MELBOURNE Cup prospect Moudre has scraped his way into the field for the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup on Saturday.
Moudre earned a start in the group 1 feature race over 2400 metres after the Melbourne Racing Club committee used its discretionary powers yesterday to put the seven-year-old in the field in front of Sabrage.
Trainer Ciaron Maher, who has stables at Winslow and Caulfield, was delighted that Moudre had gained a run in the race which he described as another step down the path for Moudre to run in the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup on November 6.
"We're rapt to get into the Caulfield Cup,"he said.
"I'll be able to take the horse out the back gate from my Caulfield stables and we're there.
"We needed to give him a run and the Caulfield Cup really suits him," the group 1-winning trainer said.
"Our main aim the whole way has been the Melbourne Cup we just had to find the best way to get there. The Caulfield Cup is the best option."
Moudre put in the worst run of his career at his last outing when he failed to beat a runner home in the $500,000 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington on October 6, but Maher said former Warrnambool soft tissue expert Shane Williams had helped the horse.
"He was suffering with a bit of stiffness in his off-front shoulder after his Turnbull run," he said. "I got Shane in and he has done a lot of work on Moudre in his shoulder area. He's a lot better now. We've done a bit of swimming with him which has also helped.
"Moudre had an easy gallop yesterday morning.
"We're expecting him to show a big improvement on his Turnbull Stakes run."
The barrier draw for the Caulfield Cup will be held at 11am today and Maher hopes he can draw a good barrier.
"Preferably we would like to draw within the first eight barriers but we'll just have to take what we're given," he said.
"We would also like to get a bit of rain before Saturday. That would help us but I reckon it will help a lot of the other runners."
Top jockey Kerrin McEvoy, who won the 2000 Melbourne Cup on Brew has been booked to ride Moudre in the Caulfield Cup.