Melbourne Cup 2023 still in sight for impressive Shaiyhar

Whether it happens this year or the next, co-trainer Natalie Young believes Shaiyhar is capable of taking on the $8.4 million Lexus Melbourne Cup after notching a second victory at Flemington.

Imported from France earlier in 2023 with feature Australian staying even aspirations, the five-year-old gelding won again over the Flemington 2000-metres in the VRC Member Simon Green Plate.

It was a welcome return to the winners’ stall after the gelding finished outside of the placings over 2500-metres at Flemington on June 17.

“He jumped better today and when Blake (Shinn) gave him a dig he got there a lot sooner than I thought he would’, Young said.

“He ran forward in one of horse races in Europe so it worked out perfectly here.”

Before leaving for Australia, Shaiyhar won over 2900-metres at Clairfontaine last October.

Freshness could also be key.

“I think when has got that freshness he’s got that extra kick,” Young added.

Important to his 2023 Melbourne Cup chances will be winning again at Flemington in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) on October 7 which earns the winner a golden ticket into Australia’s iconic event for stayers over 3200-metres.

“He can get 3000-metres and I would love to get him into The Bart Cummings and get that ‘Willy Wonka’ ticket and then see him in a Melbourne Cup.

“But whether that is this year or next year, now that he can jump and travel with those blinkers on, it gives us more options and I think he is a Melbourne Cup horse.”

Shaiyhar ($4.60 favourite) won by five lengths over Martial Eagle ($19) with Court Deep ($13) a half-length away in third in a class record time of 2:01.97.

The win was an uplift for Blake Shinn, Melbourne’s premier hockey of last season, after steering First In Line to victory in the race prior after which the horse collapsed and died after the finishing line.

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