A third-straight win in the Let’s Elope Stakes is a distinct possibility for trainer Leon Corstens as he prepares the talented Vezalay for the Group Two race at Flemington.
Corstens trained Commanding Jewel on his own to win in 2013, and the mare backed up last year under the banner of a training partnership with his son Troy.
On Saturday, the stable has Vezalay directed at a race that has added incentive for Leon Corstens given he was Melbourne foreman for Bart Cummings during the Let’s Elope era when the mare won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups double in 1991.
“I had a little bit to do with Let’s Elope and it would be a privilege if we could win this race again,” Leon Corstens said.
“She was an absolute champion.”
Vezalay won first-up in an 1100m mares’ handicap then finished a close third in the Group Three Cockram Stakes last start.
Corstens believes Vezalay has the right barrier in gate four and the right jockey in Damien Oliver.
Leon and Troy Corstens have Zebrinz in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) while Awesome Rock has gained a start in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) after the scratching of Our Ivanhowe on Friday.
Corstens admits they are throwing Awesome Rock in the deep end but thinks with luck in running the horse can run a cheeky race.
“Tomorrow will give us a real good guide on what we’re doing and we’re going,” he said.
“I do think the horse will definitely get further and further. But in a race like this it will give a great insight.
“We’re at a great track, he’s drawn well so he should have every conceivable chance if he’s good enough.”
Saturday’s meeting will feature tributes to legendary trainer Bart Cummings who died on August 30, aged 87.
A public memorial service will be held at Flemington on Saturday morning, with Flemington racecourse the venue of Cummings’ record 12 Melbourne Cup wins.
“It’s great that the VRC are doing this for JB (Cummings),” Corstens said.
“I think he’s Mr Flemington anyway.”