ANDREW Payne has thrown promising galloper Bachelor Royal into the Melbourne Cup mix.
Bachelor Royal was one of the biggest surprises among nominations yesterday for the $6m Melbourne Cup.
While the Ballarat trainer and the five-year-old’s owners know that getting Bachelor Royal into the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, November 5, is a long shot, it is a punt they are willing to take.
Payne made the call after speaking with connections yesterday morning.
“We know he has an X-factor.
“We also know that for these races you need a XXX-factor.”
Payne said Bachelor Royal would have to improve “out of sight” to realise the dream of a Melbourne Cup start.
He said they believed though that the chestnut had done enough to warrant paying the nomination fee of $1300.
Bachelor Royal has had just the seven race starts for four wins.
The gelding scored on debut on April 23 last year.
He won his next start at Warrnambool and then had 12 months away from the races before making an impressive winning return in Ballarat on May 12 this year to complete a hat-trick of wins from as many lifetime starts.
He took out a showcase benchmark, 1400m, at Sale on August 22.
Bachelor Royal might tell Payne as early as Saturday whether a Melbourne Cup start is worth pursuing beyond the initial nomination.
The son of Bachelor Duke is nominated for Sofitel Girls’ Day Out, 2000m, at Flemington on Saturday.
Payne is not certain he will run Bachelor Royal in the event, but plans to accept today before making a final decision.
He said if Bachelor Royal lined up he would probably have to win to keep the Melbourne Cup dream alive.
“He’ll have to make a statement.”
Bachelor Royal has the minimum weight of 54kg.
Payne said the alternative plan was to run him at Mornington next Wednesday.
Payne believes at the very least Bachelor Royal has the potential to be a country cups campaigner this spring.
If this is the course Bachelor Royal takes, the Ballarat Cup would be high on Payne’s agenda.
“I’d obviously love to win the Ballarat Cup.”
Darren Weir’s boom stayer Puissance de Lune is Ballarat’s big interest among the 135 Melbourne Cup nominations, which include 35 overseas-trained gallopers.
Dan O’Sullivan has also nominated Tuscan Fire, while the Ballan-based Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned Dandino represents the English stable of Marco Botti.