EXCITEMENT is growing for Ballarat Turf Club committeemen Tim Porter and Sean Duke.
They are just three days away from seeing their imported galloper Jakkalberry realise a long-term plan by lining up in Tuesday’s $6m Melbourne Cup, 3200m.
Porter and Duke are senior partners in an expansive ownership group, which also features the Ballan district-based syndicator Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock.
Porter and Duke also hold key interests in Jakkalberry’s half-brother, Italian Derby winner Crackerjack King, which remains overseas with a long-range plan to campaign in Australia next spring.
Jakkalberry is truly an international.
He was bred in Ireland, is trained by England-based Italian trainer Marco Botti, has raced in several countries and is raced by Australians.
Jakkalberry arrived in Australia on the back of a win in the US St Leger at Arlington in Chicago fully qualified for the Melbourne Cup and high in the ballot order.
Porter and Duke will represent owners at tonight’s barrier draw.
Duke said Porter would have the task of stepping up to select the gate number.
He said hopefully Jakkalberry would get a mid-range barrier which enabled him to get a suitable sit.
Jakkalberry had no luck in the Caulfield Cup, finishing 13th after being caught three-wide without cover and then running into trouble on the hometurn.
Darren Dance is hoping Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock has three starters in the Melbourne Cup.
Jakkalberry and French import Tac de Boistron, which is trained by Mick Kent at Cranbourne, are guaranteed starts.
Unusual Suspect, which finished in the top 10 in last year’s Melbourne Cup and is also trained by Kent, is right on the cut-off in ballot order at 24.