Turbo to swerve Melbourne feature

Alan Swinbank has ruled out a crack at the Emirates Melbourne Cup with progressive filly Turbo Linn.

Alan Swinbank has ruled out a crack at the Emirates Melbourne Cup with progressive filly Turbo Linn.

The four-year-old is unbeaten in a total of eight starts, including a notable success in the Group Two Lancashire Oaks, and had been allotted approximately 8st 1lb (511/2kg) in the November 6 feature.

However, Swinbank would prefer to sidestep the two-mile contest with his relatively inexperienced charge.

“Maybe we’ll go for it next year. You would not get a strong enough jockey off that weight,” he said.

“I put her in to let the handicapper have a look at her but I wouldn’t want to go for it at this stage of her career.

“She will go for the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster on Thursday week and then we could look at a race at Longchamp the day before the Arc.

“I think we will leave tackling Group Ones until next year now.”

Ebor winner Purple Moon has been given 53kg (8st 5lb) and after landing a massive gamble at York, Ladbrokes have already installed Luca Cumani’s charge as their 8-1 favourite.

Spokesman David Williams said: “We fully expect to see huge interest in Purple Moon. He dealt us a horrid blow when he landed the gamble in the Ebor and we’re not in the mood to take any more chances.

“He’ll be enormously popular and we’ve had no hesitation in chalking him up as our ante-post favourite.”

Yeats is a 12-1 chance after being handed top weight of has been given top weight of 59kg (approximately 9st 4lb), the same as he carried when running seventh in ’the race that stops a nation’ 12 months ago.

His trainer Aidan O’Brien has nominated five horses for the race, with Coronation Cup victor Scorpion set to carry 581/2kg (9st 3lb), Septimus 57kg (9st), and Hitchcock and Mahler both 50kg (7st 12lb).

Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said Yeats had held the same form as last year and warranted being treated at the same level.

“He was beaten with 59kg in last year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup and there’s no evidence Yeats is going any better than in 2006, therefore I’ve assessed him as the same horse and on the same weight,” he said.

Racing in Melbourne resumed on Saturday but Sydney remains cancelled with the recent equine flu outbreak spreading to 700 horses stabled at Randwick racecourse late last week.

Hong Kong’s Viva Pataca was also allotted 59kg but will not be travelling to Australia with trainer John Moore playing it safe following the health scare.

Last year’s winner, Delta Blues from Japan, was handed 58kg but will not be making the journey for the same reason.

Godolphin’s Laverock has been given 56kg (8st 11lb).

There are 257 nominations for November’s race but that number will reduce dramatically after first declarations are taken on September 11

Emirates Melbourne Cup, Ladbrokes bet: 8-1 Purple Moon, 10-1 Maybe Better, Tawqeet, 12-1 Efficient, Yeats, 14-1 Bellamy Cay, Miss Finland, 16-1 Maldivian, Septimus, 20-1 Blue Monday, 25-1 bar.

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