Group One hopes for Megablast
Chris Barclay 9 months ago
An ambitious bid to run in the Melbourne Cup intensifies for New Zealand gelding Megablast when he makes his Sydney debut at Randwick.
The six-year-old was among the lightly weighted Cup hopefuls at 50kg when Victoria's chief handicapper Greg Carpenter announced Cup weights on Tuesday, so he is still at long odds to run at Flemington on November 7.
But the dream is alive for owners John and Di Bowbyes as trainer Nigel Tiley prepares Megablast for Saturday's Group Three Kingston Town Stakes (2000m).
Megablast made his first trans-Tasman trip in June when he opened a two-race Melbourne campaign with a second in the Thomas Hanley Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
His next start at Flemington over 2520m was undermined by respiratory issues but after a wet winter back home, Megablast arrived in Sydney on Tuesday in fine fettle with the Group One Metropolitan (2400m) on September 30 his target.
"If he runs well on Saturday we'll run him in The Metrop. Depending on how he goes there we might head to Melbourne with him," Tiley said.
"He's nominated for the Melbourne Cup. Whether he's up to them or not I don't know.
"If they happen to get a wet spring in Melbourne he'd be very competitive in some of the lead-ups anyway."
Megablast was on the fourth line of betting with the TAB for the Kingston Town Stakes at $11 on Thursday and Tiley did not expect to upstage Antonio Giuseppe, the $3.30 favourite.
"Because it's been so wet in New Zealand he'll probably need the run. I'd like to think he'd be running on nicely at the finish and improve with the run," Tiley said.
Ex-pat New Zealand jockey Jason Collett maintains a family connection with Megablast after his cousin Samantha rode him twice earlier this year.
However the trip pans out it will still be memorable for Tiley who last had runners in Sydney in the mid-1990s.
He was also a successful jockey with the 1982 Sydney Cup on Azawary among his big wins.