MACARTHUR-owned mare Exceptionally will start in the $250,000 group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500 metres) at Flemington on Saturday in a last-minute bid to force her way into the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200 metres) next Tuesday.
Kingsley Peach, who part-owns Exceptionally, said she had pulled up well after her unplaced run in the Geelong Cup last Wednesday.
"We've got to win the Lexus on Saturday if we are to run in the Melbourne Cup," he said.
"The winner of the Lexus goes straight into the Cup. She's pulled up a million dollars after her Geelong Cup run. The pace in the Geelong Cup was farcical .
"It's just like she never had a run (Geelong Cup). Exceptionally is a backmarker and they had no hope in the Geelong Cup.
"We're not the only ones that are trying to win the Lexus. There's plenty of other trainers who have horses in the Lexus who need to win to get a run in the Melbourne Cup."
Peach said Exceptionally's trainer Terry O'Sullivan had reported the six-year-old mare had an easy few days after her Geelong run.
"Terry said she is ticking along really well. We are expecting her to be very competitive in the Lexus as she's got a good record at Flemington," he said. "We've got our fingers crossed that we might get a bit of rain in the lead up to the Lexus. Her best form is on tracks which have a bit of give in them."
Exceptionally has won in excess of $400,000 in stake money from her 33 starts.
WARRNAMBOOL trainer Alan Peterson looks likely to be Flemington bound on Oaks Day after two of his runners were successful at Geelong and Hamilton during the past week.
Run Diego scored an impressive win in a restricted race over 1200 metres at Geelong last Wednesday while Kuakata won a 1600-metre maiden at Hamilton on Sunday.
Peterson has earmarked a $100,000 race for grey horses over 1400 metres on Thursday, November 8 for Run Diego. Kuakata may line up in a $150,000 three-year-old race over 1800 metres.
The former jockey said Run Diego had proven to be a great meal ticket for his connections.
"Run Diego has developed into a handy horse. He was highly-strung as a young horse but he's matured. He's been in work for a fair while but he just keeps on racing well.
"He's won four of his 15 starts but finished in the first four in 13 of those races," Peterson said.
"I reckon he deserves the start at Flemington. He'll be jumping up to 1400 metres but I reckon he will run it out."
Meanwhile, Peterson believes Kuakata will turn into a promising stayer once he matures.
"I've always had a high opinion of Kuakata. I reckon he's a year away from growing into himself.
"I think he will develop into a handy stayer once he gets a bit older. He toughed the race out really well today," Peterson said.
"We're probably aiming too high with Kuakata in the race at Flemington but I just want to give him one more run and then send him to the spelling paddock. I'm just interested to see how he measures up to other three-year-olds in a 1800-metre race."
Peterson revealed Kuakata's maiden win was dictated to the late Tess Pegg, who died last year.
"Tess worked up at the Warrnambool Base Hospital. Sadly, she passed away last year. Her husband Bill is among the owners of Kuakata, so are many of her workmates from the hospital," he said.
"We've got a big variety of owners in Kuakata, including people from the Purnim Cricket Club, but everyone was pleased that he won in remembrance of Tess."
Kuakata had a second and third placing to his credit before his maiden win on Sunday from five starts.
LONG-serving Warrnambool Racing Club committee members Margaret Lucas and Bill Slattery have been rewarded for their untiring services to the club by receiving life memberships.
Both past chairmen of the club, they were surprised to have received the honour. Slattery said the life membership was a pleasant surprise.
"It's a great honour to have served the racing club for 18 years. During my time on the committtee there have been numerous changes namely the laying of the track and having the new members' stand put in place," he said.
"The Matilda Room in the members' complex has been a big winner for the club. We've gone from nine race meetings 18 years ago to 20 meetings now. I've been lucky to have worked with passionate staff and committee members during my time on the committee."
Lucas, who led the way to ensure jumps racing continued in her 10-year role as chairman, said she was gobsmacked when her life membership was announced at last week's annual general meeting .
"I had no idea that I was going to receive the life membership. It's a privilege and an honour to receive the life membership," Lucas said.
"The committee and the staff have worked very hard to ensure that the club is in a strong position on and off the track. The Warrnambool Racing Club provides a big financial boost to the local community and it's wonderful to see that the community supports the racing club in its endeavors to provide first class racing and social events."
Warrnambool businessman Nick Rule was announced at the AGM as the new committeeman to replace Bill Phillpot, who has decided to stand down after 30 years on the committee.
HONEST Warrnambool galloper Lord Wimble scored a well-deserved win under lights at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Lord Wimble gave top jockey Kerrin McEvoy a gold ride in the $100,000 race over 1600 metres.
Trainer Symon Wilde, who trains in partnership with Bill (his dad), said the five-year-old may have his next start in a race at the up-coming Flemington carnival.
"I thought it was an impressive win. It was a great ride by Kerrin. We'll probably look at a restricted race at Flemington for his next run preferably in a 1600-metre race," Wilde added.
Lord Wimble has won more than $170,000 in stake money.
CHAMPION jumps jockey Steven Pateman is hoping to pick up a ride or two at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival in March while he takes a group on the jumping trip of a lifetime. Pateman will host the tour, which takes in five race meetings over eight days.
"I'm already speaking to a few trainers from England and Ireland whether I might be able to pick up a ride or two over there. I hope to know more about any rides in the new year," the dual Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning jockey said.
Contact Australian Racing Tours for more details.
BALLARAT-based jockey Craig Robertson took out the riding honours at Hamilton on Sunday with a winning double. Robertson was successful on Kuakata in a maiden plate (1600 metres) and Crocodile Canyon in the Hamilton Cup (2200 metres).
Jockey Jack Hill was suspended for a careless ride on Delightful Tess at Hamilton on Sunday. Hill's suspension ends at midnight on November 8.