Great House wins Hotham Stakes ahead of Melbourne Cup 2021

Imported galloper Great House has confirmed his position in the Melbourne Cup final field with his victory in the Hotham Stakes at Flemington.

Sitting number 24 prior to Saturday’s 2500m Group 3 race, victory afforded the Chris Waller-trained stayer a ballot exemption into the final field for Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.

Waller had been undecided on whether to run Great House on Saturday but elected to start and make sure of a spot in Tuesday’s race.

Ridden by James Mcdonald, Great House ($3.60) defeated the $3.50 favourite Mankayan by three-quarters-of-a-length with Emissary ($16) a further 2-¾ lengths away third.

Great House ran fifth in the Caulfield Cup behind Incentivise at his previous start and Jo Taylor, the Melbourne representative for the Waller stable in Melbourne, said with only 50kg in the Melbourne Cup they wanted to make sure of his place in the field.

“He came through that Caulfield Cup really well and on Tuesday his work here at Flemington was the work of the morning from my horses,” Taylor said.

“He reproduced that today with a very good ride from James.

“He’s been a nice sound horse and he’s been honest. Every time we’ve raised the bar, he seems to have stepped up to the plate so why not keep doing that?

“You take the gamble and save ourselves for the Cup, but then get knocked out if you’re on the borderline and today we certainly made sure that we’re in it.

“With 50 kilos, it is obviously a nice light weight to go into a race like that and now we have the quest to find a rider to ride at that light weight.

“I’m sure Chris has pencilled in a few.”

The win by Great House gave Waller and McDonald the first two races on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival after Fangirl won the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes.

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