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Image: Bruno Cannatelli
The Cranbourne Cup or The Gong are on the agenda for Melbourne Cup Day winner Rich Hips

Cranbourne trainer Natalie Young vividly recalls the disappointment of a narrow loss in her hometown Cup with Sully.

The stayer finished second to Octobello in the 2018 Cranbourne Cup after leading into the straight.

With the Cranbourne Cup shortened from 2025m to 1600m, Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young are considering starting Rich Hips in the Listed race that carries, for the first time, a $500,000 purse.

However, there is a race in NSW the following week, The Gong, at Kembla Grange over the same trip that carries $1 million in prize money that may be a temptation.

Rich Hips potentially earned a shot against the “boys” at either race following her win in the Group 3 Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

“We’re just going to weigh it up, but she’s come through that run brilliantly,” Young said.

“We’d love to win our hometown Cup.

“I remember when Sully got pipped. I was standing upstairs and nearly wanted to jump from the stand.

“When you get mares in good form, it’s worthwhile having a go. We could do both, but we’ll just see.”

Rich Hips is also entered for the Rosemont Stud Filles & Mares Pendant (1400m) on Saturday in which she has 59.5kg while she has 57kg in the Cranbourne Cup.

While Young says 1400m is possibly a better trip, she believes Rich Hips will handle the extra 200m.

“She was a month going into that run on Cup Day and she’ll get benefit from it,” Young said.

“I think the mile would be OK.

“She has been there before and while 1400 metres is probably better for her, I think the 1600, she should be able to stretch out to it alright on the tighter track.

“Plus, there’s 500,000 reasons and maybe a million a little later.

“So, we’ll see.”

 
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