Delphi to be suited by firm ground in the Melbourne Cup

With Damien Oliver producing a Group 1 double at the Victoria Derby Day meeting, the Anthony and Sam Freedman stable is hoping the champion jockey has not used all his magic.

The Freedmans and Oliver combine with Delphi in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday, looking to rebound from a lacklustre run in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 16.

Oliver has three Melbourne Cup wins to his credit, including one for the Freedman family when Anthony’s brother Lee was at the helm.

Delphi was a well-backed second favourite behind Incentivise in the Caulfield Cup, but after racing in a forward position, weakened to finish 13th, more than 11 lengths from the winner.

It followed an impressive win in the Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) which confirmed Delphi’s place in the Caulfield Cup field.

Sam Freedman said the combination of a soft Caulfield Cup surface along with a quick back-up did not suit Delphi.

And this time around Delphi is drawn to be able to take a sit, as he did when successful in the Herbert Power, whereas in the Caulfield Cup he was ridden forward to overcome his wide drawn and refused to settle in front.

“The horse is really well,” Freedman said.

“He had a nice gallop at Mornington on Friday. The ground was quite firm, which he loved, and he really stretched out.”

Delphi is expected to get conditions to suit on Tuesday with a forecast top temperature of 29 degrees at Flemington, and no rain.

“I think firm ground really suits him and it should be quick ground on Tuesday,” Freedman said.

“We were disappointed with how he performed but maybe it was the soft track, the quick back-up and he got over-racing, they came to him early and it didn’t work out for him.

“Ridden with a bit of a sit, instead of leading on him, like he did in the Herbert Power, should suit him better.”

After the final field and barrier draw on Saturday night, Delphi was quoted a $51 chance with TAB, but there has been a trickle of bets during the day with his price into $23.

Caulfield Cup winner Incentivise remains the $2.50 favourite.

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