form since winning the Metropolitan last spring.
He finished 11th in the race this year but was stripped from behind in the run.
Stablemate Older Than Time, a last-start fifth in the Craven Plate (2000m), is 32nd in order, while the Chris Waller pair of Illustrious Blue (25th) and Sydney Cup winner Stand To Gain (30th) are also prominent.
Payne will shoot for a stakes double with Winter King to contest the City Tattersalls Lightning Hcp (1100m).
The gelding blotted his copybook when last in the Premiere Stakes but Payne was unhappy with the ride.
“He was badly ridden the other day but the horse is very well,” he said.
“Just put a pencil through that run.
“Both my horses are fit and well and they handle it wet or dry.”