As far as Ballarat owner-trainer John Thom is concerned it cannot rain enough.
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As long as it keeps raining, Thom’s Melbourne Cup dreams stays alive.
Thom has rank outsider White Dollar Sign sitting at the bottom of the 51 first acceptors for the Cup.
The five-year-old is rated a 600-1 chance, but this does not faze Thom.
While right now the odds are against him getting White Dollar Sign into the $6 million field, he lives in hope.
And the more it rains, the better chance Thom gives himself of defying the odds.
Thom said he first hatched his plan to throw White Dollar Sign into the mix for Flemington on the first Tuesday in November back in April-May when the early range forecast indicated a wetter than usual spring.
With White Dollar Sign an absolute mudlark he thought “why not?”
Thom said while not everyone could handle rain-affected going, White Dollar Sign could and it just open the door.
White Dollar Sign has won three of 11 starts, but is yet to pass the first ballot clause ahead second nominations being declared on Monday.
To do that, Thom knows the last-start Moe winner has to do something special and that almost certainly means winning the group 2 $300,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup, 2500m on Saturday in which he faces a string of imported gallopers including the Darren Weir-trained Master Zephyr, Charlie Appleby-trained Second Wave and 2014 Melbourne Cup third placegetter Who Shot Thebarman.
Thom also accepted with the gelding for Sunday’s Hamilton Cup, but said MV would be his destination this weekend.
White Dollar Sign is also at long odds for this assignment, but is Thom concerned? No.
As long as the rain continues he lives in hope of something special going his way.
Master Zephyr is also looking to pass the first ballot clause in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup to give Weir another prospective Melbourne Cup runner.
EVERY feature racing meeting is a big one these days for Darren Weir and Moonee Valley will be no exception on Saturday.
He saddles up the ultra consistent Black Heart Bart in the WS Cox Plate, 2040m.
While the $3m weight-for-age championship is being billed as a match race between champion mare Winx and Hartnell, Black Heart Bart will almost certainly be thereabouts.
The former West Australian's form has been impeccable since going into Weir’s care with four wins and five seconds in nine starts.
His other starters across the day include Lidari, Royal Rapture and Ulmann in the group 2 $200,000 Crystal Mile, 1600m.
Weir also has another Melbourne Cup contender Manndawi and Leica Day in Sunday's $60,000 Hamilton Cup, 2200m. Manndawi is equal 38th among the 40 horses to have passed the first ballot clause for the Cup.
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