Melbourne Cup ‘golden ticket’ pathway rewards patience, says OTI boss

OTI Racing boss Terry Henderson believes the newly configured Andrew Ramsden Stakes – which now carries a win-and-you’re-in golden ticket to the Melbourne Cup – will grow in stature as a spring stepping stone for young stayers.

Henderson has three horses aimed at Saturday’s 2800m race at Flemington which has been changed to weight-for-age conditions for three-, four- and five-year-old horses but, more importantly, now rewards the winner with a place in the Melbourne Cup field.

Terry Henderson and Instigator's trainer Aaron Purcell.

Terry Henderson and Instigator’s trainer Aaron Purcell.Credit:AAP

«It’s a big carrot, getting your horse in the Melbourne Cup, it commands a premium and I think there will be a lot of people that are happy to forgo some of the gloss of autumn racing to concentrate on this race in the future,» said Henderson, whose syndication group has Azuro and Instigator slated to start in the $400,000 feature, and possibly Newcastle-based stayer Fairlight, should he gain a start.

Gone are the days when the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide Cup winners – or Derby winners for that matter – could punch their tickets for a Melbourne Cup berth and featured high in pre-post betting markets, with imported stayers dominating the Cup field.




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