One-time Melbourne Cup fancy Ashrun returns at Flemington

Ashrun’s owners will be rewarded for their patience when the one-time Melbourne Cup fancy makes his return at Flemington this Saturday.

The eight-year-old son of Authorized will have his first run in almost three years when he steps out in the $150,000 Australian Childhood Foundation Plate over 1700 metres.

It will be the gelding’s first start for reigning Melbourne Cup titleholders Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, having formerly been in the care of Andreas Wohler, and while expectations are not high for this weekend, Eustace is just happy to see him back at the races.

“The owners have been extremely patient,” he said.

“It’s been quite a long road for different reasons and he’s had a few setbacks.

“He trialled adequately last week for a horse who wants ground.

“He’s obviously just going to kick off and I think it’s hard to know how he’s going because he’s always been just a genuine stayer anyway.”

Ashrun finished 10th in the 2020 Melbourne Cup, won by Twilight Payment, three days after winning the Hotham Handicap, having also run fourth in the Geelong Cup.

The eight-year-old has been given a slow build up and his current preparation has included four trials or jumpouts dating back to May 16 with the most recent a low-key seventh of seven at Cranbourne on September 4.

Owners Australian Bloodstock remaining hopeful of again getting him to a Melbourne Cup and while Eustace is not sure that will happen this year, he is confident he has the fitness base to hold him in good stead for the campaign.

“He’s been in work a long time, but I suppose it entirely depends on how he returns and he’s probably got to win The Bart Cummings to get in (the Melbourne Cup),” Eustace said.

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