First Immortal out to stamp Melbourne Cup 2024 claims

The Caulfield and Melbourne Cups are still six months away, but those two races are clearly in the focus of father-and-son training duo Mark and Levi Kavanagh.

First Immortal was bound for those races last year, but with a less than satisfactory rating he was forced to try and win his way in via a ballot exemption.

That did not eventuate and after knocking his head prior to running in the Geelong Cup, First Immortal was given a break and brought back for the late autumn with a view to short-circuiting a Cups start this year.

After landing his first Stakes win in the Listed Anniversary Vase (1600m) at Caulfield last month, First Immortal takes the next step in the Group 3 Easter Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Levi Kavanagh said First Immortal was a late bloomer and believes he and his father did the right thing by the horse by giving him time. irst Im

“We originally had him set out to win the South Australian Derby, but he wasn’t quite ready,” Kavanagh told RSN.

“He was still learning his craft through the winter last year and we probably jumped up a little bit quick trying to get him into some of the feature races in the spring, but he was showing us that he was making the necessary improvement all the time.

“But we just didn’t have the rating to carry it out and get him to the races we wanted to.

“So, that’s what the autumn’s about, get him to that higher grade.

“He’s got a much better rating now and we can put him wherever we want to put him, and we’re going to try and secure him some slots for this year’s spring.”

The ideal scenario after Saturday is to head to the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on April 20 and then onto the Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington on May 18.

Both races carry a ballot exemption for the winner into the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup respectively.

“If he can get tickets into both, that would be the ideal prep for him, but we have to wait and see how he comes up in the spring,” Kavanagh said.

“If he got tickets into both, that’s certainly where we’d like to place him.”

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