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The winner of The Bart Cummings is afforded a ballot exemption into the Melbourne Cup

Surprise Baby gets a second chance at securing a start in the Melbourne Cup when he contests the Bart Cummings at Flemington.

The winner of Saturday’s race is afforded a ballot exemption into the $8 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 5.

Surprise Baby missed by millimetres in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington in May when second to Steel Prince and his place into this year’s Cup.

Instead Saturday’s 2520m race became an early spring target for Preusker who is yet to have a Melbourne Cup runner, but could have two this year.

Preusker is also the new trainer of European galloper Torcedor who will head to his Horsham stable once he finishes quarantine at Werribee on October 12.

“It’s funny how it may work out,” Preusker said.

“Hopefully we can get them both there, it would be a good achievement.”

Surprise Baby will be running for only the 10th time on Saturday, but is already a proven stayer winning the Adelaide Cup (3200m) at his sixth start.

He will go into Saturday’s race having had one run back from a break, closing from the rear to finish fourth behind Homesman in the Feehan Stakes at The Valley on September 7.

By pouring the work into Surprise Baby, Preusker says it has resulted in a more relaxed galloper this preparation.

“He’s going super and I’m really looking forward to getting Saturday behind us and hopefully getting the ticket in,” Preusker said.

“He’s furnished a bit more since the last prep and is a bit more tractable.

“The work has gone into him and he can come back now and race a bit softer so he could go forward, he could go back, it will be a matter of riding the race.

“He’ll get the 2500 metres no worries, it’s just luck in running that will stop him.”

 
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